Giving zakaat to one’s brother

Q: I live in Bahrain with my husband and children. My parents live in Pakistan. My father is retired, my youngest sister is divorced she lives with my parents. My other sister is married and lives with her family in Pakistan. My one & only brother lives with his wife in Australia. He was financially taking care of my parents as my parents live in a rental accommodation although they own an apartment which is on rent but the rent is not enough. Last year in August my brother lost his job as he committed a crime (fraud), he worked in a financial institution. He was found guilty & is in prison. They bought a house in Australia on mortgage, his wife works & most of her salary goes to pay mortgage payment (mortgage is for 30 years) she is left with very little amount to pay other expenses (she is expecting a baby in October Inshallah). She had no money to pay the lawyer’s fee (the lawyer after knowing their financial condition told her to give her fee in instalments). I’ve been sending her lawyer’s fee  (instalments) every month since March. My brother will be released next month in August but will have no income & it will be very difficult for him to get a job (they are Pakistani nationals) so they cant get any help from the government & his wife will be on paid maternity leave. We have also found out from his wife that he has a car loan & credit card loan to pay to the bank in Australia. My parents are already shattered as they are practising Muslims & never ever expected their only son to be like that. His wife tells us that he is a changed person now, feels very sorry for his actions/trouble he has caused his parents & is praying, fasting in prison Allah knows best. I work in a school & I send his wife some money from my salary. I have to give zakat which I can’t give at one time (I usually give it every month but I was not as I was sending money to them). I want to help my brother/his wife but I’m not in a position to help them and give zakat at the same time, frankly I want to help my parents too but its impossible for me right now. Can you please guide me if I can give my zakat money to my brother every month or my parents? I’m very confused as I don’t know how to give zakaat and help him at same time when I know they have no other help and I don’t want to delay the zakat


A: You can give the zakaat to your brother if he is in need. You cannot give it to your parents.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

( لا ) يصرف ( إلى بناء ) نحو ( مسجد و )…. ( و ) لا إلى ( من بينهما ولاد ) ولو مملوكا لفقير ( أو ) بينهما ( زوجية ) ولو مبانة وقالا تدفع هي لزوجها… ( و ) لا إلى ( غني ) يملك قدر نصاب فارغ عن حاجته الأصلية من أي مال كان كمن له نصاب سائمة لا تساوي مائتي درهم…( و ) لا إلى ( طفله ) بخلاف ولده الكبير وأبيه وامرأته الفقراء وطفل الغنية فيجوز لانتفاء المانع ( و ) لا إلى     ( بني هاشم ) إلا من أبطل النص قرابته وهم بنو لهب فتحل لمن أسلم منهم كما تحل لبني المطلب ثم ظاهر المذهب إطلاق المنع وقول العيني والهاشمي يجوز له دفع زكاته لمثله صوابه لا يجوز نهر… ( ولا ) تدفع ( إلى ذمي ) لحديث معاذ (الدر المختار 2/344-350)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)