Giving zakaat to one’s nieces and nephews

Q: My sister and the former husband abandoned three kids and are now cared for by my parents. They have grown and are on the brink of their teenage years. My parents who have cared for them have now almost retired. I help where I can but is not always able to help fully. I have zakaah due to be paid in the coming month. My questions are:

1. Can I pay zakaah to my parents to cover for their (nieces and nephew) needs?

2. If so, can I give all my zakaah to them or only a portion.


A: It is not permissible for one to give zakaat to one’s ascendants (parents, grandparents, etc.) and descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.). However it is permissible for one to give zakaat to one’s nieces and nephews provided they are eligible for zakaat. Hence if your nieces and nephew are eligible for zakaat, then you may give it to your parents and inform them that it is zakaat money and that they should only spent it on your nieces and nephew.

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


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)