(1) If your maid is poor and entitled to receive zakah then you may give zakah and wajib sadaqah to her. It is lawful and your zakah and sadaqah shall be paid. After taking the zakah or sadaqah in her possession, that lady may use the money in her or her children’s need. There is no hindrance in it as per the Shariah. But it will not suffice if you pay the school or tuition fee of her children with zakah money instead of giving it in her possession. In this case your zakah shall not be paid. It is necessary to give the zakah money in complete possession of the person who is entitled to receive it. If you have spent it in her or her children’s need then zakah shall not be paid. The holy Quran says:
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء الآية [التوبة : 60]
It is mentioned in al-Dur al-Mukhtar 3:291, Maktaba Zakaria Deoband):
ويشترط أن يكون الصرف تمليكا ….. لا يصرف إلى بناء نحو مسجد ولا إلى كفن ميت وقضاء دينه اهـ .
While it is mentioned in Shami:
قوله: “نحو مسجد”: كبناء القناطر والسقايات وإصلاح الطرقات وكري الأنهار والحج والجهاد وكل ما لا تمليك فيه ، زيلعي اهـ .
(2) Whatever amount of zakah you have paid in school or tuition fees of your maid’s children without giving in her complete possession it was not paid. You should give that much money to any poor and needy person again.
Allah knows Best!
Darul Uloom Deoband