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Giving Zakat to Relatives
« on: August 10, 2012, 01:49:32 AM »
Salamun Aleykum,
The Holy Quran states the following on giving Zakat:

"The alms are only for the Fuqara' (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise." [Al-Quran 9:60]

I am unclear about the validity of giving zakat to family members, for example to an uncle who I know is struggling to make ends meet and is in debt, or to a brother who is unemployed.  I read that if one's debts exceeds his assets and his net assets is below the Nisab limit, then one is eligible to receive zakat, but that it is conditional that the debts were not created for any un-Islamic or sinful purpose. I cannot ask my uncle to establish if he is eligible and how his debts came about, so if I am unsure if my zakat will be valid.

Your guidance would be much appreciated.

Thank you

Muslim Sister