Ruling on giving zakaah to brothers, sisters, paternal uncles and aunts, and other relatives

Is it permissible for a man to give zakaah to his needy brother (who has a family and works but his income is not sufficient)? Is it permissible to give it to a poor paternal uncle? Can a woman give the zakaah on her wealth to her brother, paternal aunt or sister?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with a man or woman giving their zakaah to a poor brother, sister, paternal uncle, paternal aunt or to any poor relative, because of the general meaning of the evidence. Indeed, giving zakaah to them is both an act of charity and upholding family ties, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Charity given to the poor is charity and charity given to a relative is charity and upholding of family ties.” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad, no. 15794; al-Nasaa’i, no. 2582). Excluded from this are parents and those in the direct line of ascent, and children – male or female – and those in the direct line of descent; zakaah should not be given to them even if they are poor; rather you are obliged to spend on them from your own wealth, if you are able and if there is no one else who can spend on them.

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