Are we allowed to pay

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1.  I have been allocating my zakaat to my aunty for many years asI believed she was eligible to receive zakaat, I have lately questioned this and would like to get some guidelines as to who is a receiver of zakaat.    Her situation is that she is a recent widow,with 3 children.

2 who have special needs, and another daughter who is employed but earning approx R1500pm and has her own expenses, none are married.    my aunty receives a government pension to approx R820 and her two grown children a disability grant of approx R700 each, making her total income of approx R2220,   without her normal daughters income as she uses her salary to pay off her own debts.    her monthly expenses total to an estimated R3920 excluding her rent which is being paid by a local Islamic organization. As you notice from the above there is a shortfall, however I do know that she receives Zakaat from other sources but I cannot be sure of the amount, In my assessment of her home and running of it thereof I feel she has most of the comforts of a normal home, although she makes pleas to us for zakaat. I know the reward of distributing my zakaat to family first, but I also do not want to incorrectly distribute it and have the reward removed.Please help as this is a very sensitive issue,and I do not want to offend her in any way by asking her uncomfortable questions thereby damaging family ties.She has a bank account but only to receive her monthly pension,and perhaps a few items of gold i.e.. bangles she wears everyday, the rest was sold in the past to help defray her expenses.  

2.  Are we allowed to pay our rates and taxes with interest money   

3.  are we allowed to pay interest with interest, i.e. interest earned to offset against a bond with a commercial bank.     

4.  My father when he retired received a pension payout from his employers of which 1/3rd was given to him in cash and the 2/3rd had to be invested in   an annuity according to government legislation, to yield him a monthly income. Does he need to give zakaat on this 2/3rd invested,if yes does it need to  be calculated every year as this lump sum does not grow and remains the same every year,as its sole purpose is to give him an income monthly.Also note that this investment is not in his control as he cannot cash it in and this money will only be available in the event of his death to the surviving spouse.      



Muhtaram / Muhtaramah


In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.

1) If your aunt possesses gold the amount of the Nisaab or more and her liabilities are not so much that if calculated and deducted from her Zakaatable assets it will not leave her with less than the Nisaab, or she possess luxury items which are completely unnecessary and if they are converted into cash it will make up the Zakaat Nisaab, then she is not a recipient of Zakaat and it will not be permissible to give Zakaat to her.

2) Jamiats got a standard answer on disposal of interest.

3) It is permissible to offset interest with interest. (ONLY if it is the same bank)

4) The two thirds of the pension payout is not Zakaatable. Nevertheless, the income your father receives every month will be Zakaatable if he possesses the Nisaab for over one year. However, if the 2/3 contribution was voluntary, the amount is zakaatable.

And Allah knows best.

Darul Iftaa



  • The Sharée ruling herein given is specifically based on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • The Darul Ifta bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer. The Darul Ifta being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
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