I am writing this email because i have a very important question that i need your guidance with, i am currently living in mexico and i married a girl in mexico who converted to islam (alhumdulillah) before i married her she had a son who is now 11 years. my question is regarding that son of ours, Here in mexico my financial position is very weak and its very hard for us to take care of the finances. My mother in Pakistan and my brother take out zakat every year and my mother was thinking that she can sned that money of the zakat to my wif's son so that my son can use that money on his expenses which will help me to take care of other stuff of the house.
We talked to one of our relative and they told us that zakat is only entitles for a child who is 13 or above but what i dont understand is how can this be islam is a religion who teaches us to help each other then how can that be that islam lets a 13 year old kid have tummy full of food and a kid of 11 be hungry,
In this regard i need your guidance can that money of zakat be used for my wif's son who is 11 years?
In order to qualify for Zakat assistance, one must be poor (does not possess equal to minimum Nisaab of Zakat) and adult. In Islam, anyone who has passed the age of puberty is considered an adult. A child who is eleven years old is normally an adult because he has most likely reached puberty.
If a child is in need of Zakah and the father is also qualified to accept Zakat then it would be permissible to give Zakat to such a child.
In your case, it would be permissible for your mother to give her Zakat to your wife's son.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Ikram ul Haq
Fatwa Center of America