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Zakaat based bursaries


1. I have 2 university going kids whom I take care of financially and I pay Zakaat Alhamdulillah. They have been offered Zakaat based bursaries, and I don’t feel comfortable hence the need for a Fatwa. I have purchased for my kids shares to the value of R 25 000. Each in their name. Can I accept the bursary based that I am not eligible for Zakaat.


2. I have a daughter recently divorced came home in my care now, she has lots of debts but assets less than debt. Family members want to give her Zakaat to pay the debt. Can she/I accept on her behalf?


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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

In principle, if one does not possess the Nisaab (quantum) of Zakaat or one’s liabilities exceed one’s assets, then one is not obligated to pay Zakaat.


With regards to your specific questions:


1. We understand that you have purchased shares for your two children to the value of R 25 000. You further state that they have been offered Zakaat based bursaries. Zakaat based bursaries are only awarded to the valid recipients of Zakaat.


If you purchased the shares for your children with the intention of granting them the ownership of the shares immediately, then they are not eligible to receive Zakaat since they are in possession of the Zakaat Nisaab. However if you merely purchased the shares with the intention of granting them ownership in the future, then they are eligible to receive Zakaat provided their total assets do not exceed the Zakaat Nisaab.


2. In principle, if your daughter’s liabilities exceed her assets, then she is eligible to receive Zakaat. One should ensure that proper Tamleek (ownership) of the Zakaat funds is given to your daughter.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best


Ismail Desai,

Darul Iftaa


Checked and Approved,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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