Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Salam Alakum. Please update me on how should someone pay Zakat. Is it right to pay Zakat for all your children above the age of 18 since they have no income, but living separately from you. How many member of your family we are allowed to pay Zakat for?
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Respected brother, I am not sure whether you wish to inquire regarding the annual payment of zakah of ones assets, or the zakat-ul-fitr which is due from every believer at the end of the blessed month of Ramadan.
If your question is regarding the annual zakah on ones excess assets
If the total net worth of any believer (man, woman, or child) is more than the prescribed nisaab of 7.5 tolas of gold (app. 85 grams or app. Value US$2,100.00), then the person is liable to pay the obligatory annual zakah of 2.5% on their excess wealth which has been in their possession for a full calendar year.
If the total net worth of any believer is less than the prescribed nisaab, he/she is not liable to pay any zakah until their net worth exceeds the prescribed nisaab.
For the purpose of determining zakah, the Net Excess Assets would be the current market value of all of ones assets (properties, investments, jewelry, cash, etc.) except:
- the value of the house/s one owns and actually lives in (no zakah)
- the value of the car/vehicle one uses on a regular basis (no zakah)
- the value of the furniture and fixtures one uses on a regular basis (no zakah)
If you have children who are adults, and they have excess assets of their own..it is they who are responsible to pay their annual zakah at the rate of 2.50% of their excess assets.
If your question is regarding the zakat-ul-fitr which is due at the end of the blessed month of Ramadan
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.579
Allah's Messenger (saws) enjoined the payment of one Sa' of dates or one Sa' of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr on every Muslim: slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the Eid prayer.
Because the payment of zakat-ul-fitr is determined by the weight of food, it is possible that the exact amount might differ slightly from country to country based on the cost of that food in their country..but in most nations it is calculated to be between US$5.00 to US$6.00 per person in the family.
The primary responsibility for the paying the zakat-ul-fitr in Shariah lies on the leader/guardian of each household, ie. the father or the husband.
If you have adult children and they live on their own and wish to pay the zakat-ul-fitr for themselves and their families, there is absolutely no harm.and if you wish to fulfill this obligation for your adult children, there is no harm either. What is important that this nominal amount of zakat-ul-fitr is paid for each believer (man, woman or child in the family) before the Eid prayer, so that the poor are exempt from hunger or want on his joyous day of Eid.
Al-Baihaqi and ad-Daraqutni relate: "The Messenger of Allah (saws) enjoined the zakat ul-fitr, and also said: 'Free them (the poor) from want on this day.'"
Your Question: How many member of your family we are allowed to pay Zakat for?
One is at liberty to spend as much as one wills as zakat-ul-fitr, but the absolute minimum one must pay for each person in the family (man, woman, or child) is US5.00 or US$6.00 per person.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,