Can adopted children give their Zakaat to their adoptive parents?

Q. I was adopted by my dads sister. My step dad is unemployed and below zakaat nisab. I support my step parents financially as I eat all my meals with step parents and stay in the same yard as them. Is it possible for me to support step dad with zakaat for payments such as lights and water if I myself am deriving some benefit from these? I intend to continue supporting step parents financially as am currently doing but zakaat will be additional to lessen their own burden.

A. It is permissible for adopted children to discharge their Zakaat by giving it to their adoptive parents and vice versa. More so, it is permissible for a nephew or niece to discharge their Zakaat by giving it to their uncles and aunts i.e. paternal and maternal uncles and aunts. This is subject to the condition that they are eligible recipients of Zakaat.

Note: Biological children cannot discharge their Zakaat by giving it to their parents and vice versa.

Hence, in the enquired situation, your Zakaat will be discharged by giving it to your adoptive parents/paternal uncle and aunt respectively if either of them is an eligible recipient of Zakaat. After the Zakaat is given to either them and transferral of ownership takes places, it will be permissible for you to partake of meals made by them for you and to benefit from any financial support rendered by them to you. The is because the Zakaat discharged by you to them is regarded as Zakaat but after transferral of ownership takes places without any precondition and it is given to you by them, it is regarded to be Lillah.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa