Q. Can we use Zakaat money to assist in the burial and funeral expenses of the deceased who did not own anything and did not leave anything for his heirs? The deceased family does not own anything as well?
A. One of the primary requisites of discharging ones Zakaat is to discharge it to an eligible recipient of Zakaat by making him the owner of it i.e. Tamleek (giving him full ownership of it) must take place.
In the case of a deceased person who qualified as an eligible recipient of Zakaat during his lifetime, it will not be permissible for a person to discharge his Zakaat by using it for the funeral and burial expenses of the deceased as he is deceased and he cannot be made the owner of it i.e. Tamleek cannot take place now.
However, if the deceased’s family members etc. qualify as eligible recipients of Zakaat, then a person may discharge it by giving it to them so that the deceased’s family members may use it for the funeral and burial expenses of the deceased. (Hindiyyah 6/392)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa