Q: Is it permissible for someone to give zakat to a student to pay their uni fees, if that student does not possess nisab, and lives at parent’s home, who pay for all living expenses. Also can people of a family pay zakat into a trust fund to be used for uni fees for their kids and nieces and nephews etc.
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: One may give zakat to an eligible recipient to use to pay for university fees. In fact, under the current system of higher education funding, such should be encouraged to allow eligible students avoid the burden and sin of taking out an interest based loan. One cannot utilise zakat funds for one’s own children but one can give it to one’s nieces and nephews. A trust structure may be used for this but it must be ensured that the rules of zakat are upheld.