Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Zakah is distributed on bases of poverty and priority. It is also known that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has recommended relatives as prior recipients of zakah if they deserve it.
In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:
The criteria in distributing zakah in our time is twofold:
1- poverty and need,
2- the priority of needs and what is worst sufferance that can be relieved by zakah money.
Of course, if this woman is poor and in need for treatment and other expenses, she qualifies on poverty basis. Being a relative is an added point for reward.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.