Can a person give zakat to his mother in law and if yes, can he give her items rather than cash? e.g fridge or microwave etc
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
Allah states in the Quran, “The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise.” (Surah At Tuaba: 60)
The above verse indicates the people who are entitled to receive zakat. However it is not permissible to give zakat to those individuals with whom there is relationship due to birth (i.e. children and parents) or marriage. (Durrul Mukhtar, Vol 2, P 69)
The reason being is that usually wealth is considered to be shared between them and giving zakat to them will mean one receiving and benefiting from one’s own zakat.
In response to your question a person can give zakat to his mother in law, if she is entitled to it, as she does not fall within the two categories mentioned above. Items other than cash may be given as long as she is given possession and made the owner of the item.
Only Allah knows best.
Darul Ifta, Birmingham