Is it permissible to give charity o...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Is it permissible to give charity on behalf of my living parents?


Is it permissible to give charity on behalf of my living parents?


One aspect of treating parents kindly is to do everything that benefits them. The best thing to do is whatever brings them a reward in the hereafter and voluntary charity is a means of doing so. When a person wishes to donate the reward of a voluntary charity to his parents, he may resort to valid means over which Muslim scholars are unanimous. These include:

- Giving charity to his parents as a gift so they may pay it forward. It is permissible to give charity to parents in this manner, even if they are well-to-do, since it is both lawful and valid to give voluntary charity to the rich. The permissibility of this was mentioned in Al-Majmu'.

- Giving the sum of money to his parents who will then commission him to give it as charity on their behalf. In this manner, both he and his parents receive a reward.

- Granting the whole reward of the charity or part of it to his parents in the form of a du’a` (supplication). He should say, after giving the charity, “O God! I ask you to reward my parents as you have rewarded me.” The acceptability of the du’a` is contingent upon the will of God, the Almighty. For further details, see Al-Nawawi’s Al-Majmu’(15/522).

Scholars have disagreed on the permissibility of giving charity on behalf of the living. Hanafi and some Hanbali scholars permit it and it was mentioned in the book Al-Bahr Al-Ra`iq that it is permissible for a person to dedicate the reward of such a fast, prayer, and charity to the living as well as to the dead who will receive the reward of these actions. This is the position of Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama'ah and the self-same opinion was mentioned in the book Bada`i Al-Sana`i by Al-Kassani. Consequently, it does not matter whether the recipient of the reward is dead or alive. According to one of the Hanbali books Zaad Al-Mostaqni, any devotional act whose reward is donated to either the dead or the living benefits them. Accordingly, a person who wants to give charity on behalf of his living parents should give it to them as a charity so they could pay it forward and all of them will receive its reward. Muslims scholars have agreed that such deeds are both valid and rewardable.
And God the Almighty knows best.

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