A brother who is earning an income which is just enough to support himself and he has some small savings too. He wants to seek knowledge and sit in the ḥalakāt (circles) of ʿilm but does not have enough money to bear the expenses. Is it permissible that his expenses is supported by giving him money from zakāh?
Yes its permissible for the student of knowledge to take from zakāh if he needs, because he is for the cause of Allāh the most High. This is the fatwā of our Shaykh Yaḥyā -may Allāh preserve him-.
Shaykh Ibn al-ʿUthaymīn -may Allāh have mercy on him- said:
“If the man has that which suffices him for his food, drink, housing, and clothing, but he is a student of knowledge in need of books, then we give him (i.e from the zakāh) that which he needs from books, because if he is given (from the zakāh) expenses of his food which is a nutrition for his body, then he is also given nutrition for his soul and heart, however he is not to be given so that he can establish a huge maktabah (shelves of books), rather that which suffices him to seek ʿilm.”
– Sharh Mumtiʿ (6/221).
Allāh ʿAzza wa Jalla knows best.
والحمد لله رب العلمين
Answered by: Abū Hārūn Muḥammad ʿAbdin-Nūr