Feeding ten poor and needy Muslims from amongst the relatives

Reference: Fataawa Noor ‘alad-Darb – Question No.6103, Page 519, Volume 11

Question: Regarding expiating for a broken oath, is it a condition that there [actually] be ten poor and needy [Muslims], and if he is unable to find any, then do relatives count?

Response: [Yes], they do count; that is based upon His (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) saying:

{So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people…}, soorah al-Maa.idah, aayah 89

…irrespective of whether the poor and needy are relatives or other than them; in fact, if they are from amongst the relatives, then that is better. However, if he is unable to find any [whatsoever], then Allaah has explained what is then required – where He says towards the end of the aayah:

{And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days…}, soorah al-Baqarah, aayah 196

And being ‘unable to find’ includes [both] he who is unable to find any food to feed them (the poor and needy) with, as well as he who is unable to find any poor and needy [Muslims] – even if he does have plenty of money.

So if he does not find any poor and needy [Muslims], [only] then [should] he fast for three days, with the condition that fasting these three days is done consecutively.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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