My brother expired a few years back. He was a bank officer. He divorced his wife before he died. He left behind a son and two daughters. They do not get any support from the government in the form of pension etc. They do not have any other source of income. I am a salaried person. And his children live with me. My family and I are trying our best to accommodate them as we love them. My younger sister devoted herself to their extreme care. She did not marry even when she is now thirty-two.
As there is no source of income for them and now I too live from hand to mouth, can I spend zakah and charity on them? However, I give away a part of the zakah to others as well. If I can spend the zakah on them do I need to tell them that I am supporting them with the zakah money? I am asking this because that is not possible for me. I cannot tell them.
We can pay the zakah to all the near relatives. In fact it is even better to spend the zakah on the nearest relatives for their right on a believer is more pressing that the right of remotely related and unrelated people.
You do not need to disclose it to them. However, you may not think of doing this as a favour to them. This I say because the zakah is the obligation you owe to God. It is not merely a charity work. You may not therefore think of a return from them. I hope you do you do not expect any return from them and you are doing this out of love for them but I just wanted to explain as it is very important that we are clear on the nature of obligation.