Giving Zakah to Al-ul-Bayt

Q 1: I heard that it is not permissible for Al-ul-Bayt (members of the Prophet's extended Muslim family) to be given or rather, more accurately, to receive Zakah (obligatory charity). Al-ul-Bayt refers to the descendants of the family of Banu Hashim and Banu `Abdul-Muttalib (may Allah be pleased with them). Is this correct? If so, are there any exclusive duties on someone who is a descendent of the Prophet's family? There is a family whose lineage traces back to `Aqil (may Allah be pleased with him). Members of this family have a female relative - their maternal grandmother - who receives Zakah money; and she sometimes gives the children of the family gifts from the Zakah money she receives. Is it permissible for them to take these gifts?

A: Firstly: Members of the family mentioned above (the Prophet's family) should not be given Zakah, because there are religious texts stating that it is unlawful for them to take it. Among these religious texts is a Hadith related by Imam Muslim (may Allah be merciful to him) on the authority of `Abdul-Muttalib ibn Rabi`ah ibn Al-Harith (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported (Part No. 10; Page No. 71) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Charity (Zakah) is not becoming for the family of Muhammad, as it is people's impurities. In another narration: They (charities) are not permissible for Muhammad (peace be upon him), nor for the family of Muhammad. Secondly: If Zakah money is given to anyone other than the members of the Prophet's family and they then give it as a gift to any member of the Prophet's family, it is permissible for members of his family to take it and benefit from it, based on the following Hadith in which Um `Atiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent me some lamb from the Zakah. I sent `Aishah some of it. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to `Aishah, he asked, "Do you have anything (to eat)?" She said, "Nothing, except the lamb that Nusaybah (Umm `Atiyyah's nickname) sent us from that which you gave to her. He said, "It has reached its proper place. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim and the version quoted is from Imam Muslim). In another Hadith reported on the authority of Barirah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: It is charity for her, and a gift for us. (Part No. 10; Page No. 72) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.