Zakat Funds on Medical Activities?

We get frequent requests from governmental and non-governmental organizations to contribute to their humanitarian and medical activities; for example, buying a device for diagnosing diabetes, holding a conference on the conditions of the handicapped, or helping to cover the costs of the nursing staff of hospitals set up by philanthropists.

Is it allowed to spend zakat funds on such activities, bearing in mind that they are spent to relieve the difficulties of the poor as well as others?

Is it Allowed to Spend Zakat Funds on Medical Activities to Relieve the Difficulties of the Poor as Well as Others?

Question:
We get frequent requests from governmental and non-governmental organizations to contribute to their humanitarian and medical activities; for example, buying a device for diagnosing diabetes, holding a conference on the conditions of the handicapped, or helping to cover the costs of the nursing staff of hospitals set up by philanthropists.

Is it allowed to spend zakat funds on such activities, bearing in mind that they are spent to relieve the difficulties of the poor as well as others?

Answer:
There is no objection to doing so if it is possible to transfer the ownership of the medical equipment to the poor so that, if it is sold, the sale price is disbursed to the poor.

However, if it is just a contribution and it is not possible to transfer the ownership of the medical equipment to the poor, this contribution is not allowed to be paid from the zakat. The Committee encourages any institutions to contribute to humanitarian and medical activities by means of voluntary donations so that it actively contributes to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

As for zakat, it is obligatory to strictly adhere, in disbursing it, to the eight rightful beneficiaries mentioned in the Quran.

In other cases, if there is a specific poor person who needs either medicine or food or similar needs, and it is known that if zakat is given to him in the form of cash it will clearly be detrimental, or if his interests dictate that that poor person should not be given cash, then in this case some of the scholars regard it as permissible to give him zakat in the form of specific items instead of cash. For example, if the poor ill person is insane or feebleminded and does not handle money well, or he is foolish and will waste money, or he is an evildoer who will spend the money on that which is of no benefit to his illness, then he and his dependents will remain in need.

Shaykh al-Islam had said:

“Giving items of equivalent value when there is no need and no obvious interest to be served is not allowed… Because if it were made permissible to give items of equivalent value, then the giver may give bad quality items or the evaluation may not be correct. Zakaah is intended to help the poor, and the zakaah is connected to the amount of wealth one owns and its type. However, with regard to giving items of equivalent value when there is a need for that or an interest to be served thereby, or to achieve fairness, there is nothing wrong with that.” (End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa [25/82])

Based on the issued fatwa of Kuwait Finance House (source: https://ifikr.isra.my/fatwa/final_level2/SC0406/4316) and IslamQ&A (source: https://islamqa.info/en/answers/138684/is-it-permissible-to-give-items-as-zakaah-instead-of-cash)

News: CSR in Kampung Sungai Kembong Hilir, Bangi Lama, Selangor, Malaysia.

The collaboration between Media Prima Berhad (MPB) through the MPB-NSTP Humanitarian Fund (The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad) and National Defense University of Malaysia (UPNM) brought joy to five asnaf recipients in Kampung Sungai Kembong Hilir, Selangor, Malaysia. NSTP’s Corporate Communications Head said the community and social responsibility (CSR) program was aimed at inculcating volunteerism through charitable work.

The collaboration between Media Prima Berhad (MPB) through the MPB-NSTP Humanitarian Fund (The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad) and National Defense University of Malaysia (UPNM) brought joy to five asnaf recipients in Kampung Sungai Kembong Hilir, Selangor, Malaysia.

NSTP’s Corporate Communications Head said the community and social responsibility (CSR) program was aimed at inculcating volunteerism through charitable work.

He said over a year, more than 20 CSR programs were developed by MPB and hoped that it would be more fascinating with the collaboration of more parties including higher education institutions such as UPNM.

“The CSR program developed over the last 20 years has helped tens of thousands of people. In making this event a success, we also look forward to the contribution of volunteer workforce and the contribution of corporate and private companies to the success of this event,” he said when met at the event.

About 60 volunteers were UPNM cadets and students, as well as the MPB-NSTP Volunteer Brigade in the homecoming work of cleaning and painting asnaf houses.

The program also presented donations of daily necessities and mattresses worth about RM200 (approx. USD 50) per asnaf.

Meanwhile, NSTP’s Corporate Communications Head said the program, revealed the objective of producing excellent academic and developmental students in UPNM’s ‘Leaders of Character’ motto.

He said along with Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations on September 16, the theme of the Malaysiaku (MyMalaysia), the program clearly portrayed the happiness of beneficiaries.

“We are proud of the cooperation with the MPB to achieve its goals and hope this relationship will become more intimidating in the future,” he said.

One of the Asnaf, Afizhullah Akhmal Sahak, 23, hopes that the introduction of this program opens a bigger route for his younger brother, Nazatul Balqis, 17 to continue his studies at a higher level by furthering his studies at UPNM.

He said that hope was most important for him after losing his mother and father who died due to health problems about three years ago.

“My eldest brother, Akhilmullah Akhmal, is the head of the family and the source of living in the family.

“I hope that the relationship through this program will be a path for my younger sister to pursue higher education institutions such as UPNM,” he said.

The five orphaned admits did not receive any help from any parties other than the Social Security Organization (SOCSO).

Hence, Afizhullah said he would seek help from the Selangor Zakat Center, and so on.

“After being informed about the opportunity by the organizer of the program, I will work towards it, especially the opportunity to pursue education for younger siblings,” he said in reference to his youngest brother, Muhamad Nur Hidayat, 15 years old.

Happiness is also clearly engraved on the face of senior citizen, Nani Miri, 83, the sole mother of a husband’s death, since 30 years ago, riding in the shade of the residence of her husband who was inhabited by a single child and five grandchildren.

She thanked for the contribution that he hoped that more parties would provide assistance to the asnaf as it may seem after this.