Does Asnaf Need to Pay Zakat?

Source: https://www.islamweb.net/en/fatwa/118692/

Question
I am a poor, penniless man and the father of two disabled children. Righteous people gave me from the wealth of Allah such as Zakat and charity. Now, I own a Nisab on which one full lunar year (haul) has lapsed. Is Zakat due on me?

Answer
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

The majority of scholars hold that Zakat is due on wealth. The condition by which Zakat becomes due is to own a Nisab on which one lunar year (haul) has passed. Therefore, whenever a Muslim owns a Nisab of a kind of wealth on which one full lunar year lapses, Zakat becomes due on him whether he is rich or poor. Hanafi jurists, however, excluded the wealth that is saved for one’s basic needs such as food, drink, clothes and so on as they said: “No Zakah is due on it”.

The majority of scholars hold a different view from that of the Hanafi scholars as they hold that whoever owns a Nisab is required to pay Zakat on it even if he is poor. They also say that being entitled to receive Zakat does not prevent it from being due on a person. They set a difference between the limit of wealth that makes Zakat due and that which prevents one from taking it.

According to Malik, Ash-Shafi‘i, and Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon them), the limit of wealth that makes Zakat due on someone is owning the Nisab. In relation to this, Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said: “The fourth condition: Richness, based on the statement of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to Mu‘aath ibn Jabal may Allaah be pleased with him, ‘Inform them that they have to pay an obligatory charity that is taken from their rich to be given to their poor.’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. This is also because Zakat is obligatory so as to be a source of assistance to the poor. Hence, there should be a considerable limit of wealth so as to achieve such assistance. The considerable limit of wealth in such a condition is to own a Nisab that is free from debt.”

The limit of wealth that prevents one from taking Zakat is owning what is sufficient for fulfilling one’s needs, whether it has reached the Nisab or not. Al-Khattaabi (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said about this, “Malik and Ash-Shafi‘i said: “There is no specified limit for wealth, but what counts is the financial capability of a person. So, if a person owns what suffices his needs, it is unlawful for him to take charity and, if he becomes in need, then it is lawful for him to take it.” Ash-Shafi‘i said: “A man who can earn his living may be rich by having only one dirham while another, who is too weak to earn his living and has many dependents to provide for, maybe poor despite having 1000 dirhams.”

On the other hand, Hanafi scholars hold that the same criterion should apply in both cases. This means that one who owns the Nisab is not permitted to receive Zakat because, by owning it, he is considered rich. However, the preponderant opinion is held by the majority of scholars. Therefore, you should know that you have to pay Zakat on your money as long as it has reached a Nisab and a full lunar year has lapsed on it. This also does not cancel the permissibility of taking from the Zakat money if you are entitled to receive it under the Shari‘ah.

Allah Knows best.


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Give Zakat to Immediate Relatives or a Mosque?

You can pay zakat to any relative who is not:

  • Your parent, grandparent and ascending
  • Your child, grandchild and descending
  • Your spouse

As for all other relatives then it is not only permissible but better to pay zakat to them if they are valid zakat-recipients.

With regards to giving zakat directly to a mosque then that is not validexcept if they are collecting the funds to disburse to those zakat-eligible individuals

Zakat can only be given to an actual poor person who takes possession of the given zakat. a virtuous project such as “building a mosque” is neither a person nor poor, and therefore one cannot give zakat to build a mosque.

May Allah reward we immensely for our great concern for our religion, and make us a source for spreading the deen of Allah in our community.


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Zakat to Natural Disaster’s Victims such as Fire, Flood, Earthquake, and Others?

What is the opinion regarding the ruling for giving zakat to flood victims?

Regarding this issue, we should understand that natural disaster victims usually are in dire need of help depending on the destruction they faced. In some cases, only a portion of their assets or property is destroyed, where some may experience a considerable amount of loss while others faced total loss to their property. In this case, let us understand the statement of Allah in surah al-Taubah, verse 60 (which means):

“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, surah al-Taubah, verse 60].

The above verse specifies the only people that have a right (qualified) to receive zakat (which is called as the eight asnaf). The consensus of the fuqaha (Islamic scholars) agrees that it is impermissible to give zakat to people other than the specified people in the above verse.

In mazhab al-Syafie, it is obligated to divide the zakat towards the eight asnaf that have a right to receive zakat. While other mazhab’s opinion state that it is enough to give to a group of the asnaf. This fatwa is issued by Ibn al-Asma’ie and most contemporary scholars agree with this opinion, for it is hard to find all eight asnaf, as stated in Bughyah al-Mustarsyidin.

Regarding the above issue, some scholars hold the opinion that natural disaster that results in the destruction of property, the people involved are in need of help and in debt for themselves or their family. Hence, some scholars include them as the asnaf of al-gharimin or as the people in debt. The scholars set a condition that the debt must be for a necessity (desperate need) and not luxury and indulgence.

Hence, we state that it is permissible to give zakat to people that faced natural disasters, such as a huge flood, typhoon, landslide, earthquake, and others that result in the destruction of their home, crops or loss of all their property. They can be categorized as al-gharimin that are qualified to receive zakat.

Other than the above-stated evidence, based on opinions of scholars, Mujahid (one of Islamic scholar) states: “3 types of people that are considered as al-gharimin are:

  • People that their property is washed away by flood;
  • Their property is destroyed in the fire;
  • Those that have dependents, but they are unable to provide for their dependents”

The above statement of Mujahid is in accordance with a hadith from Qabisah bin Mukhariq al-Hilali, he said (which means):

I was under debt and I came to the Messenger of Allah and begged from him regarding it. He said: Wait till we receive sadaqa, so that we order that to be given to you. He again said: Qabisah, begging is not permissible but for one of the three (classes) of persons: one who has incurred debt, for him begging is permissible till he pays that off, after which he must stop it; a man whose property has been destroyed by a calamity which has smitten him, for him begging is permissible till he gets what will support life, or will provide him reasonable subsistence; and a person who has been smitten by poverty. the genuineness of which is confirmed by three intelligent members of this peoples for him begging is permissible till he gets what will support him or will provide him subsistence. Qabisa, besides these three (every other reason) for begging is forbidden, and one who engages in such consumes that what is forbidden. [Narrated by Muslim (no. 1044)].

Imam al-‘Azim al-Abadi said (which means): “Whoever that befall on him a disaster from the heaven or earth, such as extreme cold, ice, sink or others like it that results in the destruction of his property and he has nothing left to survive, then it is permissible for him to ask from others until he can live on his own again.” (refers to ‘Aun al-Ma’bud 3/36)

One of the scholars that issue a fatwa regarding this issue is Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, where he said (which means): “I specify the characteristics of al-gharimin for victims of natural disasters that faced huge destruction to their property that they are forced into debt, then the ruling is permissible for them to receive zakat.” (refers to Fiqh al-Zakat 2/62)

Dr. Husamuddin bin Musa ‘Iffanah, Professor of Fiqh and Usul from the University of al-Quds, Palestine also ruled it permissible to give zakat to the victims of natural disasters.

My opinion is; it is permissible to give zakat to them, based on the presented opinions above and I am inclined to suggest that it must be given through Baitulmal, then Baitulmal will act as the body of authority to disburse the funds by identifying the people who are really in need, according to the destruction assessment made and the necessities needed for each victim. The reason is, if zakat is given directly in huge amounts, it is feared that only some would receive the help they needed while other victims won’t receive any of it. Hence, the people that didn’t receive any zakat will feel wronged by the unjust distribution of zakat.

Baitulmal should mobilize all its resources to solve the problem as soon as possible because the needs in life are immediate. Hopefully, this answer will give enlightenment to those who ask in channeling the aid of zakat or other infaq to help our brothers in Islam who are involved in disasters such as floods and others.

Wallahua’lam.

Taken with slight changes from http://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/irsyad-fatwa/irsyad-fatwa-umum-cat/2054-irsyad-al-fatwa-series-14-the-ruling-of-giving-zakat-to-natural-disaster-victims-such-as-flood-and-others


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Al-Gharimin: One of The Asnaf of Zakat

Who is meant as the al-Gharimin stated as an asnaf for zakat?

Regarding the asnaf for zakat, they are the group of people eligible to receive zakat mentioned by Allah in the Quran (which means):

“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Taubah, verse 60]

According to the above verse, it is clear only people who are mentioned above are eligible to receive zakat according to syarak and one of them is al-Gharimin or debtor.

The Asnaf of Al-Gharimin

Al-Gharimin is the plural word for al-gharim (غارم) which means debtor. Meanwhile, word al-ghorim (الغريم) means creditor. The original word is al-Gharm and literally, it means al-Luzum (obligation/duty/regularity).

“And those who say, “Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell. Indeed, its punishment is ever adhering;” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Furqan, verse 65.

And the punishment of hell is ever adhering and everlasting. Thus, it is named al-Gharim, الغارم for the debt becomes his obligation to be settled. Meanwhile, al-Ghorim, الغريم (creditors) is named like that because he will regularly bother al-Madin (debtors) to settle his debt.

Categories of al-Gharimin (debtors)

According to mazhab al-Syafi’e, the asnaf al-Gharimin is further divided into three categories:

First: Those who are in debt for himself or for the benefit of his family
There are a few conditions set for those who are eligible to receive zakat because he is in debt for himself:

  1. When he is in debt for himself and is unable to settle his debts back. If he is capable to settle his debts himself, then he is not given zakat. If he is only capable to settle a portion of his debt, then he is eligible to receive zakat to settle the rest of his debt. If an individual should be able to settle his debt because he is a working individual, he is still eligible to receive zakat, for debts need to be settled according to the stipulated time. Furthermore, even if he has an income, he would need to work for a long time before he will be able to settle all of his debts, at the same time he has to prioritize sustaining his daily needs and his family. If someone is rich, then automatically he would be ineligible from receiving zakat, for he is capable to settle his own debts. If he has a property (land), house, clothes or tableware but he has no money to settle his debts, then he is still eligible to receive zakat. The reason is, he still needs his assets to be able to live.
  2. The debt must be for good deeds or necessity and not for anything that is prohibited or sinful, such as for alcoholic beverages or fornication.
  3. Zakat is only for current debts that need to be settled immediately. If the settlement of the debt could be postponed (could be paid at a later date), then there are three opinions regarding the matter [See al-Imam al-Nawawi. Al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab. Dar al-Fikr, 6/208].
  4. He is still eligible to receive zakat, even when the settlement is postponed, for in truth they are still in debt according to general evidence.
  5. He is no longer eligible to receive zakat, for it is not necessary for him anymore. He is still eligible to receive zakat if the postponement is still in the same year. If the postponement is in the next year or more, then he is no longer eligible to receive zakat.

Second: Those who are in debt on behalf of others
People who are in debt for the sake of others are honored, for they are willing to be in debt for the benefit of others. For example, a person acts as a mediator in resolving a conflict or mending the relationship of two parties/qabilah in regards to property or blood (payment of diyat and others), then he uses his own money or property which results in him being in debt, then he is eligible to receive zakat to settle his debts.

The same is for people who are in debt for the benefit of others, such as building orphanages, mosques, hospitals, and others for the benefit of the public. Then, he is eligible to receive zakat to settle his debts even if he is rich, in accordance with the opinions of some scholars from mazhab al-Syafi’e. However, some scholars of the mazhab al-Syafi’e state that anyone who is in debt because they build something, free prisoners of war or provide accommodation for travelers is eligible to receive zakat, even if he is someone who is rich in term of property and not in term of money [See al-Raudhah al-Tolibin by al-Imam al-Nawawi, 2/319].

Third: Those who act as a guarantor for others
A guarantor is eligible to receive zakat under the asnaf of al-Gharimin on the following conditions:

  1. Guarantor and debtor are both unable to settle the debt. The guarantor is eligible to receive zakat to settle the said debt.
  2. If the guarantor is unable to settle the debt but the debtor is able to settle the debt, then the guarantor is eligible to receive zakat to settle the debt, if he becomes a guarantor without the permission of the debtor.

If the guarantor is able to settle the debt, but the debtor is unable to settle the debt, then only the debtor is eligible to receive zakat to settle the debt.

This is in accordance with a hadith from Qabisah bin Mukhariq al-Hilali, where he said (which means):

“I undertook a financial responsibility, then I came to the Prophet and asked him (for help) concerning that. He said: ‘Hold on, o Qubaisah! When we get some charity we will give you some.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said: ‘O Qubaisah, charity is not permissible except for one of three: A man who undertakes a financial responsibility, so it is permissible for him to be given charity until he finds means to make him independent and to suffice him; a man who was stricken by calamity and his wealth was destroyed, so it is permissible for him to ask for help until he has enough to keep him going, them he should refrain from asking; and a man who is stricken with poverty and three wise men from among his own people testily that so-and-so is in desperate need, then it is permissible for him to ask for help until he finds means to make him independent and to suffice him. Asking for help in cases other than these, O Qubaisah, is unlawful, and the one who takes it is consuming it unlawfully.”‘ [Narrated by Sahih Muslim (1044) and Sunan Abu Daud (1640)].

Are Natural Disaster Victims Eligible to Receive Zakat Under the Asnaf of al-Gharimin?

From the opinion of Mujahid, where he stated that someone who experienced the destruction of property due to flood or fire and has family members to provide for, but he is unable to do so and is forced to fall into debt is included in the asnaf of al-Gharimin.

He referred to the above hadith from Qabisah and in the commentaries of the hadith, Syeikh al-‘Azim al-Abadi said (which means):

“Whoever experienced destruction of property, whether it is because of extreme temperature, ice, flood and others, which make him unable to sustain himself, then he can ask from others until he has enough to live.” (Refers Aun al-Ma’bud, 3/36)

Several scholars issued their fatwa regarding the asnaf of al-Gharimin and one of them is Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, he states (which means):

“I included people who are natural disaster victims and people who experienced huge destruction to their property that forced them to fall into debt as the people in the asnaf of al-Gharimin. Hence, it is permissible for them to receive zakat.” (Refers Fiqh al-Zakat, 2/623)

Dr. Husamuddin bin Musa ‘Iffanah, Professor of Fiqh and Usul from the University of al-Quds, Palestine state the same ruling of permissibility for them to receive zakat.

Condition of the Type of Debt Where One is Eligible to Receive Zakat (MALAYSIA)

In the Federal Territories, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) of Malaysia has outlined specific requirements for the types of debts that allowed for a person to receive zakat as the following:

  1. Debt for basic needs:
  2. Food
  3. Medicine
  4. Education
  5. Protection
  6. Clothes
  7. Transportation
  8. Business debt (according to types and priorities)
  9. The priority is given for the debts of the poor, the needy and muallaf (newly reverted Muslims).

Conclusion

Al-Gharimin has been defined by early and contemporary scholars. Here, we conclude the scholars’ opinions regarding the eligible people to receive zakat under the asnaf of al-Gharimin:

  1. Anyone who is in debt for himself or his family.
  2. Anyone who is in debt on behalf of others.
  3. Anyone who acts as a guarantor for someone else.
  4. Anyone who experienced great destruction to property and others.

May this explanation regarding the asnaf of al-Gharimin give understanding and information for our Muslim society specifically to be more sensitive in the issues of zakat. Wallahua’lam.


Taken with slight changes from http://muftiwp.gov.my


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Can You Distribute Zakat to a Person Seeking Knowledge?

A person is seeking knowledge and requires some resources to continue what it’s doing. Can zakat money give to them?

The answer is; it is permissible to give Zakat to a seeker of knowledge who is engaged in acquiring Islamic knowledge or worldly knowledge, even though he may be capable of earning. This is because seeking Islamic knowledge is a form of Jihad in Allah’s Cause and Allah has declared Jihad in His Cause to be an area deserving of Zakat in His Words (which means):

“As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun — those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”

[Al-Quran, surah Al-Taubah, verse 60]

The Honorable Shaikh Mohammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimeen replied: Verily, Allah has declared that among the lawful beneficiaries of Zakat are those who undertake Jihad in Allah’s Cause, so it is permissible for us to give Zakat to those who undertake Jihad in Allah’s Cause.

But who is the Mujahid in Allah’s Cause? The Mujahid in Allah’s Cause was defined by the Messenger of Allah, when he was asked about a man who fights out of bravery, one who fights out of rage or fanaticism, and one who fights in order be seen in his place (i.e. to be seen fighting Jihad). The Prophet gave him a just and valuable measure (of what a Mujahid is); he said (which means):

“Whoever fights in order that Allah’s Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari]

So, whoever fights for this goal, to proclaim Allah’s Word and to implement the Law of Allah and to establish Allah’s religion in the lands of the disbelievers, then he is in Allah’s Cause, (including the one who seeking knowledge) and he may be given money from the Zakat funds: Either he may be given money which he may use in the cause of Jihad, or the equipment for the preparation.

Zakat for Masajid and Public Welfare Programs?

In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty has mentioned 8 categories of people who can receive Zakat. Allah Almighty says (which means):

“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, surah At-Tawbah, verse 60]

The expression “for the cause of Allah” or fi Sabil Allah was generally interpreted “Jihad fi Sabil Allah” and so many jurists restricted this Zakat expense for this purpose.

Muslim jurists also say that in the Qur’an Allah used the word “Lil fuqara’ wa Al-masakin or ‘for the poor and the needy’ and the ‘lam’ or (for)” here means ‘tamlik’ or possession. Thus they interpret the above verse to mean that the poor and needy should be made owners of this money or Tamlik Al-Zakat.

Since in public and social welfare projects, no one becomes the owner, so, according to their interpretation, the Zakat should not be used for this purpose. Thus you will find in the books of Fiqh statements emphasizing that the money should not be used to build the Masajid (mosque), schools, hospitals, hostels, etc. because this money belongs to poor and it should be given to them. There are some jurists who still hold this strict opinion concerning Zakat.

However, there are a number of jurists of this century, such as Sheikh Muhammad ‘Abduh, Rashid Rida, Maulana Mawdudi, Amin Ahsan Islahi, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and some Fatwa organizations in Kuwait and Egypt, they are of the opinion that the phrase ‘in the cause of Allah’ covers a broad category. It is a general term and it should be applied in all those situations where there is a need to serve Islam and Muslims.

Those scholars consider it permissible to use the Zakat money to finance the Da’wah and public welfare programs. They say that the expression ‘for the poor and needy’ can also mean ‘for the benefit of the poor and needy’.

The modern jurists also argue that in the past Muslim governments used to build Mosques, schools and used to finance public welfare projects. Now many governments are negligent in this matter. Many Muslims are living in areas where there are no Muslim governments.

Furthermore, the financial needs of the people have become so enormous and diverse that earlier rules and restrictions cannot be fully applied and may not be very useful in every place.

In his famous book Fiqh Az-Zakat, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has thoroughly discussed this subject. His Fatwa is that in non-Muslim countries it is permissible to use Zakat funds to build the Masajid, Schools, and hospitals.

Muslims from all over the world go to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, etc. to solicit funds for the building of their Mosques and schools. Most of the business people in those countries give their Zakat for this purpose. Many people from all over the world use this money for building projects without any question.

Now, there are many people who come to North America to solicit funds for their Mosques and schools in some poor countries. American Muslims are also giving their Zakat to build Masajid and schools in other countries.

It is the concept of ‘fi Sabil Allah’ and helping the Islamic cause in many lands where it has made it possible to establish Islamic institutions and Mosques.

Zakat is basically for the poor and needy and most of it should be used to take care of their needs. I believe that for the Mosque constructions Muslims should make extra charity and should give from funds other than Zakat. However, it is not forbidden for Muslims to give their Zakat money for the building of Mosques and schools, especially in non-Muslim countries.

Islamic centers should have a separate Zakat fund. Those who do not want their Zakat to be used in building projects should give their money to the Zakat fund. But those who want to give their Zakat for the Masjid construction they should donate directly to that project.”

Allah Almighty knows best.


This Q&A was taken with slight changes from https://www.islamicity.org

The Unbelievers; Recipients of Zakat?

As for zakat for the unbelievers, they are of two categories….

As for zakat for the unbelievers, they are two types of categories:

First Category
Those who may come to Islam through the reconciliation of their hearts: Such was the case of Safwan ibn ‘Umayyah whom the Prophet granted safety on the day of Makkah’s conquest. The Prophet allowed him to think about his situation for four months and then choose for himself. He was absent at the time but came forward later and went with the Muslims to fight in the battle of Hunayn before his acceptance of Islam. The Prophet borrowed his armory for the expedition of Hunayn, and in return gave him a large number of camels, loaded with goods, that was at a certain valley. Thereupon Safwan said: “This is a gift from someone who does not fear poverty. By Allah,” he continued, “the Prophet has given all of this to me and verily he is the person whom I dislike the most, but he continued to give me things until he became the one I loved the most.” 

Second Category
People whose evil is feared, and it is hoped that money is given to them, will neutralize their hostility: Ibn ‘Abbas reported: “A group of people used to come to the Prophet. If he gave them money, they would praise Islam and say: ‘This is a good religion.’ However, if he did not give them any money, they criticized and found fault with Islam.” Among such people were Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, al-Aqra’ ibn Habis, and ‘Uyainah ibn Hisn. The Prophet gave every one of them one hundred camels.

The Hanafiyyah (madhab) say that the share of such people are canceled when Islam is strong. For instance, ‘Uyainah ibn Hisn, al-Aqra’ ibn Habis, and al-‘Abbas ibn Mirdas came to Abu Bakr and requested their share. He wrote them a letter, which they took to ‘Umar. He tore the letter and said: “This is something that the Prophet used to give you to reconcile you to Islam. Now, Allah has fortified Islam and it is no longer in need of you. Unless you stay with Islam, the sword will be between you and us. Say: ‘It is the truth from the Lord of you [all]. Then whoever will let him believe, and whoever will let him disbelieve’ [Refer to Al-Quran, surah al-Kahf, verse 29].” They returned to Abu Bakr and said: “Are you the Caliph or is ‘Umar? You wrote a letter for us and ‘Umar tore it up.” He answered: “This is the way it is.”

The Hanafiyyah continues: “Indeed, Abu Bakr agreed with ‘Umar, and none of the companions disapproved of it. Likewise, it was never reported from ‘Uthman or ‘Ali that they gave anything to anyone in this category.”

It can be answered that the case under reference was ‘Umar’s own judgment. He saw that there would be no benefit in mollifying these people after Islam had become well-established among their people, and no harm would follow if they abandoned Islam. Also, if ‘Uthman and ‘Ali stopped spending this kind of endowment, this does not necessarily mean that the provision for it was repealed. It is possible that the change of circumstances did not call for the continuation of such an endowment to the nonbelievers. However, this does not amount to the invalidation of the provision for such endowments.

Should the contingency call for its revival, the endowments in this category can be given. This is because their sanction lies in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Ahmad and Muslim reported from Anas that whenever the Prophet was asked for anything for the sake of Islam, he would give it away. A man came and asked for sadaqah. The Prophet ordered that the man is given the entire lot of sheep between two mountains. These sheep were part of the sadaqah. The man returned to his people and said: “Oh my people! Accept Islam, for indeed, Muhammad gives in such a way as if he does not fear poverty.” Ash-Shaukani says that al-‘Itrah, al-Jobbani, al-Balkhi, and Ibn Mubashshir held that sadaqah may be given to those whose hearts are to be reconciled to Islam. On the contrary, ash-Shaf’i maintains that such endowments are not for unbelievers. As for the sinner (fasiq), he may be given from such allocations.

Abu Hanifah and his followers hold that this kind of endowment was canceled with the spread and domination of Islam and, as evidence, they cite Abu Bakr’s refusal to restore endowments to Abu Sufyan, ‘Uyainah, al-Aqra’, and al-‘Abbas ibn Mirdas. It appears that reconciliation is permitted when the need for it arises. In other words, it is permitted to give them sadaqah for reconciliation when people obey a leader only for worldly affairs, and they cannot be controlled except by force and domination.

The spread of Islam has no ramification on the issue of reconciliation because it makes no difference in this case. The author of al-Manar testifies: “This is the whole truth. Only independent judgment can be exercised to elaborate on the eligibility and the amount of sadaqah or booty to be given away when they are available, along with other kinds of property [immovable and movable]. It is necessary to seek the consultation of capable people (ahl-ash-Shura) as the caliphs did in those matters that required ijtihad. Whether a leader can force them into obedience by coercive action before resorting to the use of the endowment is an unsettled issue. Nevertheless, this cannot be followed as a rule but rather as the principle of inclining to the lesser of two evils and to the best benefit of the society.” 


Taken with slight modifications from Fiqh-us-Sunnah by As-Sayyid Sabiq

Zakat to Islamic School and Mosque, is it Valid?

Question
Is it permissible to give my zakat to any Islamic school or to my masjid for their expenses such as rent, utilities, renovation, etc?

Answer
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings are upon His Messenger. Indeed, it is the duty and responsibility of the rich Muslims of each community in the East or West to finance the mosques and Islamic schools. They should not, by any means, exploit zakat, the right of the poor, for such purposes, which may badly influence the poor reducing the amount of zakat that they receive.

In his response to this question, Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist and counselor, states,

“If the question is for America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the like, my answer is definitely NO. Mosques are always necessary for any Muslim community to maintain their religion and that of their children. The Shari`ah principle is that any Muslim community must have a mosque and other community facilities, and mosques should be established and spent on by members of the community outside the zakat which is a right of the poor and the needy.

In the past Muslims in these countries were very poor (students and poor Afro-American converts) and have no means and were endangered to lose their very religion, then the Fatwa was it is permissible on the ground that preservation of their religion is a part of “fi sabilil-llah” as an exception from the principle which prohibits using zakat for mosques.

Now, this exception does not apply anymore as Muslims in these countries have become well-to-do and able to spend on their mosques. It is the responsibility of the rich Muslims to spend on mosques in these countries not the responsibility of the poor because spending zakat on mosques means charging these expenses to the poor who have the right to this zakat.

As for schools, the matter is even stricter because educating Muslim children is the responsibility of their parents, more specifically their fathers; it is not the responsibility of the poor or even other members of the Muslim community.

Poor Muslim families who cannot afford Muslim schools fees may be paid from zakat on the basis of needs and poverty and they are of course free to use whatever they receive for food, school tuitions or any other expenses of their own. ZAKAT MUST NOT BE PAID TO THE SCHOOL FOR THESE FAMILIES.”

**Other scholars might have a different opinion on this topic, and I will tell it on another day.

And Allah Almighty knows best.

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)