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Zakat and sadaqah  >  Who Are Eligible to Receive Zakat, Sadaqah al-Fitr, and Fidyah?

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Who Are Eligible to Receive Zakat, Sadaqah al-Fitr, and Fidyah?

Question: Who are eligible to receive zakat, sadaqah al-fitr, and fidyah?
ANSWER
They are as follows:

1. Zakat cannot be given to a rich person. A person is defined as rich if he/she possesses minimum amount of wealth (nisab) requiring him/her to perform udhiyyah. Zakat is not given to parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, wives, and disbelievers. It can be given to daughters-in-law, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, sons-in-law, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, and stepchildren, on condition that they are poor. If one’s close relatives are pious (salih), then it brings much more thawab to give zakat to them than to give it to anyone else. If one does not have a pious relative, one should prefer other pious Muslims.

2. According to Imam-i Abu Yusuf and Imam-i Muhammad, a woman is permitted to give zakat to her husband if he is Islamically poor. There is nothing wrong with acting on this ijtihad if he is in financial difficulty.

3. Zakat cannot be given to charitable organizations. None of the mujtahid scholars said that zakat could be given to charitable organizations, and there is consensus on its impermissibility. To be able to give zakat to dormitories and charitable organizations, an official from it should be appointed by a poor person as his proxy. The poor person should say, “I appoint you as proxy to receive zakat on my behalf and to spend it as you wish.” Alternatively, it is enough to say “I appoint you as my general proxy to receive zakat.” Then the proxy can spend the zakat he received on the needs of students and the organization. By doing so, one has both obeyed Islam and paid zakat in conformity with what Islam prescribes.

4.
A hadith-i sharif says, “Even if a person who is learning knowledge has 40 years’ subsistence, it is permissible to give him zakat.” Those who learn and teach Islamic knowledge can receive zakat even if they are rich, since they do not have time to work and earn money. (Durr-ul-Muhtar)

5. Zakat cannot be given to a small child if his/her father is rich. Zakat can be given to a small poor child if his/her father is poor. It can also be given to an insane person if he/she is poor. The zakat to be given to a child or an insane person should be given to his/her father, wali, or wasi. Zakat cannot be given to a rich person’s small child even if the child is poor. However, it can be given to the rich person's wife, adolescent child, or father if he or she is poor. Herein, an adolescent child refers to a child who is discreet and has reached puberty. A small child refers to a child who is not discreet and has not reached puberty yet.

6.
In the past, zakat was not given to the descendant of our Master the Prophet. Today, it is permissible to give zakat to them. (Durr-i Yakta)

Things to note when giving or receiving zakat:

1.
Zakat cannot be given to a non-Muslim. [A zimmi means a non-Muslim citizen living in an Islamic state.] In the past, fitrah, kaffarah, nazr, and alms, except zakat, could be given to a zimmi. Today, there is not a zimmi in the world.

2. It is necessary to make inquires about the person to be given zakat. Zakat is not given based on one’s guess. It will not be valid if given to the rich, parents, children, or non-Muslims. However, if one make inquiries and then gives zakat but discovers later that the recipient is rich or a non-Muslim, one’s zakat is valid. It is not necessary to pay zakat again as one gave it after inquiring.

3. One should prefer one's pious relatives for zakat because it brings much more thawab to give zakat to pious relatives who are poor. A hadith-i sharif says, “Allahu ta’ala does not accept a zakat given to someone else while one has a poor relative.” That is, in this case one is counted as having paid zakat, but one cannot earn the huge thawab promised in return for zakat. If one does not have a pious relative, then one should prefer other pious Muslims.

4. Gold to be given to a poor person as zakat should not be so much that it will make the poor person Islamically rich. It is makruh to give a poor person who does not have any debt 96 grams or more gold. If the poor person has debts of, say, 10 grams of gold, then it is not makruh for him/her to receive 100 grams of gold as zakat.

5. When giving zakat, it is not necessary to say to the recipient that it is zakat. The donor can say that it is a gift.

6. It is haram for a person who has a day's food to ask someone for zakat and sadaqah, but it is permissible to receive sadaqah and zakat if it is given without him asking for it. Zakat should be given, if possible, to pious Muslims in need.

7. It is makruh to give gold as zakat to a poor person and then to buy it at a low price.

8. It is not permissible to donate one's receivable to a poor debtor as zakat. If a poor person owes to a rich person, who gives the bond of debt to the former and says, "I have intended to pay you as zakat as much as you owe me. So, accept this and take it as the equivalent for your debt" and if the poor person says that he accepts it, the rich person will not have paid his zakat because zakat is not given by giving bonds of debt or by (mutual) consent; it is performed by handing the commodity. The rich person has to pay his zakat to the poor person and the poor has to pay his debt by returning it to the rich after taking it from the rich person.

9. If he cannot count on the poor person’s returning the money, he shows a person whom he trusts to the poor person and says, "Appoint this person your deputy to take your zakat and to pay your debt" and then gives zakat to the deputy, who returns it to the rich person, thus paying the poor person’s debt. Thus, zakat has been given in conformity with what Islam prescribes, and the debt of the poor person has been paid. (Durr-i Yakta, Mizan-i Kubra)

10.
If a poor tenant is unable to pay rents and if the landlord donates his/her receivables to the tenant as zakat, it will not be counted as zakat, but sadaqah. (Radd-ul-Mukhtar)

Question: Is it permissible to give zakat to parents? Who are not eligible to receive zakat?
ANSWER
Zakat cannot be given to parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, wives, and non-Muslims. It can be given to one’s daughter-in-law, son-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and stepchild, on condition that they are poor. It brings much more thawab to give it to relatives, such as aunts and uncles. According to Imam-i Abu Yusuf and Imam-i Muhammad, a woman can give zakat to her poor and indebted husband. (Mawqufat)

Question:
I want to give zakat to a poor child. He is small. Can I give his zakat to his father?
ANSWER
Yes, you can.

Question: Is it permissible to give zakat to a rich person’s poor child or poor wife or poor father?
ANSWER
One cannot give zakat to a rich person’s small child. However, one can give zakat to a rich person’s adolescent child, wife, or father, on condition that he/she is poor. (Se’adet-i Ebediyye)

Herein, an adolescent child is the one who is discreet and has reached puberty. A small child is the one who is not discreet and has not reached puberty yet.

Question: Can I give zakat to my daughter’s adopted child?
ANSWER
Your daughter is not the adopted child’s natural mother, and you are not his/her natural grandmother. You, even your daughter,
can give zakat to him/her.

Question: Can I give zakat to my sister?
ANSWER
There is nothing wrong with giving zakat to your sister or her children, on condition that they are poor.

Question:
If the recipient donates zakat to any rich person or to the donor himself/herself, is it permissible for the rich person to utilize it?
ANSWER
The poor person can donate the zakat he/she received to the donor, which is considered a gift. It is permissible for the rich person to accept it because the recipient gives something that has already come into his/her possession. It is stated in a hadith-i sharif:
(The following five rich Muslims are permitted to receive zakat:
1. The person who performs jihad in the way of Allah,
2. A collector of zakat,
3. An indebted rich person who cannot clear off his debts,
4. A traveler who is left without money while wealthy at his residence or a person who is in financial need because he cannot collect receivables from his debtors, though he has many to collect,
5. If the poor person gives the zakat he received to the rich person as a gift, the latter can accept it.)
[Abu Dawud]

It can be given to daughters-in-law, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, sons-in-law, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, and stepchildren, on condition that they are poor.

Question: Is it appropriate to give zakat to any poor person?
ANSWER
It is not suitable to give zakat or sadaqah al-fitr to a person who wastes money or spends it on haram things. Thawab will be a little if zakat is given to such a person.

It is valid to give zakat to a poor Muslim who is not pious (salih), but it brings much more thawab to prefer the pious. Giving zakat to a sinner is like sowing seeds on barren soil. One may get a few yields by sowing a single seed. However, giving zakat to a pious Muslim is like sowing seeds on fertile soil, from which one will get increased crop yields.

Disbelievers are not liable for giving zakat as is the case with all acts of worship. It is not permissible to give zakat to non-Muslims. When the Messenger of Allah were sending Muadh bin Jabal to Yemen, he said as to who is eligible for zakat and ushr, “Take from wealthy ones of Muslims and give it to poor ones of them.” (Bukhari)
Scholars, who explained the hadith-i sharif above, stated that zakat had to be taken from wealthy Muslims, given to poor Muslims, and was not given to non-Muslims.

Question:
I know that it brings much thawab to give zakat and sadaqah to relatives. My relatives are sinners. They will consume alcoholic drinks with the zakat I give. Should I prefer pious Muslims to them?
ANSWER
Yes, you should prefer pious Muslims. Preferring pious relatives brings much more thawab than this. A hadith-i sharif says, “Allahu ta’ala does not accept a zakat given to others while one has a poor relative.” In this case, one is considered to have discharged the obligation of zakat, but one cannot earn the great thawab promised.

Question: I asked a pious Muslim whether he is Islamically rich or not. He did a calculation and said that he was poor, so I gave my zakat to him. Sometime later, he said that he had calculated wrongly and had discovered that he was Islamically rich. He said that he spent the zakat I gave and told me to give zakat afresh to a poor Muslim. Do I have to give my zakat afresh to a poor person?
ANSWER
You do not have to repay it because you did research as to whether he was rich or poor. After one does some research as to whether the recipient is poor or rich and has formed an opinion that he/she is poor, there is no harm if one discovers later that he/she is rich. That is, one’s zakat is acceptable. It is written in fiqh books: "If the recipient of zakat says that he/she is poor and eligible for zakat, it is not necessary to do some research as to whether he/she is entitled to receive zakat. One is considered to have done research for his/her eligibility for zakat if one gives zakat to him/her" (Nahr-ul-Faiq).

Question:
I know that zakat can be given to a student studying Islamic knowledge, even if he is rich. I read Islamic books every day to learn my religion. Can I receive zakat even though I am rich?
ANSWER
Learning Islam is a duty on every Muslim. The student studying Islamic knowledge is different.

Question: Is it permissible for a woman following the Shafi’i Madhhab to give zakat to her poor husband?
ANSWER
Yes, she can give. (Mizan-ul-kubra)

It is a controversial matter in the Hanafi Madhhab. According to the strongest qawl, a woman is not permitted to give zakat to her husband.

Question: Though the permissibilty of giving zakat to muallafa al-qulub is stated in the Qur’an al-karim, why is zakat not given to them today?
ANSWER
The word muallafa al-qulub denotes those disbelievers who were wanted to embrace Islam or who were wanted to be harmless for Islam or those Muslims who just became Muslims and whose faith was weak. Our Master the Messenger of Allah had given zakat to all these three kinds of people. But Hadrat ’Umar who was in charge of Bayt al-mal during the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr, quoted a hadith-i sharif and said that the Messenger of Allah had abolished the payment of zakat to muallafa al-qulub. The Caliph and all the Sahabat al-kiram admitted this and came to an agreement, which is called (ijma'), on the fact that it had been abolished (by the Messenger of Allah), and therefore people in this group were no longer paid zakat. Abolition (of a religious principle) could be done as the Messenger of Allah was alive, and ijma’ (on the fact that it had been abolished) could be done after his death. Those who cannot comprehend this delicacy suppose that Hadrat 'Umar himself abolished it, and they criticize the Sahabat al-kiram and fiqh scholars. As it is reported in Badayi’ and other books, it is always permissible to give goods or money to the enemy for the benefit of Islam and to prevent their harm, but it can be given not in the name of zakat but from another division of Bayt al-mal. Then, it has not been prohibited to give something to people called muallafa al-qulub, but it has been prohibited to pay them zakat. (Islam’s Reformers)

Question: I look after my poor mother-in-law in my home. She is a widow. Can I give my zakat to her?
ANSWER
Yes, it would be good.

Question: In the past, zakat was not given to descendants of our Master the Prophet. Today, is it permissible?
ANSWER
Yes, today zakat can be given to them. (Durr-i Yakta)

Question:
Is it permissible to give zakat to a rich father’s or rich mother’s child who has not reached puberty yet?
ANSWER
If his/her father is rich, zakat cannot be given to him/her. If his/her mother is rich but father is poor, then zakat can be given because a child who has not reached puberty is not considered rich due to his/her mother’s wealth. (Radd-ul-Muhtar)

Question: Islamically, who is defined as rich and poor?
ANSWER
Islamically, one who possesses nisab of udhiyyah is defined as rich. It is haram for one who possesses nisab of udhiyyah to receive zakat. Islamically, one who does not possess nisab of udhiyyah is defined as poor, so such a person is eligible to receive zakat. If a Muslim possesses, in excess of his/her basic necessities and debts, nisab of zakat [96 grams of gold or its equivalent in money or property], it means that he/she possesses nisab of udhiyyah.


 
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Date of Update
21 Kasým 2017 Salý
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