Question: I am newly married. My wife follows the Shafi'i Madhhab. Can she give zakat by making use of the ruling of the Hanafi Madhhab?
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states:
It is haram to oppress and offend Muslims. Shafi’i scholars gave people the fatwa to follow the rulings of the Hanafi Madhhab in matters that are difficult to follow in the Shafi’i Madhhab. For example, in the Shafi’i Madhhab, it is necessary to distribute one’s zakat among the eight categories of zakat recipients. However, it is impossible to give zakat to each category because not all of the eight categories exist today. For this reason, Shafi’i scholars gave people the fatwa to make use of the ruling of the Hanafi Madhhab in this mas'ala because in the Hanafi Madhhab it suffices to give zakat to only one category out of the eight categories of zakat recipients. [Vol. 3, Letter 22]
[A Shafi’i Muslim who makes use of the ruling of the Hanafi Madhhab in zakat does not have to follow it also in salat, fasting, or other acts of worship.]