Retread: Zakat-ul-Fitr in Money | Zakat-ul-Maal to Islamic Organizations

On Giving Zakāt al-Fiṭr As Money Instead Of Food
by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi

Synopsis: This article seeks to discuss, in moderate detail, the fiqh ruling on giving zakāt al-fiṭr in the form of money instead of staple food item. In this author’s opinion, although it is best to give zakāt al-fītr in staple food, there is no unequivocal evidence to suggest that giving it in the form of money makes it invalid. Therefore, taking into account the situation of most Muslim communities in the Western world, there is no problem giving zakāt al-fītr in the form of money, even though it would be meritorious to follow the letter of the law and give it in the form of staple food items if possible.

  • Zakāt al-Fiṭr: The Basics
  • Classical Opinions on Giving Zakāt al-Fiṭr in Currency
  • Personal Anecdotes and Practical Issues:

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The Permissibility of Zakat for Islamic Dawah Organizations: A Detailed Analysis
by Shaykh Tawfique Chowdhury

Hint, hint… MM’s fundraiser is coming up :)

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Ultimately, the author believes that in light of the evidences, it is permissible to give Zakah to Islamic Dawah organizations. 

From one of the most important matters that face every caller to Islam and every organisation, taking on the noble task of calling to this beautiful and perfect religion, is the question of sources of finance. After the terrorist incidents around the world, the ensuing drama and scrutiny over Islamic organisations struggling to do good has worsened and along with it anyone who funds Islamic projects. This has further resulted in large numbers of the general Muslim population not being as charitable as they normally are. I remember a friend of mine from a large charitable Islamic organisation telling me that the charity levels from people go down to less than half, after any major incident around the world. It seems that people become weary of being linked to anyone that may later be found to use the funds inappropriately. This paranoia and fear has gripped many people and has lead to a serious lack of finances for Islamic projects everywhere. In times as difficult as these, it falls upon the Shariah to bring in ease and legislate in a manner that would allow for its rulings to mould and adapt to our time and circumstances, so that its goals and purposes can be realised in all times and circumstances.

Allah the Most High legislated Zakat as a major source of revenue for the Islamic ummah. It was legislated to cater for some of the neediest sections of the ummah. These days however, when Zakat is given, usually only the poor and miskeen are sought out despite the fact that the poor only comprise one fourth of the recipients of the Zakat described in verse 60 of Surah Tawbah – since they are only two categories out of the 8 mentioned in the verse. It was defined by Allah rigidly enough for there to be divine clarity on the recipients of Zakat, but wide enough to leave the exact definition of each of the types of recipients, upon the ijtihaad of the scholars.

At the beginning of this article it is important to mention an important argument posed by some scholars, may Allah have mercy on them all, that:

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11 responses to “Retread: Zakat-ul-Fitr in Money | Zakat-ul-Maal to Islamic Organizations”

  1. Arshada says:

    salaam alikuim,

    2 Questions;

    I wasn’t able to read the full article because it locked to admins right now. Also, since most people will just read the synopsis and not the whole article, I had questions what was stated in it.

    It was stated: “although it is best to give zakāt al-fītr in staple food, there is no unequivocal evidence to suggest that giving it in the form of money makes it invalid.”

    Since giving Zakat is a matter of ibada, isn’t one required to follow the specified method and burden of proof falls on the one who says there is another way of carrying out the ibada ?

    ” Therefore, taking into account the situation of most Muslim communities in the Western world,”

    I am not sure what condition restricts Muslims in the Western world to give food to the needy or , in the worst case, give money to those who feed the needy.

    Long time reader and supporter of MM
    Long time student of my Sheikh Yasir

    Ahmed

  2. The second link in the above article will take you to the correct article. I tried to post it in a comment, but I think it was filtered out or marked for moderation.

  3. Assalaamu alaykum,

    Arshada: the link to the full article is fixed now… inshaAllah now you can access the full article by Sh. Yasir.

    wassalaam

  4. iMuslim says:

    I hope this doesn’t seem like a silly question… I read through the comments on the other thread, where there was some discussion about giving Zakat al-Fitr to Muslims in your own locality vs giving to desperately poor Muslims abroad.

    I was wondering, are Muslims meant to be the only recipient of Zakat al-Fitr? If you have difficultly finding poor Muslims in your area to feed, then can you give the food/money to the homeless (whose religion maybe unknown) in your area?

    I have a suspicion that Zakat is only for Muslims, whereas we are free to give sadaqah to general poor… but I just wanted to clarify the issue.

    JazakumAllah khair in advance.

  5. Amad says:

    no silly questions in matters of clarification of deen.

    In the last khutbah I attended, the Imam mentioned that you can give zakat ul fitr to non-Muslims as a way of dawah, if that is your intention, to bring them closer to Islam. This would mean that you highlight the religious aspect and that they understand that you are a Muslim.

    On giving local, that is what has always been emphasized. There are categories of poor people, and I don’t quite remember the details on that.

  6. AnonyMouse says:

    It seems like there’s a difference of opinion – according to IslamQ&A (and the opinion that I follow), zakaatul-fitr can only be given to needy Muslims, whether local or overseas.

  7. In the last khutbah I attended, the Imam mentioned that you can give zakat ul fitr to non-Muslims as a way of dawah, if that is your intention, to bring them closer to Islam.

    akhi Amad, did the Imam say Zakat ul Fitr or just Zakat (or Zakat ul Mal)? Because it is well known that one of the recepients of zakat ul mal is “mu’allafaat quloobihim” (those whose hearts can be drawn to Islam by giving them Zakat). I knew this was the case for Zakat ul Mal, but I didn’t know that Zakat ul Fitr could be spent for any other purpose than feeding the poor Muslims on Eid ul Fitr (with flexibilities as illustrated by Sh. Yasir’s article).

    So, are you sure the Imam said Zakat ul Fitr and not Zakat ul Mal (or just Zakat)? just wondering :)

  8. Amad says:

    yes, i am sure, though I cannot vouch for the knowledge of the khateeb :)

    I did ask Shaykh Yasir for clarification…

  9. ok, jazakAllahu khayran; it was just markedly different from what we learned in Rizq Management. But if Sh. Yasir confirmed, then alhamdulillah :)

  10. Amad says:

    Ahmad, I meant that I have asked, but haven’t gotten the answer… so I did email Sh Yasir, but haven’t heard back…

  11. iMuslim says:

    This is what Sheikh Yasir Qadhi wrote to me in an e-mail, after I forwarded him the same question as I posed above:

    Regarding your question, yes zakat is only given to a Muslim.

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