Monday, 26 March 2007

Zakat - 108 - Part 5 of 5


Paying Zakat to Recipients

A person who qualifies as a member of two or more of the above categories is only given zakat for one of them. This means he/she will be given one share of zakat only.

When the eight categories of recipients exist in the town where zakat is collected, it is unlawful and invalid to give it to recipients elsewhere, as it must be paid to those present if the property owner is distributing his own zakat. But if the imam/caliph/leader is distributing the zakat, he may give it to recipients in a different place.

If the zakat giver's property is in the desert, or none of the eight categories of eligible zakat recipients exist in his own town, then the zakat should be distributed in the nearest town.

Each category of recipients must receive an equal share, one-eighth of the total; though one may give various individuals within a particular category more or less, except for zakat workers, who receive only their due wage. If one of the categories does not exist in one's town, their eighth is distributed over the other categories such that each of them gets oneseventh. If two categories of recipients do not exist in the town, then each of the remaining categories receive a sixth of the zakat, and so on; such that if there were only one category in town, all the zakat would be paid to that category.

It is obligatory to give zakat to every individual member of a category if the owner is distributing zakat and the individuals are of a limited, known number, or if the Imam is distributing zakat and it is possible to give it out person by person and include them all because of the abundance of funds.

If the owner is distributing zakat and the recipients in each category are not of a limited, known number; then the fewest permissible for him to give to in one category of zakat workers, in which a single person is enough, is given.

It is recommended to give one's zakat to relatives other than those one is obliged to support.

It is recommended to distribute zakat to recipients in proportion to their needs, giving someone who needs 100 dirhams, for example, half the amount of the amount given to someone who needs 200 dirhams.

It is not permissible to give zakat to a non-Muslim, or to someone whom one is obliged to support, such as a wife or family member.

It is not valid for a person to give zakat to a poor person with a condition that the poor person will then return it to the giver to pay off a debt he owes. On the other hand, It is also not valid to tell the recipient, "I hereby make the money you owe me as zakat, so keep that money for yourself."

However, it is permissible:

(a) for the giver to pay his zakat to a poor person who owes him money when the giver's intention is that the recipient should pay him back with it;

(b) for the zakat giver to tell the poor person,"Pay me the money you owe me so that I can give it to you as zakat"; or

(c) for the poor person to tell his creditor, "Give me zakat so that I can pay it back to you for the debt I owe you"

It is however not obligatory for the zakat giver in (b) and the poor person in (c) to fulfill their promises of alluded outcomes.

All of the above rulings concerning zakat apply to the Zakat of Eid-ul-Fitr - in details, in giving it to deserving recipients within the eight categories described, and in giving it in advance.

It is permissible for a group of people to pool their Zakat of Eid-ul-Fitr, mix it, and collectively distribute it, or for one of them to distribute it with the others permission. Thus anyone can distribute their Zakat of Eid-ul-Fitr to all categories of recipients, no matter how little it is.

No comments: