How is Zakat to be distributed?
A poor man cannot be paid for his work from Zakat, nor can Zakat be given in payment of anyone’s services, except when an Islamic government pays salaries to persons appointed by the government to collect Zakat.
- Zakat will only be valid if the recipient is made the owner of that amount.
- Zakat cannot be given or used for the construction of a masjid, madrassah, hospital, a well, a bridge or any other public amenity.
- Poor students can be given a bursary from Zakat. If the student is of an understanding age, the Zakat must be given to him personally; and if he is not of an understanding age, then his Shari’ wakeel (parents or legal guardian) must be given possession of the amount.
- Zakat can be paid in kind from the same merchandise on which it is due, or alternatively, it could be paid in cash. It is of vital importance to ensure at all times that the recipient is made the owner of the Zakat.
- Authority can be delegated to another person or an organization for the distribution of Zakat in order that it be utilized in accordance with the laws of Zakat.
- If a person requests someone to give a certain amount on his behalf as Zakat, and that sum is given out, then that Zakat will be valid. The sum given will be a debt upon the one who made this request.
- If an agent is given Zakat for distribution, and he does not distribute it, then the Zakat will not be regarded as fulfilled, and the sin of not discharging the obligatory duty of Zakat will remain a burden on whom it was obligatory. It is best (afdhal) to give one’s Zakat when it is due, rather than wait for Ramadan.
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