There is a non-profit charitable Community Organisation. They are designing an Islamic Cultural Centre project in the city whose details, according to their Articles of Association, are as follows. Can I pay Zakat to this organisation?
The city has a sizeable Muslim population but the facilities to service it are quite inadequate; our aim is to build a centre – the ICC, to serve the community and to overcome the current challenges. This will be a place to gain knowledge, to educate and mentor the younger generation, to meet new people and find help. It will be a point of focus for the community to participate in various activities and strengthen itself.
We are nearer to that goal now that a one acre plot of land has been reserved close to the town centre. The plot will be self contained with ample parking so as not to inconvenience our neighbours.
The organisation has the aspiration to expand as well as to create a number of amenities to benefit the community; an ambition which without the security of a fixed place cannot be fully achieved, the more pertinent of which are:
• Library and resource centre
• ESOL (English Speakers of Foreign Languages) classes & numeracy classes
• Daily Madressa (Quranic school)
• Basic foreign language classes
• Rehabilitation centre
• Community hall for events & special occasions
• Space for exhibitions and other cultural events
• Adequate space for Jummah (Friday) prayers in a central location
• Annual daily breaking of fast and Tarawih (night) prayers during Ramadan
• Adequate space for Eid prayers
• Improved facilities for women (such as ablution and counselling)
• Increased recreational activities
• Place for children to meet, play and participate in a range of activities within a monitored and safe environment.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Allah states in the Quran, “The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise.” (Surah At Tuaba: 60)
For the payment of Zakat to be valid it is necessary that someone deserving from the above categories must be given possession zakat funds. This is called tamleek. That is why zakat cannot be used to establish and run charitable organizations like schools and hospitals. There is no doubt that the benefit of such projects does reach the poor, but the fact that these things have not passed on into their possession as owners makes zakat invalid. However, in orphanages where meals and clothes are given to orphans as being owned by them, then, it is possible to spend zakat funds to the extent of this specific expenditure. (Maariful Qur’an p.416 v.4)
Therefore, the conclusion we can come to is that it will not e permissible to give your zakat money to the aforementioned non- profit charitable organisation.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham