Each year I distribute my zakat to those who come knocking on my door, or attend the mosque collecting for so and so Country.
However, I am always concerned that my zakat hasn’t been discharged and not being utilised as it should.
I also contribute my zakat money to the various Islamic TV and web appeals. Mainly I have been contributing to Ummah Welfare Trust as they state that they do not deduct any money for their own running costs. However, again my concern is whether my zakat is being discharged properly.
Then by the grace of Allah I receive a DVD in the post from UWT, where Maulana Ahmed Ali is working in conjunction with UWT, and this has lightened my heart and removed my concerns about contributing to UWT.
I would be grateful if you could help me with some advice in terms of distributing zakat money in this Country, as It isn’t always very clear if the amount has been discharged correctly. There are many people who come knocking on doors, and every day especially in Ramadhan there are people from various Countries collecting in the mosque.
Any advice and assistance will be greatly appreciated.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Allah states in the Holy 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 Tawba v.60)
For the payment of Zakat to be valid it is necessary that someone deserving from the above categories should be given possession of the Zakat property from its owner. This can be done by either the donator or his appointed proxy.
It is stated in Durrul Mukhtar that Zakat is the transfer of ownership (tamleek) of a part of one’s wealth which Shariah has specified to be given to a poor Muslim who is not from the Banu Hashim and nor amongst his servant whilst not providing the giver any means of benefit whatsoever, for the sake of Allah Most high. (p.2 v.2)
It is because of the condition of tamleek that zakat money cannot be used to establish Masajids 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 permissible to give zakat funds to the collectors of these orphanages. (Maariful Qur’an p.416 v.4)
One point I would like to highlight is that collectors of zakat are your representatives, therefore, if these representatives did not give the zakat to the rightful recipients who have been mentioned above in the verse, your zakat would not be fulfilled. It is imperative we give our zakats to collectors we trust and have reliance on in distributing our zakat. (Ahsanul Fatawa p.289 v.4)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham