Definition of Fi Sabililah in Zakat
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 should be given possession of the Zakat property and also is made the owner of it, which we call as Tamleek.
Regarding the interpretation of the word “Fi Sabililah” it includes a Mujahid who does not have the means to buy necessary weapons and war supplies, or it means the person who must fulfil the obligation of Hajj but who does not have the necessary financial support to complete it.
Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Kathir have particularized “Fi Sabililah” with the Mujahid and for that person who does not have enough means to complete his Hajj. As for the jurists who have included students in religion or servant of good causes in this category they have done so subject to the condition that they should be poor and needy. And it is obvious that the poor and the needy are in themselves the first amongst the recipients of Zakat. None of the four Imams and jurists of the Muslim Ummah have ever allowed the spending of Zakat money in the construction of a Masjid or for the running of an institution. (Extracted from Maariful Qur’an p.413 –p.415 v.4)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham