Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Zakat and Sadaqah

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Under construction icon-yellow.svg

This article or section is being renovated.

Lead = 4 / 4
Structure = 4 / 4
Content = 4 / 4
Language = 3 / 4
References = 4 / 4
4 / 4
4 / 4
4 / 4
3 / 4
4 / 4

The Islamic Tradition Itself
Qur'an, Hadith and Sunnah
Textual History of the Qur'an
Satanic VersesPrevious Scriptures
Abu Hurayrah
BootySpecial Entitlements
WivesWhite ComplexionDeath
Good Manners and Helping Others
Good Manners (Adab)Caring for Orphans‎
Caring for the PoorCaring for Widows
Caring for ParentsForgiving Others
HospitalityZakat and Sadaqah
Al-'AzlBeautyFGMHijabHonor Killing
MahrRapeViolenceWife Beating
Peaceful CoexistenceDefensive Jihad
Offensive JihadMiscellaneous Verses
MujahidsForced Conversion
Fear and Terror in WarScholars on Jihad
ApostatesAtheistsChristians & Jews
Banu QurayzaCosmologyCreation
DhimmaForbidden ThingsHomosexuality
MischiefMusicChild MarriagePictures
PredestinationPunishmentsRace and Tribe
Toilet EtiquetteUrineSexualityOccult
Peculiar Traditions

The terms Zakat (obligatory tax) and Sadaqah (voluntary charity) are sometimes used interchangeably in Islamic literature, with some sources listing zakat as covering also voluntary acts of charity. Although Islamic scholars find Arabic etymologies for both terms, in fact zakat from its Arabic spelling زكاة clearly falls into a class of loan words from Aramaic which also includes salah صلاة, while the use of "sadaqa" صدقة to mean "alms" for the poor (voluntarily given as an act of religious faith) finds its antecedent in the Aramaic of the Jewish Targum Onqelos. In terms of Islamic theology, the zakat is a tax incumbent on all Muslims, assessed as a percentage of wealth on various possessions such as land and crops. Its main purpose is to support the Muslim poor, but it may also be used for other pursuits of the Islamic State such as jihad. The payment of zakat is one of the 5 pillars of Islam, paying it is thus mandatory for the believer, and denying the necessity of its payment constitutes an act of kufr or unbelief. Quran 9:60 gives the definitive set of beneficiaries of zakat.



Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth) and the (ransoming of) captives and those in debts and in the way of Allah and the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah; and Allah is knowing, Wise.
Establish worship, pay the poor-due, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship).
... And they ask thee what they ought to spend. Say: that which is superfluous. Thus Allah maketh plain to you (His) revelations, that haply ye may reflect.
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.
O ye who believe! Spend out of (the bounties) We have provided for you, before the Day comes when no bargaining (Will avail), nor friendship nor intercession. Those who reject Faith they are the wrong-doers.
Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah and afterward make not reproach and injury to follow that which they have spent; their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve.
And whatever ye spend in charity or devotion, be sure Allah knows it all. But the wrong-doers have no helpers.
The guiding of them is not thy duty (O Muhammad), but Allah guideth whom He will. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, it is for yourselves, when ye spend not save in search of Allah's Countenance; and whatsoever good thing ye spend, it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.
(Alms are) for the poor who are straitened for the cause of Allah, who cannot travel in the land (for trade). The unthinking man accounteth them wealthy because of their restraint. Thou shalt know them by their mark: They do not beg of men with importunity. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, lo! Allah knoweth it.
Hast thou not seen those unto whom it was said: Withhold your hands, establish worship and pay the poordue, but when fighting was prescribed for them behold! a party of them fear mankind even as their fear of Allah or with greater fear, and say: Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou wouldst give us respite yet a while! Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who wardeth off (evil); and ye will not be wronged the down upon a date-stone.
But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.
Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness. Lo! the squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord. But if thou turn away from them, seeking mercy from thy Lord, for which thou hopest, then speak unto them a reasonable word. And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded.
And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us.
[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.
And thou hadst not expected that the Book would be sent to thee except as a Mercy from thy Lord: Therefore lend not thou support in any way to those who reject (Allah's Message).
Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.


Give sadaqah

Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.

Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing. O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a [large] smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] anything of what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

And the example of those who spend their wealth seeking means to the approval of Allah and assuring [reward for] themselves is like a garden on high ground which is hit by a downpour - so it yields its fruits in double. And [even] if it is not hit by a downpour, then a drizzle [is sufficient]. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.
Indeed, the men who practice charity and the women who practice charity and [they who] have loaned Allah a goodly loan - it will be multiplied for them, and they will have a noble reward.
[Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah, unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.
And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], "Do not worship except Allah; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah." Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing.

Give only from good earnings

O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.

Better to give in secret

And whatever you spend of expenditures or make of vows - indeed, Allah knows of it. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.
Those who spend their wealth [in Allah 's way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly - they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.
And [also] those who spend of their wealth to be seen by the people and believe not in Allah nor in the Last Day. And he to whom Satan is a companion - then evil is he as a companion.

Do not judge those who can give little

Those who criticize the contributors among the believers concerning [their] charities and [criticize] the ones who find nothing [to spend] except their effort, so they ridicule them - Allah will ridicule them, and they will have a painful punishment.


Sahih Bukhari

Narrated Abu Huraira: A Bedouin came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, "Tell me of such a deed as will make me enter Paradise, if I do it." The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Worship Allah, and worship none along with Him, offer the (five) prescribed compulsory prayers perfectly, pay the compulsory Zakat, and fast the month of Ramadan." The Bedouin said, "By Him, in Whose Hands my life is, I will not do more than this." When he (the Bedouin) left, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Whoever likes to see a man of Paradise, then he may look at this man." Narrated Abu Zur'a: From the Prophet (ﷺ) the same as above.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, 'I am your wealth, I am your treasure.' " Then the Prophet recited the holy verses:-- 'Let not those who withhold . . .' (to the end of the verse). (3.180).
Narrated Al-Ahnaf bin Qais: While I was sitting with some people from Quraish, a man with very rough hair, clothes, and appearance came and stood in front of us, greeted us and said, "Inform those who hoard wealth, that a stone will be heated in the Hell-fire and will be put on the nipples of their breasts till it comes out from the bones of their shoulders and then put on the bones of their shoulders till it comes through the nipples of their breasts the stone will be moving and hitting." After saying that, the person retreated and sat by the side of the pillar, I followed him and sat beside him, and I did not know who he was. I said to him, "I think the people disliked what you had said." He said, "These people do not understand anything, although my friend told me." I asked, "Who is your friend?" He said, "The Prophet said (to me), [...]
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, 'O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,' and the other (angel) says, 'O Allah! Destroy every miser.' "
Narrated Abu Huraira: Abu Bakr said, "By Allah! If they (pay me the Zakat and) with-hold even a she-kid which they used to pay during the life-time of Allah's Apostle, I will fight with them for it." 'Umar said, "It was nothing but Allah Who opened Abu Bakr's chest towards the decision to fight, and I came to know that his decision was right."
Narrated Abu Dhar: Once I went to him (the Prophet ) and he said, "By Allah in Whose Hands my life is (or probably said, 'By Allah, except Whom none has the right to be worshipped) whoever had camels or cows or sheep and did not pay their Zakat, those animals will be brought on the Day of Resurrection far bigger and fatter than before and they will tread him under their hooves, and will butt him with their horns, and (those animals will come in circle): When the last does its turn, the first will start again, and this punishment will go on till Allah has finished the judgments amongst the people."
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "There is no Zakat either on a horse or a slave belonging to a Muslim"
Narrated Abu Huraira:- The Prophet said,"There is no Zakat either on a slave or on a horse belonging to a Muslim.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) ordered (a person) to collect Zakat, and that person returned and told him that Ibn Jamil, Khalid bin Al-Walid, and Abbas bin 'Abdul Muttalib had refused to give Zakat." The Prophet said, "What made Ibn Jamll refuse to give Zakat though he was a poor man, and was made wealthy by Allah and His Apostle ? But you are unfair in asking Zakat from Khalid as he is keeping his armor for Allah's Cause (for Jihad). As for Abbas bin 'Abdul Muttalib, he is the uncle of Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) and Zakat is compulsory on him and he should pay it double."
Narrated Sad (bin Abi Waqqas): Allah's Apostle distributed something (from the resources of Zakat) amongst a group of people while I was sitting amongst them, but he left a man whom I considered the best of the lot. So, I went up to Allah's Apostle and asked him secretly, "Why have you left that person? By Allah! I consider him a believer." The Prophet said, "Or merely a Muslim (Who surrender to Allah)." I remained quiet for a while but could not help repeating my question because of what I knew about him. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Why have you left that person? By Allah! I consider him a believer. " The Prophet said, "Or merely a Muslim." I remained quiet for a while but could not help repeating my question because of what I knew about him. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Why have you left that person? By Allah! I consider him a believer." The Prophet said, "Or merely a Muslim." Then Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, "I give to a person while another is dearer to me, for fear that he may be thrown in the Hell-fire on his face (by renegating from Islam)."
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The Kanz (money, the Zakat of which is not paid) of anyone of you will appear in the form of bald-headed poisonous male snake on the Day of Resurrection."

Sahih Muslim

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messsenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: No Sadaqa is due from a Muslim on his slave or horse.
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: No Sadaqa is due from a Muslim on his slave or horse.
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent Umar for (collecting) Sadaqa (zakat), and it was said that Ibn Jamil, Khalid b. Walid and 'Abbas the uncle of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), refused (to pay it). Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Ibn Jamil is taking revenge but for this that he was destitute and Allah made him rich. As regards Khalid, you are unjust to Khalid, for be reserved his armours and weapons for the sake of Allah, and as for 'Abbas, I shall be responsible for it and an equal amount along with it. And he again said: 'Umar, bear this in mind, the uncle of a person is like his father.
Jabir b. 'Abdullah al-Ansari reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The owner of a camel who does not pay what is due on it (would be punished in this way) that on the Day of Resurrection many more (along with his camel) would come and the owner would be made to sit on a soft sandy ground and they would trample him with their feet and hooves. And no owner of the cattle who does not pay what is due on them (would be spared the punishment) but on the Day of Resurrection, many more would come and he (the owner) would be made to sit on the soft sandy ground and would be gored by their horns and trampled under their feet. And no owner of the goats and sheep who does not pay what is due on them (would be spared of punishment) but many more would come on the Day of Resurrection and he (the owner) would be made to sit on a soft sandy ground and they would gore him with their horns and trample him under their hooves. And there would be more (among this flock of sheep and goat) without horns or with broken horns. And no owner of the treasure who does not pay its due but his treasure would come on the Day of Resurrection like a bald snake and would pursue him with its mouth open, and when it would come near he would run away from it, and he would be called thus:" Take your treasure which you concealed, for I do not need it." When he would find no way out he would put his hand in its mouth and it would gnaw it like a he-camel. Abu Zubair said: We heard Ubaid b. Umair saying this. We then asked Jabir b. 'Abdullah about this. And he also said like Ubaid b. Umair, Abu Zubair said: I heard 'Ubaid b. 'Umair saying: A man said: Messenger of Allah, what is due on camels? He said: Milking them near water, and lending of bucket (used for drawing water from it), or lending its male for mating with a she-camel and providing it as a ride for the sake of Allah.
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There is never a day wherein servants (of God) get up at morn, but are not visited by two angels. One of them says: 0 Allah, give him more who spends (for the sake of Allah), and the other says: 0 Allah, bring destruction to one who withholds.
Abu Haraira reported that the likeness of one who spends [in the path of Allah] or one who gives charity is that of a person who has two cloaks or two coats-of-mail over him right from the breast to the collar bones. And when the spender (and the other narrator said, when the giver of charity) makes up his mind to give charity, it (coat-mail) becomes expanded for him. But when a miserly person intends to spend, it contracts and every ring grips the place where it is. For the giver of charity, this coat-of. mail expands to cover his whole body and obliterates even his footprints. Abu Huraira said: (The miserly man) tries to expand it (the coat-of-mail) but it does not expand.
Sa'd reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) bestow- ed (some gifts) upon a group of people and I was sitting amongst them. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), however, left a person and he did not give him any. thing. and he seemed to me the most excellent among them (and thus deserved the gifts more than anyone else). So I stood up before the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said to him in undertone: Messenger of Allah, what obout so and so? By Allah, I find him a believer. He (the Messenger of Allah) said: He may be a Muslim. I kept quiet for a short while, and then what I knew of him urged me (to plead his case again) and I said: Messenger of Allah, what about so and so? By Allah, I find him a believer. Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: He may, be a Muslim. I again remained quiet for a short while, and what I knew of him again urged me (to plead his case so I) said: Messenger of Allah, what about so and so? By Allah, I find him a believer. Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: He may be a Muslim. I often bestow (something) upon a person, whereas someone else is dearer to me than he, because of the fear that he may fall headling into the fire. And in the hadith transmitted by Hulwani this statement was repeated twice.
Anas b. Malik reported that when on the Day of Hunain Allah conferred upon His Apostle (may peace be upon him) the riches of Hawazin (without armed encounter), the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) set about distributing to some persons of Quraish one hundred camels Upon this they (the young people from the Ansar) said: May Allah grant pardon to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) that he bestowed (these camels) upon the people of Quraish, and he ignored us, whereas our swords are still dripping blood. Anas b. Malik said: Their statement was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he sent (someone) to the Ansar and gathered them under a tent of leather. When they had assembled, the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to thera and said: What is this news that has reached me from you? The wise people of the Ansar said: Messenger of Allah, so far as the sagacious amongst us are concerned they have said nothing, but we have amongst us persons of immature age; they said: May Allah grant pardon to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) that he gave to the Quraish and ignored us (despite the fact) that our swords are besmeared with their blood. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I give (at times material gifts) to persons who were quite recently in the state of unbelief, so that I may incline them to truth Don't you feel delighted that people should go with riches, and you should go back to your places with the Apostle of Allah? By Allah, that with which you would return is better than that with which they would return. They said: Yes, Messenger of Allah, we are pleased. The Holy Prophet said too: You would find marked preference (in conferring of the material gifts) in future, so you should show patience till you meet Allah and His Messenger and I would he at the Haud Kauthar. They said: We would show patience.
Abdullah b. Zaid reported that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) conquered Hunain he distributed the booty, and he bestowed upon those whose hearts it was intended to win. It was conveyed to him (the Holy Prophet) that the Ansar cherished a desire that they should be given (that very portion) which the people (of Quraish) had got. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood up and, after having praised Allah and lauded Him, addressed them thus: 0 people of Ansar, did I not find you erring and Allah guided you aright through me, and (in the state of) being destitute and Allah made you free from want through me, and in a state of disunity and Allah united you through me, and they (the Ansar) said: Allah and His Messenger are most benevolent. He (again) said: Why do you not answer me? They said: Allah and His Messenger are the most benevolent. He said, If you wish you should say so and so, and the event (should take) such and such course (and in this connection he made a mention) of so many things. 'Amr is under the impressionthat he has not been able to remember them. He (the Holy Prophet) further said: Don't you feel happy (over this state of affairs) that the people should go away with goats and camels, and you go to your places along with the Messenger of Allah? The Ansar are inner garments (more close to me) and (other) people are outer garments. Had there not been migration, I would have been a man from among the Ansar. If the people were to tread a valley or a narrow path, I would tread the valley (chosen) by the Ansar or narrow path (trodden) by them. And you would soon find after me preferences (over you in getting material benefits). So you should show patience till you meet me at the Haud (Kauthar).
Abd Shuraib al-Adawi reported: My ear listened and my eye saw when Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) spoke and said: He who believes In Allah and the eireafter should show respect to the guest even with utmost kindness and courtesy. They said: Messenger of Allah, what is this utmost kindness and courtesy? He replied: It is for a day and a night. Hospitality extends for three days, and what is beyond that is a Sadaqa for him; and he who believes in Allah and the Hereafter should say something good or keep quiet.


It was narrated that Khuraim bin Fatik said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever spends in the cause of Allah, it will be recorded for him seven hundred fold.'"[1] (Sahih)

Al Tirmidhi

Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said : "Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you."


Zakat as an obligation

25.1 Its Ruling

It is obligatory to pay zakat on money, crops and livestock.

[Money consists gold and silver and is mentioned in respect to the tradition. What is mentioned of gold and silver is called "specie" ('ayn) by its honour. Crops consists of food groups used for life in general. Livestock refers to camels, cattle, and sheep and goats.

Zakat became an obligation in the second year of Hijra. The evidence for its obligatory nature is the Book, Sunna and consensus. Whoever disputes its obligatory nature is an unbeliever. If someone affirms that it is obligatory but refuses to pay it, he is beaten and it is taken from him by force and that is enough: he is not an unbeliever. Ibn Habib says he is an unbeliever, but this is unlikely.

Zakat (but not sadaqah) limited to Muslims

There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that zakat cannot be given to non-Muslims, as mentioned by Ibn al-Mundhir, Kasani, Ibn Qudama, Buhuti, and others.

Muwaffaq Ibn Qudama, a great Hanbali Imam, says in his Mughni:

'We do not know of any difference of opinion among the people of knowledge (ahl al-`ilm) that zakat on wealth cannot be given to a kafir' Ibn al-Mundhir said, 'There is consensus of all those whose positions we know from the people of knowledge that a non-Muslim (dhimmi) cannot be given any zakat.'

'This is because the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said to Mu`adh [in the authentic hadith, reported by Bukhari 1365, Muslim 26-27, and elsewhere], 'Tell them that they are obliged to give a charity (i.e. zakat) that is taken from their rich and given to their poor.'

'The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) specified the Muslims as giving it to their poor, just as he specified that it is only obligatory on their rich.' [Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, 2.1774]

The hadith commentators mention that their above refers to 'the Muslims,' in both cases. This is how Imam Kasani explained it in his Bada'i` al-Sana'i` in Hanafi fiqh, too.

As for 'those whose hearts are to be inclined,' this category has been abrogated according to the Hanafi scholars. [Hidaya] There is difference of opinion regarding this point, however, among the schools of fiqh.
Zakat Cannot Be Given To Non-Muslims
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, SunniPath Q&A, July 3, 2005
It is best that zakatu-l-fitr be given to the poor and the needy (al-miskin - someone whose level of poverty is more or less than the poor (al-faqir), but does not let others know of his need nor does he beg from others), these are the first two categories of the eight to whom zakat is normally given to; this due to his salallahu alayhi wa salam saying, ‘…and as food for the needy’. The majority of scholars are of the opinion that zakatu-l-fitr is not to be given to non-Muslims.
The way of giving Zakat al-Fitr in non-Islamic Lands
Haytham bin Jawwad al-Haddad, Islam Awakening, Article ID: 984
It is not permissible to give zakaah on one’s wealth or crops, or Zakaat al-Fitr, to kaafirs, even if they are poor, or wayfarers, or debtors, and if one who gives zakaah to them, that is not counted as zakaah.

It is permissible to give regular charity – not obligatory charity (i.e., zakaah) to poor kaafirs, and to exhange gifts and with them and treat them well to soften their hearts towards Islam, so long as they have not carried out any hostile actions against the Muslims, which would disallow that. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity”

[al-Mumtahanah 60:8]

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, vol. 10, p. 30

There is one category of zakaah that may be given to the kuffaar, which is “to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam)” (cf. al-Tawbah 9:60). It is permissible to give zakaah funds to those kaafirs who hold positions of authority and influence among their people, if there is the hope that by giving them something they may become Muslims, then those who are under them may become Muslim too. And Allaah is the Source of strength.
Giving zakaah to kaafirs
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 21384

Imam of our Masjid has given Fatwa that Zakat can be given to non muslims. They give reference to the Ayah in Qur'an that it does not prohibit in detail giving zakat to nonmuslims. Can you please give your response.


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

At the outset, you must understand that not all the commands are expressly mentioned in the Quraan. There are many instances where Allah would indicate a command and not elaborate. For example, lets take the command of Salaah. Allah only states "Perform your Salaah and discharge your Zakaat". Where in the Quraan do we find the explanation of how many Rakaats to perform for Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Esha? Where in the Quraan does Allah mention the minimum amount on which Zakaat has to be discharged?

Surely, these are not mentioned in the Quraan. These are explained in detail by our beloved Rasulullah ( صلى الله عليه و سلّم ) in his Ahadith. Do not become fooled by those who only claim to follow the rulings of the Quraan and ignore the Ahadith. The Quraan and Hadith are inseparable and one can never be guided if he/she ignores any one.

You state that the Imaam has referred to an Ayah of the Quraan that states it is permissible to give Zakaat (obligatory) to non Muslims. You may ask him to forward that Ayah to us. We have not come across any such Ayah. Furthermore, the Fuqahaa are express in their works that it is not permissible to give Zakaat to non Muslims.

Therefore, you should not become deceived by people who claim to only follow the Quraan. There is no need to discuss this issue in detail as any person with sound academic background would know this. If the Imaam is sincere he may contact us directly and we would engage with him on an academic level after coming to know his qualifications. We do not wish to discuss issues with someone whom we do not know as sometimes this is time consuming and a futile exercise.

And Allah knows best


Muhammed Zakariyya Desai,

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Emraan Vawda

Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah
Imam of our Masjid has given Fatwa that Zakat can be given to non muslims
Muhammed Zakariyya Desai, Ask Imam, Fatwa No. 15407, July 22, 2007

h8.7 It is obligatory to distribute one's zakat among eight categories of recipients (O: meaning that zakat goes to none besides them), one-eighth of the zakat to each category.
. . .

h8.14 - The fourth category is those whose hearts are to be reconciled. If they are non-Muslims, they are not given zakat, but if Muslims, then they may be given it (O: so that their certainly may increase, or if they are recent converts to Islam and are alienated from their kin).
. . .

h8.24 - It is not permissible to give zakat to a non-Muslim, or to someone whom one is obliged to support (def: m12.1), such as a wife or family member.
Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law
Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller


The most honorable form of jihad nowadays is fighting for the liberation of Muslim land from the domination of unbelievers, regardless of their religion or ideology. The communist and the capitalist, the Westerner and the Easterner, Christian, Jew, pagan or unbeliever, all are aggressors when they attack and occupy Muslim land. Fighting in defence of the home of Islam is obligatory until the enemy is driven away and Muslims are liberated.
. . .

Today Muslim land is occupied in Palestine, Kashmire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Somalia, Cyprus, Samarqand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Albania and serveral other occupied countries. Declaring holy war to save these Muslim lands is an Islamic duty, and fighting for such purposes in those occupied territories is the Way of Allah for which zakat must be spent.
. . .

The most important form of jihad today is serious, purposefully organized work to rebuild Islamic society and state and to implement the Islamic way of life in the political, cultural and economic domains. This is certainly most deserving of zakat.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Fiqh az-Zakat: A Comparative Study

As-salamu `alaykum.Is a Muslim allowed to spend some of the money of Zakah (obligatory charity) on his journey to take part in Jihad in the Cause of Allah?


Wa `alaykum as-salam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

First of all, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you have in us. We hope our efforts meet your expectations.

It is the duty of every Muslim to support all his fellow Muslims in all times especially at times of calamities as all Muslims constitute one body when an organ of it aches, all the other organs feel ill as a result. In his Hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated: "A Muslim is a brother of a Muslim. He must not wrong him, nor fail him, nor hand him over (to enemies)." Muslim scholars state that there is nothing wrong in paying the Zakah as well as sadaqah to oppressed Muslims in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Burma and in every part of the world.

In his response to the question, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the prominent Muslim scholar, states the following:

The meaning of Jihad in our present time particularly refers to striving to liberate Muslim lands from the grip of the disbelievers who usurped them and imposed on them their own laws in lieu of the Divine Law. Those disbelievers may be Jews, Christians or both or even pagans, who follow no particular religion at all. Disbelievers are all alike.

Capitalists, Communists, Westerners, Easterners, People of the Book and pagans are by no means different from one other. They should all be fiercely fought if they attempt to occupy any part of the Muslim land. This duty falls on those closest to the occupied land, who should be aided by those closest to them, who, in turn, ought to be aided by those closest to them, till it becomes incumbent on all Muslims to take part in Jihad.

Muslims have never been more severely afflicted than they are nowadays. Many of their lands have been captured by the disbelievers, on top of which is Palestine that has fallen victim to corrupt Jews. Similarly, Kashmir has been dominated by pagan Hindus. Chechnya and other Islamic states have fallen in the grip of pagan tyrannical communism.

Retrieving these lands, freeing them from the clutches of atheists and their twisted laws is the joint responsibility of all Muslims. Declaring Jihad to save our land is an Islamic obligation.

If war is waged anywhere to achieve this goal, namely to free the occupied lands of the laws and the tyranny of disbelievers, it is undoubtedly a case of Jihad for the sake of Allah. It thus needs to be financed from the money of Zakah, the amount of which is to be decided based on the total sum of the charity, the requirements of Jihad as well as the degree of the need of other potential recipients of charity. This is all to be decided by reliable scholars, if they are to be found.

Allah Almighty knows best.
Spending Zakah Money on Jihad
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, IslamOnline, March 9, 2011

There are eight categories of people eligible to receive Zakat. They have been specified in the Noble Qur'an what can be translated as, "Alms are for the poor, the needy, the employees who administer the funds, those whose hearts have been recently reconciled to the Truth, those in bondage, those in debt, in the cause of Allah, and the wayfarer, (thus it is) ordained by Allah, and Allah is most knowledgeable, most wise." [Surah At-Tawbah (9:60)]

Based on this verse, the ways of spending Zakat funds can be classified as follows:
. . .

7. In the cause of Allah (SWT): the scholars have said that what is meant here is that Zakat can be given to those who volunteer to fight in the cause of Allah (SWT) and do not receive a fixed salary from the government.
Zakat-ul-mal (Zakat)
Imam's Corner, The Islamic Association of Raleigh

h8.7 - It is obligatory to distribute one's zakat among eight categories of recipients (O: meaning that zakat goes to none besides them), one-eighth of the zakat to each category. (n: In the Hanafi school, it is valid for the giver to distribute his zakat to all of the categories, some of them, or to confine himself to just one of them (al-Lubab fi sharh al-Kitab(y88), 1.155).)
. . .

h8.17 - The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people's families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it).
Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law
Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller

Shia hadith

This is a 10th-century hadith compiled by Al-Shaykh al-Saduq (the truthful scholar) Ibn Babawayh.

The Messenger of Allah (S) says, “O ‘Ali! There are ten deniers of Almighty Allah in this Ummah; Tale-tellers, the magicians, the gigolos, those who have anal intercourse with non-mahram women, those who have intercourse with animals, those who commit incest, those who try to spread mischief, those who supply weapons to disbelievers (which shall be used against Muslims), those who do not pay Zakat and those who in spite of being capable do not perform Hajj and meet their death.”
Khisal of al-Saduq, ch. 10.

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq decreed the following about Zakat.

“Doubtlessly, the Almighty Allah has necessitated a portion for the destitute in the wealth of the rich people. It is such an obligation that is praised if fulfilled by the affluent people. It is Zakat and one who pays it, his blood is Harām. (i.e. it is Harām to kill him). And those who pay it are called Muslims.[2]

One who avoids paying Zakat equal to one carat (four grains of barley) is neither a believer nor a Muslim. He is the same whose condition at the time of death is mentioned by Allah that he shall say, “Send me back my Lord, send me back, haply (sic) I may do good in that which I left.
One who does not pay Zakat even if it is equal to one carat, he is expelled from belief and dies as a Jew or a Christian.
Death penalty is permissible in Islam for two kinds of sinners. And no one will issue a decree regarding the two until the advent of the Qaem of the progeny of Mohammed. Then Imam Mahdi will issue decree on the basis of divine laws. One of the two is the adulterer who fornicated despite having a wife. He shall be stoned to death. The second is the one who does not pay Zakat. He shall be beheaded.

Monetary loss in desert or seas is only due to the non payment of Zakat. And when the Qaem of the progeny of Mohammed reappears he shall arrest and execute those who do not pay Zakat.
Wasa’il ul-Shia Vol. 6 page 18

See Also

  • Zakat - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Zakat
  1. This means the reward will be 700-fold.
  2. Shi'ite scholars say this part is an implicit declaration that anyone who does not pay Zakat is a kafir.