A traveller (musāfir) was robbed whilst travelling and lost the means of his return home. He has wealth equal to nisaab in his own country. Can zakāt be given to him if:
a) He does not have access to his wealth?
b) He can access his wealth through the bank?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
The recepients of zakāt have been identified in the Qur῾ān. Allah Ta῾ālā states:
“Zakaat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakaat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Surah Taubah verse 60)
The verse contains eight types of people:
1) Poor (Fuqarā’)
2) Needy (Masākīn)
3) Zakaat collectors (‘Amilīn ῾alayhā)
4) Those whose hearts are being reconciled (mu’allafah al-qulūb)
5) Emanciapting slaves (ar-riqāb)
6) Debtors ( al-gharimīn)
7) Those in the cause of Allah (Fī sabīl Allah)
8) Travellers (Ibn as-sabīl)
A traveller is amongst the eight recipients of zakāt. If a traveller has no access to his wealth whatsoever, it will be permissible for him to receive zakāt funds only to the extent he needs to get back home.[i] However, this is only when he genuinely has no access at all to his money whatsoever back home.
By virtue of credit and debit cards, one has access to deposited funds across the globe. Hence, if a musāfir has access to his bank account and his balance which is over and above the threshold of accepting zakāt, then it is not permissible for him to accept zakāt funds.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi