Shaykh are we allowed to use Zakah funds for orphanage beds. A lot of the kids that attend that are orphans and mustahiq of Zakah, but some are not. [Question published as received.]
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
1. The bedding is given itself as Zakat. The recipients of the beds must be made the owners of the bedding, either directly or through their representatives. In this scenario, the Zakat is the bedding itself. Until the beds are not given in the ownership of the orphans, Zakat will not be discharged.
2. Wakālah (agency) is used where the money is given to the agent of the orphans to then purchase the bedding themselves.
The Fiqh of the Answer
When it comes to paying the Zakat, it is necessary that one transfers the ownership of the item to the recipient. This is due to the fact that transferring of ownership is a necessary Rukn, without which the Zakat will not be fulfilled as has been mentioned by Imam al-Marghīnānī (d.593 AH). It is not sufficient to just leave the items in a particular area and allow the recipients of Zakat to use them. Imam Ibn ʿĀbidīn (d.1252 AH) mentions that if one was to merely feed the poor by making food available, this will not suffice for his Zakat. Rather, it is necessary to make the recipients of Zakat owners of the food. Hence, in the scenario mentioned, the orphans would have to become the owners of the bedding.
Another alternative to this is for the authorities of the orphanage to serve as the Wakīl (representatives) for the recipients of Zakat as has been mentioned by Imam Abu Bakar al-Zubaydī (d.800 AH). This approach ensures that the recipients acquire ownership of the items through their designated representatives.
The Aṣl al-Binā of this Mas’alah is that Zakat, even though it is an ʿIbādah, it is operationalised as a Muʿāmalah(transaction). Being a unilateral transaction, it follows the rules of Ḥibah (gifting). Zakat can only be discharged when wealth has transferred from one’s ownership. Transfer of wealth can only take place when Tamlīk (making another an owner) is found. Without Tamlīk, one still owns the assets and wealth. Therefore, Zakat requires Tamlīk to move the wealth from one’s ownership, and thereby, discharge one’s Zakat obligation.
And Almighty Allah Alone Knows Best
Maulana Inaamul Hasan Chothia
Reviewed and approved by
Mufti Faraz Adam
Darul Iftaa Muadh ibn Jabal
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وَلَا يَجُوزُ إلَّا أَنْ يَقْبِضَهَا فَقِيرٌ أَوْ يَقْبِضَهَا لَهُ وَلِيٌّ أَوْ وَكِيلٌ لِأَنَّهَا تَمْلِيكٌ وَلَا بُدَّ فِيهَا مِنْ الْقَبْض (الجوهرة النيرة)
ولا يبنى بها مسجد ولا يكفن بها ميت لانعدام التمليك وهو الركن (الهداية)
قَوْلُهُ: تَمْلِيكًا فَلَا يَكْفِي فِيهَا الْإِطْعَامُ إلَّا بِطَرِيقِ التَّمْلِيكِ وَلَوْ أَطْعَمَهُ عِنْدَهُ نَاوِيًا الزَّكَاةَ لَا تَكْفِي ط وَفِي التَّمْلِيكِ إشَارَةٌ إلَى أَنَّهُ لَا يُصْرَفُ إلَى مَجْنُونٍ وَصَبِيٍّ غَيْرِ مُرَاهِقٍ إلَّا إذَا قَبَضَ لَهُمَا مَنْ يَجُوزُ لَهُ قَبْضُهُ كَالْأَبِ وَالْوَصِيِّ وَغَيْرِهِمَا وَيُصْرَفُ إلَى مُرَاهِقٍ يَعْقِلُ الْأَخْذَ كَمَا فِي الْمُحِيطِ قُهُسْتَانِيٌّ وَتَقَدَّمَ تَمَامُ الْكَلَامِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ أَوَّلَ الزَّكَاةِ (حاشية ابن عابدين)