Shaykh Salih Fawzaan on the Ruling of Az- Zakah – RAMADAN with WISDOM [Part 28]
All the praise is for Allah, Lord of all that exists. For Him is the praise in the Hereafter and this life. He enriches (some) and He makes (others) poor. He has promised the one who gives, fears Allah and believes in al-Husna (the best reward) that he will make smooth for him the path of ease. And he has threatened the one who is miserly, withholds and denies al-Husna that he will smooth for him the path of hardship. May Allah bestow blessings upon Muhammad, his family and his companions who exerted themselves and their wealth in the path of Allah and grasped onto Islam with the trustworthy handhold; and may abundant peace be upon them. As to what follows:
Fear Allah the Exalted and know that whatever you give from az-Zakah and other than it from charity with pure intentions and from lawful earnings, then it is a goodly loan which you have given to your Lord and you will find it accumulated for you doubled and multiplied many times over. For it are the long-lasting surplus; the beneficial stock and the goodly profits. Along with that Allah will facilitate for you in the dunyaa (Worldly life) from the increase of your wealth, supplementing it with the blessings therein. So do not regard as a burden the amount of az-Zakah which you pay. For some of the people who are endowed with millions consider its Zakah to be too much. They do not look at the bounty of Allah upon them, when He has endowed them with these millions; and that he is able to take it away from them and transform them into being poor and destitute in the twinkling of an eye; or seize them while they are in the prime of their life (with death) so that they leave it (their wealth) behind them for others, so that it will be for them a liability and for others it will be a benefit.
Then know, that Allah the Glorified and Exalted has prescribed payment venues for the Zakah which it is not permissible, nor will one be rewarded for paying it in other than them. He, the Exalted, has said: “As-Sadaqaat(here it means az-Zakah)are only for the Fuqaraa(poor)and al- Masaakeen(destitute)and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards al-Islam) and to free captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah’s Cause(i.e. for the Mujaahidoon-fighting in Allah’s Way), and for the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah; and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”(Qur’an 9:60)
So whoever has that which suffices him and is sufficient from surplus for the period of a year, or he has income from salaries or other than it which suffices him, then he is (considered) rich and it is not permissible for him nor will one be rewarded for payment of Zakah to him, nor is it permissible for him to accept it. Likewise, whoever has the ability to earn that which will suffice him and the opportunities (to earn are available for him), then it is not permissible for him nor will one be rewarded for paying the Zakah to him, and it is not permissible for him to accept it. So it is not permissible for the one paying az-Zakah to pay his Zakah except to one who he actually believes is from the people to whom az-Zakah is to be paid. For, there has come in the Hadith that the Zakah is not permissible for the rich or for the strong who has the ability to earn. (Aboo Daawud and an-Nasaa’ee reported it)
Likewise, it is not permissible to distribute the Zakah in the “projects of goodness”, such as the construction of masjids, schools and the likes. These projects are only to be sponsored from the Baytul-Maal (Public Finance Department) or from contributions. For the Zakah is a right of Allah. He ordained it for these specific people. And it is not permissible to allow it to be paid to one who has no right to it, nor for one to retain it for himself for his own worldly benefit; nor to spend the Zakah in that which is harmful; nor to save his wealth by it, so that he makes it a trade for a right which is obligatory upon him to be given to someone; nor is it permissible for him to withhold az-Zakah from him (the one who has a right to it). Nor is it permissible to pay it to ones ascendants nor to his descendants nor to his wife or to someone from those who he is (already) required to spend upon.
So fear Allah, O slaves of Allah, and let the payment of az-Zakah and its distribution, and the rest of your acts of worship be in accordance with what the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (S) dictates.
And know, O slaves of Allah, that whoever does not distribute az-Zakah in its legislated venues which Allah has stipulated for it in His Book, then verily it does not benefit him nor does it free him of the duty upon him of paying it. Because Allah the Glorified and Exalted, He is the One who has set these venues Himself. He said: “As-Sadaqaat(here it means az-Zakaah)are only for the Fuqaraa(poor)and al-Masaakeen(destitute)and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards al-Islaam) and to free captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah’s Cause(i.e. for the Mujaahidoon-fighting in Allah’s Way), and for the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah; and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”(Qur’an 9:60) This is an expression which denotes restriction; it restricts the ruling in that which was mentioned and negates it from that which is besides it. If one were to distribute it in one venue from amongst these eight venues that will suffice him and he is not required to distribute it to the rest. The proof is that the Prophet (S) said to Mu’aadh, (r), when he sent him to Yemen: “So teach them that Allah had obligated upon them the charity taken from their rich to be given to their poor.” [al- Bukhaaree and Muslim] Since he stopped at mentioning the poor therein, then it proves the permissibility of limiting its payment to the poor and the fact that it is sufficient.
And all the praise is for Allah, the Lord of all that exists, and may prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
Translated by: Raha ‘Azeezuddeen Batts