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Ummah Global Relief “Children are rich if their father is rich “

  • Ummah Global Relief: Whether a child is male or female. If the father is rich, the child is considered rich. However, if the son or daughter is adult, the wealth of his or her father is not considered in the determination of the richness or poverty of the child.3 Wives are also considered according to the prosperity of their husbands. A poor woman is not a zakah deservant if her husband is rich.  

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

  • Hanafites consider giving the wife of a rich husband from zakah permissible, but Abu Yusuf disagrees.4 Most Hanafites argue that the nature of the husband’s obligation to spend on his wife is contractual, while the father is obligated to spend on his young child by virtue of parenthood.5 Some Shafi’ites go along with the Hanafites and allow payment of zakah to the wife of a rich man. Some even allow giving a rich man’s child zakah.6 As for Malikites, they believe it is not permissible to give zakah to any poor person whose subsistence ad expenses are the responsibility of a rich person, except if the rich person responsible for the expenses of the poor can not be reached at all.  
  • In my opinion, zakah must not be given to any person whose living expenses are on the shoulders of a rich person, such as the wife or young child of a rich man. This does not apply to other relatives whose living expenses are not the duty of the rich person.  

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief “The opinion of Rashid Rida”

Ummah Global Relief: In his explanation of the Qur’an, Rashid Rida says, “The fact that our leading scholars differ on this issue is an indication that there is no agreed upon report from the Prophet determining whether or not all categories must be included in each zakah distribution. Therefore, this issue must be determined after consideration of the Muslim community’s needs and interests, and the size of zakah proceeds. The views that fit public interest best are those of Malik and al Nakha’i, while the opinion farthest from the texts and public interests is that of Abu Hanifah,10 except when funds are very small. Giving zakah to one deservant in one category when proceeds are huge is not acceptable, because it does not fulfil the objective of zakah. This matter must be settled by the state decision-makers so as to do justice to the general interests of Muslims, especially since certain categories may sometimes be more important than others.”11  
Summary  
After surveying all these views, one can briefly summarize them as follows:  
1. When funds are plenty and there are deservants in all categories, distribution must cover all of them. It is not acceptable to deprive deservants who are in need; the duty of the state is to collect zakah and distribute it according to the needs of the deservant categories.  
2. Distribution among the eight categories need not be equal, i.e. each group need not receive exactly one-eight of total proceeds, since the criteria is need. I believe the view of Malik and al Zuhri is most suitable in distributing to the categories on the basis of their respective need.12  
  3. Zakah may all be given to certain categories when this is necessary. Preference must be based on actual needs and public interest and not on personal opinions or prejudice.13  
4. The poor and the needy are the most important category of all. Satisfying their needs is the main objective of zakah, as repeatedly mentioned in saying of the Prophet. It is not permissible to spend zakah on the army while tremendous need exists for food and shelter among the poor and needy. However, there may be exceptionally urgent

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi   –  Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

needs for diverting funds from the poor and needy in response to emergencies in other categories, such as defense.  
5. The suggestion of al Shafi’i about zakah workers should be applied so that their share does not exceed one-eighth of total proceeds, in order to preserve the major part of zakah for fulfilling its objectives.  
6. When zakah proceeds are small, as when an individual payer distributes his small amount of zakah, all of it may be spent on one deservant, since dividing such a small amount diminishes its usefulness, and would not enrich zakah recipients, as urged by the Shafi’i school.  

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief “Must zakah be divided equally between the eight categories?”

Ummah Global Relief: God mentions in the Qur’an eight categories who deserve zakah. Should zakah be distributed each year to all eight categories? Should the proceeds be equally divided between them?
Some jurists understand the verse in this meaning, like al Shafi’i, in his al Umm. In al Majmu’, al Nawawi says, ” Al Shafi’i and his disciples believe that when zakah is distributed by the payer or the payer’s representative, the share of zakah workers is dropped, and the amount due must be distributed to the other seven categories, if they exist. It is not permissible to abandon an existing category. If an existing category is abandoned, its share is guaranteed by the owner. This is also the view of ‘Ikrimah,’Umar bin ‘Abd al Aziz, al Zuhri, and Daud.”1 Ahmad in one of several reports agrees with al Shafi’i on the equal distribution between all categories, and on the rule that at least three persons in each category except zakah workers be given zakah , because the verse is in the plural form, and three is the least number for which a plural form is used. This is the view selected by Abu Bakr, a Hanbalite.2 The Malikite Asbagh also prefers the Shafi’ite opinion.3 Ibn al ‘Arabi says, “It is agreed upon that it is not permissible to give all proceeds to zakah workers, since this does not fulfil the objective of zakah, which is satisfying the poor and the needs of Islam. Shafi’ites argue that the zakah distribution verse uses the preposition “to” [li] which means that proceeds must be given so that each recipient becomes owner of what he or she is given. This implies giving all of them.4 Shafi’ites also present as evidence the saying reported by Abu Daud from Ziad bin al Harith al Sada’i: “I came to the Messenger of God (p) and gave him my covenant, A man came and said, ‘Give me from the Sadaqah. The Messenger of God (p) said, ‘God does not leave the distribution of sadaqat to a prophet or anyone else, so He gave the ruling and divided the proceeds into eight parts. If you are in any of these parts, I will give you your right.”

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi  – Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

Malik, Abu Hanafiah, and their disciples disagree with al Shafi’i. They do not require that distribution cover all categories, asserting  that  the  preposition to [li]  in the verse does not mean one must make the recipient own what is given, but means “for whom”. These scholars present the “If ye disclose (acts of) charity, it is well, but if ye conceal them and make them reach the poor, that is best for you.” which only mentions the poor and no reference is made to other categories, and the saying “I am ordained to take sadaqah from the rich among you and render it to the poor among you.” Not mentioning other categories in these two texts is an indication that giving the poor alone is satisfactory.5 Abu ‘Ubaid reports that Ibn Abbas says, “If you spend zakah on one of these categories, it is all right, since God says ‘The sadaqat are but for the poor and needy, . . . . ‘ which means zakah must not be given outside these categories.” The same is reported from Hudhaifah. Ibn Shihab says, “The category which deserves zakah more is the one that is bigger in number and more severe in need.” Sufyan and jurists from Iraq (Abu Hanifah and his disciples) believe spending zakah on one of the eight categories is satisfactory. Al Nakha’i suggests that when funds are plenty, it is better to distribute to all categories, but when funds are limited, one category is sufficient. A similar opinion is attributed to ‘Ata’.6  
Abu Thawr suggests that when the owner distributes zakah, it may be given to one category only, but when zakah is distributed by the state, all categories must be included. Malik adds that “it is left to the state’s zakah agency to distribute to those categories whose needs are more intense. This is what I have heard scholars whom I respect expressing.”In my opinion, this last view is most sound and reasonable. 

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief “Are there wayfarers today?”

Ummah Global Relief: Some contemporary scholars assert that today there are no more wayfarers in the original sense of the word, because of the transportation, accommodation, and banking facilities that make one’s travelling easy and one’s wealth accessible anywhere in the world. This is argued by the late Ahmad Mustafa al Maraghi in his explanation of the Qur’an.38 I beg to differ with him, since there are as many wayfarers today as there were in the past:  

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi   – Ummah Global Relief 

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

1. Some people may be rich, but do not do business with banks, so that when they are away from their towns they are actually detached from their wealth. They may be crossing some desert far from urban centers.  
2. There are refugees who are driven out of their homes and lands by aggressors or who flee from dictatorial governments. They may live for an undetermined period of time outside their countries, unable to reach their wealth which is often confiscated by the government. Like those are political refugees who seek asylum in countries other than their own.  
3. Some Hanafite jurists consider individuals who, although they live in their own towns, have no access to their wealth, either because of political reasons or because of economic reasons such as businessmen whose wealth is in the form of unremittable loans to others.39 These jurists assert that such individuals must be treated as wayfarers and given zakah.40   
4. There are those who intend to initiate journeys for public service or for individual affairs that are beneficial to the public, such as students receiving training abroad.  
5. Some Hanbalites include under the definition of wayfarers tramps or street beggars who have no homes.41 Such persons are literally ibn al sabil, or children of the street. They may be given from the share of the wayfarers if not from the share of the poor.  
6. And lastly, foundling infants may be included in this category, according to Rashid Rida, who says the term ibn al sabil perfectly describes foundlings since they are in fact children of the street. Islam takes good care of orphans, and foundlings are even more in need of care than orphans with known relatives.

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief “The first opinion: satisfying lifetime needs”

Ummah Global Relief:This opinion aims at giving the poor what is sufficient to remove them from the poverty level forever, in such a way that they would not need zakah in the future. In al Majmu’, al Nawawi says:   
Our Iraqi colleagues, along with many from Khurasan [northeast of what is today Iran] believe that the poor and the needy must be given in such a way that they are permanently removed from poverty into sufficiency. This is the very opinion of al Shafi’i. They provide as supportive evidence the saying from Qubaysah bin al Mukhariq al Hilali that the Messenger of God said “Begging [or asking] is not permissible, except for one of three cases, It is lawful for a person who carries a financial charge [in reconciliation of] disputing people, to ask until he obtains sufficiency of sustenance; a person who is struck by a disaster that wipes his health out is permitted to ask until he reaches sufficiency of sustenance, and a person struck by poverty to the extent that three wise clansmen confirm that he is really hit by poverty is permitted to ask until he obtains sufficiency of sustenance. O Qubaysah, any asking beyond these three cases is evil on the part of the person who asks.” Reported by Muslim in his correct collection. 

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi – Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

 

  Our colleagues argue that asking is permitted by the Messenger of God until sufficiency is reached. This means the purpose of the distribution of zakah is to make the poor and needy reach their sufficiency as stated above. A craftsman would be given an amount sufficient to buy tools and equipment that allow him to work and gain his sustenance. This certainly differs according to time, country, and ability of individuals. Some of our colleagues give examples that a person who sells vegetables may be given five or ten dirhams, while a person whose profession is selling jewels would be granted ten thousand dirhams, if he cannot reach sufficiency with less than that amount. People of other professions would be given according to the requirement of their profession. Farmers would be given farming land or portions thereof that would be sufficient to gain them sufficiency of sustenance. As for those who have no craft or ability, they must be given sustenance sufficient for the rest of their lives, regardless of one year limitations.46

 

Ummah Global Relief

 

Ummah Global relief “Contrasting the poor and needy with the rich”

        Ummah Global relief:

  • It may be necessary to look at the definition of richness as given by jurists, since by such contrast one may determine exactly the boundary of the poor and needy category. Zakah must not be given to the rich. The Prophet said “. . .  to be taken from the rich and rendered to the poor,” and “The sadaqah is not lawful to the rich.”11 Giving the rich zakah means some poor person is not being given zakah, and this violates the objective of zakah, as stated by Ibn Qudamah.12  By knowing who the rich are, we can as define by way of elimination the poor and needy.   
    Here again jurists do not have one unanimous decision. According to Suffian Al Thory and Ibn al Mubarak, and Ishaq Ibn Rahawah,13 richness that excludes a person from a zakah recipient14 is fifty dirhams, one-fourth the nisab of money. Ibn Mas’ud narrates, “The Messenger of God (p) said ‘A person who asks while he has what makes him rich, whatever he gets appears on the Day of Judgement as cuts on his face.’ The Prophet was asked, ‘What is richness?’ He answered, ‘Fifty dirhams or its equivalent in gold.'” Ahmad is reported to share this definition only if the property is in money terms, but critics of hadith grade this saying from Ibn Mas’ud weak.15  

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi ~(Ummah Global Relief)

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief

  • Even if it were correct, the saying does not determine the eligibility for receiving zakah; all it indicates is the prohibition of begging or asking for charity, if a person owns fifty dirhams. Some scholars argue that fifty dirhams were substantial enough for the satisfaction of essential needs at the time of the Prophet and others interpret the sayings as addressed to specific individuals for whom fifty dirhams were sufficient. Supporting the first interpretation, al Khattabi says “There is nothing in the saying to indicate that a person who owns fifty dirhams is not eligible for zakah. The saying showed it is hateful to beg for alms, since begging may only be allowed at times of urgency and this does not apply to one who has fifty dirhams.”

Ummah Global Relief

 

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