Q: Please help me by suggesting whether Zakat will be permissible to someone who wants to go for higher studies in a foreign land and his father's only earning is a flat which has been rented out and they live in a relatives' house. JazakAllah.

A: If that person has net wealth below the Nisab (approx £260) or is in debt with a net that takes him below the Nisab, he may receive Zakat funds.

And Allah knows best1

Mufti Faraz Adam
Q: I have relatives in UK who are in debt. But at the same time they are also splashing out on holidays etc, instead of paying off their debt. Should i still give them my Zakat? Jazakumullah Khair

A: In theory, a person in debt can receive Zakat. You have the ultimate discretion of choosing where your Zakat goes.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam
Q: Someone is struggling to pay off her debt, can I help her with my Zakat?

A: Yes you can help her if she is eligible to receive Zakat in the first place see link.

The other school of jurisprudence i.e. the Malikis, Shafi'is and Hanbalis have also added a condition; that the nature of the debt must Islamically lawful.
Hence according to them, if the debt was incurred due to a sinful reason such as gambling, then giving Zakat to such person would not be permissible unless they have repented from this sin in which case the Zakat can be given to them.
Q: Can you give Zakat to a hospital in Pakistan for the treatment of poor patients who need medical eye treatments and surgery such as cataract surgery or corneal transplants. The treatment for patients is free of charge. Some of the Zakat funds that are collected by the hospital will be used to pay the salaries of the surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and even administrators - these are legitimate costs associated with delivering the free service to the patients.

A: The hospital cannot collect Zakat to use it to the pay the salary of their workers directly.
The Zakat fund can only be used for a patient who is:

eligible to receive Zakat
and who has authorised the hospital to use the Zakat amount that he/she needs for their treatment.

Once the recipient has given permission to use the Zakat on their behalf, the hospital can effectively use it to cover the cost of the treatment and pay part of the salary of the doctors etc involved in the treatment of the patient. Even then there should not be an abuse of the Zakat fund when paying the salary of the doctors and other staff. If their salaries can be met by using different funds other than Zakat then this would be more preferable.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Billal Omarjee

Q: Why is Zakat given to winning hearts?
A: This meta-category is considered to be ‘soft power’. Soft power in political theory refers to
the ability to influence and persuade without force and coercion. Influence under soft power
is achieved by building networks and communicating compelling narratives. The result is
Tamkin (firm establishment), influence and power. This gives rise to greater stability and selfdetermination.
The categories subsumed by this meta-category can include: indiviuals helping the wider
community to have more positive perceptions of Islam and Muslims; those who may pose harm to
Muslims; and those new to the faith in order to deepen their sense of belonging and commitment.
In the context of Muslim-minority communities, this meta-category presents primarily as
constructive social and political engagement with the aim of achieving a more conducive
environment for Muslims to practise their faith.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam

Q: When giving Zakat to a debtor, does it have to be given to him in their hand or can be paid to the creditor directly?

A: It is not necessary to give the Zakat in his hand. Zakat can be given to the creditor on behalf of the debtor with the latter’s acknowledgement.

And Allah knows best!
Mufti Faraz Adam
If a person missed a Zakat payment despite having the ability to pay their Zakat, such a person will be considered sinful.

Once a command of Allah applies to a person, to delay without any genuine justification is regarded as a sin.

Imam Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Our scholars (the Shafi’I scholars) agree that when Zakat becomes binding upon an individual who has ability to pay, he must give immediately. Delaying the payment of Zakat will make him sinful. This is also the view of Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad and the majority of scholars. Our evidence is the words of Allah, may He be exalted:
“And give Zakat” (Qur’an 2:43). This command implies that is to be paid immediately. (al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab 5/335)

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam
Is it permissible to call the Zakat money a gift?

It is permissible to tell the Zakat recipient that the payment is a gift.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam
Q: Is it necessary to tell the person you are giving Zakat to that it is Zakat?

A: It is not necessary to tell the Zakat recipient that the wealth is Zakat. It is permissible to call the payment a gift.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam
Q: Is it necessary to own Zakatable assets above the Nisab threshold for the entire year?

A: According to the Hanafi school, it is not necessary to own Zakatable assets above the Nisab for the entire lunar year. Zakat will be payable as long as one owns wealth equalling the Nisab on the Zakat anniversary. Fluctuations of wealth during the year will be overlooked, unless any fluctuations reduce a person to zero in terms of net wealth or below zero and in debt.

However, the Shafi’i and Hanbali school condition that Zakat is only payable if one owns wealth equal to the Nisab or more for the entire year. Therefore, if one’s net wealth dips below the Nisab in the year, Zakat will not be due anymore for that year.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam