Q: InshAllah I am planning to contribute to water project in an area which has both Muslims and non-Muslims residents
A: The majority of the scholars are in agreement that Zakat cannot be given to non Muslims.
There is a category which Allah has mentioned in the Qu’ran which are “those whose hearts need to be reconciled”. Some scholars are of the opinion that these can include non muslims to bring them to Islam, but the Hanafi school of jurisprudence are of the opinion that this category has been abrogated.
Secondly, in the project that you have mentioned, there is another issue that needs considering: the transfer of ownership of the Zakat wealth to the eligible recipients. Are you achieving this in your project?
For more information related to this issue please visit the link below:
Utilisation of Zakat for Welfare Projects
And Allah knows best!
Mufti Billal Omarjee