Q: Can I buy a bike with my Zakat money for a recipient, instead of me giving them cash?
A: According to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, it is permissible to give Zakat in forms other than cash, provided that the value of the item is equal to the amount of Zakat that person would have to pay. This is NZF’s position too.
The Malikis don’t allow for anything other than cash to be given to a recipient as Zakat. Imam Malik (ra) was asked about it and ruled against it.
The Shafi’s are of the same opinion. However, some of their contemporary scholars, from the fatwa department of Jordan, have allowed people to follow the Hanafi ruling (above) when there is a greater need to give an item, besides cash, as Zakat.
Sheikhul Islam, Ibn Taymiyaah (ra), of the Hanbali school, also allows Zakat to be paid in such a manner, except:
• in circumstances when there is a need
• for an interest to be served
• to achieve fairness.
And Allah knows best!
Mufti Billal Omarjee