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