Shaykh Ibn Baaz on Using Zakaat Money to Finish the Construction of a Masjid

In the Name of Allaah…

Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have Mercy on him) was asked about using zakaat money to finish building a masjid that is almost completed, and its construction may be halted (due to lack of funding). He replied:

What is well-known to the scholars, and it is the position of the vast majority of them, so it can be considered like ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus) of the scholars of the early As-Salaf As-Saalih, is that zakaat is not to be used for building masjids, buying books, or the likes. It may only be distributed to the eight kinds of recipients who are mentioned in the verse in Soorah At-Tawbah [v.60], and they are:

(1) The fuqaraa’ (those who are extremely poor),

(2) The masaakeen (the poor and needy),

(3) Those who work in distributing it (zakaat),

(4) Those whose hearts need firmness upon Islaam (new Muslims),

(5) Freeing slaves,

(6) Paying debts,

(7) In the way of Allaah, and

(8) The traveler who is in need.

And the phrase “in the way of Allaah” means jihaad specifically. This is what is known to the people of knowledge, and the building of masjids is not mentioned here, nor is the building of schools or roadways, nor their likes.

And Allaah is the One who grants success.

Source: Majmoo’ Fataawee wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwa’ah (14/294)

Translated by: Moosaa Richardson

ST Archives – Originally Published 02-22-2008

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Citations of Scholarly Consensus About Zakaat Money Spent on General Charities

Citations of Scholarly Consensus Regarding Zakaat Spent on General Charities

In the Name of Allaah, the Ever-Compassionate, the Bestower of Mercy…

A number of scholars of the past, from different math-habs, lands, and time periods, have cited ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus) on the impermissibility of spending zakaat on general charities, like building masjids, roads, bridges, or buying a shroud for a dead person or paying his debts. They viewed that “fee sabeelillaah” (in the way of Allaah) in the verse of zakaat recipients (9:60) was specific to the Muslim army and its battles, and some added: Battles and Hajj.

The following citations from early scholars oppose the general broader understanding promoted by some later scholars and writers that “fee sabeelillaah” (in the way of Allaah) includes all types of charity and good deeds loved by Allaah:

1. Aboo ‘Ubayd al-Qaasim ibn Sallaam (d.224)

Regarding paying the debts of the deceased, buying shrouds for him, building masjids, or routing rivers, and similar things of a charitable nature, then Sufyaan (ath-Thawree), the scholars of Iraq, and others have all agreed that this does not fulfill the duty of zakaat, since these are not from its eight categories.

Source: His book, Kitaab al-Amwaal, 2/293.

2. Ibn Hazm (d.456)

There is no dispute (amongst the scholars) that Allaah did not intend (by “fee sabeelillaah”) every good and charitable kind of thing when distributing zakaat, thus Continue reading

Zakaat al-Fitr Measurements: One Saa’ = Three Litres, One Mudd = .75L

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever-Merciful…

The Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) ordered that a fasting person give out Zakaat al-Fitr at the end of Ramadhan – one saa’ of staple food on behalf of yourself and each person you are responsible for. [1]

What is a Saa’?

A Prophetic saa’ ( صاع ) is not a weight measurement.  It was and still is a measurement of volume, similar to the size of a large salad bowl.  It is made up of four mudds, and a mudd ( مد ) is a smaller container, close to the size of a small salad bowl.

To be precise, a Prophetic mudd in modern volume measurements is .75L (or 750mL), which means Continue reading