Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Question: Assalamu Aleykum, What is the ruling of the Prophetic Family accepting zakat or any form of charity?
Answer: Wa Aleykum Selam,
The basis is that the Prophetic Household, which comprises of the progeny of Ali, Abbass, Jafar, Aqil, and Hatith bin Abdul Muttalib does not accept any forms of charity. This is because Allah, Most High has forbidden for them the filth of the people (i.e. the impure wealth) and gave them one-fifth of the war spoils instead. [al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]
Since there is no longer any war spoils for the Prophetic Household to get a share of, many scholars have given a legal ruling (fatwa) that it is permissible for those of the Prophetic Household to accept charity if there is a necessity.
Those Who Permitted The Accepting of Charity for the Prophetic Household
Abu Isma who narrates from Imam Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy of them) that in his time it is permissible to give (charity) to the Prophetic Household. This is because the alternative, which is war spoils, does not reach them due to the negligence of people in giving of the war spoils to those who deserve it. Thus if the alternative does not reach them, then the original should be given, once again. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]
Also, Abu Yusuf (may Allah have mercy on him) is narrated to have permitted the Prophetic Household to give and accept charity from one another. This is also a narrated opinion from Imam Abu Hanifah. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]
The Cautious Stance
With that being said, there is expansiveness in the matter. If one, however, wanted to take the cautious stance of either taking charity only from those of the Prophetic Household or not taking it at all, that is their right and their cautiousness is praiseworthy.
In such a case, one should respectfully ask whether the one giving the money, intends it as charity or as a gift. If done with kindness and wisdom most would not take offense.
May Allah bless you
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.