Are Zakat Committees Permissible?
Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
Using an agent to distribute one’s Zakat is permissible, as it is with financial rights. (Nawawi, Majmu‘)
An agent is usually a specific person, but Sacred Law also recognizes the concept of a legal person. Based on the concept of agency, Zakat-distributing organizations are permissible, and Allah knows best.
Zakat through an Intermediary
Using an agent for Zakat is allowed, as it is a financial right, like it is allowed for debts between human beings. [Dar al-Ifta al-Missriyya]
There is no difference regarding this matter between the agent being Muslim or non-Muslim. This is the opinion of the Hanafi, Shafi‘i, and some Hanbali scholars. Several Islamic books are then quoted as references.
The fatwa mentions here that it can be argued that taking these texts for our question is not the most relevant, as they refer to a case where an agent is a natural person, not a legal one. It then details the differences between a natural and a legal person. It mentions that the concept of a legal person is present in the books of Fiqh, as is the case for the Waqf, Bayt al-Mal (the equivalent of a Ministry of Finance), mosques, or companies.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.