Paying Zakah to charity projects - a humanitarian Sharee‘ah viewpoint

Is it true that some scholars issued Fataawa that hold it impermissible to pay Zakaah to humanitarian organizations that treat patients and provide them with medicines and medical requirements for blood diseases and cancer especially if the state is incapable of fulfilling this need as the case here in Iraq now?

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad , is His Slave and Messenger.


Zakah is to be paid only to the eight types that Allaah The Almighty Mentioned in His noble book as He Says (what means): {Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allaah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allaah. And Allaah is Knowing and Wise.} [Quran 9:60] The intended meaning of (for the cause of Allaah) is fighters who engage in Jihaad.

Concerning useful charity projects like building medical centers, providing medicines for the poor and the like, Muslims should participate in them with their voluntary charities and endowments. However, the obligatory Zakah is to be paid only in the fields specified by Allaah The Almighty as mentioned above.

Therefore, it is correct to issue a Fatwa that holds it impermissible to pay Zakah to foundations that build medical centers, pay the fees of physicians and give patients the medications they need. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars. Other jurists view that it is permissible to pay Zakah to charity projects in general including building medical centers and the like and to give the poor the prices of medicines or the medicines themselves.

Thus, if it happened that there is no one to fulfill the needs of these poor people in some states that are incapable of treating them, there is no blame in this case to follow the other opinion of scholars and pay Zakah to the mentioned organizations to fulfill the needs of the sick and not to leave them to perish. That is because hardship brings about facilitation and the rulings of the Sharee‘ah are based on fulfilling the interests of people.

Allaah Knows best.

*Helped by fatwas of islamweb.net