Giving Zakah in kind as a gift: a Sharee‘ah perspective

I am an engineer, and I save a part of my salary which amounts to the due Nisaab of Zakaah; and I have some poor relatives: is it permissible to give Zakaah to them in the form of gifts which I buy from the market and give to them? Please note that if I give them money, they will not accept it. So, is it permissible to give Zakaah in the form of gifts?

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.


If your relatives refuse to take Zakah from you out of bashfulness or abstention, and you know well that they are among those who are eligible under Sharee‘ah to receive  Zakah, there will be no harm on you to use that money to buy what they need of such goods as food or clothes and give that to them even if they think they are gifts. That is because what counts is your intention. The Messenger of Allaah , says: “Verily, the (rewards of the) deeds depend upon the intentions, and everyone will have (the reward of) what he has intended.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim[

But this is so on condition that it should not cancel out what you used to give them as charity (outside Zakah). Shaykh Al-Islam  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked whether it is permissible for a merchant to give Zakah from the articles of merchandise he has, similar to the value that is due on him. In his reply, he mentioned the following opinions:

First: it is permissible absolutely.

Second: it is impermissible absolutely.

Third: it is permissible in some forms to serve a need or an outweighing benefit.

Commenting on the third one, he said: That is the most correct opinion. If the Zakah recipient needs to buy clothes with it, and the payer of Zakah buys and gives that to him, he will have done well to him. But if he assesses the clothes he already possesses and gives them to the Zakah recipient, he may evaluate them at a higher price or give them to one not in need for them, who, in turn, may sell them and bear the broker’s charge; and any loss will be harmful to the poor.”

In brief, the preponderant opinion is that it is permissible to give them the value (of Zakah) in kind, but on three conditions:

First: they should be poor, in reality.

Second: this should not cancel out what you used to give them as charity (outside Zakah).

Third: to pay it with the intention that it is Zakah not a gift.

Allaah Knows best.

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