Soldier of Allah 

4. Channels of Distributing Zakah
General rules

Time of Giving Zakah
The Manner of Distributing Zakah
Those Who Do Not Deserve Zakah
Transferring Zakah from the Place in Which it is Levied
Zakah and Tax

Time of Giving Zakah

a) Paying Zakah on its due time is obligatory. When Zakah falls due and the giver of Zakah is ready and able to pay it, it is not permissible to delay the payment. But if the money to be paid is not in hand, one may be granted respite until he gets the money. The prohibition to delay Zakah payment is also applicable to those charged to collect Zakah money and distribute it among the recepients. If they know the recepients and are able to distribute Zakah among them but do not pay it until it is ruined, they will be held responsible for affording it on their account.

b) One's death does not exempt one's property from paying Zakah. Zakah must be paid whether the deceased made will to that effect or not.

c) Time prescription does not affect the obligation to pay Zakah. If the property owner delays the Zakah payment until the advent of the following year, when he comes to pay Zakah for that second year, he has to deduct the value of Zakah for the previous year and pay Zakah for the remaining portion of his property. He still has to pay Zakah for the previous month, which is onsidered as a payable debt on the property.
If the property is ruined before Zakah falls due it will be exmpted from Zakah if the following two conditions are fulfilled:

- Property ruin should have taken place before one gains ability to pay the Zakah.

- Ruin should not result from the property owner's nigligance in keeping money.

d) If crops and fruits were plighted before the day of harvesting, they will be exempted from Zakah unless the remaing portion reaches the Nisab or more. Hence Zakah would be due on what remained.

e) Those employed to collect the Zakah money and ditribute it among its recepients are responsible for guarding the money. But if it was affected for no nigligance on their side, they would not be required to afford for it.

The Manner of Distributing Zakah

a) The Zakah giver is freed from its burden as soon as he grants its ownership to any of the first four categories of Zakah recipients: the poor, the needy, those employed to administer the Zakah, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled. Making either of these categories in full possession of Zakah is a condition for the verification of the payment of Zakah. Granting full possession implies giving the recepient a certain amount of money, or buying a means of production or craft tools and granting their ownership to the recepient who has the capability to work. As for those in bondage, those in debt, fighters in the cause of Allah, and the wayfarers, it is sufficient to deliver Zakah to them through any means.

b) Concerning the poor, the needy, those employed to administer Zakah, and those whose hearts ar to be reconciled, it is enough to have them meeting the conditions of receiving Zakah at the due time of the Zakah payment. If their state changed after Zakah had been paid to them, they are not required to pay it back.

c) As for those who are in debt, wayfarers, and fighters in the cause of Allah who receive Zakah, if their state changes or if they did not use the money to meet the necessity for which they deserved it, Zakah should be taken back from them.

d) Relief from debts due on Zakah recipient. If an insolvent borrower fails to settle up his debts to his lender who later acquitted him from paying them back, such debts will not be regarded as Zakah even if the borrower is a Zakah recipient. This is the opinion held by most scholars.

This rule applies to the following cases as well:

- If the lender pays Zakah to the borrower who returns it as settlement of his debts without a prior consent, Zakah is valid.

- If the lender pays Zakah to the borrower provided that the latter will pay it back instead of his debts or if both agree on this matter, Zakah is not valid. This is the opinion held by the majority of scholars.

- If the borrower asks his lender to give him Zakah so that he could settle up his debt, and the borrower did so, Zakah is valid. Yet, the borrower is not obliged to pay back the very same amount as settlement of his debt.

- If the lender said to the borrower: "Settle up your debt and I will give you Zakah." and the borrower did, Zakah is valid and the lender is not obliged to pay back the very same amount (of the debt) to the borrower.

Those Who Do Not Deserve Zakah

a) Whoever belongs to the household of Prophet (peace be upon him) out of honoring them. According to Islamic Shari`ah, the Prophet's household have right to take one-fifth of the booty as their share in public wealth.

b) Dependants of the person giving Zakah

c) Non-Muslims except for those whose hearts are to be reconciled.
Transferring Zakah from the Place in Which it is Levied

Zakah is a basis for achieving social solidarity in the Islamic countries. Such fact should be used when displaying the facts and fundamentals of this true religion. Zakah money should be used in liberating any Islamic occupied territories. Zakah should originally, as confirmed by the Prophet's Sunnah and behavior of his Companions, be distributed among the poor living in the region from which Zakah money is collected. Extra funds can be transferred to another town. This excludes the conditions of famine, disasters, and worse living conditions, where it is a must to transfer the Zakah money to those who need it most whether groups or individuals.

Rules Governing the Transference of Zakah

Originally, Zakah money should be distributed among the poor living in the region from which the money is collected, not in the region where the Zakah payer lives. But it is permissible to transfer the Zakah money for another location if there is any clearly justified reason.

Following are possible cases:

a) Transefering it to the places of Jihad (Fighting for the cause of Allah).

b) Transfering it to institutions caring for Calling for Islam, education, healthcare which deserve a share of the Zakah amounts as one of the eighth channels of Zakah

c) Transfering it to Muslim regions afflicted by famine and disasters.

d) Transfering it to one's relatives who deserve Zakah.

Second: Transfering Zakah to places other than the above mentioned ones does not invalidate its payment, but it is detestable, provided that the recepient is one of the eight channels of Zakah.

Third: The region of Zakah extends to include the town and the adjacent villages and areas less than 82 kilometers away.

Forth: Acts permissible during the transference process

a) In case Zakah conditions are fulfilled, it is permissible to pay the Zakah amounts a period before its due time and send it to its recipients so that it may reach them perfectly on time.

b) There is no blame on the person giving Zakah if he paid it on its due time and it reached the recepients after the due time has passed, as it was on the way to them.

Zakah and Tax

a) Paying the tax levied by the state does not suffice for paying Zakah due to the different nature of Zakah and taxes as regards the source and aim of levying, the wealth upon which each of them is due, the due payment amount, and the channels.

b) Tax amounts are not to be deducted from the due amounts of Zakah. Rather, the already paid taxes can be deducted from the wealth upon which Zakah is due.

c) Taxes levied by the state to be paid before the time of Zakah payment are to be deducted from the wealth upon which Zakah is due, even if it was not yet paid.

d) To make it easy for those who pay Zakah, current taxation laws should be adjusted to allow deducting the value of the Zakah amounts from the tax amounts on condition that authentic legal proofs be submitted.

e) A tax for social solidarity that matches Zakah amounts should be levied upon all non-Muslim citizens under a Muslim state. Such taxes would serve as revenues to achieve social solidarity among all citizens living under Muslim rule.

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