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Alms Tax (Zakat) » Intention (niyyah) for giving zakat → ← Alms Tax (Zakat) » Distribution of zakat

Alms Tax (Zakat) » Criteria for being entitled to receive (mustaḥiqq) zakat

Ruling 1957. The person to whom one gives zakat must be a Twelver (Ithnā ʿAsharī) Shia. If he gives zakat to a person whom he believes to be a Shia and later realises that he was not a Shia, then based on obligatory precaution he must give zakat again even if he had made investigations about the person or he had relied upon something that was legally authoritative.

Ruling 1958. If a child or an insane person is a Shia and poor, one may give zakat to his guardian (walī) with the intention that what he gives is the property of the child or the insane person. Furthermore, he can, either by himself or through a trustworthy person (amīn), spend zakat on the child or on the insane person, in which case he must make the intention of zakat when he does so.

Ruling 1959. A person can give zakat to a poor person who begs provided that the fact of his poverty is established. However, one must not give zakat to a person who spends it for sinful purposes. In fact, the obligatory precaution is that zakat must not be given to someone who, as a result of receiving it, is encouraged to commit sins even if he does not spend it directly for sinful purposes.

Ruling 1960. The obligatory precaution is that one must not give zakat to a person who consumes alcohol, or does not perform prayers, or publicly commits major sins.

Ruling 1961. If a person is in debt but is unable to repay his debt, one can repay it for him from zakat even if his expenses are obligatory on him.

Ruling 1962. A person cannot pay for the living expenses of those whose expenses are obligatory on him – such as his children – from zakat. However, if he does not pay for their living expenses, then others can give zakat to them. And if he is unable to give obligatory maintenance (nafaqah) for those whom it is obligatory on him to give obligatory maintenance, and if zakat is obligatory on him, he can give their obligatory maintenance from zakat.

Ruling 1963. There is no problem if one gives zakat to his son so that he can pay for the living expenses of his wife, servant, or maid, or so that he can repay his loan, provided that his son satisfies all the other criteria for being entitled to receive zakat.

Ruling 1964. A father cannot buy educational and religious books that are required by his son from the ‘in the way of Allah’ portion of zakat and make them available to him unless the general public interest necessitates it, and, based on obligatory precaution, he gets authorisation from a fully qualified jurist.

Ruling 1965. A father can use zakat to get his poor son married, and the same applies to the son with regard to his father.

Ruling 1966. Zakat cannot be given to a woman whose husband provides for her living expenses, nor to a woman whose husband does not provide for her living expenses but who has the power to compel him to give them to her, albeit by referring to an unjust ruler (al-ḥākim al-jāʾir).

Ruling 1967. If a woman who has contracted a temporary marriage (mutʿah) is poor, her husband and others can give her zakat. However, if she had stipulated a condition in the contract that her husband must pay for her living expenses, or, if paying for her living expenses is obligatory on him for some other reason and he does pay for her living expenses, then zakat cannot be given to her.

Ruling 1968. A woman can give zakat to her husband who is poor even if the husband spends that zakat on her living expenses.

Ruling 1969. A sayyid(1) cannot accept zakat from someone who is not a sayyid except in case of necessity; and based on obligatory precaution, the necessity must be to the extent that he cannot meet his living expenses from khums or other religious funds. Furthermore, based on obligatory precaution, if it is possible, he must on a daily basis take only an amount that is sufficient to meet his necessary living expenses for that day.

Ruling 1970. Zakat can be given to a person whom one does not know whether he is a sayyid or not. However, if that person himself claims that he is a sayyid [it is not permitted to give him zakat] and if one does gives him zakat he will not be exempted from the obligation.

(1) A sayyid is a male descendant of Hāshim, the great grandfather of Prophet Muḥammad (Ṣ).
Alms Tax (Zakat) » Intention (niyyah) for giving zakat → ← Alms Tax (Zakat) » Distribution of zakat
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