Category: Charity, Obligatory (Zakaat)
Fatwa#: 37564
Asked Country: Romania

Answered Date: Feb 01,2017

Title: Giving Zakat to Syrians and to a Syed - family of Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم)


Can i send my Zakaat amount to Syrian poor people, what things should i inquire (or) put conditions on the person through whom i am sending the money. I told him that we do not give Zakaat to SYED, he said at present conditions i cannot enquire all these things and distribute money , every one lost their houses, belongings etc--- and staying in refugee camps, so, please tell me if my zakaat money is distributed among the sunni refugees without enquiring that they are SYED or not , is it acceptable as per shariah. Jazakallah


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The prohibition of giving sadaqah and zakat to a Sayyid (the blessed progeny of Rasulullah [صلي الله عليه وسلم]) should be analyzed from the following two dimensions;

1) Respect and honor of the family of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم).

Zakat is regarded as the dirt and filth of one’s wealth. Sadaqah is generally given to avert harm and the anger of Allah. They are not regarded as one’s wholesome and pure wealth.

The personality of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is too pure for his blessed blood and family to be used to dump one’s filth and personal gains. The personality of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) and his family demand and deserve our deepest respect and personal sacrifice.

If a person wishes to honor and show respect to Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) and his family and assist them, he should do so with lillah and pure funds.

2) Poverty and humiliation.

In the past, there was the Baitul Maal (Islamic treasury system). There was a fund reserved for the family of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم). Allah refers to this in the Quran;

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ...

And know that anything you obtain of war booty - then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for (his) near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the (stranded) traveler… (Quran 8:41)

In today’s time, the Islamic treasury system does not exist. If it does exist in some places, it certainly does not exist in non-Muslim countries where Sayyids are also residing.

On one side, there is a general prohibition of one giving zakat and sadaqah to the Sayyids and on the other side, their needs are not fulfilled through any specific allocated funds. The result is a Sayyid experiencing poverty which itself is a painful experience.

While the respect and modesty of a Sayyid prevents him from stretching his hands before anyone, at times he is driven by desperation to beg. The act of begging is so humiliating and more so for a Sayyid. Can one imagine, the family and blood of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) stretching his hands before the Ummah of Rasulullah!

In view of the painful experience of poverty and humiliation of begging, many Fuqaha have considered the ‘illat (cause) of the prohibition of zakat was to actually save the family from humiliation and dishonor.

When not giving zakat is the cause of humiliation, the ‘illat is reversed and the Fuqaha have permitted giving zakat to the family of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم).

Hereunder are the rulings;

1)    Imam Tahawi (رحمه الله) says,

وقد اختلف عن أبي حنيفة رحمه الله في ذلك ، فروي عنه أنه قال : لا بأس بالصدقات كلها على بني هاشم .

وذهب في ذلك - عندنا - إلى أن الصدقات إنما كانت حرمت عليهم من أجل ما جعل لهم في الخمس ، من سهم ذوي القربى .

فلما انقطع ذلك عنهم ورجع إلى غيرهم ، بموت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم - حل لهم بذلك ما قد كان محرما عليهم من أجل ما قد كان أحل لهم .

وقد حدثني سليمان بن شعيب ، عن أبيه ، عن محمد عن أبي يوسف ، عن أبي حنيفة رحمهم الله في ذلك ، مثل قول أبي يوسف رحمه الله ، فبهذا نأخذ

“There are different narrations from Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله) in regards to this subject (giving zakat to family of Rasulullah). It has been narrated from him that he said, ‘All types of sadaqah are permissible for Bani Hashim (family of Rasulullah).’ According to us, sadaqaat were made haram upon them due to the family of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) receiving one-fifth (of the spoils of war). Once these funds were cut off from them and transferred to others after the death of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم), the haram sadaqaat became halal for them. This has been narrated to me (through a chain of narrators which lead to Imam Abu Hanifa) and this is the position we have taken.”[1]

2)    وذكر في المنتقى عن أبي عصمة عن أبي حنيفة أن الصدقة تحل لبني هاشم، وفقيرهم فيها كفقير غيرهم، ووجهه أن عوضها وهو خمس الخمس لم يصل إليهم لإهمال الناس أمر الغنائم وقسمتها وإيصالها إلى مستحقها، وإذا لم يصل إليهم العوض عادوا إلى المعوض، عملا بمطلق الآية سالما عن معارضة أخذ العوض، وكما في سائر المعاوضات، ولأنه إذا لم يصل إليهم واحد منهما هلكوا جوعا، فيجوز لهم ذلك دفعا للضرر عنهم.

It is recorded in Al-Muntaqa that Abu ‘Ismah narrates from Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله) that it is permissible for Banu Hashim to accept sadaqah. The poor of Banu Hashim are considered similar to other poor people. The reason being, the compensation that is one-fifth of the allocated one-fifth (mentioned in the Quran) does not reach them due to the negligence of the people with the wealth of spoils of war and distributing the wealth to its rightful owners. Since they are not receiving the compensation, we revert back to the original remunerative, by practicing upon the inclusive ayah (وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ). Furthermore, if they do not receive either one of them, they will perish out of hunger. So, it is permissible for them (accepting zakat) as a means of averting harm from them.”[2]

3)    Mufti Mahmood Gangohi (رحمه الله) says, “Respecting and honoring the progeny of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is incumbent. Therefore, we have been refrained from giving them zakat – the filth of the people’s wealth. However, in consideration of those family members who are in such dire need that they are forced to beg for their survival, we permit them to accept zakat based on the rulings of Imam Tahawi (رحمه الله) from the Hanafi Madhab and Imam Razi (رحمه الله) from the Shafi Madhab (amongst others[3]). They state that the degradation received from accepting zakat is considerably less than the humiliation of begging.”[4]

Considering the above, to give zakat to a Sayyid especially if a Sayyid is unknown like in war-torn places such as Syria, Iraq, Palestine, etc. would be permissible.

If a Sayyid is known and one can assist with lillah funds, it would be one’s honor and good fortune to be chosen to assist the family and blood of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) and earn oneself the duas and shafa’at of Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم).

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Saad Haque

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] شرح معاني الآثار جلد ١ ص٣٣٣ باب التطوع بالليل والنهار كيف هو – مكتبة حقانية


[2] الاختيار لتعليل المختار جلد١ ص٣٨٣ دار الرسالة العالمية


[3] عمدة القاري شرح صحيح البخاري (9/ 81)

 وَقَالَ الْأَبْهَرِيّ الْمَالِكِي: يحل لَهُم فَرضهَا ونفلها

وَقَالَ الْإِصْطَخْرِي: إِن منعُوا الْخمس جَازَ صرف الزَّكَاة إِلَيْهِم

قال مولانا أنور شاه كشمير فى فيض الباري على صحيح البخاري (3/ 157)

ونقل الطحاوي عن «أمالي أبي يوسف»: أنه جاز دفعُ الزكاة إلى آل النبيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلّم عند فُقدان الخُمُس، فإنَّ في الخُمُس حقَّهم، فإذا لم يوجد، صح صرفُها إليهم. وفي «البحر» عن محمد بن شجاع الثَّلْجي عن أبي حنيفة أيضًا جوازه. وفي «عقد الجيد» أن الرازي أيضًا أفتى بجوازِه. قلتُ: وأخذُ الزكاةِ عندي أسهلُ من السؤال، فأفتي به أيضًا

قال ابن تيمية فى الاختيارات العلمية ص١٥٣

وبنو هاشم اذا منعوا من خمس الخمس جاز لهم الأخذ من الزكاة وهو قول القاضي يعقوب وغىره من اصحابنا

[4] فتاوى محمودية جلد٩ ص٥٦٠

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