Problem # 8 If a person doubts whether what he possesses is sufficient to meet his yearly expenses or not, it shall not be permissible for him to receive Zakãt, except when formerly he had no sufficient income, and then he got something about which he has doubt whether it is sufficient (to defray his yearly expenses) or not.
Problem # 9 If a person has something due from a poor person, it is permissible for him to account it for in his Zakãt, even if the debtor is already dead, provided he has not left some property sufficient to set off his debt. In case otherwise, it shall not be permissible. In case, however, the deceased (debtor) has left some property, but it is not sufficient to set off his debt due to the restraint by his heirs, etc., then apparently it shall be permissible (for the creditor to account for the debt in his Zakat).
Problem # 10 If a person claims to be poor, then action shall be taken according to the veracity or falsehood of his statement. In case his actual position is not known, he shall be paid the Zakãt without recourse to his oath, provided that previously he had been poor. Otherwise, his actual position shall be judged according to his present position, particularly when previously he had been rich.
Problem # 11 It is not necessary to declare to the poor that what is given to him is Zakãt. Rather it is approved to pay Zakãt and show as if it is some reward or remuneration while, in fact, it is Zakãt, in case the person receiving the Zakat happens to be one of those who consider themselves above those receiving Zakãt and feel ashamed of receiving it.
Problem # 12 If a person pays Zakat to a person under the impression that he is poor, but later he turns out to be rich, the Zakãt shall be taken back from him if the Zakãt itself still subsists with him. Rather, even in case it is lost, the person receiving Zakãt shall be held liable to repay it provided that he knew that it was Zakãt, and he also knew that it is forbidden for the rich to receive it. Rather even if there is likelihood of its being Zakãt, the person receiving it shall apparently be held liable to repay it. Of course, if the Zakãt is paid as something else, the liability of the person receiving it shall drop, in the same way when it shall drop if the person receiving it were sure that it was not Zakãt. There is no difference whether the Zakãt has been set aside or not. The same rule shall apply if a person pays Zakat to a rich person being ignorant that its payment to a rich person is forbidden. If in both the above cases it is not possible to get the Zakãt back from the person to whom it is wrongly paid, or it is lost without the recipient being liable to repay it, or when he is liable to repay it but it is not possible to get it compensated by him, the person paying the Zakãt shall be held liable to pay the Zakãt, except when he had paid it with due excuse, as when the person receiving it claims to be poor and he is considered reliable. In such case, according to the stronger opinion, the person paying the Zakãt shall not be held liable for its repayment. In case of a rational indication, as there being certainty (of the recipient being poor), the recipient shall be held liable for the repayment of the Zakat paid to him. If the person paying the Zakãt happens to be a Mujtahid or his agent, he shall not be held liable for its repayment when he has not committed any mistake. Nor shall the owner paying Zakãt be held liable, if he has paid it to the Mujtahid or his agent, in view of the impression that he is considered to be a general representative of the poor. If, however, Zakãt has been paid by the Mujtahid as the owner’s representative, then apparently he shall be held liable for it.
The Third Category - The Collectors of Zakãt. They are the persons who work for the collection of Zakãt and are appointed on behalf of the Imam, PBUH, or his deputy for collecting, checking and maintaining the accounts of Zakãt. They are entitled to receive some remuneration for the service rendered by them, even if they happen to be rich. The Imam, PBUH, or his deputy is competent either to fix for them some remuneration or wages for the prescribed period or not and pay them according to their sweet will. According to the stronger opinion, this category is not to be dropped during the Occultation (Ghaybat, of Imam Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam), provided that it is within the power of the ruler, although it is limited to some of the areas.
Fourth Category - Winning the Hearts (of the Infidels or Weak Believers) This category consists of those infidels whose hearts are intended to be won in order (to incline them to help) Islam or the Holy War (or Jihäd) or the Muslims whose belief in Islam is weak.. So payment is made to them in order to win their hearts. Apparently, this category has also not been dropped even today.
The Fifth Category-Those who are in Slavery. This category consists of “the Mukãtibun”, who are unable to pay the sum agreed upon, or the slaves who are living in hardship, rather the emancipation of the slaves in general, regardless of whether they are found entitled to receive Zakat or not. This is a general category meant for the emancipation of slaves. But in case of a Mukatib, there is a condition that he should have the inability mentioned.
The Sixth Category - The Debtors (The “Gharimun”), i.e., those who are under debt without having committed any offence or extravagance but are not able to repay it, even if they possess money enough to defray their yearly expenses.
Problem # 13 By debt here is meant every liability under which a person happens to be, although it may be the dower of his wife, compensation due for something destroyed by him or for the loss of a thing in his charge for which he is held liable. According to the stronger opinion, it is not a condition that the debt should be one year old, though, according to the more cautious opinion, this condition is there.
Problem # 14 If the debtor is an earner who is able to repay the debt gradually, but the creditors do not agree with it, and demand its early repayment, then there is no difficulty in the permissibility of the payment of Zakãt from this item, otherwise, according to the more cautious opinion, Zakãt is not to be paid.
Problem # 15 If the debtor is one whose maintenance is a liability of the person liable to pay Zakãt, he may pay it to him for the repayment of the debt, though it is not permissible to pay it for his maintenance.
Problem # 16 The procedure for the payment of Zakät under this head is either to pay the Zakãt to the debtor for the payment of his debt, or to pay it (directly) to the creditor for setting off the debtor’s debt. If the debtor is indebted to a person liable to pay Zakät, he may account it for against the Zakãt payable by him, as he may account it for the Zakat he has with himself to set off the debt owed by the debtor and thereby free the debtor from his debt, even if it is not delivered to the debtor, nor has he authorised him to have it, rather, even if the debtor does not know about it.
Problem # 17 If the person who is liable to pay Zakät has a debt due from a person, and that person has a debt due from a poor person, it is permissible to account for what is owned by that person as Zakãt, and then account it for setting off what is owed to him by the poor, in the same way as the poor person may produce the person who owes the debt to the creditor, and thereby free the debtor from the debt of the person who is liable to pay the Zakãt, and also free the poor from the debt he owes to the debtor, and he shall be indebted to the person liable to pay the Zakãt. Then it will be permissible for him to account it for as the Zakãt he is liable to pay, as already mentioned.
Problem # 18 It has already been mentioned that it is a condition in the debt that it should be free from offence. The criterion in it is that it should neither be spent for an offence, nor for obtaining the debt for that purpose. If a person obtains a debt not for an offence, but spends it on it, he shall not be paid from this head, contrary to what is otherwise.
The Seventh Category - “In The Way of Allah” It is not far from being likely to mean what is in the general interest of the Muslims and Islam, like construction of bridges, building roads and highways, or repairing them, and what serves as instrumental in establishing the homage and reverence for the Islamic institutions and elevation of the cause of Islam, or removal of the various kinds of sedition and corruption from the Islamic society and between the two groups of the Muslims, and such other things. It does not mean mere acts that bring closeness to Allah as conciliation between the spouses or the father and the children.
The Eighth Category - Wayfarer (Ibn al-Sabil.). By “Ibn al-Sabil’ is meant a person who becomes helpless while away from his home, even if he were rich in his hometown, provided that the purpose of his journey has been lawful. If the purpose of the journey were unlawful, he would not be paid anything out of Zakât. The same rule shall apply if he were able to borrow or arrange money in some other way. The traveller in dire need shall be paid Zakãt to the extent that it may enable him to reach his native place in a way suitable to his position and status, or to a place from where he may obtain sustenance, even if by way of loan. If the person (after receiving Zakãt) reaches his native place and there is something left out of what was paid to him, even if as a result of being economical in spending on himself, he shall be bound to return it, even if it were a beast of burden, garment or the like, so that it may reach the person paying it or his agent. In case of his inability, or if it were difficult for him, he shall return it to the judge, and it would be upon him to see that it reaches the payer of the Zakãt or his agent, or, according to the cautious opinion, though not according to the stronger opinion, he may spend it after obtaining permission from the payer of the Zakãt.
Problem # 19 If, due to some vow or the like, a person is bound to pay his Zakãt to a particular poor person, or spend it for a particular purpose out of the expenditures of Zakŕt, he shall be bound to do accordingly. In case, however, he commits some error, or pays it to a poor person other than the particular poor person, or spends it on a purpose other than prescribed for Zakãt, it would be treated as sufficient, and it would not be permissible for him to demand its return from that poor person, even if the Zakãt paid is itself intact. Rather this is the rule even if he pays or spends the Zakãt with knowledge and intention, though he would be considered to have sinned due to the violation of the vow in this case, and so he shall be bound to expiate.
There are a number of qualifications required in persons entitled to receive Zakãt
They are as follows
First - Iman or Belief So Zakãt shall neither be paid to an infidel, nor to a person who opposes the true (Ithna ‘Ashari) religion, even if he were from among one of the Shi’ah sects. Nor to a Mustad’af (one rendered weak or poor) from among the opponents (i.e. the Sunnis), except out of the portion allotted for winning their hearts. Nor shall it be paid to an illegitimate child (i.e. a child born of fornication) from among the believers while still in tender age, not to speak of other than such persons. Zakãt may be paid to the children belonging to the true sect (i.e. the Shi’ah Ithna Ashari sect) irrespective of their being male or female, or discreet or otherwise; rather, even if born of a believer and a non-believer, provided that the child’s father is a believer. In case, however, the child’s father were not a believer, the child shall not be paid Zakãt, even if his/her mother were a believer. The Zakãt shall not be paid to the child personally, and shall be paid to his/her guardian, or shall be spent on the child by the person paying Zakãt, or through some trustworthy person. A lunatic is treated at par with a child. As regards an idiot, Zakãt may be paid to him/her, even if he/she is forbidden to receive it according to the conditions of interdiction.
Second — Must not be a Drinker of Wine. According to the more cautious opinion, the recipient of Zakãt must not be a drinker of wine, rather, according to the more cautious opinion; he must not be one committing such major sins openly and publicly. ‘Adalat, or sound moral character, is not a condition for a recipient of Zakãt, though it is so according to the more cautious opinion. So Zakãt may be paid even to those who are not ‘Adil (i.e.. those morally sound) from among the believers, provided that they do not commit major sins publicly, though there is difference of preference among individuals. Of course, it shall not be permissible in case payment of Zakŕt would be help in the commission of sin or temptation for the commission of evil deeds, and in case Zakãt is not paid, it would mean preventing the commission of what is wrong. According to the more cautious opinion, there is a condition of ‘Adälat in the officials assigned the job of paying Zakat, while they are fulfilling the job of distribution of Zakät, though it is not far from being sufficient if there is satisfaction and confidence in this respect. As regards those under debt, wayfarers and slaves, there is no condition of ‘Adalat in them, not to speak of the case of winning the hearts (of the enemies and opponents) or spending in the way of Allah.
Third - Must not be a Dependant. So the recipient of Zakät must not be one whose maintenance is the duty of the owner of Zakãt, such as the parents how high so ever, or children how low so ever, or a permanent wife in whose case the obligation for maintenance is not dropped due to some stipulation or other legal reasons, so that it is not permissible to pay Zakät to them for their maintenance, even if the obligation for their maintenance has been suspended, irrespective of the payment being for partial or entire maintenance which he is obliged to provide, as, for example, a person may be able to provide their food, but is unable to provide their garments, so he may intend to provide it out of the Zakät. Of course, it is not far from being permissible in case it is meant to provide affluence to them, though, according to the more cautious opinion, it would be otherwise. Zakãt may be paid to the persons in order to be able to spend it on the persons who are not dependent on them, as, for example, the wife of one’s father or one’s son, as others may pay Zakãt to them, even if it is meant for their maintenance. If, however, the recipient happens to be one whom the person paying Zakãt is obliged to maintain, then, according to the more cautious opinion, he should not pay Zakãt to them, though, according to the more cautious opinion, it would be permissible except in case of a wife. If a person pays for the expenses of another voluntarily, he or another person may pay Zakãt to him (or her), even it is meant for his (or her) maintenance, irrespective of that person being a close relative or a stranger. There is no objection in the payment of Zakät by the wife to her husband, even if he spends it on her maintenance. The same rule shall apply in case of other persons whom the person is obliged to maintain for one reason or the other.
Problem # 1 The Zakat that a person is forbidden to pay to the persons whom he is obliged to maintain is the Zakãt, which belongs to its portion of the poor paid to them for their poverty. But as regards its payment from other categories, such as the portions meant for the debtors, winning the hearts (of the enemies and opponents), spending in the way of Allah, emancipation of slaves or spending on the helpless wayfarer out of surplus paid to him as obligatory maintenance in his native town, there is no objection if he pays out of their portions, provided that they belong to the said categories, though there is difficulty in case of those belonging to the last category. So a father may pay out of the portion meant for spending in the way of Allah to his son engaged in studies for whatever books etc. he needs for the studies.
Problem # 2 One may pay Zakãt to one’s permanent wife the obligation for whose maintenance has been dropped due to some stipulation or the like, as already mentioned. If, however, the obligation has been dropped due to her Nushuz, then there is difficulty in its permissibility due to the likelihood of obtaining maintenance by giving up contumacy. Likewise, payment of Zakãt by the husband to his temporary wife is also permissible. If, however, her maintenance by the husband is obligatory due to some stipulation to that effect, the husband shall not pay Zakät to her, nor another person despite husband’s affluence, or when her husband is already providing her maintenance.
Fourth - Must not be a Häshemite when Zakat paid by a non-Häshemite.
A Hãshemite’s Zakät may be paid to a non-Hãshemite, a Hãshemite may receive Zakät of a non-Hãshemite in a case of emergency, but, according to the more cautious if not stronger opinion, it should be confined to the amount needed for day to day expenses, as, according to the more cautious opinion, a Hãshemite must abstain from receiving the obligatory Sadaqah in all circumstances, even if the obligation is temporary, though, according to the stronger opinion, the rule is otherwise. Of course, there is no objection in the payment of the approved (Mandub) Sadaqah (of a non-Hãshemite) to a Hãshemite. A person whose being a Hãshemite is doubtful, when there is no evidence or general notoriety in favour of his being a Hãshemite, shall be treated as a non-Hashemite. So he shall be paid (Zakat and Sadaqah). If the person claims to be a Hashemite, he shall not be paid either in view of his own admission of his non-entitlement, and not due to any proof in favour of his claim except his sole claim. So he shall not be paid any Khums too by his mere claim unless its veracity is proved from external sources.
Problem # 1. It is not obligatory to permeate Zakãt to all its eight categories, though it is approved to do so in case of its abundance and the existence of all the categories. So it is permissible to apply Zakãt exclusively to some of the categories. Likewise, it is also not obligatory to distribute Zakãt to all the persons included in a category. So it is permissible to distribute Zakãt to some of the persons in the category.
Problem # 2 Niyyat is obligatory in Zakãt, and it is not obligatory to have in Niyyat more than seeking closeness (to Allah) and its specification, but it is not necessary to categorize its nature being obligatory or approved, though, according to the more cautious opinion, it is so. If a person is bound to pay, for example, Zakat and Kaffarah both, it is obligatory to specify either of them at the time of payment. Rather, according to the stronger opinion, it is necessary to specify with regard to the Zakãt on property or Fitrah. It is, however, not necessary to specify the species in which a person is paying Zakat whether it is in the form of a cattle, gold or silver or cereals, and its being merely Zakãt is sufficient. In case, however, what is being paid is of a kind different from on what Zakãt is being paid in value, then it shall be distributed proportionately. If the species being paid as Zakãt belongs to the kind for which Zakãt is being paid, it shall automatically be accounted for as Zakat, except when it is being paid in place of the kind on which Zakat is being paid in replacement or as its value. Of course, if a person has forty sheep, and five camels, and he pays a goat without specification, they shall be divided between the Zakät on sheep and camels, except when there is hesitation whether they are meant for the Zakät on sheep or camels, and apparently the payment shall be invalid. If a person impedes the payment of Zakãt, the judge shall make Niyyat on his behalf. If a person appoints an agent for Zakãt, the agent shall make the Niyyat on behalf of his principal when the property to be paid as Zakat is in the possession of the agent, and the agent is required to pay the Zakŕt on the property If, however, a person takes out the amount of Zakãt, and delivers it to another person to take it to its destination, it is obligatory on him to have Niyyat for what is being carried by the agent to the poor as Zakat It is sufficient to have the Niyyat in his heart, even if he does not bring it to his memory in detail at the time of its payment. If a person pays some property to the poor without Niyyat, he may renew the Niyyat as long as the property subsists. If, however, the property is destroyed, and the person receiving it is liable for it for anything other than disobedience to Allah, the payer may account it for as Zakät like other debts. But if the liability is due to disobedience (to Allah), then it would not be permissible to account it for as Zakãt, as is the case when it is destroyed any liability so that it would not be possible for him to intend it to be Zakãt.
Problem # 3 If a person owns a property which is not presently in his possession, and he pays of his Zakãt to the poor, and he intends that that is the Zakãt for the property if it still subsists, otherwise it would be an approved Sadaqah (or charity) or, for example, one of the Mazalim, it would be valid and sufficient.
Problem # 4 According to the more cautious, if not stronger, opinion, payment of Zakät must not be delayed, even if it were due to setting aside with the possibility from the time of its becoming obligatory which is different from the time of its applicability, as in the case of grains, rather even where there is also a condition of the completion of a whole year, due to the likelihood of the time of its obligation being that of completion of the whole year. Rather it is more cautious not to delay the payment of Zakät and also delivering it to the person entitled in case the latter is also there, though, according to the stronger opinion, it may be delayed particularly while waiting for a particular or more deserving person entitled to receive the Zakat for two months or more within a year. It is more cautious not to delay it for more than four months. If (the property) is destroyed due to the delay without any due excuse, the person shall be held liable for it. Zakãt shall not be paid earlier than the time when it falls due, except as a loan to the person entitled to receive it, so that he may account it for as Zakãt at the time it falls due, provided that the person receiving it is still one of those entitled to receive Zakat, and the person paying it as well as the property paid as Zakät fulfills the relevant conditions for its obligation. It is permissible for him to take the Zakãt back from the person to whom he had paid and pay it to some one else, though, to be more cautious, it is better that he should account it for as Zakãt.
Problem # 5 It is preferable, rather more cautious, to pay the Zakãt to a jurist during Occultation Period, particularly on his demand, as he knows better where and to whom it is to be paid, although, according to the stronger opinion, it is not obligatory, except when he issues the verdict that it should be paid to him in the interest of Islam and Muslims, he shall follow him, even if he is not one of his Muqallids.
Problem # 6 It is approved to prefer close relatives, men of learning, jurists and intellectuals, and one who does not beg from among the poor over others.
Problem # 7 Zakãt may be set aside and specified in a particular property, even if there is a recipient. It is, however, difficult to permit specifying it from another species, though it is not devoid of force. Zakät is a trust in the possession of the master, and he shall not be held liable for its compensation (if destroyed), except in case of omission, transgression, or delay despite a recipient’s presence. He is not entitled to change it once it is set aside.
Problem # 8 If a person destroys the Zakat which has been set aside, then if it there is nothing that holds its owner responsible as, for example, delay (in its payment), the person destroying it shall be solely held liable for it; otherwise, the owner shall also be held liable, though its liability lies on the person destroying it.
Problem # 9 If the owner of the property set aside as Zakãt does business with it, its loss shall be borne by him while its profit shall go to the poor (entitled to receive it), provided that it were in the interest of the Zakat property, and so it was permitted by the man at the helm of affairs. The same applies to the case when the owner of the property does business with the Nisâb before it is taken out, according to the opinion closer to the traditional authority. lf a person does business with the Zakat or Nisab property for himself, and transacts it with some external capital asset, then there is difficulty in declaring both the cases with the permission of the official authority to be valid; rather, the transaction shall be totally void in the former case, while it would be void in relation to the Zakãt or Nisab property in the latter. If a person does business after accepting the responsibility, and he makes payment out of the Zakãt set aside or the Nisab he shall be liable for it, and shall be entitled to the profit accruing on it, except when he intends to make the payment out of Zakat or Nisab at the time of concluding the commercial agreement, in that case there shall be difficulty in accepting it as valid.
Problem # 10 It is permissible for a person to shift the Zakat property from his town, regardless whether he has found a person entitled to receive the Zakãt in the town or not. If the property is destroyed he shall be held liable in the former case but not in the latter, as also the expenses for shifting the Zakat property shall be borne by him.
Problem # 11 If the jurist takes the possession of the Zakat as the agent for its recipient, its owner shall be absolved of its responsibility
If the Zakat property is destroyed due to some omission, etc., while still in the jurist’s possession, or the owner pays it by mistake to some one not entitled to receive it, even then the owner’s shall cease to be responsible. If a jurist takes the possession of something as an agent of the owner, the owner shall not be absolved of its responsibility unless it is paid to the right person.
Problem # 12 The charges of the measuring or weighing person or the measurement or the like shall be borne by the owner (of the Zakãt property)
Problem # 13 If a person owes Zakãt, or there is Zakat due on his inheritance, and the person meets death, it shall be obligatory on him to make a will for taking it out from his inheritance. The same rule applies to all the other obligations. If the heirs of the deceased are the persons entitled to receive the Zakãt, it shall be permissible for the executor to pay it to them from the deceased’s property. Similarly, it shall be permissible for the executor to receive it for himself, provided that he is entitled to receive it, and there is no indication in the will for its payment to some one else It shall be approved for the executor to pay something out of the Zakat to others than the heirs when he intends to pay it to the heirs.
Problem # 14 It is disapproved on the part of the owner of the property to demand the return of the possession of the property from the poor once he has paid it to the poor as a Sadaqah, even if it were an approved one, regardless whether the property paid to the poor was with or without any consideration. If the poor person intends to dispose off the property after fixing its price, the owner shall have a better right for it, but the avoidance of the disapproval in this case is not known. Of course, if the Sadaqah is a part of an animal and the poor person is not able to use it, and no person other than the owner is willing to buy it or it would mean a damage to the owner in case it is purchased by some one else, the owner may buy it.