Paying Money to a Wikālah (Representative) for Zakāt al-Fiṭr

Shaykh Mūsá Richardson

It’s known that disbursing Zakāt al-Fiṭr in form of money is impermissible, and the fatāwá of Ahl al ʿIlm in this case are many. But is it permissible if I give money to some person and that person buys food for the poor and gives it as Zakāt al-Fiṭr on my behalf?
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  It is important to note that these fatāwá are referring specifically to Zakāt al-Fiṭr being discharged in the form of money to the poor people. It does not address the issue of someone paying another person to buy food for him and distribute it as food. In this case, a person has actually distributed his Zakāt al-Fiṭr in food; just through a representative (called wikālah), which is permissible.

Shaykh Mūsá Richardson

[Q]: It’s known that disbursing Zākat al-Fiṭr in form of money is impermissible and the fataawa of Ahlul Ilm in this case are many. But is it permissible if I give money to some person and that person buys food for the poor and gives it as Zakāt al-fitr on my behalf?

[A]: It is important to note that these fatāwá are referring specifically to Zakāh al-fitr being discharged in the form of money to the poor people.

It does not address the issue of someone paying another person to buy food for him and distribute it as food.  In this case, a person has actually distributed his Zakāh al-fitr in food; just through a representative (called wikālah), which is permissible.

We must classify the organizations or masjids which offer a service for Zakāh al-fitr into the following categories:

1) Some of them are distributing it as money to the poor people.

2) Others are distributing the Zakāh as food to the poor people, but it is done AFTER the ‘Eed prayer (whether intentional or due to negligence).

3) And others are buying food for people and distributing it to the poor people before the ‘eed prayer on their behalf.

#3 is the only service that properly distributes the Zakāh Al-Fiṭr.  #1 and #2 could not be considered Zakāh al-fitr; rather they would be counted as general charities.

And Allāh knows best.

Originally posted on: Paying Money to a Wikālah (Representative) for Zakāt al-Fiṭr

Published: April 13, 2009
Edited: July 26, 2022

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