Message No : 8Sr.No : 200/724
Question By : Beazedin Mustafa

Al salaamu alaykum

If a muslim wants to give a sadaqah or zakat to a wanderer, beggar and is not sure whether he/she is a muslim what he can do?
is it permisible to give zakat & sadagah to disbeliefers (christians, jews, mushriks etc.)?
please advise the correct view...


Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

In the name of Allah, All Gracious, All Merciful
Wa Alaikumossalaam
Dear Brother in Islam,
The answer to your question is as follows:

There are two kinds of Sadaqah; Wajibah and Nafilah.
Wajibah is the Sadaqah, which is necessary to pay such as Zakaat, Sadaqa-e-Fitr and so on, and Nafilah is the one, which is optional like giving money in charity.

The Glorious QurĄŻaan mentions eight Masarif (recipients) of Zakat:
1. Fuqara (those who possess more than basic need but do not possess wealth equal to the Nisaab)
2. Masakeen (people who are extremely needy to the extent that they are forced to beg for their daily food ration)
3. Aamileen (those who are appointed by Islamic Head of state or government to administer the funds of Zakat though they are rich)
4. Muallafatul Quloob (the category of those whose hearts are to be reconciled in the interest of Faith and Muslims. It includes the rich as well. )
5. Arriqaab (liberation of slaves and ransoming of the prisoners of war held by the enemy)
6. Alghaarimeen (those who are heavily indebted and not able to cope on their own)
7. Fee Sabeelillah (the needs relating to defence and protection of faith and supremacy of the Word of Allah)
8. Ibnussabeel (those who are travelers in the view of Shariah and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are rich at home)

The above-mentioned people are the recipients of Sadaqa-e-Firt and other Wajib Sadaqats as well.

It is not permitted to give Sadaqa-e-Wajibah to non-Muslims while Sadaqa-e-Nafilah can be given to them. One should not give Sadaqa-e-Wajibah to a person unless one becomes certain that the person is a Muslim. Since, non-Muslims are not amongst the recipients of Sadaqat Wajibah. Therefore, if some body gives Zakaat to a person thinking that he/she is a Muslim and then comes to know that the person was a non-Muslim, the Zakaat will not be valid and should be paid once again. (Raddul-Muhtar Ala Durril-Mukhtaar, Rashidah, Kitabuzzkaat Vol 2: 73)

And Allah knows the best,

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