I would be grateful if you could kindly let me know whether it is permissible to pay the fees of a Mustahiq from zakat fund direct to the school and not give the money first in the hands of the Mustahiq and ask him to pay the fees ? The later method becomes a conditional way of giving zakat .Is this method permissible ? I am member of an NGO and we provide lens , glasses and even perform eye operation free for the deserving from zakat fund. Many times we find that some people can pay part of the expenses . C an we make a conditon to these peoples that if they pay X amount we will pay the rest ? Does this becomes a conditon for giving zakat ? Is it permissible ? In the case of glasses we have found that many , if fact most , do not wear the glasses after obtaining it free .We feel that a nominal charge should be made by us so that some appreciation is felt by the recipient who are mustahiq. Is this permissible ? I shall appreciate your reply. May Allah bless you.
For the Zakaat to be valid it is necessary that the Zakaat be given into the
possession of the recipient of Zakaat, and not directly into the school.
However, if there is a need to circumvent this procedure, the one worthy of
receiving Zakaat may appoint someone as his representative. This person may
then receive Zakaat on behalf of the actual recipient, and then pay the
school fees on his behalf. This representative may also be an official of
the school. (ref: Ahsanul Fatawa Vol. 4 pg.260)
However, a word of caution is that Zakaat funds should not be used for
secular education, as this is not the object of Zakaat. As far as purely
Islamic Ilm (knowledge), the Fuqaha have stated that this is one of the
noblest avenues of spending Zakaat. If the door is left open for people to
use Zakaat for all and sundry needs, Zakaat funds will inevitable come under
abuse, thus depriving the true recipients of their due.
We agree with your view that those requiring spectacles should be requested
to pay a portion of the price. This will imbue a sense of appreciation and
responsibility within them.
If those receiving the spectacles are in fact deserving of Zakaat, then
outstanding amounts due on their spectacles may be paid from Zakaat funds.
The method of going about this is to request them to sign a form in which
they nominate one of the members of the NGO as their representative. If this
form they must authorise him to receive Zakaat on their behalf, and also
authorise him to pay any outstanding debts due to the NGO.
This person should then physically receive the Zakaat on behalf of them, and
then pay the outstanding dues.
We trust this answers your questions.
and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai