Can fitrah and zakah be given to non-Muslims?

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Can fitrah and zakah be given to non-Muslims?

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(editor) on Mon, 19/03/2018 - 11:18

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Zakah and fitrah cannot be given to non-Muslims. For, zakah is the right of poor Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following in a hadith:

"Take zakah from rich Muslims and give it to poor Muslims."

Therefore, non-Muslims are not obliged to give zakah. This worshipping is a social duty peculiar to Muslims. Those who do not take part in this duty cannot benefit from it.

However, Imam Zufar regards it permissible for zakah to be given to dhimmis (non-Muslims under the Islamic administration). For, the purpose of zakah is to meet the needs of the needy through a way of worshipping. This purpose is fulfilled when zakah is given to poor dhimmis. Besides, it is unanimously agreed that sadaqah, which is regarded as nafilah worshipping, can be given to dhimmis

In addition, zakah and fitrah can be given to non-Muslims whose hearts are to be reconciled with Islam.

These people, who are known as “Muallafa al-qulub”, are the people whose hearts are wanted to be reconciled with Islam, whose harms are tried to be avoided or who are expected to help Muslims.

Acting upon an ijtihad of Hz. Umar, Hanafi scholars say that this practice was annulled after the death of the Prophet (pbuh).

Hanbali scholars say that the decree about muallafa al-qulub is permanent and a certain share of zakah can be given to them. 

Some contemporary Islamic scholars say that there are some people who can be regarded as muallafa al-qulub today and that it is necessary to allocated a certain share of zakah to them.

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