Giving Zakat for Performing Hajj

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 17 Zul-Qa'dah 1424, 10 January 2004

Q.) I have a relative who is old and has limited means to support his day to day expenses. He cannot afford to go on Hajj. My cousins decided that we all will contribute money for sending my relative on Hajj this year, Inshallah. Can Zakat funds be used for this cause? Will this be an appropriate discharge of Zakat? [Mohammed]

A.) You state the relative is old and does not have the means to go for Hajj. In principle, Hajj is not compulsory upon such a person. If the person is eligible to accept Zakat, then it (Zakat) may be given to him as an outright ownership. He may do whatever he wants to with it. That includes going for Hajj or fulfilling any of his needs.

It is not proper to give the relative Zakat money and put a condition that Zakat amount be used to perform Hajj. We also wish to point out that Zakat is an obligation. It should not be viewed as a contribution or doing a favor to the recipient of Zakat. In fact, the recipient has made a contribution by accepting the Zakat money, thus making it possible for one's Zakat to be discharged. A time will come when there won't be anyone to accept Zakat.

We also wish to point out that it is Makrooh to give a needy person such Zakatable amount that will make Zakat compulsory upon him.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best