Paying Zakat to Syeds

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 3 Jamad-ul-Awwal 1423, 14 July 2002

Q.) In India we have many people who claim to be Syeds (descendants of Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam). Many of them are very poor and we would like to give them our zakat money. However if they are syeds can we give it to them?

Also if we don't tell them that it is zakat, and if they don't know it as such can they take it and can we give it with the niyyah of zakat but without telling them that it is. [Mirza Yawar Baig]

A.) It is not permissible to give Zakat to the family of Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, i.e. the Banu Hashim. The Banu Hashim is made of the following families: Sayyidna Ali, Abbaas, Ja'far, Aqeel and Harith, Radi-Allahu anhum. These families are commonly known as Syeds. It will be permissible to give Zakat to all other families of Banu Hashim besides these five. Only Lillah (donations other than Zakat) will be permissible for them.

Every possible effort should be made to assist a Syed with one's own and pure money. If a situation arises that a Syed is desperate and even Lillah funds are not available, then according to Imaam Tahawi, it will be permissible to give them Zakat. (Alamgiri vol.1 pg.189)

When Zakat money is being given to a person, he will not have to be told it is Zakat. It may be given to him as a gift with the intention of Zakat. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best