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Using Zakaat for burial expenses

 

Nasihah (Advice): Preparing food for the bereaved family of the deceased

 

Sayyidatuna Asmaa’ Bint Umais Radhiyallahu Anha mentions: When Ja’far (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was killed, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam went to his family and said: “The family of Ja’far (Radhiyallahu Anhu) are busy with the matter of their deceased, so prepare food for them.” (Ibn Majah)

 

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Question and Answer:

 

  1. Can we use Zakaat money to assist in the burial and funeral expenses of the deceased who did not own anything and did not leave anything for his heirs? The deceased family does not own anything as well?

 

(Question published as received)

 

  1. One of the primary requisites of discharging ones Zakaat is to discharge it to an eligible recipient of Zakaat by making him the owner of it i.e. Tamleek (giving him full ownership of it) must take place.

 

A deceased person does not have the capacity to take ownership, hence the requirement of Tamleek is not fulfilled irrespective of whether he was a Zakaat recipient or not. Hence Zakaat cannot be given to the deceased for his/her funeral and burial expenses.

 

However, if the deceased’s family members qualify as recipients of Zakaat, then a person may give Zakaat to them and they may, in turn, use it for the funeral and burial expenses of the deceased if they wish. (Hindiyyah 6/392)

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

 

 

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

 

(Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh) 

 

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport

Durban, South Africa
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099
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