Does ICNA Qualify for ZAKAT?
This question has been asked by many people over the years whether ICNA or other such like organizations can be recipient of Zakaah. There has been lots of discussion on this issue and stemming out of those discussions are several other issues that we should address.
First of all, ICNA collects and distributes Zakaah to the poor and needy. By consensus they can receive Zakaah and distribute and pay for the process of doing so based on the verse “إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ” [التوبة:60
Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (At-Tawbah: 60)
Similarly for Da’wah programs and new Muslim programs that are carried out by ICNA, this too becomes a means of receiving Zakaah “for bringing hearts together [for Islam]”.
Then comes the category of: و في سبيل الله
While the initial opinion and more widespread amongst earlier jurists is that this meant preparing and helping the “Ghuzaat” (who struggle to defend Islam) today a much wider thought process is given to what “ Fi sabeellillah) means especially for Muslims living as minorities.
As such many scholars have opined that every aspect that require beneficial work to be done in the Muslim community such as: تكفين الموتى، وبناء الجسور، والمدارس، والمساجد، والجمعيات الخيرية، وغير ذلك.
Shrouding the deceased or social work such as building bridges, schools, Masjids, charitable organizations etc.
Moreover whatever it takes to fulfill these obligations are also considered as an obligation based on the Usool (fundamentals of Fiqhi ruling): مالا يتم الواجب الا به فهو واجب
“Whatever is required to fulfill an obligation is itself an obligation”.
Thus it is not only permissible to give Zakaah to help ICNA in its programs but also mandatory to do so. These are all the ways and means today to stand in defense of Islam and Muslims; the very purpose for which “ Fi sabeellillah” achieves.
May Allah SWT accept your Zakaah and all your good deeds.
Shaykh Abdool Rahman Khan is a graduate of The Islamic University Madinah, faculty of Shari’ah, specializing in Islamic Inheritance. He is a graduate of The University of Guyana in English and holds a Diploma of Education. Shaykh Khan is the former principal of the Guyana Islamic Institute, a position that he held for a period of eight years. He is the Imam and head of Islamic Studies at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Rockford, Illinois. Shaykh currently directs the national ICNA Tarbiyah Department. He is actively involved in the field of Da’wah (Religious Dialogue). Shaykh Abdool Rahman Khan is the Chairman of ICNA Shari’ah Council and an executive member of the Fiqh Council of North America.