Is It Better to Give Zakat Locally Rather Than Send It Abroad?

What is the ruling on bringing out the zakat incumbent on the property of the Muslims residing in Western countries and sending it abroad in spite of the need of the Muslims and their institutions in these countries and the lack of sufficiency and indispensability of this zakat?

As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All Praise and Thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In response to this question, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) issued the following Fatwa:

The principle is that zakat should be disbursed in the country of origin, unless there is sufficient supply or a well-defined need outside the country.

This is the verdict of the majority of Shafi’ites, Malikites, and Hanbalites in light of Mu’adh’s (may Allah be pleased with him) hadith, in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Tell them that Allah has enjoined on them alms that will be taken from the rich among them and returned to the poor among them.” (al-Bukhari & Muslim),

and in accordance with the procedure followed during the era of the rightly-guided Caliphs, when the zakat was given to the poor people of the country where the zakat was levied, because sending it outside the country would contradict its objectives, the most important of which is bringing about sufficiency among the Muslims of a particular country.

As a result, Muslims whose wealth is subject to zakat and whose wealth is in Western countries should give some of their zakat to Islamic institutions based on reviving the commitment to the obligations of sufficiency in these countries, such as Islamic centres, mosques, and da’wah institutions and Islamic schools, etc., until sufficiency is realised.

Allah Almighty knows best.


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