Transfer Zakah from the country

Fatwa no. 4356 All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the final Prophet. (Part No. 9; Page No. 418) The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has read the request for Fatwa referred to His Eminence, the Secretary General of the Committee, from His Royal Highness, the Deputy Prince of Riyadh. This request is recorded as no. 1996, in the Research Department, and dated 23/11/1401 A.H. The question is related to the fact that some of the people of Shaqra' are asking for the Zakah money from the town of Al-Qara'in to be sent to the poor people in Shaqra'. The people from Al-Qara'in are complaining about this, as they want the Zakah money from Al-Qara'in to be distributed to the poor of Al-Qara'in. His Royal Highness, the Deputy Prince of Riyadh, is requesting a Fatwa on this, which could be used as a rule to be applied to such issues in general.

The Committee gave the following reply: The ruling is that Zakah money from any place should be given to the poor people of that place, according to the Hadith related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim (may Allah be merciful to them) in their Sahihs (Authentic Books of Hadith). They related that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him) to Yemen, and said to him, "You are going to some People of the Book. First of all, invite them to testify that there is no deity but Allah…" And in another version, he is reported as saying: "…invite them to worship Allah Alone. If they follow you in that, inform them that Allah has enjoined on them five Salah (prayers) every day and night. If they follow you in that, inform them that Allah has enjoined charity on them (Zakah) and it is to be taken from their rich and given to their poor..." Those who see the wealth circulate in front of them, (Part No. 9; Page No. 419) the dates picked from the palm trees, and the crops harvested from the fields, have the priority over others to them and this is also in conformity with the principles of justice and equality of Islam. Allah (Praised and Exalted be He) says: the due thereof (its Zakât, according to Allâh’s Orders 1/10th or 1/20th) on the day of its harvest In his book "Al-Mughni", Ibn Qudamah (may Allah be merciful to him) said: "Most scholars say it is recommended that it should not be transferred from its town"; he was referring to the Zakah money. If there are no rightful Zakah recipients in a town, it is permissible to send the Zakah money to the poor in the town closest to it.It is also preferred to transfer Zakah money if this will serve a legitimate benefit, such as if the poor people of another town have a more pressing need than those in the town where the wealth that Zakah is due upon is, or it is being given to poor relatives of those paying the Zakah; this is permissible according to evidence. It is also permissible, albeit undesirable, to send Zakah money to another place without it serving a legitimate benefit, as there are general texts that support the permissibility of transferring Zakah from one country to another, because the Zakah payer is still giving their Zakah money to those who have a right to it.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.