Can We Pay Zakat for Others?

Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam and a personal obligation that must be fulfilled. However, can we pay zakat for other people?

zakat
Illustration. Is it permissible to pay zakat for other people? (ACTNews/Karina Zahrudin)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – Zakat is a personal obligation (fard ayn) that is also a pillar of Islam. Zakat-ul-fitr is paid at the end of Ramadan, and zakat-ul-mal is paid once the asset has exceeded the minimum threshold and is kept for over one lunar year. Since it is a personal obligation, can we pay zakat for others if they are unable to pay it themselves?

Ustaz Bobby Herwibowo, an Indonesian Muslim scholar and member of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)’s Sharia Advisory Board, gives the following answer:

As for zakat-ul-fitr, it is allowed to pay it for someone else, for example, it is allowed for us to pay zakat for a fellow Muslim who is financially limited.

“For example, the head of a family can pay zakat-ul-fitr for his dependents like his wife, parents, and household assistants,” says Ustaz Bobby, Tuesday (4/12/2022).

Another example, added Ustaz Bobby, is, for example, if there is a poor family and only one member can pay zakat-ul-fitr, it is permissible for him to pay it to other family members.

"For example, a husband's zakat-ul-fitr can be given to his poor wife. Then the wife can also give it to her poor child, and the zakat goes around the family. It is permissible to do that," explained Ustaz Bobby.

However, it is not allowed to pay zakat-ul-mal for others because the obligation is on a Muslim who owns the wealth. If it is not paid until he or she dies, the heirs are obliged to make up the missed zakat.

“If the owner is still alive, the obligation is on him or herself. It will be sinful to miss it,” said Ustaz Bobby.

To calculate, your zakat-ul-mal, Global Zakat provides a zakat calculator on its official website. Go to the Global Zakat website to calculate and pay your zakat. []