Is it Better To Pay Zakat to a Local Masjid or to a Charity?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is it better to pay Zakat to a local masjid or to a charity? Also, can it be done in installments?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Zakat must be given to an actual poor person. You may give your Zakat to a mosque or charity only if they act in the capacity of an agent who disperse the zakat given to them to poor individuals. Please see:

Eligible Zakat Recipients, Giving Locally vs. Abroad, Charity to a Mosque, and Proper Handling of Donations

Can I Give Zakat to Immediate Relatives or a Mosque?

As for giving Zakat in installments, this would seem to be permissible as long as: (a) there is no undue delay, which is defined as more than one year, in paying the complete amount one owes in Zakat after it becomes obligatory, and (b) one intends, whether actually or effectively, paying Zakat upon disbursing each installment. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani