I am writing to you in regards to a question on zakat. Before giving my zakat this year, I had ask for recommendations on reliable people to give zakat. I was recommended to give to a particular masjid for their scholars are reliable. However, before giving the zakat I did my due diligence and wrote to the imam to inquire about the details on who and where zakat is given. My questions were answered and I was satisfied.
Consequently, I wrote a check to them. Now I found out that the money will be used for the supporting the madrasa of the masjid. I’ve read from your site that zakat should not be used to support madrasas. I’m at lost as to what to do. I’ve tried contacting the masjid but no reply. Is my zakat discharged properly? Do I have to re-give zakat? I am unemployed and living off my savings but have enough hisab that zakat is due.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Your understanding of the above issue is correct. One of the conditions for the validity of discharging zakah is to give it to a legitimate recipient, that is, a poor and needy person. As a madrassa is not a “person”, giving zakah to a madrassa will not absolve oneself from the obligation of zakah.
However, usually in typical madrassas, zakah money is used to feed, clothe, and fulfill the necessities of needy students, who are legitimate recipients of zakah. We would advise you to directly speak with the Imam or Ulama (scholars) of the particular masjid, and inquire as to how exactly the money was spent in the madrassa.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
 الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 344)
وَيُشْتَرَطُ أَنْ يَكُونَ الصَّرْفُ (تَمْلِيكًا) لَا إبَاحَةً كَمَا مَرَّ (لَا) يُصْرَفُ (إلَى بِنَاءِ) نَحْوِ (مَسْجِدٍ ….
وَقَدَّمْنَا لِأَنَّ الْحِيلَةَ أَنْ يَتَصَدَّقَ عَلَى الْفَقِيرِ ثُمَّ يَأْمُرَهُ بِفِعْلِ هَذِهِ الْأَشْيَاءِ
الفتاوى الهندية – ط. دار الفكر (1/ 188)
وَلَا يَجُوزُ أَنْ يَبْنِيَ بِالزَّكَاةِ الْمَسْجِدَ وَكَذَا الْقَنَاطِرُ وَالسِّقَايَاتُ وَإِصْلَاحُ الطَّرَقَاتِ وَكَرْيُ الْأَنْهَارِ وَالْحَجُّ وَالْجِهَادُ وَكُلُّ ما لَا تَمْلِيكَ فيه وَلَا يَجُوزُ أَنْ يُكَفَّنَ بها مَيِّتٌ وَلَا يُقْضَى بها دَيْنُ الْمَيِّتِ كَذَا في التَّبْيِينِ
فتاوي محموديه (9/568) ادارة القرآن