Here in Vadodara, Gujarat, some people organize iftari food for Muslim prisoners of the Central Jail here and for the same people contribute with zakah etc. Is the zakah given for such purpose valid? Many of the prisoners may be fasting or may not be. There may be criminals, rapists, murderers, thieves etc, and may be some innocent people. Please clarify at earliest.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 1159/1159/M=9/1434)

If the arrangement of iftari is done for the prisoners in a way that only all the Muslim prisoners are allowed on the same table and they are not made owner of iftar regularly then it is only ibahat (permission to eat), it is not a tamlik (giving in possession), while tamlik is a condition for zakah to be paid. Hence it is not right to take or give zakah for the above mentioned purpose.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband