Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Asalamualykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
A good friend of mine and myself were discussing donating zakat locally vs globally. One point was made that donating locally is the way of the sunnah and the way of ihsan. Is this correct? Is one better than the other?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
In general, the sunna is to give your zakat to the needy of your community, particularly to your relatives, neighbours, and more broadly, those in your vicinity.
Sending your zakat elsewhere would be disliked.
However, the scholars mention that it is not disliked to send your zakat elsewhere if it is to a relative, to someone in greater need, to someone more religiously scrupulous, to someone who is of greater benefit to the Muslims (e.g. by teaching), or a student of knowledge, or the like of such people.
Ibn `Abidin said, “The best of charity [and zakat] is that which fulfils the greatest need, or is a means to the greatest benefit.” This is the way of the strong believers and the way of true excellence; not simply giving blindly, but giving with consideration, supplication, humility, in gratitude to the receiver, and in purifying oneself inwardly and outwardly.
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani