Q. If I gave Zakaat to a person who was not a recipient of Zakaat, is my Zakaat discharged?
A. It is the sole responsibility of a person to identify an eligible recipient of Zakaat at the time of discharging his/her Zakaat. If after identifying an eligible recipient of Zakaat, the recipient in reality is an ineligible recipient of Zakaat, a person’s Zakaat will still be discharged provided that he/she made the necessary endeavors to ascertain the same at the time. If he/she did not make the necessary endeavors at the time to ascertain the same, his/her Zakaat will not be discharged and the Zakaat will have to be discharged again to an eligible recipient of Zakaat. (Shaami 1/138)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.