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Constraints Stipulated by Sharia on Giving Zakat to Hospitals and Medical Centers

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What are the Islamic constraints on giving Zakat to hospitals and medical centers?

Answer:

Praise be to Allah the lord of the Worlds.

When giving Zakat to hospitals and medical centers, two aspects must be adhered to:

First: The funds must be allocated to the poor and their treatment expenses; not administrative or operational expenses. When allocated to cover treatment expenses, the situation of the poor must be taken into consideration. If he/she earns enough to meet his needs and those of his dependents, but can`t afford the treatment costs then he is considered poor, and this is the situation of most cancer patients whom we ask Allah to bless with recovery. In addition, we have already elaborated on this issue in Fatwa No.(766).

Second: The hospital must get an authorization from all the poor patients entitling it or the medical center to receive the Zakat money on their behalf and spend it on them later on. This is because, in principle, Zakat must be handed to the poor unless the hospital or the center are public; in which case the person in charge has the right to spend the funds in the best interest of the poor.

On their part, jurists permitted spending Zakat funds in the best interest of the poor where they said, "It is permissible for the person in charge to buy a property from which the poor can benefit." Kindly check "Moghni al-Mohtaaj, 4/18." And "Tohfat Al-Mohtaaj, 7/165."

Finally, the aforementioned has been affirmed by resolution No. (99) of the Jordan Iftaa` Council. And Allah the Almighty know best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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