Giving Zakah to Persons not Entitled to it is Forbidden

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is the ruling of Sharia on the Zakah officer who recommends giving Zakah to persons not entitled to receive it?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions. Treachery in administering the Zakah{alms} funds is one of the biggest sins because it violates the right of Allah, The Exalted, the right of the weak and the right of the poor. In his book entitled "Azoajir An Iktiraaf AlKaba`ir (1/297)," Ibn Hajar AlHaitami said, "Treachery in administering the Zakah funds is one of the biggest sins. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whosoever among you is appointed by us to a position and he conceals from us even a needle or less, it will amount to misappropriation and he will be called upon to restore it on the Day of Resurrection". ('Adi bin 'Umairah added:) A black man from the Ansar stood up – I can see him still – and said: "O Messenger of Allah, take back from me your assignment." He (the Prophet (PBUH)) said, "What has happened to you?" The man replied: "I have heard you saying such and such." He (PBUH) said, "I say that even now: Whosoever from you is appointed by us to a position, he should render an account of everything, big or small, and whatever he is given there from, he should take and he should desist from taking what is unlawful".{Muslim}. In principle, Zakah officers should be honest, so giving Zakah to people not entitled to receive it is an act of treachery. In conclusion, the Zakah officer who recommends giving the Zakah to people not entitled to receive it commits one of the biggest sins(treachery); therefore, it is imperative that he repents, gives back the sums, that he has taken, to the Zakah fund, or the Zakah organization in question. And Allah knows best.

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

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