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Can food be given from zakat money


Dear Sir, Assalamoalaikum

I want to give cooked food and food items from Zakat money to needy people, whether this is permissable to give zakat in the form other than cash (like rice, wheat,cloths etc).



Wa Alaykumussalam

Thank you for your query about Zakat.

There are 2 things in Islam. One is Zakat and the other is Khums. We believe in both whereas some of the people don’t accept Khums nowadays, which had been there since the time of our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w).
According to Shia aspect, the following are the things regarding Zakat and Khums.
Zakat is wajib (obligatory) on the following nine items:
Coins: silver; gold
Cattle: cows; sheep and goats; camels
Crops: wheat; barley; dates; raisins
And Khums is wajib on the surplus to annual expenses. If your income exceeds the annual expenses of yourself and your family, Khums (20%) should be paid from the excess.
According to Ayatullah al-Udhma Sayyid Ali Sistany Zakat is Wajib on 10 things:
Ruling 1871. Zakat is obligatory (wājib) on ten things:
1. wheat;  2. barley;  3. dates;  4. raisins;  5. gold;  6. silver;  7. camels;  8. cows;  9. sheep [and goats];  10. business goods, based on obligatory precaution (al-ihtiyāt al-wājib).

According to Ayatullah al-Udhma Sayyid Ali Sistany Khums is wajib on:
Ruling 1768.
Khums becomes obligatory (wājib) on seven things:

  1. profit from earnings;
  2. mined products;
  3. treasure troves;
  4. lawful (Halāl) property that has become mixed with unlawful (Harām) property;
  5. precious stones that are acquired by underwater diving;
  6. spoils of war;
  7. land that a dhimmī purchases from a Muslim, based on the well-known (mashhūr) juristic opinion.

To read details of the above mentioned seven things please visit:


According to Ahlus Sunnah brothers:

According to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, it is permissible to give Zakat in forms other than cash, provided that the value of the item is equal to the amount of Zakat that person would have to pay. This is NZF’s position too.

The Malikis don’t allow for anything other than cash to be given to a recipient as Zakat. Imam Malik (ra) was asked about it and ruled against it.

The Shafi’s are of the same opinion. However, some of their contemporary scholars, from the fatwa department of Jordan, have allowed people to follow the Hanafi ruling (above) when there is a greater need to give an item, besides cash, as Zakat.


As per the Shariah, it is required that a person gives Zakat on one’s wealth in the form of money. It is not permissible to be given in the form of various items etc. The person gives Zakat to the eligible beneficiaries and their involvement with the money is complete.


Mawa`id al-Rahman [literally, tables of the Most Merciful i.e. public dinners held in Ramadan as charity], a common practice nowadays, does not qualify as zakat although it is an honorable act of charity and welfare between Muslims. The reason is because it caters to the rich and poor alike.


Allaho A’alam

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider