Some scholars argue it is not permissible for charities to donate food and items instead of cash. Others however argue it is permissible.
In a place like Gaza, which is under severe economic sanctions and scrutiny, cash handouts, while possible can prove to be difficult unless extraordinary measures (including for e.g., names, number and photos) are taken to ensure the money is handed out to the rightful deserving recipients such as widows and orphans or the physically handicapped or other disadvantaged individuals under points 1-6 below:
THE 8 GROUPS (Quran 9:60) ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE ZAKAH:
- Poor and no/low-income
- The needy (in difficulty)
- Stranded travellers/refugees
- Those with debt
- Those employed to collect Zakah
- Those on the path of Allah
- Those in slavery, bondage or in captivity (not applicable in Gaza)
- Those inclined to Islam, reverts, and friends of Muslims (not applicable in Gaza)
Nevertheless, our donors should always be encouraged to scrutinise and ask pointed questions of how and where their Zakah and Sadaqah are being spent. To this end:
- Donors should always be asked to make clear whether the donation is Zakah or Sadaqah as the treatment is different; and
- Where possible, an active list of projects that are Zakah applicable, should be made clear to donors.
classified as Restricted Income and will only be used for specific groups of individuals (see points 1-6 above), as vetted by The Gaza Fund. This includes ideally and where possible, cash donation, if not for clean water, food packs, qualified medical aid and/or direct orphan sponsorship. Funds raised from Zakah will be allocated in full without any deductions.
classified as Unrestricted Income and will be utilised where “Need is Greatest”, to indicate funds raised from Sadaqah will also be allocated in full without any deductions towards projects most in need.