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Paying Zakat Al-Fitr to Rohingya Muslims: OK?

01 July, 2016
Q As-salamu `alaykum. We all read about the massacres against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar or Burma. Can I send Zakat Al-Fitr to Rohingya Muslims? Also, I see people in Egypt slaughter sheep for `aqiqah; can I tell them to send the price of the `aqiqah to Rohingya Muslims?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother, we really commend and appreciate your question as it shows your concern about the oppressed Muslim brothers and sisters in Burma.

Zakat Al-Fitr can be sent to places where there are more urgent needs as in the case of the Rohingya Muslims.

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In his reply to your question, Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent Muslim economist and counselor, stated,

Zakat Al-Fitr can be sent outside its area when there are urgent needs in other places as in the case of the Myanmar Muslims. This fulfills the obligation of Zakat Al-Fitr because it is for the poor and needy and its priority is determined by the level of urgency before any other criteria (like geographical location).

`Aqiqah, which is a general Sunnah, falls under general charity and it is an act of celebration of a child’s birth; the money of it can be sent for such objectives as general sadaqah (charity) and may be more rewarded too.

But, the Sunnah of celebrating a child’s birth by slaughtering a sheep, shaving the head of the newly born and distributing some money to charity and inviting people to eat with you, etc., all that will not be fulfilled if you just send the money to satisfy more pressing needs in some other places.

Allah Almighty knows best.

About Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf
Dr. Monzer Kahf is a professor and consultant/trainer on Islamic banking, finance, Zakah, Awqaf, Islamic Inheritance, Islamic estate planning, Islamic family law, and other aspects of Islamic economics, finance, Islamic transactions (Mu'amalat). Dr. Monzer Kahf is currently Professor of Islamic Finance & Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey