Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi 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.
In this fatwa:
Only a government, when it takes charge of collection and distribution, can decide to invest part of the zakah money. Such a decision cannot be left to the zakah payer himself/herself.
In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:
The due amount of zakah is the right of the poor now, not the right of the poor of tomorrow. If the government takes such a decision, it is because it guarantees the living needs of the poor now.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.