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:
This person is not eligible for zakah. The idea of ibn al-sabil does not apply here.
Responding to your question, Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent Muslim economist and counselor, stated:
Zakah is the third pillar of Islam. It is considered a purification of wealth, and it is always related to prayers in the Qur’an; whenever you read “…Perform prayers…” in the Qur’an, it is followed by “…pay Zakah…“.
It is also known that zakah, if rightly paid, guarantees the solidarity and social coherence of the Muslim community.
In my opinion this person is not eligible for zakah. The idea of ibn al-sabil does not apply here. Here we have a man who likes to travel because of his own desire.
Whatever is paid by the other brother cannot be counted out of the zakah that is due on him.
Ibn al-sabil in our times applies on refugees and rescue efforts to take people out of disasters and war areas. It may also apply in countries that do not have credit cards on some travelers, and the like.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.