Paying Staff Fee From Zakat At a Hospital

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 2 Zul-Qa'dah 1423, 5 January 2003

Q.) At the Civil Hosptal Karachi the burns department is being extended.

The department is being supported by a Burns Care Society, which collects donations to run the department. Now the secretary of the burns care society is thinking of appointing a physiotherapist for the burn patients. According to the secretary all treatments are for needy patients.

The question is that whether zakat money can be used to pay the salaries of the physiotherapist. There is a possibility that the treatment can be given to a person who is not entitled for zakat, in that case what would be the implications. [Amin Dandia]

A.) It is not permissible to use Zakat monies to pay the salary of physiotherapist.

As an alternative, a consent be taken from the poor and needy patients to receive Zakat funds on their behalf and pay towards the treatment. The payment of the treatment to the hospital will now be regarded as Lillah and may be used to remunerate the physiotherapist. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Albalagh Note: The underlying issue is that for the zakat obligation to be discharged, the needy person must be given the possession of zakat funds. This is called tamleek. That is why zakat cannot be used to establish and run charitable organizations like schools and hospitals, but it can be given to the beneficiaries of these organizations directly who can then use the money to pay for the services received. A consent, as suggested in the answer, will make things easier, yet within the bounds of the Shariah. For details read Maariful Qur'an, tafseer of Surah Taubah.

Further Reading:

Maariful Qur'an: