Discharging Zakaat By Purchasing A Flight Ticket


My mother’s brother is a poor person. He lives in India. we send money for his needs etc. We use Zakaat money. My mother wants her brother to come and visit her in England. My uncle also wants to come and visit us. Can my mother use Zakaat money to buy his ticket?


Zakah money can be given to one’s brother and/or sister if they are not Sahib Nisab.

A Sahib Nisab is one whose surplus wealth equals to 613.35 grams of silver, its equivalent in cash, funds, or anything made of gold or silver (such as jewellery, ornaments, utensils, etc.) which has been in their possession for a year or more.

The recipient of Zakaat also cannot be from among the descendants of Banu Hashim, i.e. the clan of Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam). If they are, then you should assist them through your regular savings or wealth. In principle, it is necessary to give Zakaat into the ownership of the recipient. The recipient must be made the owner of the wealth and have the option to spend it as he/she wishes.

Thus, if you wish to assist your uncle with a plane ticket; then the correct procedure is to send to him money equivalent to the price of the plane ticket; thereby making him the owner of the money. He can then purchase the plane ticket over there in India to travel to England. Merely purchasing a plane ticket in England and sending it to him (without giving into his ownership the equivalent value in money) will not suffice for discharging Zakaat. 

This is because a plane ticket boils down basically to a contract of Ijaarah; meaning that the ticket represents a right for the ticket-holder to travel on a hired seat from one destination to another. Thus, by purchasing a plane ticket, you are transferring Zakaat money into the ownership of the travel agent and not into the ownership of your uncle. The plane ticket itself is neither cash nor a commodity that can be consumed like how food and groceries can be consumed by a person. It is, as explained above, merely a contract of hiring a seat for travelling to a certain destination. In short, the Zakaat will only be discharged if the Zakaat funds are first transferred into the ownership of your uncle, so that he may spend the money as he wishes, either to purchase the plane ticket or in any other necessity of his. 

An alternative way of ensuring that the Zakaat is discharged is by your uncle appointing someone in England as a Wakeel/agent to take possession of the Zakaat funds on his behalf. Once the Zakaat money is given over to his Wakeel/agent, the Zakaat will be discharged. This money can then be used by the Wakeel/agent to purchase a ticket for him in England and then having the ticket sent to him.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.


( هي تمليك المال من فقير مسلم غيرها هاشمي ولا مولاه بشرط قطع المنفعة عن المملك من كل وجه لله تعالى ) لقوله تعالى وآتوا الزكاة والإيتاء هو التمليك ومراده تمليك جزء من ماله وهو ربع العشر أو ما يقوم مقامه 
البحر الرائق ج:٢ ص:٢٠١ 

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