Zakaat Funds Belonging To A Deceased

Question

Suppose a person who has collected Zakaat funds for an operation passes away before his treatment starts. In this case, what happens to the collected Zakaat funds (in possession of the deceased family members)?

Are they entitled to use same for other purposes or can the heirs of the deceased even buy a brand new car with the unused Zakaat collected funds? 

Because he was eligible for zakaat at first place does this become a part of his estate and will distribute between the heirs? 

After collecting zakaat funds for  the operation if he cancelled the operation or doctor 2nd opinion not to do it , in this case what he should do?

Answer

Let us assume that a person by the name of ‘Zaid’ was due for an operation and he was eligible to receive Zakaat (as mentioned in your query). Amr gave Zaid one lump sum which was sufficient to cover his operation costs and Zaid took possession of the said funds. These funds are now owned by Zaid. 

If Zaid passes away before the operation then these funds will form part of his estate and will have to be distributed amongst his heirs according to the Islamic law of succession. Each heir may use the funds as he or she wishes without any restrictions after receiving their dues. 

If Zaid decides not to have the operation done for whatever reason, then too he is considered as the owner of the funds in the above scenario and may utilize the funds for any of his other needs. 

However, when discharging Zakaat, it is Makrooh to give the recipient of Zakaat more than the Nisaab unless there is a valid reason to do so, such as being indebted for a large amount. Hence, if Zaid was not yet indebted but merely considering to have the operation done, then Amr’s act of giving him such a large amount of Zakaat funds which exceeds the Nisaab will be considered as Makrooh/abominable.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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