Spending zakat on healthcare facili...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Spending zakat on healthcare facilities


We reviewed request no. 2013 for the year 2003 which includes the following:

    Is it permissible in Islamic law to spend zakat funds on the construction of the Children's Cancer Hospital as well as on financing the Cardiology department, which is free of charge, in Qasr al-'Aini Hospital?


The universal character of charity 

    It is established that there are financial dues on one's property other than zakat [obligatory charity] such as voluntary and ongoing charity and endowments. Allah Almighty says: 
    And from their properties was [given] the right of the [needy] petitioner and the deprived.
                                                                                                                                        [Qur'an 51:19]

as opposed to zakat of which He says:

    And those within whose wealth is a known right for the petitioner and the deprived. 
                                                                                                                                       [Qur'an 70: 24-25]

    A Muslim must look beyond the obligatory acts of worship and do other [good] deeds. Allah Almighty says:

    O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good - that you may succeed. 
                                                                                                                                        [Qur'an 22: 77]

    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Sadaqa (charity) obliterates sins as water extinguishes fire.”


    Zakat is both an obligation and a fundamental pillar of Islam. Allah Almighty defined the categories of zakat beneficiaries in Surat al-Tawba:

    Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler—an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
                                                                                                                                       [Qur'an 9:60]

Spending in charity towards healthcare facilities 

    Dar al-Ifta urges people to make donations towards the construction of the Children's Cancer Hospital and suggests establishing the following funds:

1. Endowment Fund: It allows people to endow property, the proceeds of which are spent towards the hospital and treatment of patients.
2. Voluntary Charity Fund: Finances construction work, hospital furnishings and maintenance.
3. Zakat Fund: Finances everything that is directly or indirectly related to patients such as equipments, medicine and treatment, patient stays, food and drink, employees' and physicians' wages, surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging and the like.

    Dar al-Ifta calls upon all Muslims, inside and outside Egypt, to participate in this great work and alleviate the pain of children, conforming to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who said: “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Have mercy to those on earth and the One in the Heavens will have mercy on you.”

    The authorities in charge of constructing the hospital as well as those responsible for the cardiology department in Qasr al-'Aini Hospital must highlight the above recommendations and implement the necessary procedures to achieve this [humanitarian] goal on one hand and follow the Islamic rulings on zakat, voluntary charity and endowments on the other.

    We ask Allah Almighty to reward all those who work on administrating the earth and benefit the people all good.

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