Making donations and giving zakat to hospitals
Is it permissible to give zakat on wealth to the Cancer Institute?
Is it permissible to donate a sum of money to the Cancer Institute as an ongoing charity?
Muslim scholars have established that there is a right in one's wealth other than zakat. This includes voluntary charity, ongoing charity, and endowments as attested to by the words of Allah the Almighty Who says,
And in their wealth there is a due share for the beggar and the deprived. [Al-Zariyat: 19]
This is in addition to the obligatory zakat mentioned in the following verse,
And in whose wealth is a recognized right for the needy who asks and him who is deprived (for some reason from asking). [Al-Ma'arij: 24-25]
All of this is out of benevolence without which a Muslim's worship is incomplete. Allah the Almighty says,
O ye who believe! Bow down, prostrate yourselves, and adore your Lord; And do good; that ye may prosper. [Al-Hajj: 77]
The Prophet said, "Charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire."
The recipients of zakat, which is obligatory and one of the pillars of Islam, have been defined in the following Qur`anic verse,
Alms are for the poor and the needy, and for those employed to administer the (funds): For those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (Thus is it) ordained by Allah. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. [At-Tauba: 60[
Dar al-Ifta advices the public to hasten to make donations to charitable cancer institutes and hospitals such as the Cancer Institute and to establish three funds:
1- Endowment fund: People endow their money towards this fund and the generated proceeds are permanently directed to the Cancer Institute to treat its patients.
2- Charity fund: This fund is directed to financing, constructing, furnishing and maintaining the institute as well as presenting it in a manner that befits Muslims, both constructionally and aesthetically .
3- Zakat fund: This fund is to finance the purchase and maintenance of equipment, as well as finance medicine, treatment expenses and hospital stays, and food and drink. It covers the expenses that are linked to the patients either directly or indirectly such the salaries of hospital personnel and doctors, the cost of surgical operations, diagnostic imaging and the like.
Dar al-Ifta calls upon Muslims both inside and outside Egypt to participate in such charitable institutes and hospitals which alleviate the great pain of the afflicted as attested to by the words of the Messenger of Allah who said, "The Most Merciful bestows His mercy on those who show mercy [to others]; have mercy on those on earth and you will be shown mercy by He Who is in the Heavens."
It is permissible to give zakat on wealth to the Cancer Institute according to the above illustrated manner.
Donating money to the Cancer Institute as an ongoing charity
The principle is that an ongoing charity is any charity whose benefit or reward is permanent as defined by the Maliki scholar al-Qadi 'Ayyad in his book Mashareq Al-Anwar 'ala Sihah Al-Athar. Some scholars interpreted his definition to denote endowments. This is because ongoing charity is best actualized in endowments since the endowed property is retained and its benefit is renewed.
The aspect of perpetuity is true of the equipments used to treat patients as is the case of everything that remains and whose benefit is enduring. This is categorized under ongoing charity.
Allah the Almighty knows best.