Question 30: Asalamu alaykum wrbt.

I understand giving zakat or any type of sadaqa is good and it all begins with the intention.. But most organisations now have a tax deductible in which you can claim it on tax.. Can u explain this to me and does this somehow nullify your intention or take away the purpose of giving sadaqa. In the end we want to do what is pleasing to allah swt.

Jazakum allahu khair.

Answer: Walaikumussalam Brother,

If we give Zakat or Sadaqah to the poor via a tax dectable charity organisation that is giving it to deserving recepients of Zakat, so long as our intention is clear that it is for giving zakat/sadaqah whereas we keep it clear in our mind that the tax dectability is a mere decree of Allah that helps us for a good deed we are doing, then there is nothing wrong that I can see with that. The Zakat and sadaqah should be fine and acceptable, Allah willing. This is because we are not giving the sadaqah for sale of tax deduction but it is for sake of the poor out of obedience and worship of Allah. The action and intention are those for worship. A subsequent benefit coming as a result of it is no harm as long as we did not demand it as a condition for giving sadaqah.

But if we could have given zakat or sadaqah to a more in need cause deserving of that zakat/sadaqah, but it didn’t have the tax deductable status, so we don’t give the more deserving cause the zakat and instead give it to a less deserving albeit a valid recepient of zakat, then we still get rewarded inshallah though we would have missed out on more rewarding deed for sake of less reward from Allah with tax deductions here!!

I would like to take this opportunity to mention once again that zakat is payable to eight types of people mentioned in Surah Tawbah (9), verse 60. Mamy people consider giving zakat or sadaqah to poor and miskin (needy) as the greatest act of generosity but this is not correct. Poverty, we learn from Quran, is often though not always a result of our distance from piety and good deeds. Hence, it is as important as heloing the poor to help spread piety (via specific piety promoting out of dawah projects) and that is category number seven out of eight categories of zakat recepients. Yet this category does not have tax deductible status. So if we do not donate to this category 7, then we will not be helping to remove the cause of poverty! Hence it is important to not give zakat purely chasing tax deductions, rather give some zakat for the poor and some for brining piety via specific dawah for Muslims’ Tawqa reformation type of projects. Personally for every $100 I give to alleviate poverty, I would like to give $900 to specific dawah to reform Taqwa as it is the cure of poverty. Its helpful to give a cancer patient panadol to relieve some pain, but it is far more helpful to treat the cancer itself!

And Allah knows best.