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Returned zakaah money

Fatwaa ID: 1627

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

I gave Zakat (approx. $300) to someone in Pakistan, without telling them that it is Zakat money, or even that it’s coming from me. At the time, they were in severe need, and they were under the impression that it’s coming from an organization. Then, about 20 – 30 days later, they found out that the money came from me (a student). They said that, their principle is that they don’t take money from students, and so about 30 days after they had received the money from me (a few days after they found out basically), they returned the same amount to me, plus some more “as a gift” from themselves.

I’m almost 99% sure the money that they sent back to me, is not the same money I had sent to them, rather it’s a independent sum that they acquired from somewhere separately, as at that time they were in severe need, and they weren’t even aware the money was from me.

My question is, what is the ruling of this money that came back to me? Is it permissible for me to use? And secondly, is my Zakat fulfilled, or do I have to pay it again?

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

We take note of the details of your query. There is definitely a doubt in regards to the money in question. He has stated that he does not accept money from students. It is possible that he used your money as a loan. Accordingly, you should donate the amount you gave him, which he has now returned, towards a zakaatable avenue with the intention of fulfilling your zakaah. If your previous donation was valid as zakaah, then this will be nafl for you. As for the additional amount he gave you, you may keep it and use it.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

01/27/1445 AH – 08/14/2023 CE | 551

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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