Salary of a Zakah collector

26 Feb 2018 Ref-No#: 245

Assalamu alaykum,

I trust that you are well, Ustadh.

We have many Islamic organisations that collect Zakaat. They have employees, and pay them salaries. They give around 10% on the total amount collected, so that this can be an incentive for these Amilleen (workers) to bring in more Zakaat.

My questions are:

1) Is it permissible to pay a person who collects Zakah?

2) Can we give him a commission of about 5 to 10 percent on the total he collects?

Please make dua for me.

Shukran Yaa Ustadh,

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

A person collecting Zakah on behalf of an Islamic organization can be employed on a remuneration basis whereby he is paid a fixed monthly salary, provided that the salary is not paid to him from Zakah funds, but from funds such as Lillah. The only situation wherein Zakah funds can be used to pay the collector’s salary (not commission) is if the collector is eligible to be classified as being among the “Aamileen” (persons deputed by the Ameerul-Mu’mineen in an Islamic State to collect Zakah). In terms of Islamic Law, it is permissible to pay the “Aamileen” a remuneration in proportion to their domestic needs from the Zakah funds collected by them. According to the ‘Ulama and Fuqahaa, persons collecting Zakah and Sadaqah funds on behalf of private Madrasahs and other institutions, especially in a non-Islamic state cannot be classified under the category of “Aamileen.” Hence, it will not be correct to pay such individuals from the Zakah funds that they collect for such institutions.

As far as your question of commission is concerned, it will not be permissible to hire someone to collect Zakah on a percentage/commission basis, whether the commission is paid from Zakah funds or from Lillah funds.

The reason why it is not permissible is that the stipulation of a commission on the collected funds constitutes payment for his services. As this commission is only speculatory in terms of Rands and Cents, it is impossible to place a correct figure on the eventual remuneration after each collection term. In other words, depending on the amount collected, it could result in the 5 or 10 percent sometimes reaching a figure of thousands whereas at other times it could only reach a few Rands. The Fuqahaa have categorically pointed out that in an employer-employee contract the remuneration must be clearly specified in monetary terms.

The commission which is in lieu of his services (constituting the whole or part of his salary) remains unspecified in terms of Rands and Cents. Leaving the remuneration unspecified would result in the employment contract becoming Faasid and void.

If there is a need to provide an incentive for the collector, it can be done in many other ways. For instance, the Islamic Organisation could promise him a salary increase or reward him with a bonus at the end of the year which would then be regarded as a gift and not part of his remuneration. This bonus or salary increase must be however, given from Lillah funds and NOT from Zakah funds.

References

وكذلك اشتراط كرى نهر في الأرض أو ضرب مسنات عليها أو حفر بئر فيها أو أن تصرفها على المستأجر لأنه جعل هذه الأعمال من جملة الأجر وإنها مجهولة غير معلومة، وجهالة بعض الأجر توجب جهالة الباقي فتفسد به الإجارة (البناية شرح الهداية (10/ 269)

ومنها أن تكون الأجرة معلومة (الفتاوى الهندية (4/ 411)

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