Thu 24 Jm2 1435 - 24 April 2014
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Can the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) eat from what is given in voluntary charity?

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According to registered documents I became certain that I am a descendant of the prophet, peace be upon him, by the grace of Allah. I know that the prophet’s family members (ahl al-bayt) are not permitted to eat from what is given in charity. 
What is the ruling on drinking water or eating dates or meals distributed in the sacred masjid, or given in the season of Hajj or Ramadan? Are these considered gifts or charity?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is not permissible for the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to eat from the obligatory zakaah. This consensus was narrated by more than one scholar. 

See: Mawsoo’at al-Ijmaa’ by Sa’di Abu Jayb (2/517-518). 

See also the answer to question no. 21981

With regard to voluntary charity, most scholars are of the view that it is permissible for the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to take from it. This is the well known view of the madhhabs of the four imams of fiqh (Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on them all). 

See: Radd al-Muhtaar (2/351), al-Taaj wa’l-Ikleel (3/223), Mughni al-Muhtaaj (4/195), Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (2/291-292). 

Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Voluntary charity is not haraam for the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him); rather it is only obligatory zakaah that is forbidden for them. 

Ibraaheem ibn Muhammad told us, from Ja’far [al-Saadiq] ibn Muhammad [al-Baaqir] from his father that he used to drink of the water provided to people in Makkah and Madeenah and I said to him: Are you drinking from the sadaqah (charity) when it is not permissible for you? He said: It is only the obligatory charity (i.e., zakaah) that is forbidden to us. 

Al-Shaafa’i said: ‘Ali and Faatimah gave charity to Bani Haashim and Banu’l-Muttalib, and this was voluntary charity, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted a gift from the charity that was given to Bareerah, because it was given voluntarily by Bareerah and not as zakaah. End quote. 

Al-Umm (2/88). 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

It is permissible for the relatives [of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] to take from voluntary charity. 

Ahmad said, according to the report of Ibn al-Qaasim; rather they should not be given anything of the obligatory charity [zakaah]. But as for voluntary charity, it is not forbidden. There is another report from Ahmad which says that they were also forbidden voluntary charity, because of the general meaning of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Charity is not permissible for us.” 

But the first view is more correct, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any act of kindness [ma’roof] is an act of charity.” Agreed upon. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation” [al-Maa’idah 5:45] and “but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know” [al-Baqarah 2:280]. There is no difference of scholarly opinion that it is permissible to do acts of kindness for a Haashimi, or let him off, or allow him more time to pay a debt. And the brothers of Yoosuf said (interpretation of the meaning): “and be charitable to us” [Yoosuf 12:88].  

What is meant in the report [i.e., the hadeeth] is obligatory charity [zakaah]. End quote. 

Al-Mughni (2/275). 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

We are a family of moderate means, and are of the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). We have documents to prove that. My father has reached the age of sixty, and meets the conditions of applying for social security. We asked our father to avail himself of social security but he refused, because there is a hadeeth from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which states that zakaah and charity should not be given to the members of his family. My question: is social security regarded as coming under the same heading as zakaah or not? Please advise me. 

He replied: 

If your father meets the conditions for applying for social security, then it is permissible for him to take it, because it is help from the bayt al-maal to the poor who fulfil the conditions mentioned, and it is not zakaah, according to information provided by the authorities. End quote.  

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (14/314). See also (14/313). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

If the charity is voluntary charity, then it may be given to them and there is nothing wrong with that. But if it is obligatory charity then it should not be given to them. End quote. 

Majmoo’at Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (18/429). 

Based on this, there is nothing wrong with you eating from the food that is distributed in the two Holy Sanctuaries and the Hajj sites, because that is not zakaah. 

And Allaah knows best.

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