If transferring zakaah to the poor requires travelling, can the travel costs be deducted from the zakaah?.
In the answer to question no. 43146 we stated that zakaah may be taken from the land where the wealth is, and it is permissible to transfer it to another country in cases of need or where that serves a purpose, such as if the poor in the land to which it is transferred are in greater need, or are relatives of the one who is paying zakaah, and so on.
The owner of the wealth is obliged to make sure the zakaah reaches those who are entitled to it. Based on this, if getting it to the poor requires travelling and other costs, these must be paid for by the owner of the wealth, and it is not permissible to deduct them from the zakaah.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’, 6/213:
As it is permissible to transfer zakaah (to another country), or may be obligatory, the costs of doing so must be borne by the owner of the wealth. End quote.
Al-Mardaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Insaaf (7/174):
The cost of transferring the zakaah is to be borne by the owner of the wealth. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: A person has been asked to take some zakaah abroad at the personal level; is it permissible for him to be given the travel expenses from the zakaah, knowing that he cannot afford to pay for that himself?
It is not permissible for him to take anything from the zakaah for this trip, because what the person who owes zakaah must do is to send it to the poor with his own money. If he wants to go to a place where he has to spend on travel expenses, then he should take them from the owner of the money, and the rights of the poor must be given to them in full. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 18/369.