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Ruling on using zakaah to build a house

We have a cousin who is elderly and unable to work. He has many children and lives in a village in a small house provided by the government which belongs to him. He has been given a piece of land in the same village by the state, on which he wants to build a house to live in. Is it permissible for money to be collected from the zakaah funds for him to build on this land? What should be done with the money that has been collected if the answer is no?

 Praise be to Allaah. 

It is not permissible to collect money from the zakaah funds for him to build on this land, because he has sufficient accommodation. Even if we assume that he does not have accommodation and does not have money to pay rent, his rent could be paid from the zakaah funds, because building requires a lot of money and there are Muslims who need food and drink, they do not need to own a house. This money that was collected should be returned to the people who gave it.

From the fatwas of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen for al-Da’wah magazine, issue no. 1762, p. 37
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