Q: Is there anything specific to say when giving someone Zakat?

A: As we are not required to inform the recipient that the money given to them is Zakat, there is nothing specific to say to them either. Mufti Inamul Haqq Qasimi, in his Zakat encyclopedia, has mentioned some examples of what can be said when giving the money:

- "this is a gift from me"
- "here is something to buy some things for your children"

In any case, we must remember that when giving Zakat, we should under no circumstances belittle the recipient of the Zakat. Unfortunately, this is the case of some who boast about their donations. Some may even pressure those to whom they give into returning favours, or sometimes, the recipients are reminded of the money which was given to them.

Allah says in the Quran:
"O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a [large] smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] anything of what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people." (S2;V264)

In his commentary of the Quran, Imam Qurtubi (ra) mentioned a hadith narrated by Imam Nasai (ra), in which the prophet (pbuh) informed us that among those people Allah will not be looking at on the Day of Judgment, are those who remind people of the donations they made towards them.

Commenting on the above verse, Imam Qurtubi (ra) mentioned that, according to the majority of the scholars, a person's Sadaqah or Zakat will not be accepted if they use it as a mean to cause harm or to remind people of the favour they done towards them.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Billal Omarjee
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