Assalamualaikum SS Mufti. I would like to ask. Is it permissible for patients who suffers from kidney problem to receive zakah to cover the medical cost of periodical hemodialysis?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Basically, zakah should be given to the eight stated recipients of zakah as the saying of Allah SWT in the Quran which states:
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۖ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise
Surah al-Tawbah (60)
Only the eight stated recipients of zakah are eligible to receive the zakah. Hence, if the patient is among the needy and poor who are unable to pay for the medical bills, then it is permissible for him to receive the zakah. This is explained in Fatwa al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Syeikh Ali Jum’ah hafizahullah taala:
و هؤلاء الذي يعسلون كلاهم –كما ورد في السؤال- غير مستطيعين مالًا للإنفاق على هذا الغسيل فهم يدخلون في هذين مصرفين.. فإنّه يجوز شرعا إعطاء أموال الزكاة لمرضى الغسيل الكلوي أو غيرهم من المرضى شريطة أن يكون فقراء أو مساكين
Those who have to undergo dialysis as mentioned in the question , if he is unable to pay for the bills, then he is included under those two recipients of zakah which are needy and poor. Hence, it is permissible to give zakah to the patient of kidney problems or other patients with the condition that they are needy or poor. (Refer al-Kalim al-Tayyib Fatawa ‘Asriyyah, 2:125)
Besides, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) also offers medical coverage in three forms to ease the burden in seeking treatment from any government hospitals which consists of:
- General Medical Aid
- Health Equipment Aid
- Hemodialysis Aid
If conditions set by MAIWP are fulfilled and all related documents are prepared, then application may be submitted to them so that zakah assistance may be given to those in need.
Based on the above discussion and arguments, we conclude that the ruling of giving zakah to patients of kidney problems and other patients is permissible, with the condition that the patient is in need and is unable to cover the medical bills. So, they are among the needy and poor. May Allah SWT give us a true understanding in His religion as well as taufiq and hidayah to practice the Shari’a the best we can. Ameen.