Zakah and E-Payment

Great is the reward of all those who spend their money for the sake of Allah and keep themselves dedicated to Him. For them, Allah sends a clear message in the Qur’an stating: “Those who spend their wealth by night and day, by stealth and openly, verily their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.” (Al-Baqarah: 274)

It goes without saying that the vast majority of Muslim scholars agree on the permissibility of deputizing somebody to collect and pay out Zakah. It is thus acceptable to entrust a web site with the same task. Since the Internet offers a creative solution and an easy way for lots of people to carry out transactions, there is no harm in using it for such a task. So long as the people of the website are trustworthy, they are in no way different from any deputy who pays Zakah on behalf of the one who deputizes him. It is the responsibility of the person, then, to choose a trustworthy web site to do the job effectively and efficiently.

It should be noted, however, that such a task of paying Zakah through e-payment is a dangerous one. It is advisable that the person make sure that his money will reach its destination safely and perfectly. We are not here to accuse anybody; rather, we are just ringing the alarm and asking for caution. If you have time, it is more recommended to pay your Zakah through a deputy. If we say that the Internet now is available to everybody, we can say also that the poor in our Muslim Ummah are available everywhere and it will not be difficult to find them and give them the money first hand. It is arguably said that e-payment is much easier and faster. Yes, but mighty reward is given according to the difficulty taken while doing the deed. If you take the risk of getting to the poor first hand and giving them your Zakah, it will be more rewardable and nearer to the real purpose of Zakah. You will never forget the image of a smile on the face of a poor orphan or a needy person.