Subject : Donations are Disbursed According to the Condition Set by the Donor
Fatwa Number : 3780
Date : 18-07-2023
Classified : Voluntary Charity/Alms
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

A charitable organization provides educational, housing, healthcare, social, and recreational services to children aged between 6 and 18 years old who are orphaned, come from broken families, or lack familial support. Is it permissible for donors to sponsor the aforementioned categories, other than orphans, by allocating a monthly financial amount for each child?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


One of the greatest acts that draws a Muslim closer to Allah is sponsoring an orphan in need. Abu Huraira reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "One who looks after the orphan whether he is his relative or not, I and he would be together in Paradise like this, and Malik (explained it) with the gesture by drawing his index finger and middle finger close together." {Transmitted by Muslim}. Moreover, Islam, with its noble teachings, emphasizes the importance of caring for orphans and highlights the greatness of this Shariah in achieving social solidarity and spreading love and affection in society. Islam also encourages taking care of the poor, the needy, and those who are deprived of the blessings of a family, by opening the doors of charity, donation, and initiating acts of goodness. Allah says in the Quran, "The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear Hath a hundred grains. God giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And God careth for all and He knoweth all things." (Al-Baqarah, 261) Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “If anyone gives as Sadaqa the equivalent of a date from something lawfully earned, for God accepts only what is lawful, God will accept it with His right hand, then foster it for the one who gave it as one of you fosters his colt, till it becomes like a mountain.” (Bukhari and Muslim.)


The general rule is that the disbursement of donations should be in accordance with the intention and conditions of the donor, as the donor is the Waqif in this case. The general rule is to abide by the conditions set by the Waqif, and the money should only be spent where he/she intended. As Imam al-Juwayni, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "The condition set by the Waqif should be referred to regarding the praiseworthy qualities in entitlement, allocated amounts, order, and accumulation. The Waqif is the one who benefits, and he has the right to decide how the benefit is to be obtained and its extent." (Nihayat al-Matlab V.8:362).


Therefore, it is permissible to support those who suffer from family disintegration and the absence of family support if they are in need, provided that this is clearly communicated to the donors and that their donations are allocated to various aspects, such as providing material assistance to the needy or offering educational, housing, and healthcare services to the aforementioned individuals. In all these aspects, the donor will receive the reward of charity. However, continuous charity (Sadaqah Jariyah) is achieved through long-lasting benefits, such as devices, equipment, furniture, and similar items. On the other hand, donations that do not provide long-term benefits are considered regular voluntary charity (Sadaqah). We ask Allah to make the education, training, and skill development of orphans and those lacking family support a form of continuous charity that benefits the entire Ummah, as stated in the Fatwa issued by the Jordanian Iftaa` Council, No. (142). However, if a donor refuses to spend on these aspects, the charitable organization must adhere to the specific purpose for which the donation was made, as the condition set by the donor is considered binding according to Islamic law/Sharia. And Allah the Almighty knows best.



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