Is it important to tell the recipient of Zakat that this is the money of Zakat?

Can we give it without telling them (or telling them we're just helping you) to not hurt their ego or avoid making them feel bad?


2 Answers 2


Both quran and hadith tell us that the best of charity is one that is done for the sake of allah and not to be seen by others. So it may be perfectly acceptable to give without telling the recipient, because its for the sake of allah and to help another person.

Sahih International

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 2:264

Also, in the seven under the shade of allah hadith the prophet specifically says that those who give in secrecy recive the blessed reward of being under the shade of allah on the day of judgment.

'A man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity...'

Some may argue that they may use it for acts that are not considered acceptable for zakat to be used for, but hadiths explain that that is not on our part and we will be rewarded for what we intended for it to be used for.

Volume 2, Book 24, Number 503 :

Narrated by Ma'n bin Yazid

My grandfather, my father and I gave the pledge of allegiance to Allah's Apostle. The Prophet got me engaged and then got me married. One day I went to the Prophet with a complaint. My father Yazid had taken some gold coins for charity and kept them with a man in the mosque (to give them to the poor) But I went and took them and brought them to him (my father). My father said, "By Allah! I did not intend to give them to you. " I took (the case) to Allah's Apostle . On that Allah's Apostle said, "O Yazid! You will be rewarded for what you intended. O Man! Whatever you have taken is yours."

so if the charity is given to somone without them knowing and they use it for somthing that zakat dosent cover, the zakat is still valid since you are rewarded for what you intended for it to be used for.

Just a sidenote: do the people who recive zakat really ever know who its from? if you give to a mosque and they distribute it among the poor as they did in the prophets time, the person wont know the specific people they recive the zakat from unless explicialty told.

  • 1
    Saying that zakah should be given for the sake of Allah, does not answer if the user has to know or not; it can be answered either way, i.e. they're already poor.
    – ashes999
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 21:10
  • Zakat has to start from home. And family members are often reluctant in getting Zakat by the name of Zakat while they happily accept help. Just a cultural thing I guess. Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 13:32

According to Hanafi Fiqh and accordig to this link, yes it is allowed to pay zakat without mention that this is Zakat money. The recipient may not know that this is actually Zakat but you are helping them out with the intention that it is Zakat, so it is counted as Zakat. This link does not provides concrete reference (in fact any no reference at all). Some excerpts are as follow

Zakat without mentioning it but only with intentions

3 At the time of giving the zakaat to a poor person, one must have the intention in his heart that he is giving this money as zakaat. If he merely gives it without making any intention, the zakaat will not be fulfilled. He will have to give the zakaat again, and he will be rewarded separately for the money that he had already given.

If you forgot to make the intention in the first place

  1. If the person did not make the intention of giving zakaat at the time of giving it to the poor person, then as long as that money is still in the possession of the poor person, he will be able to make the intention. By making the intention at this stage, his zakaat will be fulfilled. But if the poor person has already spent that money, then the intention that is made at this stage will not be considered. He will have to repeat the payment of his zakaat.

Debts as Zakat

  1. A person comes to borrow some money and it is known that he is so poor and hard-pressed that he will be unable to fulfil this debt or that he is a very bad payer and never fulfils his debts. If the person gives him some zakaat money and also makes this intention in his heart that he is giving zakaat, then in such a case zakaat will be fulfilled despite the poor person regarding it as a debt.

Gift as Zakat

  1. If a poor person is given something as a gift, but in his heart the person has the intention of giving zakaat, even then zakaat will be fulfilled.

I think this would also make since if someone works for your for period period, he/she does the work, you pay him 10 times more with intentions that his increase wage/tip is for her needs as Zakat, knowing that he qualified for Zakat.

I personnely thing, it may be advisable to mention this is Zakat money so that you keep a good track of Zakat Money and wages.

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