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Assalamualiukum. I understand that zakat cannot be family of Prophet (pbuh) / SYEDs. Currently, we are in the emergency situation of COVID19 where humanity is dying of hunger, so in this desperate situation can we give zakat to them ?

Jazakallah khair

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Zakat is forbidden for the Bani Hashim, rather their needs are to be met from khums:

إن هذه الصدقات إنما هي أوساخ الناس وإنها لا تحل لمحمد ولا لآل محمد

This charity is the dirt of the people, and it is not permissible for Muhammad nor for the family of Muhammad

Muslim

Some scholars have considered the above prohibition to be absolute while others have admitted allowance during exceptional circumstances, when they not receiving their right from khums and are in dire need. Especially in the case of imminent starvation and lack of alternatives, one is even permitted to eat haram food (5:3) in which case it would be more appropriate to consume Zakat.

Note however that there might be alternatives: You can help them as a gift out of love for the family of the Prophet ﷺ, rather than offsetting it from your zakat or charity. Similarly according to some scholars it is permitted for the Bani Hashim themselves to give their zakat to their own members.


Reference:

وقد نقل عن أبي حنيفة وعن المالكية وبعض الشافعية: جواز إعطاء الهاشميين من الزكاة، لأنهم حرموا من بيت المال سهم ذوي القربي، منعاً لتضييعهم ولحاجتهم، عملاً بالمصالح المرسلة. وإعطاؤهم ـ كما قال الدسوقي المالكي ـ حينئذ أفضل من إعطاء غيرهم. وتحل صدقة التطوع لهم عند الأكثرين

الفقه الإسلامي وأدلته

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  • Jazakallah Khair for your Answer. – Furqan Apr 16 at 16:49
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    Can we accurately identify syeds and syedas nowadays? Some people just claim it, but they either have no confirmed or weak genealogy? For example the royal family of Jordan claim to be hashemites, and that the king is the 41st generation descent, so it appears to be strong, but then you get people in the Indian subcontinent that also claim to be syeds/syedas, but genealogy there is weaker. – Muslim_1234 Apr 17 at 11:36

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