A manager of orphanage is not allowed to eat from the charity given to the orphans
Fatwa No: 206692

Question

khaid works at charitable trust which conduct many residential madrasa for the poor and orphanage, so he appointed with honorarium of 5000rs included food and accommodation. he pays for this 500rs per month separately. now if animal of sadqah and any other stuff of zakat and sadqah cooked at madrsa for children. will he can eat of this food or not?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

It is not permissible for the manager of the school of orphans and poor students to eat from the charity paid to them, whether it is voluntary or obligatory charity, if it is devoted to them only; however, if one of the students gifted him something of food, then it will be allowed for him to eat from it, provided that the student should be eligible to do so. That is because Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “Some meat was presented to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, from meat that was given to Bareerah (the freed slave-girl of ‘Aa’ishah) in charity. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “It is for her a charity and for us a gift.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said: “The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, entered upon me while the cooking pot of meat was boiling. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:From where did you get that?” I said: “Bareerah gifted it to us and it was given to her as charity.” [Ahmad and Ibn Maajah]

Abu Mu‘aawiyah reported from Hishaam ibn ‘Urwah from ‘Abd Ar-Rahmaan ibn Al-Qaasim from his father that ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said: “People used to give her charity and she used to give us that as gift.” [Ahmad and Muslim]

This indicates that if charity is prohibited for someone for a specific reason, he is allowed to eat from it if the one who is given it gives something of it to him as a gift.

Being the manager of the school does not mean that he is one of those who are employed to collect the Zakah. Even if he is delegated to distribute that charity, then he is not one of those who are employed to collect it and who are allowed to take from it. Those who are employed to collect the Zakah and who are allowed to take from it are those who are appointed by the Muslim authorities for that purpose. As for the donor or the private deputy, he has nothing at all to do with that. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Ash-Sharh Al-Mumti‘: “Those who are employed to collect the Zakah are those who are appointed by the Muslim authorities, who collect it, store it and distribute it, and so on."

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Majmoo’: “Ash-Shaafi’i and his companions  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them said: “If the one who is distributing the Zakah is its owner or his deputy, then the share of the agent employed to collect it is waived and he must give it to the seven other categories (of people who are entitled to it).” This proves that the deputy cannot be regarded as one of those who are employed to collect the Zakah.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked: "A rich man sent his Zakah to someone and said: “Distribute it as you see fit.” Is this deputy considered as one of those who are employed to collect it and is he entitled to any of it?” He replied: “This deputy is not one of those who are employed to collect it, and he is not entitled to any of it, because he has been delegated only by a particular individual. This is the reason – and Allaah Knows best – why the Quran says (what means): {And for those employed to collect [Zakah]}[Quran 9:60] This refers to those who are appointed to do this task and have official authority to tackle it. Therefore, the one who is delegated to distribute the Zakah on behalf of a particular individual is not regarded as one of those who are employed to collect Zakah. And Allaah Knows best.” [End quote]

Also, such a person is not regarded as a guardian of those orphans (who is responsible for their financial matters) for just being the manager of the school so that it may be said that he is allowed to mix his food with theirs and eat with them as Allaah The Almighty says (what means): {And if you mix your affairs with theirs - they are your brothers.}[Quran 2:220]

Moreover, some jurists said that the guardian of the orphan can mix his food with that of the orphan if this will benefit the orphan, otherwise, he is not allowed to mix it with his food as Al-Khateeb Ash-Shirbeeni  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him the author of Mughni Al-Muhtaaj (a Shaafi'i book) stated: "The guardian is allowed to mix his money with that of the young orphan boy and eat with him as a form of showing kindness to him as long as this is intended to benefit the boy. Allaah The Almighty says (what means): {And if you mix your affairs with theirs - they are your brothers.}[Quran 2:220], otherwise, he may not do so." [End quote]

Accordingly, that manager is not allowed to eat from the charity given to the orphan poor students if it is dedicated for them. If he gets what he pays in return for food from the school, then he should separate his food from theirs.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa