A great deal of confusion arises from time to time with regard to the administrative percentage taken by zakat institutions and what they are entitled to as a percentage for them in collecting zakat. What is the percentage that they are allowed to take, as well as their percentage in zakat, and what are the scholars’ views on this. It is necessary first to define the concept of Zakat collectors

Meaning of those who collect zakat 

Firstly, the Zakat collectors were stated in the Almighty’s verse: {Alms-tax is only for the poor and the needy, for those employed to administer it} al-Tawbah: 60.

Although the jurists agree that this is one of the eight categories of zakat, but they differed in defining its meaning as follows:

The first view: The Hanafi school of thought considers that those who collect zakat are the couriers who are appointed by the imam to collect zakat only. Al-Sarakhsi al-Hanafi said in al-Mabsout 3/9: “They are the ones whom the imam uses to collect alms, and he gives them from what they collect their sufficiency and the sufficiency of their aides.”

The second view: the public sees that those who collect zakat are the ones who are helped by the imam to collect and distribute zakat.

Ibn Qudamah said in Al-Mughni: 6/473: “They are the collectors whom the imam sends to take them from their masters, collect them, preserve them, pick them up, and those who help them from those who drive them, take care of them, and carry them, as well as the writer, the measurer, the weigher and the counter, and everyone who needs it from it, he is given his wages from it; Because that is their supply.”

Al-Mawardi from the Shafi’is said in his book (Al-Ahkam Al-Sultaniyah: 157): “The share of those working on it, and they are of two types: one of them: the ones who take it and collect it. The second: the ones responsible for dividing it and separating it. Allah the Almighty made their wages in the zakat money; So that nothing else is taken from the owners of the money.”

Al-Nawawi said in Rawdat al-Talibin 2/313: “It is included in the name of the collector, the scribe, the divider, the gatherer, and he is the one who collects the owners money, the corporal, who is like the captain of the tribe, and the accountant, who is the keeper of money. Al-Masoudi said: Likewise the soldiers, for they have a share of zakat.

The reason for the difference between the Hanafis and the public is their difference in some of the works related to zakat, whether it is obligatory for those for whom zakat is obligatory, or whether it falls under the responsibility of the zakat collectors. It was said that the Hanafis mentioned the first type of zakat collectors, and did not mention the second.

This difference between the Hanafi’s and the public has a significant impact in determining who is allowed to spend a share of zakat on him in institutions and associations that are based on collecting zakat money.

Perhaps this is what prompted some conferences to discuss the concept of zakat collectors, including what was stated in the fourth symposium on contemporary zakat issues (held in Bahrain, Shawwal 17, 1414 AH corresponding to 3/29/1994 CE). ) which reads:

 Zakat collectors are all those appointed by guardians in Islamic countries or licensed or chosen by bodies recognized by the authority or from Islamic societies to collect and distribute Zakat and anything related to it such as raising awareness of the rulings of Zakat and the defining of owners of funds and beneficiaries, transfer, storage, preservation, development and investment within the rules restrictions that were decided in the first recommendation of the third symposium on contemporary issues of Zakat. Also, these institutions and committees that exist in the modern era are considered a modern form of the mandate of alms established in Islamic systems, and therefore the conditions required for those collecting Zakat must be taken into account.

The tasks assigned to those collecting Zakat, including those that have the status of delegation (as they relate to essential leadership tasks), and those who occupy these tasks must meet the conditions known to the jurists, including: Islam, masculinity, honesty and knowledge of the rulings of Zakat in the field of work. Other assistance can be entrusted to those who do not meet some of these conditions

As stated in the recommendations of the twenty-seventh symposium on contemporary Zakat issues on January 10, 2020, which was organized in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

First: Those who collect Zakat:

Those working on zakat include charitable organizations authorized and licensed by the state to collect and distribute zakat, and in their judgments are charitable organizations and Islamic centers outside the countries of the Islamic world that are authorized or delegated by the Muslim community.

Voluntary entities and volunteer individuals are not included in the eligibility from the Zakat collector’s category, even if they are licensed to collect and distribute Zakat.

Contemporary image of zakat collectors

Most of those who write in the statement of the category of those working on Zakat do not conjure up the contemporary picture in its details, and explain the work carried out by the Zakat institutions and licensed charitable societies, and the most important jobs that they perform.

Starting with the administration, the projects department, the financial department, the human resources department, the public services department, the information systems department, the studies and research department, the training department, the public relations department, the strategic planning and performance development department, and more.

The transformation of the zakat collectors, collection and distribution wise is no longer in such a small form as it was in the past, but rather has turned into a complete institution, with its multiple and diverse staff. What must be reconsidered in this category is what it spends on from its share, which is achieved two main things:

The first: the sustainability of institutional work on the one hand, given that the eight categories of zakat are divided into two parts, one of the two sections is the collectors and workers on it, and the rest is the other section who need it in terms of taking, not from the side of collecting as is the case of the collectors.

The second: Achieving the purposes of Zakat, from meeting necessities and needs, achieving sufficiency, and dispensation for the categories, with the expansion of need for those who are entitled. The crises the world is experiencing today requires showing the role of Zakat, charity, endowment and others in meeting the necessary needs.