Where is Bait Al Zakat (Zakat House) located?

EZCH is located in Al-Azhar Headquarters, Salah Salim Street, behind Al-Khalideen Garden, Cairo. 

Who are the eligible recipients of Zakat?
The following eight categories are eligible to receive Zakat:

1. The poor
2. The needy
3. Those employed to collect it
4. Non-Muslims; with the purpose of bringing their hearts together [closer to Islam]
5. Freeing captives or slaves (manumission)
6. For those in debt
7. For the cause of Allah
8. For [stranded] travelers 
EZCH works on all Zakat disbursement channels, except for slavery (which is no longer applicable) and those who work to collect Zakat.

The virtue of charity in times of crisis?

Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).  In times of social or financial crisis, we should check on our families, acquaintances, neighbors and co-workers, and help them with money and foodstuff. The reward for charity is great, and it is even greater in times of crisis. This is based on the Prophet’s (pbuh) saying in response to a question that reads, “Which charity is the most rewarding?”, "it is a charity you give when you already have limited resources, fearing poverty and desiring wellbeing" (Agreed upon). So, the best charity is that you give when you feel in dire need for that given charity and are afraid of poverty. This in turn brings you the greatest reward from Allah. So, checking on your family members, co-workers and neighbors is a manifestation of perfect faith in Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “One who spends the night with a full stomach while their neighbor is hungry, they are not true believers in me.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari). Indeed, giving charity in times of distress is a form of warding off affliction, keeping harms away, and entailing wellbeing and Allah’s Mercy. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "You gain no victory or livelihood except through (the blessings and invocations of) the poor amongst you." (Reported by Al-Bukhari), "Good deeds ward off misfortunes and secretly given charity extinguishes the Lord’s Wrath" (Reported by At-Tabarani). Through charity we attain Allah’s approval, His mercy, His protection from afflictions and diseases. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "The deeds of the known are pious and the wrestler of evil, and charity secretly extinguishes the wrath of the Lord" (Reported by At-Tabarani). We ask Allah to treat us with kindness and benevolence, and to grant us perfect faith; He is the Most Bountiful Giver and Provider. Allah Almighty knows best.

The virtue of sponsoring needy families?

Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Islam ranks a Muslim’s efforts in fulfilling the needs of others more important than I’tikaf in the honorable Prophetic Mosque for a month.   The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Working to fulfill a person’s need it is dearer to me than observing I’tikaf (retreat for worship) in this mosque (meaning the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina) for a month." (Reported by At-Tabrani in the Al-Jami` Al-Awsat). He also maintained that the charitable act of providing for the poor, the needy, and the vulnerable entails a great reward. Allah says, “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (Q. 2: 261] and “whatever thing you spend [in Allah’s cause] - He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” (Q. 34: 39]. Besides, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "A Muslim is the brother of a fellow-Muslim. He should neither commit oppression upon him nor harm him, and he who meets the need of a fellow brother, Allah would meet his needs, and he who relieves a Muslim from hardship, Allah would relieve him from the hardships to which he would be put on the Day of Resurrection, and he who does not expose (the faults of a Muslim), Allah would conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection" (Agreed upon). He (pbuh) also said, "The most beloved of people to Allah is the most beneficial to people, and the most beloved deeds to Allah the Almighty is a pleasure that one brings to the heart of a Muslim, or a debt on pays off for them, or when one relieves them from hunger." (Reported by At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat]. So, benevolence is the best characteristic in which people should compete, knowing that Allah Almighty says, “So for this let the competitors compete” (Q. 83: 26). Therefore, Muslims should compete to attain Allah’s pleasure and win a place in Paradise. Allah Almighty says, “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous” (Q. 3: 133).

How do I calculate my annual Zakat when I’m paying a debt in installments to the bank?

Answer: Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). If you have assets for which Zakat is due, it amounts to the Nisab (the equivalent to 85 grams, 21k, gold), and a year has elapsed since you have possessed it, and yet you also have a debt to pay in installments to the bank, your Zakat is calculated as follows: You subtracted a total of one-year installments from the value of your Zakatable money and if the remaining amount is still equal to Nisab or more, then you should give a 2.5% Zakat from that remaining money. The same equation applies each year. Allah Almighty knows best.

Regarding bank savings certificates, is Zakat applicable to monthly profit only or to both the capital and the profit?

Answer: Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). If the value of these certificates reaches the Nisab, which is equivalent to the value of 85 grams, 21K, gold, and a year has passed since possession of it, then a 2.5% Zakat is applicable to both the capital and the interest, if the interest is saved alongside the capital. However, if the interest is used to cover the certificate holder’s expenses, then Zakat applies only to the capital only. Allah Almighty knows best.

My friend is suffering financial problems and he was compelled to incur debts. Is it permissible to help him through my Zakat money, knowing that he already has profitable property?

Answer: Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Allah has stipulated the disbursement of Zakat funds to eight categories only in the verse that reads, “Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise." (Q. 9: 60) If your friend falls under one of these eight categories, Being – for instance, a poor person whose earnings are insufficient to cover his basic needs or is burdened by debts that he cannot pay off, then it is permissible to give him your Zakat money. However, if your friend can cover his living needs and what he is going through is just a normal financial difficulty, it is not permissible to give him your Zakat money. Rather, you can help him as an act of charity or gift, or to lend him money, seeking Allah’s  reward. The Prophet (pbuh) said, " Whoever fulfills the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever removes the troubles of his brother, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and whoever covers up the fault of a Muslim, Allah will cover up his fault on the Day of Resurrection" (Reported by Abu Dawud in his Sunan). Allah Almighty knows best.

I own a piece of land that is rented out, should I pay Zakat on the rent or on the value of the land?

Answer: Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Zakat in this case is on the rent (quarter of a tenth: 2.5%) if it reaches the Nisab after all deducting all the expenses and after the passing a Hawl since possession of it. However, no Zakat applies to the value of the land itself. Allah Almighty knows best.

I own a factory and I do not know how to calculate Zakat for it, knowing that payables and receivables vary constantly?

Answer: Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). If the money reaches Nisab (the equivalent of 85 grams, 21K, gold), then after a Hawl has elapsed, you should deduct all expenses and collectable debts owed by others, and then apply a 2.5% Zakat to the remaining money. In this case, one should first review the assets and liabilities. Allah Almighty knows best.

A woman asks: My son, who is married and is having two sons, is currently unemployed, can I give him my Zakat money to spend on his family?

Answer: Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). It is permissible to give relatives from Zakat money, provided that they be needy or and is not among those that the Zakat payer is bound to provide for. So, it is not permissible to give Zakat to first degree relatives (father, mother or children). Accordingly, it is not permissible for the mother to pay her Zakat money to her son. It is only possible if this son is indebted and she helps him settle his debt, since he will be eligible to receive Zakat, as indicated in the respective Quranic verse. However, she should better help him out of voluntary charity money or give him money as a gift, knowing that the Prophet (pbuh) said “Giving charity to the poor is charity, and (giving) to a relative is twofold; charity and upholding the ties of kinship." (Reported by Ahmad) Allah Almighty knows best.