Subject : Ruling on Giving the Value of Expiatory Gifts to one Person
Fatwa Number : 3449
Date : 15-01-2019
Classified : Oaths and vows
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Is it permissible to give the food, grain or cash of 60 Masakeen (poor persons) to one man, even if the latter is a relative?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Islamic Sharia has decreed Kaffarah {Expiatory gift} to remove sin committed by a discerning Muslim adult, set its rulings in detail, and made abiding by it an obligation. One aspect of Kaffarah is the number of the Masakeen to be fed. In the Kaffarah for breaking an oath, it is an obligation to feed teen Masakeen. In the Kaffarah for Zihar and making love to wife during the daytime of Ramadan, it is obligatory to feed sixty Masakeen. This is the view of the majority of the scholars. Therefore, adherence to it should take precedence as the four schools of thought have agreed on it based on the apparent meaning of the Quranic verse, "Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the oaths which ye swear in earnest. The expiation thereof is the feeding of ten of the needy with the average of that wherewith ye feed your own folk, or the clothing of them."{Al-Mai`dah, 89}.

Al-Imam Al-Muzni said, "It isn`t permissible that the person liable for the Kaffarah feeds less than ten Masakeen. He (Al-Muzni) objected to the opinion which says that if he fed a hundred and twenty Muds(A standard measure of grain that equals 543 gram) to a single Miskeen over sixty days, it avails him, but if they were less than sixty, it doesn`t. He (Al-Muzni) said, I see that you have made one Miskeen equal to sixty, although Allah, the Almighty, said, "and call to witness two just men among you" {At-Talaq, 2}. If one person delivered the same testimony over two days, is that considered equal to the testimony of two persons? If he said that it isn`t permissible, because Allah has specified the number of witnesses, then I would reply by saying that Allah has specified the number of the Masakeen with regard to the due Kaffarah."{Mokhtasar Al-Mozni, 8/399}.

About the number of the Kaffarat, some scholars said, "If it was hard to find ten Masakeen as in the Kaffarah for breaking an oath, or sixty in the Kaffarah for breaking fast in Ramadan, then it is permissible to give the food or cash to one Miskeen, and this avails the person liable for that Kaffarah. This is the opinion of the Hanafie scholars and one narration after Imamam Ahmad Bin Hanbal.

However, this is provided that the food is given to the Miskeen over a number of days equal to the number of the Masakeen (10/60}. Al-Kasani, a Hanafie scholar, said, "If he had given the food of ten Masakeen to one Miskeen on one day and as one package or as portions, then scholars have disagreed on that. Some said that it is permissible, but the majority said that it avails for one Miskeen………the food must be given over a number of days equal to the number of the Masakeen {10/60}."{Badai` Al-Sanaie`, 5/105}.

Ibn Qhoddamah said, "Al-Awzai` permitted giving that Kaffarah, as a package, to one Miskeen. Abu Obeid said, it is permissible that he gives it to an extremely destitute household, because the Prophet (PBUH) said to the person who slept with wife in Ramadan, when he told him that he and his household were in extreme destitution, "Feed it to your wife and children." {Al-Moghni, 9/543}.

If it was difficult to find the specified number of the Masakeen, or realized that there is a household in urgent need for charity, then it is permissible to act upon the opinion of the Hanafie scholars (Second opinion), Al-Awzai`, and Al-Khasim Bin Salam, which permits giving the Kaffarah to as many Masakeen as could be found. And Allah knows best.



Warning: this window is not dedicated to receive religious questions, but to comment on topics published for the benefit of the site administrators—and not for publication. We are pleased to receive religious questions in the section "Send Your Question". So we apologize to readers for not answering any questions through this window of "Comments" for the sake of work organization. Thank you.