Q: Would it be permissible to pay zakat to the institution who are to spend it 100% on feeding, clothing and living essentials of the pupils?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: It is not sufficient to simply spend the zakat funds upon eligible recipients even if it is 100%. This alone will not discharge the obligation of zakat. On the contrary, the eligible recipients must be made owner of the zakat monies. This can be done in either of two ways. (1) The mature recipients instruct the organisation to collect zakat on their behalf and then utilise it in accordance with the organisations fair policies and procedures. (2) The zakat money itself, or food clothing and other living essentials purchased with the zakat money should be given over to the eligible recipients with the latter being made owners of the same.
Essentially, it is not sufficient to feed eligible recipients but rather one must give the food to the eligible recipients and make them the owner of the food.
Proper discharge of the obligation of zakat remains the responsibility of the payer so it is important that one gives one’s zakat to an organisation about whom one is reassured that it will disburse the zakat whilst being mindful of the related rulings.