Ma’n bin Yazid bin Akhnas (radi Allahu anhum – he, his father and his grandfather, all were Companions) reported: My father set aside some dinars for charity and gave them to a man in the masjid. I went to that man and took back those dinars. He (the father) said: “I had not intended you to be given.” So we went to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), and put forth the matter before him. He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said to my father, “Yazid, you have been rewarded for what you intended.” And He said to me, “Ma’n, you are entitled to what you have taken.”
There are a few lessons to be learnt from this hadith:
1. This Hadith leads us to the conclusion that if charity, goes to a needy son of a Muslim, there is no need to take it back from him for the reason that the father had intended to give it to a deserving person. The former gets the reward for it on account of his intention. This however, will be reckoned as voluntary charity because the obligatory Zakat (Sadaqah) cannot be given to the donor’s own dependents.
2. It is permissible in Shari’ah to make someone a Wakil (attorney or agent) for Sadaqah.
3. It does not amount to disobedience on the part of a son to take his father to a competent authority or scholar to know the legal position on any issue, in the same way, as mutual discussion and debate on matters of Shari’ah does not amount to insolence. (Fath Al-Bari, chapter on Zakat).