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 The Recipients of Zakah

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Obedient Angel

Join date : 2011-04-30
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PostSubject: The Recipients of Zakah   Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:40 am

The Recipients of Zakah

By: Abû Bakr Jâbir al-Jaza'iry

The recipients of Zakah are eight. Allah the Mighty and Majestic mentions them in His Book (the Qur’an), as He says:

Verily the Sadaqat (Zakah) are only for the poor and the needy and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s cause, and for the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise. (9:60)


The explanation of these eight categories of people is as follows:

1. Al-Fuqara’ (The Poor): The Faqir (singular of Fuqara’) is the person who does not have sufficient wealth to fulfill his needs and the needs of his dependents, such as food, drink, clothing and housing. He may be considered poor (according to his situation) even though he may possess the minimum amount required for payment of Zakah (i.e. Nisab).

2. Al-Miskin (The Needy): The Miskin (needy) maybe someone whose level of poverty is more or less than the Faqir. However, their ruling is the same in all matters. The Messenger of Allah defined the Miskin in some of his Hadiths. He said:

The Miskin (needy) is not the one who goes around among the people (begging) maybe receiving a morsel or two, and a date or two. Rather, the Miskin (needy) is the one who does not have enough wealth to suffice him, however he does not let others know about it in order to be given charity and he does not stand and beg from the people . (Al-Bukhari)

3. Al-’Amilun ‘Alayhi (Those who are involved with its work): The one who works with Zakah is the person who collects it or the person who goes around gathering it, or he is responsible for maintaining it, or he is the scribe who records it in its register. Such a person is given a wage for his work from it (the Zakah), even if he is wealthy. This is based upon the statement of the Prophet saws :

Charity is not permissible for a wealthy person, except for five: The one who works with it, or a man who buys it with his wealth, or one who is indebted, or one who is setting out to fight (Jihad) in the Way of Allah, or a poor person who is given charity from it (Zakah) and then he gives some of it to a wealthy person as a gift. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and AlHakim said that it is Sahih, and it has the deficiency of being Mursal)

4. Al-Mu’allafah Qulubuhum (Those whose hearts are to be reconciled with faith): Al-Mu’allaf Qalbuhu is the Muslim man whose Islam is weak and he has a strong influence among his people. Thus, he is given from Zakah in order to appease his heart and gather him (firmly) upon Islam. This is in hopes that comprehensive benefit may be gained from him or his evil restrained. Zakah may also be given to a man who is a disbeliever in hopes that he will accept Iman (faith in Islam) or that his people may accept faith. Thus, such people are given from Zakah in order to encourage them to accept Islam and endear them to it.

5. Ar-Riqab (The slaves): The intent of this category of recipient (of Zakah) is that the Muslim who is a slave is purchased from Zakah (funds) and freed in the way of Allah (i.e. solely for Allah’s Pleasure). It also applies to the Muslim who is an indentured servant (i.e. he has a contract with his owner to purchase his freedom). Such a person may be given from Zakah that which will help him to fulfill his contract and thus become a freeman after that.

6. Al-Gharimun (Those indebted): Al-Gharim is the person who owes a debt that he did not acquire through disobedience to Allah and His Messenger saws : and it has become impossible for him to pay it off. Such a person is given the amount which will allow him to pay off his debt from Zakah. This is due to the statement of the Prophet saws:

The matter is not permissible, except for three: For the person who is extremely poor, or the person who has severe debt, or the person who possess a (debt of) blood (money). (At-Tirmithi, who said it is Hasan, and Abu Dawud).

7. Fi Sabilillah (In the way of Allah): The intent of Sabilillah (the way of Allah) is the deed that helps one to achieve the Pleasure of Allah and His Gardens (of Paradise). The most specific form of it is Al-Jihad (religious fighting) in order to elevate the Word of Allah the Most High. Hence, the one who goes out to fight in the way of Allah is given (from Zakah), even if he is wealthy. This share (of Zakah) also includes other comprehensive benefits that are legislated (by Islamic Law), such as building Masjids, hospitals, schools and shelters for orphans. However, that which is given precedence is Al-Jihad, such as preparing weapons, provisions, men (soldiers) and the other requirements of AlJihad and battle in the way of Allah the Most High.

8. Ibnus-Sabil (Wayfarer): Ibnus-Sabil is the traveler who is cut off from his land, being far away from it. So he is given from Zakah that which will fulfill his need as a stranger, even if he is a wealthy man in his homeland. This is due to the poverty he is experiencing in his journey and being cut off from his resources. This is the case when there is no one who can give him a loan that will be of assistance to him in fulfilling his needs. If there is someone who can give him a loan, then he is obligated to take the loan and he is not given Zakah as long as he is considered a wealthy man Zakah), then this is not permissible.

8. Zakah is not acceptable except with its intention. If a person pays it without having the intention of paying the obligatory Zakah, it will not suffice him. This is due to the Prophet’s statement:

Deeds are judged by their intentions, and every person will get what he intended. (Al-Bukhari)
Therefore, the one who pays it must do so with the intention of the Zakah that is obligatory for him to pay upon his wealth. He should also make his intention to pay it solely for the Face of Allah the Most High, as sincerity of intentions is a condition for the acceptance of every act of worship. This is due to Allah the Almighty’s statement:

And they were not commanded (anything) except that they worship Allah, making their religion solely for Him (alone). (98:5)

Source: Minhaj al-Muslim Volume 2 published by Dar-us-Salam publications
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