Are you Eligible?
Islam imposes Zakat on the person who is affluent and capable of giving Zakat. People get confused, that who is the entitled to receive it? To whom zakat cannot be given? Can zakat be given to relatives? Can zakat be given to siblings? Can zakat be given to mosque?
To pull you out of that enigmatic situation, Islam clearly explains eight kinds of people who can receive Zakat.
From the verses of the Holy Quran, you can easily figure it out. There are eight groups of people on whom Zakat should be spent, as mentioned in the Quran:
“The alms are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), and Al-Masakin (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 traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Al-Quran 9:60]
“They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.” [Al-Quran 2:215]
“(Alms are) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah– they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging); you can recognize them by their mark; they do not beg from men importunately; and whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah knows it.” [Al-Quran 2:273]
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These Holy verses give you a proper idea of the categories as well as a prioritized group of the people. Let’s discuss these categories one by one.
8 Kinds of People Whom Zakat can be given
Fuqaraa are deprived of the basic necessities of life. They are dependent on others because they (some) are physical defects, old age, unemployed, no means of living. These people are the prioritized group to whom you should pay the zakat.
Masakeen are those who are in need of help. They are greater distress than the needy people. These two categories are pretty much similar. The basic difference is, fuqaraa are some what in better position than masakeen as they have some what they can keep it alive, but masakeen are even not in this position to keep them alive if they don’t get any support.
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3) Aamileen: (Zakat collector)
Aamileen are the ones who have been appointed by the Islamic Head of the state or government to collect it. They should be given Zakat as the reward of their services to the nation.
4) Muallafatul Quloob
The people who recently converted to Islam can be given zakat in order to attract their hearts and strengthen their belief. These are people who may be given zakat in order to mold and turn their hearts towards Islam, either a KAAFIR who we hope will turn a Muslim soon, or a Muslim to whom we give in order to give spark to his faith, or bad person to whom we give zakat so as to keep his evil from the Muslims.
Those slaves whose masters agree to set them free as you pay them a certain amount of money. Allah has given no license to anyone for enslaving people. You can spend your Zakat to purchase the freedom of a slave.
A traveler, who is stranded and ran out of food and money in a place away from his home, is entitled to receive the zakat.
7) Al Ghaarimeen
The individuals who are in debt; when debt exceeds his assets and net assets are below the Nisab limits after deduction of liabilities. This will not be taken into the account that either he deserves Zakat or not. It is conditional that debts have not been created for any un-Islamic or evil purposes.
8) Fi Sabeelillah
The people who are away from their homes, their families, comfort and devoted their lives in Jihaad can be given zakat without any hesitation. Your little contribution towards Islam can earn you something you have never heard of because they are in serious need of financial assistance.
According to the great scholars of Islam, these people should be given what satisfies the needs of their families for at least one year because once the year passes, Zakat will be due again. If your Zakat becomes the source of happiness for any deprived, there will be no happiness bigger than this one.
Our zakat can be in the shape of food, clothing or money with which they can buy whatever they want. The second option is that we can provide them with something substantial that can earn them in the future. For example, if someone has a certain skill set, you can give him a tool with which he can start a small business and serve his family. Your want is the need of the poor. It is the responsibility of fortunate ones to help those who are still looking for the basic necessities life because we have born equal and every human being has equal rights to live in this world.
Source: The Noor Project