Q16. Who is eligible to receive Zakat?
The holy Qur’an specifies eight (8) purposes for which the money from Zakat can be used. They are the following.
- Poor (Faqir pl. Fuqara’): One who cannot support himself/herself, provided (or to the extent) that the recipient of Zakat does not reach the level of Nisab.
- Needy (Miskin pl. Masakin): One who cannot adequately support himself/herself, and is reluctant to ask for help. Such an individual, therefore, is not easily recognized as someone who needs help. Such an individual is eligible for Zakat, provided (or to the extent) that the recipient of Zakat does not reach the level of Nisab.
- Those employed to administer the collection, distribution, and administration of Zakat (Al-‘Amilin): They need not remain below Nisab at the time of receiving compensation through Zakat.
- Those individuals who have been recently reconciled to the Truth (Mu’allafat-al-Qulub): This category includes new Muslims, or those who are willing to support the Muslim State but need to be compensated. They could be non-Muslims as well. Such individuals can be in possession of Nisab and will not be disqualified because of that.
- Freeing of those in bondage (Fi-al-Riqab): Since the custom of bondage or slavery is now extinct, freeing of slaves may not be needed any longer. However, this can be interpreted to include individuals who due to excessive debt do not have any hope of ever standing on their own two feet.
- Those in debt (Al-Gharimin): Zakat money could be received by on who is in debt in order to pay off the debt or a part thereof provided at the time of receiving Zakat, he/she is not in possession of Nisab.
- In the cause of Allah (Fi-sabil-Allah): Those who are going out or working in the cause of Allah (including the task of conveying the message of Islam) or in a battle declared by an Islamic State for just cause. Being in possession of Nisab does not disqualify them.
- The wayfarer (Ibn-al-Sabil): Traveler who is in need of help during his travel.
- One who belongs to the family of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is not eligible for receiving Zakat.