Who is eligible for Zakat?

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Who is eligible for Zakat?

Bismillahir Rahmani Rahim, today’s topic of discussion is the sectors of zakat payment and Who is eligible for Zakat.

What are the sectors of Zakat payment?

Almighty Allah has mentioned 8 categories of Zakat in the Holy Quran. He said, surely Sadaqah (zakat) is for the Fakir and the poor and for the servants engaged in it, and for those whose hearts are to be attracted; (It can be distributed) in freeing slaves, among debtors, in the way of Allah, and among travelers. It is decreed by Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Repentance 9/60).

In that verse, Allah Ta’ala mentioned 8 categories of Zakat payment. Each sector is discussed separately below-

(1) Fakir

A poor beggar. Which Allah Ta’ala has mentioned as the first of the 8 sectors of Zakat. Therefore, the Fakir is entitled to Zakat’s wealth. Allah Ta’ala says, If you give Sadaqah openly, it is better; And if you do it secretly and give it to the poor, it is better for you. (Baqarah 2/271).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said Allah Ta’ala has made Zakat (Zakat) obligatory on them on their wealth. which will be received from their rich and distributed among their poor.

Bukhari Ha/1395, chapter ‘Zakat’, paragraph ‘Zakat being obligatory’, Banganubad Bukhari 2/75 p.; Muslim Ha/19.

(2) Poor

Allah Ta’ala mentions the poor as the second of the eight categories of Zakat. And the poor are the person who can neither meet their needs nor ask openly. Outwardly he seems well off. 

In the hadith, it was narrated from Abu Huraira (RA), that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He is not poor who goes from door to door for a handful of food or two dates and returns when he is given it.” Instead, the real poor person is the one who does not have enough resources to meet his needs. But he is not even known so that people can criticize him and he himself does not want anything from people.

Bukhari Ha/1479, 4539; Muslim Ha/1039; Mishkat Ha/1828.

(3) Zakat collectors and custodians

Allah Ta’ala has mentioned as the third sector of Zakat payment is the person who is engaged in the collection, custody, and distribution of Zakat. Therefore, even if the person is rich, he can take part in Zakat if he wants.

Sharhul Mumte 6/225.

In the hadith, it was narrated on the authority of Ibn Sa’eedi al-Malaki (RA), who said, Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) appointed me as a collector of zakat. When I finished the work and delivered it to him he ordered me to be paid. I said I have done this to gain the pleasure of Allah. So I will take the reward from Allah. He said, Take what I am giving. Because I also worked as a zakat collector during the time of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Then he also ordered me to pay the remuneration. Then I said the same thing as you. The Prophet (peace be upon him) told me, when something is given to you even though you do not want it, then accept it. You eat it yourself or have it.

Muslim Ha/1045; Mishkat Ha/1854.

In another hadith, it was narrated from Ata Ibn Yasar (RA), that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, Zakat is not permissible for a wealthy person. But it is permissible for five classes of rich. (1) A person engaged in Jihad in the way of Allah. (2) Employees engaged in the collection of Zakat. (3) Indebted persons. (4) The person who purchased Zakat goods with his own property and (5) The poor neighbor gave a gift to the rich person from the Zakat received by him.

Abu Dawud ha/1635; Mishkat Ha/1833; Albany, Chartered; Sahihul Jame.

(4) The person who has to be attracted to Islam

Zakat can be paid to a non-Muslim in order to attract him to Islam or to ward off any evil or the harm of an infidel.

Sharhul Mumte 6/226.

There is a hadith, narrated by the authority of Abu Saeed Khudri (RA), who said, Ali (RA) sent some pieces of gold to the Prophet (PBUH). He distributed it among four persons. (1) Al-Aqra Ibn Hanzali who was from the Majayshi tribe. (2) Wayna Ibn Badr Fazari. (3) Zayd Tawai, who belonged to the tribe of Bani Nabhan. (4) Alkamah ibn Ulasah Amiri, who belonged to the tribe of Bani Kilab. The Quraysh and the Ansar were displeased with this and said that the Prophet (PBUH) was giving to the leaders of Najd and not us. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, I am entertaining them in order to attract them. Then a man came forward, with two Kotraga eyes, drooping temples, a high forehead, a thick beard, and a wrapped head. He said, O Muhammad! Fear Allah.

Then he said, “If I disobey, then who will obey Allah?” Allah has made me a trustee over the people of the earth, and you do not consider me a trustee. Then a man asked him for permission to kill him. (Abu Sa’id (RA) said, “I thought he was Khalid Ibn Walid. But the Prophet (PBUH) forbade him. Then when the accuser turned back, the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘From the progeny of this person or something like that after this person.’ There will be many people who will recite the Qur’an, but it will not pass their throats. They will depart from the Deen as arrows depart from the bow. They will kill the followers of Islam and refrain from killing the idolaters. If I had found them, I would have killed them. I would definitely kill like the nation. 

Bukhari Ha/3344, Banganubad Bukhari, (Tawheed Publications) 3/380 p.; Muslim Ha/1064.

(5) Slaves (for emancipation).

Those who have become slaves in exchange for any written contract. Zakat can be paid to redeem them by purchase from the owner. Similarly, if a Muslim person is currently imprisoned by non-Muslims, that person will also be included in this category. 

Sharhul Mumte 6/230.

In the hadith, it was narrated on the authority of Bara Ibn Azeeb (RA), who said, A man once came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and said, “Tell me a deed that will bring me closer to Paradise and keep me away from Hell.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “You have said the question in few words; But you want to know something very broad. You free an animal and free a slave. The man said these two are not the same work. He said, No (the two are not the same). Because to free an animal means that you alone will free the whole animal. And to free a slave means to help by paying some price for his release.

Also, one of the deeds that will enter Paradise is donating an animal that gives plenty of milk and showing favor to a near relative who is wronged by you. If you are not able to do all these things, give food to the hungry and water to the thirsty. Enjoin good deeds and forbid evil deeds. And if it is not possible for you to do this, then restrain your tongue from speaking anything but good.

Musnad Ahmad Ha/18670; Adabul Mufrad Ha/69; Mishkat Ha/3384, Banganubad Mishkat (Emdadia) 7/3 p.; Albany, Sanad Cahih.

In the mentioned hadith, slavery is mentioned as a special means of attaining Jannah. And since the emancipation of slaves requires a lot of money, Allah Ta’ala has mentioned the emancipation of slaves as the main source of zakat distribution in Islamic economics.

(6) Indebted persons

Zakat can be given with a view to freeing the debtor from his debt. 

There is a hadith, narrated on the authority of Kabeesah Ibn Makharek (may Allah be pleased with him), who said, “Once I became the guarantor of some debts.” So I went to the Prophet (PBUH) to ask for something in this regard. He said to me, (Stay in Madinah until the wealth of Zakat comes to me. Then I will order you to give me something from it.

Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, remember O Kabisha! It is not permissible to ask for help (from Zakat wealth) for anyone other than three persons. (1) It is permissible for a person who incurs a debt to ask for help (from Zakat wealth) until he pays it. Then it will close. (2) It is lawful for a person who is afflicted with a calamity in which his wealth is destroyed (from the wealth of zakat) to seek help until he obtains something sufficient to meet his needs or, as he says, to live, and

(3) a person who is Destitute even three men of knowledge among his neighbors have testified to his poverty that it is lawful for him to ask for help (from zakat wealth) until he earns something like his livelihood or, he says, to live on. O Kabisha! Except these, those who ask (from Zakat wealth) are eating haram.

Muslim Ha/1044; Mishkat Ha/1837.

(7) A person engaged in Jihad in the way of Allah

Any effort aimed at upholding the Deen of Allah is part of ‘fi sabilillah’ or the path of Allah. Jihad, all ways of acquiring religious knowledge, and all means of spreading religion are included in this category. 

In the hadith, it was narrated from Ata Ibn Yasar (RA), that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, Zakat is not permissible for a wealthy person. But it is permissible for five classes of rich. (1) A person engaged in Jihad in the way of Allah. (2) Employees engaged in the collection of Zakat. (3) Indebted persons. (4) A person who has purchased zakat goods with his own property and (5) A poor neighbor who has given a gift to a rich person from the zakat received by him.

Abu Dawud ha/1635; Mishkat Ha/1833; Albany, Sanad Chahih; Chahihul Jame’ Ha/7250.

(8) Passengers

Zakat money can be donated to a person who has exhausted his path while traveling and to arrange for him to reach home by paying Zakat. In this case, even if the traveler is wealthy, zakat can be paid to him.

The commandment to eat the Zakat wealth of the strong and able-bodied

It is not permissible for a strong and active person to eat Zakat wealth. 

In the hadith, it was narrated from Abdullah Ibn Amr (RA), that the Prophet (PBUH) said, Zakat is not permissible for a wealthy person and it is not permissible for a healthy person.

Tirmidhi Ha/652; Nasa’i Ha/2597; Ibn Majah ha/1839; Mishkat Ha/1830; Albany, Sanad Chahih; Chahihul Jame’ Ha/7251.

In another hadith, on the authority of Adi Ibn Khiyar (RA), he said, Two people narrated to me that they came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) during the Farewell Hajj. He was then distributing Sadaqah (Zakat). They both asked him for something (Zakat). He looked up at us and bowed. He saw that both of us were healthy. Then he said, “If you want, I will give it to you.” But it has no part of the rich and of any strong and active man.

Abu Dawud ha/1633; Nasa’i Ha/2598; Mishkat Ha/1832; Albany, Sanad Chahih; Shahihul Jame’ Ha/1419.

Ruling on giving zakat to parents

It is not permissible to give Zakat wealth to parents. Because the children and their wealth basically belong to the parents. Besides, it is the exclusive duty of the child to support his parents with his wealth. 

The hadith was narrated by Abdullah Ibn Amr (RA), a person who came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said, O Messenger of Allah (PBUH)! I have wealth and children. My father is the guardian of my wealth. He said You and your wealth belong to your father. Your children are your best income. So feed your children what they earn.

Abu Dawud Ha/3530; Mishkat Ha/3354; Albany, Chartered; Silsila Chahihah Ha/2414.

Ruling on giving zakat to one’s husband

If the wife owns the Nisab amount of wealth. And if her husband is poor then she can give zakat to her husband. But the wife herself and her own children cannot benefit from it. The husband himself and if he has another wife and children by that wife, they can enjoy it.

In the hadith, Zaynab (RA), the wife of Abdullah Ibn Masood (RA) said, I was in Masjid al-Nabawi. I saw the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), and he said, “Do charity even if it is from your ornaments.” And Zaynab (her husband) used to spend (give zakat) on Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and the orphans of her lap. He said to Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (RA), ask the Prophet (PBUH), if I spend the wealth of Zakat on you and on the orphans of my lap, will it be enough? Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (RA) said, “Rather, you should ask yourself.”

Then I went to the Prophet (PBUH). I saw another Ansari woman waiting at the door, she also came in need like me. In this situation, Belal (RA) was passing by us. We said, Ask the Prophet (PBUH), if I give zakat to my husband and my orphans, will my zakat be collected? And do not tell him (the Messenger of God) about us. Belal (RA) went and asked, then he said, who are they? Belal (RA) said, Zaynab. Did he ask again, which woman? Belal (RA) said she is the wife of Ibn Mas’ud (RA). Then the Prophet (PBUH) said, Yes, there will be two exchanges for him. Exchange of kinship and protection of kinship.

Bukhari Ha/1466.

Ruling on giving Zakat to one’s wife and children

Zakat’s wealth cannot be given to one’s wife and children. 

There is a hadith, narrated from Abu Hurairah (RA), who said, The Prophet (PBUH) ordered to do Sadaqah. Then a person said, O Messenger of Allah (PHUB)! I have a dinar. He said, spend it on yourself. The man said I have another one. He said, spend it on your children. The man said I have another one. He said, Spend it on your husband or wife. The man said I have another one. He said, spend it on your servant. The man said I have another one. He said you should think about it and decide.

Abu Dawud ha/1691; Nasa’i Ha/2535; Mishkat Ha/1940; Albany, Sanad Hasan; Irwaul Galil Ha/895.

From the mentioned hadith it is proved that the responsibility of maintenance of his wife is on the husband and as a father, the responsibility of maintenance of the child is also on him. Therefore zakat cannot be given to one’s wife and children.

Ruling on paying Zakat to non-Muslims

It is not Shariah-compliant to give Zakat wealth to a non-Muslim. Because zakat is imposed only on rich Muslims and it is ordered to be distributed among poor Muslims.

The Prophet (PBUH) said Allah Ta’ala has made Zakat (zakat) obligatory on them. which will be received from the rich and distributed among the poor.

Bukhari Ha/1395, chapter ‘Zakat’, paragraph ‘Zakat being obligatory’, Banganubad Bukhari 2/75 p.; Muslim Ha/19.

Provision of building mosques and graveyards with Zakat money

It is not permissible to build mosques and graveyards with Zakat money. Because Allah Ta’ala has determined the sectors of Zakat distribution. Zakat is only for the fakir, the poor, the zakat collector, whose hearts need to be drawn (toward Islam), for the emancipation of the slave, the debtor, the way of Allah, and the traveler. This is the decree of Allah (Tawbah 9/60). Mosques and graveyards are not included in the said sector.

Ruling on giving zakat to close relatives

If a close relative is actually entitled to zakat, zakat can be given to him. Even it will earn a double reward.

In the hadith, it was narrated from Salman Ibn Amer (RA), he said, Rasulullah (SAW) said, ‘Giving charity to a poor person is a charity. But if he is a close relative by blood, the merit is doubled. (1) Goodness of charity (2) Goodness of protecting kinship’.

Musnad Ahmad Ha/16277; Tirmidhi Ha/658; Mishkat Ha/1939; Albany, Sanad Cahih.

Method of distribution of Zakat in 8 prescribed sectors

Zakat distribution should be limited to the 8 sectors specified by Allah Ta’ala in the 60th verse of Surah Tawba. It is not permissible to pay zakat outside of this. However, Zakat does not have to be divided into 8 equal parts. Instead, zakat should be distributed more or less among the 8 sectors that can be found, keeping in view the need. Even paying the full zakat in any one sector based on need will be met. It should be noted that Zakat on gold, silver, current currency, and commercial goods is to be paid in current currency ie money, and not with any goods.

Who is eligible for Zakat?

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How many dollars is Zakat obligatory?

Who is Zakat obligatory on? When is Zakat due?

On which wealth is Zakat obligatory? What is Nisab of Zakat?

What are the conditions of Zakat to be obligatory?

Importance of Zakat in Islam and punishment for not paying Zakat

Zakat meaning and What is zakat in Islam?

Recipients of zakat

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