Who is eligible for zakat?

According to the Qur’an (9: 69) there are eight categories of people who are eligible for zakat:

  1. A) The poor (faqir): who are in total need of support and cannot make ends meet. Yet, they do not ask for support due to modesty and self-respect.
  2. B) The destitute (miskin): these are the people in total need of support. However, there is actually a difference of opinion as to whether a Faqir is more in need than a Miskin. Nevertheless, this difference does not change the fact that both categories are in need of support.
  3. C) Workers in zakat administration (al-‘amilina alaiha): these are the people who help collect and administrate zakat and take a wage from the zakat funds.
  4. D) Those whose hearts are to be reconciled (al-mu’allafati qulubuhum): these are people who have recently embraced Islam or are inclined to it or to prevent harbouring of hostilities toward Islam.
  5. E) Those in bondage (fi al-riqab): zakat money can be used to purchase a slave from his master in order to set him free.
  6. F) Those in debt (al-gharimin): people who are overwhelmed with debt and have no income or assets to pay off the debt. The debt must to be accrued through haram actions.
  7. G) For the cause of Allah (fi sabilillah): it is agreed that it refers to jihad.

H) Travellers (ibnus-sabil): a traveller who left home for a legitimate reason such as trading, for public service, hajj, etc., and they have no funds or no access to immediate funds.

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