In this Section
“The alms are meant only for the poor and the needy and those who are in charge thereof, those whose hearts are to be reconciled; and to free those in bondage, and to help those burdened with debt, and for expenditure in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer. This is an obligation from Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
(Al-Qur’ān – 9:60)
The verse presents eight different heads of Zakat funds. Be it a collective system of Zakat collection and distribution or an individual himself or herself doing this, one should spend the Zakat money only on the specified accounts.
The first category of Zakat recipients is of fuqara, those who depend for their sustenance on others. They include orphans, destitute widows, the disabled, unemployed and old. Second, masakeen – those who are in greater distress than the ordinary poor people. They are both self-respecting and poor. Third, ‘those employed to administer them’. Fourth, to provide succour for and to rehabilitate the reverts to Islam. Fifth, to secure the emancipation of slaves or release of the unjustly jailed persons. Sixth, to the debtors who would be pauper if they were to pay off all their debts from their available resources. Such debtors do not include those who incur heavy debts either as a result of their extravagance or their spending on evil purposes. Seventh, fi sabilillah signifies the struggle to establish the Islamic system of life on earth. And, eighth, a traveller is entitled to receive help out of Zakat funds if he needs such help during his journey.