Who is entitled to receive Zakat?
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]
"And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully." [Al-Quran 17:26]
- Fuqaraa: Those who own property in excess of basic necessities but below the value of Nisab.
- Masakeen: Persons of extreme poverty who possess no wealth whatsoever.
- Aamileen: (Zakat collector) Those persons who are appointed by an Islamic Head of State or Government to collect Zakat. It is not necessary that this be a needy person.
- Muallafatul Quloob: Those poor and needy persons who are given Zakat with the intentions of solidifying their hearts because they maybe recently converted to Islam or to bring them closer to Islam.
- Ar-Riqaab: slaves whose masters have agreed to set them free on a payment of a fixed amount. Zakat may be used to purchase their freedom.
- Ibnus-Sabeel: A traveler, who, whilst wealthy at his residence, is stranded and in need of financial assistance.
- Al Ghaarimeen: A person whose debts exceeds his assets and his net assets (after deducting his liabilities) is below the Nisab limit. To determine whether a person qualifies, his basic necessities of life (house, furniture, clothes, vehicle, etc.) will not be taken into account. It is conditional that the debts were not created for any un-Islamic or sinful purpose.
- Fi Sabeelillah: Those who are away from home in the path of Allah. Those in Jihaad, those seeking knowledge or a stranded Haji may be assist with Zakat if they are in need.