In Al-Quran surah At-Taubah verses 60, Allah said: "As-sadaqaat (here means zakah) are only for the fuqaraa (poor), and al-masaakin (poor) and those employed to collect (the funds) and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (toward Islam), and to free captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah's cause (i.e. for mujahiduun - those fighting in a holy battle) and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wiser".
Thus, it is clear that there are eight groups (asnafs) of rightful recipients of zakah (mustahiq):
- Fuqaraa and al-masaakin
- 'Amil zakah
- People who or whose groups or family are wished to be muslims
- People who are worried to do crime if not helped
- People who just become muslims
- Muslim leaders or public figures whose friends are kufur
- Muslim leaders or public figures whose believe is not yet firmed
- Muslims who live in fortresses or in the front of enemy line
- Muslims who need help in enforcing the collection of zakah from reluctant people
- Riqab (slaves)
- Gharimun (debtor)
- Fi sabilillah
- Ibnu Sabil
The main purpose that these groups are being the recipients is to eradicate poverty and scantiness within the ummah. According to a wellknown mufassir (a person who understands the meaning of Quran) Tabari, fuqaraa means needy people but can help themselves not to beg, whereas al-masaakin means people who are needy and beg.
The third target group is 'amil zakat, which are those who perform all the zakah administration. This includes collecting zakah, account them, and distribute them.
Muallaf are people whose hearts are expected to inclined to Islam or whose believe to Islam is expected to increase, or people whose bad intension to muslims is to be prevented, or people who are expected to be of benefit to or help muslims from their enemies. There are several groups of people that are qualified as muallaf:
There are two ways to free slaves. Firstly, is to help mukatab. Mukatab is slaves who have agreements with the master to be released once they can present certain amount of fortune. The second way is to buy slaves and then free them from their own zakah or from the collected zakah by a government.
According to ibnu Humam in al-Fath, gharim are debtor who are trapped with their liabilities to fulfill basic need. Mazhab Imam Syafi'i argued that this asnafs deserve to be given zakat to pay their liabilities with some preconditions, which are: they have no wealth to pay their liabilities; they do not perform sin or illegal activities; the payment of liabilities has reached its due date. They deserve to get the amount of zakat which is as much as their liabilities. But if the creditors release them from their obligation to pay the liabilities, they have to give the share of zakat back to Islam. There are two groups of debtors. One is those who are in debt for their own wellbeing, such as for living cost, clothing, or treating sick people. Another group is those who are in debt in the effort to solve conflicts or to perform social obligations, such as care for orphans, provide health services for fuqaraa and orphans, etc.
Fi sabilillah means in the path that conveys Allah's ridha in terms of aqidah or deeds. Syeh Rashid Ridha in Tafsir Al Manar explained that zakah for this asnaf can be used for the public benefit (maslahah of ummah) with regard to the establishment of aqidah of ummah.
According to jumhur ulama, ibnu sabil is an expression for musafir. Musafir are people who are travelling. Although an ibnu sabil has living means, he can receive zakah if he has trouble in accessing his means during travelling.
Other parties than these 8 groups are not qualified as the recipients of zakah. However, they can be recipients of infaq. Thus, the recipients of zakah are more specific than the recipients of infaq.
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