Q: Who can receive Zakat?

A: The recipients of Zakat have not been left to the limited wisdom of mankind, rather to the limitless wisdom of Allah. The following verse outlines the recipients:

“Sadaqah (Zakat) is for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Quran 9:60)

The above verse singles out eight types of people deemed eligible to receive Zakat. They have been identified as:

1) Al-Fuqara’ (The poor)
2) Al-Masakin (The needy)
3) Al-‘Amilina ‘Alayha (Administrators of Zakat)
4) Al-Mu’allafah Qulubuhum (Reconciliation of Hearts)
5) Fir-Riqab (those in Bondage)
6) Al-Gharimin (Those in Debt)
7) Fi-Sabilillah (In the Cause of Allah)
Ibn al-Sabil (The Wayfarer)