In their historical contexts, scholars interpreted this category as follows:

Imam al-Babirti (d.786 AH) stated the following types of people as beneficiaries:
1) Those who were inclined to accepting Islam.
2) Those who opposed Muslims and were considered a threat.
3) Those who had just embraced Islam70.
Ibn Qudama (d.620 AH) described the beneficiaries of this meta-category as follows:
1) Muslims
a) Muslim leaders whose faith was shaky could be given zakat in this meta-category. Such
individuals may have great influence on Muslims, and giving to them generously could
strengthen their faith and commitment. An example is the Makkans who were given
generously by the Prophet ` after the battle of Hunain.
b) Prominent Muslims whose social status was respected by those who were not Muslim who
have status in their own communities. It is considered that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr's giving to
Adi bin Hatim and al Zibriqan bin Badr, who were obviously committed Muslims, was of
this nature.
c) Muslims who strove to defend Muslims against hostile narratives.
d) Muslims whose influence was needed in the Zakat collecting process to persuade others to
pay their Zakat. This was a soft approach to change hearts and minds.
2) Those of other faiths or none
a) Individuals who were close to becoming Muslims, or whose clans may have become Muslim.
b) Those who may have done harm to Muslims, to whom giving Zakat would stop them from
hurting Muslims. Ibn 'Abbas narrates that certain people came to the Prophet who, if they
were given Sadaqat, would praise Islam and declare it a good religion but, if they were not,
would malign Islam.
Imam al-Nawawi (d.676 AH) describes al-Mu’allafati Qulubuhum with similar beneficiaries in
al-Majmu’.