what are the criteria

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Question

 

. Just wanted to know what are the criteria for one to be eligible to receive zakaat??

 

Answer

 

Muhtaram / Muhtaramah

 

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.

 

Who is entitled to Receive Zakât

  1. 1.The person who possesses the nisâb of either gold or silver, or trade goods which equal the nisâb of either gold or silver is regarded as a rich person in the Shariah. It is not permissible to give zakât money to him. Nor is it permissible for him to accept or consume zakât money. Similarly, the person who has belongings which are not for the purposes of trade but are over and above his basic needs, is also considered to be a rich person. It is not permissible to give zakât money to such a person as well. Furthermore, although he is regarded as a rich person, zakât is not wajib on him.
  2. 2.The person who has very little wealth or has no wealth at all to the extent that he does not have sufficient food for one day is regarded as a poor person. It is permissible to give zakât to such a person. It is also permissible for him to accept zakât money.
  3. 3.Large utensils, expensive carpets, etc. which are very occasionally used in weddings and other functions are not regarded as necessary items.
  4. 4.The following things are regarded as necessities of life: a house to stay in, clothes that are worn, slaves for domestic purposes, and furniture that is in use. If a person possesses these things, he will not be regarded as a rich person irrespective of the value of these items. It is therefore permissible to give zakât to such a person. In the same way, the books and other essentials of a learned person are also included among the necessities of life.
  5. 5.A person owns several properties from which he receives rent. The income of these properties is used to run his own home. Alternatively, a person possesses a few cows from which he receives a certain amount of income. Despite this, he has a very large number of dependents whereby he cannot live a comfortable life and always finds himself in difficulties. Nor does he have any wealth upon which zakât could be wajib. It is therefore permissible to give zakât to such a person as well.
  6. 6.A person has R1000 in cash with him. However, he is also in debt for an amount of over a thousand rands. It is permissible to give him zakât as well. However, if his debt is less than R1000, then this amount that he is owing will be subtracted from the cash that he possesses. Thereafter we will have to see whether the balance that he has is more than the nisâb of zakât or less than it. If the balance is more than the nisâb, zakât cannot be given to him. But if it is less, then zakât can be given to him.
  7. 7.A person may be a very rich person at home. However, while on a journey, all his money got stolen or exhausted in some other way to such an extent that he does not even have sufficient funds to reach his eventual destination. It will be permissible to give zakât to such a person. Similarly, a person who is travelling for hajj and who may be a rich person can also be given zakât money if all his money gets spent.
  8. 8.Zakât cannot be given to a kâfir. It will have to be given to a Muslim. All forms of charity can be given to a kâfir except the following: zakât, ushr, sadaqatul fitr, nazr, and kaffarah.
  9. 9.Zakât funds cannot be used for the building of a musjid, for the shrouding and burial of a deceased person, for the payment of debts on behalf of a deceased person, or for any other noble purpose. As long as zakât is not given to the rightful person, it will not be considered to be fulfilled.
  10. 10.Zakât cannot be given to one’s ascendents. That is, to one’s parents, maternal and paternal grand-parents and even great grand-parents. In the same way, zakât cannot be given to one’s descendants. That is, to one’s children, grand-children, great grand-children, etc. In the same way, the husband and wife cannot give zakât to each other.
  11. 11.Apart from the above mentioned, it is permissible to give zakât to all other relatives such as one’s brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, maternal and paternal uncles and aunts, step father or step mother, step grandfather, father-in-law, mother-in-law, etc.
  12. 12.It is not permissible to give zakât to immature children if their father is rich. If the children are mature and poor, but their father is rich, it will be permissible to give zakât to them.
  13. 13.If the father of an immature child is not rich but the mother is, it will be permissible to give zakât to that child.
  14. 14.It is not permissible to give zakât to the progeny of Hadrat Fâtimah radiallahu anha, the progeny of Hadrat Ali radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Abbas radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Ja’far radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Aqeel radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Hârith bin Abdul Muttalib radiallahu anhu. Similarly, the charities which have been made wajib by the Shariah cannot be given to the progeny of the above Sahabah. Such charities are, nazr, kaffarah, ushr, sadaqatul fitr. Apart from these, all other charities can be given to them.
  15. 15.It is permissible to give zakât to one’s Muslim servants, workers, employees, etc. However, this zakât should not be included in their wages or salaries. Instead, it should be given separately as a gift. At the time of giving this gift to them, one should have the intention in his heart that he is giving zakât.
  16. 16.It is permissible to give zakât to one’s foster mother and foster children.
  17. 17.The mahr of a woman was fixed at R1000. However, the husband cannot fulfil this due to poverty. It will be permissible to give zakât to such a woman. It will also be permissible to give zakât to her if her husband is rich but refuses to give, or if she has absolved him from giving the mahr. If the woman knows that if she had to ask her husband for her mahr, he will give it to her without hesitation, it will not be permissible to give zakât to her.
  18. 18.A person gave zakât to another person thinking that he is poor. Later, he learnt that this person was rich or he was a sayyid. Alternatively, he gave it to someone on a dark night and later realized that the person to whom he had given the zakât was actually his mother or daughter, or any other relative to whom zakât is not permissible. In all these cases, zakât will be considered to be fulfilled and there will be no need to repeat the payment of zakât. However, if the person to whom the zakât was given learns that this was actually zakât money and that he is not eligible to receive zakât, he should return the zakât money. If the person who gave the zakât learns that the person to whom he had given the zakât was actually a kâfir, he will have to give zakât again.
  19. 19.A person has a doubt as to whether a certain person is rich or poor, Zakât should not be given to him until it has been ascertained whether he is eligible to receive zakât or not. If zakât is given to him without ascertaining his financial position, the person should check with his heart and see to which side his heart is more inclined. If his heart tells him that the person is poor, zakât will be fulfilled. If his heart tells him that the person is rich, zakât will not be fulfilled and will therefore have to be repeated. But if he establishes the fact that he is indeed a poor person after having given the zakât to him, then he does not have to give the zakât again.
  20. 20.At the time of giving zakât and all other forms of charity, one should first take one’s relatives into consideration. However, when giving them this zakât, they should not be told that it is zakât so that they do not feel offended. It is mentioned in the Hadith that by giving charity to one’s relatives one receives a double reward – one reward for giving charity, and one for showing kindness to one’s relatives. After giving the relatives, if there is any remainder, it should be given to outsiders.
  21. 21.It is makruh to send the zakât of one place to another place. However, it will not be makruh to do so in the following instances: (1) if one’s poor relatives live at another place, (2) the inhabitants of that place are more deserving than the inhabitants of this place, (3) the inhabitants of that place are more involved in deeni activities. There is great reward in sending zakât to students of deen and pious ulama.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah


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