Page 74 - Islam In Focus

Basic HTML Version

it. When it is not observed properly, the rightful authorities of the State must interfere
on behalf of the public to establish the institution and see to it that it is enforced
The Due Recipients of Zakah
The Holy Qur’ am classifies the due recipients of Zakah as follows:
1. The poor Muslims, to relieve their distress;
2. The needy Muslims, to supply them with means whereby they can earn their
3. The new Muslim converts, to enable them to settle down and meet their unusual
4. The Muslim prisoners of war, to liberate them by payment of ransom money;
5. The Muslim in debt, to free them from their liabilities incurred under pressing
6. The Muslim employees appointed by a Muslim governor for the collection of
Zakah to pay their wages;
7. The Muslims in service of the cause of God by means of research or study or
propagation of Islam. This share is to cover their expenses and help them to continue
their services;
8. The Muslim wayfarers who are stranded in a foreign land and in need of help
The due recipient of Zakah is one who has nothing to meet his necessities or has little
(less than the nissab) at the end of the year. If one has approximately the nissab or
more he must be a contributor, not a recipient of Zakah. If a recipient receives his
share and finds that it is sufficient for his immediate needs with a balance of about the
nissab he should not accept any more, he should return whatever he may receive to
other eligible recipients.
Zakah may be distributed directly to individuals of one or more of the said classes, or
to welfare organizations which look after them. It may also be distributed in the form
of scholarships to bright and promising Muslim students and researchers, or in the
form of grants to welfare organizations and public service institutions which patronize
such causes
A disabled or invalid poor Muslim is preferable to one who is able and capable of
making some earnings. The contributor should use his best judgement in finding the
most deserving beneficiaries.
The taxes we pay to governments nowadays do not substitute for this religious duty; it
must be earmarked as a special obligation and paid separately, aside from the
government taxes. However, the Muslims of North America may take advantage of
the tax laws that allow certain deductions for charity. They should pay their Zakah to
the deserving beneficiaries and then claim the sums paid as proper legal deductions.
The contributor should not seek pride or fame by carrying out this duty. He should
make it as covert as possible so that he may not be victimized by hypocrisy or passion
for vanity which nullifies all good deeds. However, if the disclosure of his name or
the announcement of his contribution is likely to encourage others and stimulate them,
it is all right to do so.
Zakah is also obligatory on cattle and agricultural products. The shares payable in this