7 people who are not eligible to receive Zakat

Zakat cannot be given to everybody. There are certain people who are not eligible to receive Zakat or simply you cannot pay it to them. Before we go further, it is important to know the Nisab for Zakat.

What is Nisab for Zakat?

Nisaab is the minimum amount of wealth whose owner is deemed to be wealthy and is required to pay Zakat. There are 2 measures to determine the Nisab i.e. Gold and Silver.

  • 87.48 grams of gold or;
  • 612.36 grams of silver or;
  • its equivalent amount of cash or trading assets etc.

A man who owns cash, silver, or trading assets worth $441 dollars, is required to pay Zakat. 

  • 612.36 X 0.72 = $441

Who is not eligible to receive Zakat?

Sahib un Nisab

The person who meets the Nisab as explained above, cannot receive Zakat as he is liable to pay it as per Islamic law.

Who is not eligible to receive Zakat?

Parents/Children/Spouse

You cannot pay Zakat to your spouse, descendants, and ascendants.

  • It means that parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren are not eligible to receive Zakat.
  • Similarly, the Husband and Wife cannot pay Zakat to each other.

However, Zakat can be given to brothers, sisters, nephews, nephews, nieces, maternal and paternal uncles, and any other relatives if they do not meet the Nisaab given above.

Non-Muslims

Zakat cannot be given to non-Muslims. You can only pay Nafl Sadaqah to non-Muslims.

Dead person

Your zakat cannot be used to pay any dead person’s debt nor you can pay funeral expenses for a deceased person.

However, if someone takes the loan of a dead person in his name after which his net worth goes below the Nisab for Zakat, he can receive Zakat.

Aal e Muhammad

The descendants of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ generally called Syed are also not eligible to receive Zakat no matter what their financial condition is.  Muslims should help those families out of respect for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Wakf

Zakat cannot be utilized to purchase land, assets, or books for public utility and open it for the use of the general public. 

Masjid

While Zakat can be paid to a Madrassa, it cannot be given to run or construct a Masjid. The Masjid is the house of Allah and obviously, you cannot pay Zakat to Allah.

  • Madrassa is the place where students take Islamic education.

People who can receive Zakat

The following people can receive the money of Zakat only if they do not meet the Nisab as explained above.

People who can receive Zakat

FUQARA

Fuqara are the people who are very poor and they do not possess enough means to live their life like normal people. These people truly deserve zakat.

Al-Masakin

Masakin are extremely poor and needy people who have no source of income. You must pay your zakat to masakin as it will help them in improving their life.

Zakat collector

Now there are many authorized trustworthy NGOs that work for underprivileged communities, these are the people who collect your zakat’s and provide them to the truly needy people.

New Muslims

Those who have converted to Islam and are needy are eligible for your zakat.

Freeing captives

You can utilize your zakat money to free captives from slavery.

Debtors

You can use your zakat to help the debtors to pay off their money. First, make sure that the money he borrowed from someone is not used for any illegal or anti-Islam purpose.

In the path of Allah

Zakat can be given to people who are striving and fighting for Allah. Generally, Madrassas teaching Islamic education to students receive Zakat under this category.

Travelers

Zakat can be given to travelers who are left alone in any foreign land and don’t have any money to survive in that area. Zakat can also be given to refugees as they left the country because of excessive violence.

Quranic verse for Zakat

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] 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] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. – At-Tawba 9:60

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.