Alhamdu Lillahi-lazi Ihdaina lil-Islam.
There are eight groups of people on whom Zakat should be spent, as mentioned in Al-Quran:
“The alms are only for the Fuqaraa (the poor), and the Masakeen (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Al-Quran 9:60]
1. Fuqaraa: Those who own property in excess of basic necessities but below the value ofNisab
2. Masakeen: Persons of extreme poverty who possess no wealth whatsoever
3. Aamileen: (Zakat collector) According to Scholars, those persons who are appointed by an Islamic Government to collect Zakat. It is not necessary that this be a needy person
4. Muallafatul Quloob: Those poor and needy persons who are given Zakat with the intentions of solidifying their hearts because they maybe recently converted to Islam or to bring them closer to Islam
5. Ar-Riqaab: slaves whose masters have agreed to set them free on a payment of a fixed amount, Zakat may be used to purchase their freedom
6. Al-Ghaarimeen: A person whose debts exceed his assets and his net assets (afterdeducting his liabilities) is below the Nisab limit
7. Fi Sabeelillah: Those who are away from home in the path of Allah :To finance a Jihad effort in the path of Allah, not for Jihad for other reasons. The fighter (mujahid) will be given as salary what will be enough for him. If he needs to buy arms or some other supplies related to the war effort, Zakat money should be used provided the effort is to raise the banner of Islam.
8. Ibnus-Sabeel: A traveler, who, whilst wealthy at his residence, is stranded and in need of financial assistance.
The expression “in the cause of Allah” or fi Sabil Allah was generally interpreted “Jihad fi Sabil Allah” and so many jurists restricted this Zakah expense for this purpose.
Muslim jurists also say that in the Qur’an Allah used the word “Lil fuqara’ wa Al-masakin or ‘for the poor and the needy’ and the ‘lam’ or (for)” here means ‘tamlik’ or possession. Thus they interpret the above verse to mean that the poor and needy should be made owners of this money or Tamlik Al-Zakah.
Since in public and social welfare projects no one becomes the owner, so, according to their interpretation the Zakah should not be used for this purpose. Thus you will find in the books of Fiqh statements emphasizing that the money should not be used to build the Masajid, schools, hospitals, hostels etc. because this money belong to poor and it should be given to them. There are some jurists who still hold this strict opinion concerning Zakah.
However, there are a number of jurists of this century, such as Sheikh Muhammad ‘Abduh, Rashid Rida, Maulana Mawdudi, Amin Ahsan Islahi, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and some Fatwa organizations in Kuwait and Egypt, they are of the opinion that the phrase ‘in the cause of Allah’ covers a broad category. It is a general term and it should be applied in all those situations where there is a need to serve Islam and Muslims.
Those scholars consider it permissible to use the Zakah money to finance the Da’wah and public welfare programs. They say that the expression ‘for the poor and needy’ can also mean ‘for the benefit of the poor and needy’.
The modern jurists also argue that in the past Muslim governments used to build Mosques, schools and used to finance public welfare projects. Now many governments are negligent in this matter. Many Muslims are living in areas where there are no Muslim governments.
Furthermore the financial needs of the people have become so enormous and diverse that earlier rules and restrictions cannot be fully applied and may not be very useful in every place.
In his famous book Fiqh Az-Zakah, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has thoroughly discussed this subject. His Fatwa is that in non-Muslim countries it is permissible to use Zakah funds to build the Masajid, Schools and hospitals.
It is the concept of ‘fi Sabil Allah’ and helping the Islamic cause in many lands where it has made it possible to establish Islamic institutions and Mosques.
Zakah is basically for the poor and needy and most of it should be used to take care of their needs. I believe that for the Mosque constructions Muslims should make extra charity and should give from funds other than Zakah. However, it is not forbidden for Muslims to give their Zakah money for the building of Mosques and schools, especially in non-Muslim countries.
“”Based on the literature review on zakat distribution of Pusat Zakat Selangor, in Islamic perspective, it can be summarized that the applications of zakat distribution in this current situation are as follow:
Table 1 The Application of each asnaf in this current situation
|Fakir and Miskin||1). Capital gift for the fakir or miskin who has ability or skill, such as carpenter tools for carpenter, farm yield and plant seed for farmer, money for merchants, etc.
2). Monthly or annual fund for unable Moslems, such senior citizen, paralyzed man, yatim piatu kids
3). To build house for unable Moslems
4). Scholarship for Moslems students whose parents do not able to finance their education
|Amil||To pay the wages of ones who perform all the zakat matters such as zakat collector, zakat distributor, zakat treasury, zakat warehouse keeper, etc.|
|Muallaf||1). Funding for muallaf foundation
2). To build mosque for muallaf who live in the kafir region or kafir country
3). Scholarship for Moslem students who study in un-Islamic school or in kafir region
4). Humanity gift for Moslems who threatened by Christianity or others religion program such as Moslems who live in minus or poor region
5). Humanity gift for Moslems in conflict area such as African Moslems or Iraqi Moslems
|Riqob||1) To release the Moslem prisoners who are arrested because of their da’wah activity
2) To release the Moslem women employee who are under pressure of their employer
3) To finance the jihad of Moslems to get their independency from kafir ruler/country
|Gharim||1). To pay the liabilities of Moslems who are trapped in their obligation for their basic need
2). Humanity gift for Moslems who become the victim of disaster such as fire, flood, robbery, etc
|Fisabilillah||1). To finance the Islamic jihad against kafir who fight them such Moslem in Ambon Indonesia or Palestine
2). To finance the Islamic mass media such as Islamic newspaper, Islamic magazine, Islamic television and other Islamic publication media
3). Scholarship for Moslem students who have good performance
|Ibnu Sabil||1). Scholarship for Moslem students who study in other countries
2). To finance the elimination of beggar or homeless person
3). To help the discarded kids
4). To help a merchant whose merchandise are borrowed by others and he cannot collect it back
5). To help Moslems who are chased away from their country since they keep their iman
The Prophet said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim. ‘ He was asked: ‘What if a person has nothing?’ The Prophet replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.’ The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’ The Prophet said: ‘He should help poor and needy persons.’ The Companions further asked ‘What if he cannot do even that?’ The Prophet said ‘He should urge others to do good.’ The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’ The Prophet said ‘He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’