07 & 08 Defining Recipients of Zakat
The “(1)destitute and the (2)impoverished” share the characteristic of needing help to meet their basic needs, so here zakat is not for the well-off or for the strong and capable [of earning a living]. “(3)Those who work with it” are the ones who collect it, store it, keep records of it, etc. “(4)Those whose hearts are to be brought near” – these will be mentioned in the next chapter about the fei. “(5)The captives” includes assisting slaves who are working under agreement for their freedom, ransoming prisoners of war and the outright freeing of slaves. These are the strongest statements regarding this category. “(6)Those in debt” means those who have a lot of debt and no means to pay them. They can be given that which covers their debts, even if it is a large amount – unless that debt was incurred during anything involving disobedience to Allah Most High. Such can not be given anything unless they repent. “(7)In the path of Allah” means the soldiers going to battle who have not already been given from Allah’s wealth that which suffices them for their expedition. They are given that which enables them to fight or the rest of what they need whether that be horses, weapons, expenses or wages. Hajj (Pilgrimage) is also part of “in the path of Allah as the Prophet (sas) said. “(8)The son of the road” is the one [stranded] while travelling from one place to another..