There are eight categories of people who are the beneficiaries of zakat which are mentioned in the Qur’an.
“The alms are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), and Al-Masakin (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]
- The Poor (al-Fuquraa)
Those who own property in excess of basic necessities but below the value of Nisab (minimum required before you are obligated to pay zakat).
- The Needy (al-Masakin)
Persons of extreme poverty who possess no wealth whatsoever.
- Administrators of Zakat (al-A’mileen)
Those persons who are appointed to collect Zakat. It is not necessary that this be a needy person.
- Those inclined to Islam (Muallaf)
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.
- Captives seeking freedom (Riqab)
slaves whose masters have agreed to set them free on a payment of a fixed amount. Zakat may be used to purchase their freedom.
- Debtors (al-gharimeen)
A person whose debts exceeds his assets and his net assets (after deducting his liabilities) is below the Nisab limit. To determine whether a person qualifies, his basic necessities of life (house, furniture, clothes, vehicle, etc.) will not be taken into account. It is conditional that the debts were not created for any sinful purpose.
- For the cause of Allah (fi sabil lillah)
Those who are away from home in the path of Allah.
- Wayfarers (ibn as-sabil)
A traveler, who, whilst wealthy at his residence, is stranded and in need of financial assistance