Islam:Rich and Poor

Categories: IslamPovertyZakat

needs but not fully to sustain themselves and their families. Both of these groups cannot meet the needs to suffice them and their families, thus the need to pay them Zakat.

But how much should they be given?

According to Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, they should be given what they need to suffice them and their families for a one complete lunar year.

This is because after the year passess, Zakat will become due again, and perhaps if they still fall in this category, then they will receive their entitled share.

This is also held by Umar (RA) where once asked with what should be done with the Zakat collected from bedouin Arabs, he answered, "By Allah, I shall render the sadaqah to themselves, until each of them becomes the owner of a hundred camels, male or female". In another incident, Umar (RA) declared, "When you give, make (the recipient) rich."

The Zakat given to them could vary, it can be in the form of money, food, cloth or even a productive tool such as tailoring machine that will generate income to the individual.

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Perhaps the poor or the needy starts a small enterprise with the Zakat he/she received, and in the next year he/she becomes Zakat Payer. In this way, the Ummah is alleviated and totally removed from poverty and hunger.

Al-Amileen (Zakat Collectors)

These are people who are appointed by the administration or trusted in the collection of Zakat. They are those who collect Zakat and then distribute it to the rightfully entitled people.

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They are employees and deserve to be paid in return for their work. They may or may not be poor.

If it happens that they are poor and at the same time Zakat collectors, they are first given Zakat their work and then be given whatever will suffice them for one lunar year because of being poor.

Mu'allafatul-quluub (Those whose hearts to be reconciled)

These are people who have embraced Islam recently and are in need of basic necessities or those inclined to the Truth of Islam.

Those in bondage (Fir-Riqab)

These are people who are held as bondages or slaves and Zakat is allocated to help free themselves of the bondage.

Those in debt (Al-gharimeen)

These are those who are in debt and do not have wealth to repay it. The debt must not be created from Unislamic purpose.

Fi-Sabeelillah (For Allah's cause)

Zakat is allocated to those in the way of Allah carrying obligatory deed but are short of wealth and thus need financial support. This is the seventh category.

Ibn-us-Sabeel (Travelers/Wayfarers)

These are people who went for a lawful travel but lacked money to return home and thus stranded in the way. They are given zakat wealth to return home even if they are rich at home. (Al-Qaradawi, 1999)

Role of Zakat System in Poverty Alleviation

The benefits of the zakat system to the individual payer, the community and the Ummah at large are immeasurable. Zakat system helps the Ummah achieve the spiritual and the material wellbeing. It not only purifies the heart and the soul but also plays a crucial role in income redistribution and poverty alleviation. Here are some of the benefits of Zakat to the individual and the Ummah.

1. Income (wealth) redistribution

Islam requires every Muslims that has wealth excess of a minimum value (nisab) to be given to eight deserving category, poor and needy the foremost. Wealth flows from the rich to the poor and the needy get Zakat wealth through the zakat system. This gives the poor the opportunity to get rid of poverty and improve their living standards. This income/wealth redistribution narrows the financial gap between the rich and the poor thus bringing two different classes (rich and poor) closer and enhancing social harmony and cohesion in the society and the Ummah. (Abdelmawla, 2009)

Updated: May 19, 2021
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Islam:Rich and Poor. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Islam:Rich and Poor essay
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