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Who is “The Miskeen” Entitled to Receive Zakah?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I`m in charge of the administrative and financial affairs of a certain company, so giving the Zakah due on that company and distributing part of it is entrusted to me. Since my job involves dealing with some of the public organizations, I have become acquainted with the living conditions of some of the employees there; particularly, those who receive low salaries that don`t cover their needs. Therefore, I give them from the Zakah funds for the sake`s of Allah, not in return for any favors because they aren`t decision makers. What is the ruling of Sharia on this matter?

Answer:
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions. Allah, The Almighty, has specified eight channels for the disbursement of Zakah, as indicated in the following verse: " The voluntary almsgivings are only for the poor and the needy, and those who work with them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and for slaves, and for the debtors, for the way of God, and for the traveller – a duty imposed by God. And God is Knower, Wise. "{At-Tawbah/60}. Islam has made Zakah a fixed right for the poor and the needy as well as the rest of those entitled to it. Allah, The Almighty, said: "And those in whose wealth is a recognised right."{Al-Ma`arij/24}. Moreover, it isn`t permissible to give Zakah to people not entitled to it; whereas, the needy(Miskeen) are amongst those entitled to receive it. By definition, (Miskeen) is, for instance, someone who needs ten JDs but has seven. If the income of the employees referred to in the above question doesn`t cover their needs, then the term(Miskeen) applies to them, and so it is permissible to give them from the Zakah funds; however, it is better that you authorize someone else to deliver that Zakah in order to avoid suspicion. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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