Disposal of Zakat
1933. Zakat can be spent for the following eight purposes:
1.It may be given to poor person (Faqir), and poor is someone who does not possesses any means to meet his own expenses, as well as that of his family for a period of one year. However, a person who possesses any art or property or capital to meet his expenses, is not classified as poor.
2.It may be paid to a Miskin (a destitute person) who leads a harder life than a Faqir (a poor person).
3.It can be given to a person who is appointed by Holy Imam (A.S.) or his representative to collect Zakat, to keep it in safe custody, to maintain its accounts and to deliver it to the Imam or his representative or to the poor.
4.It can be given to those non-Muslims who may, as a result, be inclined to Islam, or may assist the Muslims with the Zakat for fighting against the enemies, however, most likely this kind of disposal of Zakat can only be executed by Holy Imam (A.S.).
5.It can be spent to purchase the slaves to set them free.
6.It can be given to an indebted person who is unable to repay his debt.
7.It may be spent in the way of Allah, i.e. any beneficial thing and good deeds which has been encouraged by Prophet and Holy Imams (peace be upon Them); for example, to construct a school for religious education, bridges and halting – places on highways for travelers and pilgrims, Masjids and orphanage, and can also spend in religious purposes, for publishing religious books, spreading Islamic culture and values and in anything which can help bring people close to Almighty Allah and supremacy of Islam.
8.It may be given to Ibn Sabil, i.e. a stranded traveler and its ruling will be mentioned later.
1934. It is permissible to give a poor huge amount of Zakat that can make him rich, however, if he has received Zakat equivalent to meeting his expenses for a year, then he cannot take any further Zakat by the time he has his expenses for one year.
1935. If a person had enough amount to meet his expenses for a year, and he spent something out of it, and then doubts whether or not the remaining amount will be sufficient to meet his expenses for one year, he cannot receive Zakat.
1936. An artisan, a land-owner, or a merchant whose income is less than his expenses for one year can take Zakat to meet his annual shortfall, and it is not necessary for him to sell off his tools, property, or spend his capital in order to meet his expenses.
1937. A poor person who has no means of meeting his own expenses, and those of his family, for one year, if he owns a house in which he lives, or possesses a means of transport, without which he cannot lead his life, or it may be to maintain his self-respect, he can receive Zakat.
And the same rule applies to household equipment's, utensils and dresses for summer and winter, and other things needed by him (i.e. he can take Zakat even if he possesses these things). And if a poor person does not have these essential things, he can purchase them from Zakat, if he needs them.
1938. If it is not difficult for a poor person to learn an art, as per obligatory precaution, he should learn it, and should not depend on Zakat. However, he can receive Zakat as long as he cannot meet his yearly expenses.
1939. If a person who was poor previously says that he is still poor, Zakat can be given to him, even if the person giving Zakat may not be satisfied with what he says.
1940. If a person says that he is poor, and he was not poor previously, or it is not known whether or not he is poor, Zakat cannot be given to him, as per obligatory precaution, till one is satisfied about his poverty.
1941. If a Zakat giver is the creditor of a poor person, he can adjust the debt against Zakat.
1942. If a poor man dies, and his property is not as much as it may liquidate his debt, the creditor can adjust his claim against Zakat. And even if his property is sufficient to clear his debt, but his heirs do not pay his debt, or the creditor cannot get back his money for any other reason, as per obligatory precaution, he cannot adjust the debt against Zakat.
1943. It is not necessary for a person who gives Zakat to mention to the poor that it is Zakat. In fact, if the poor feels ashamed of it, it is Mustahab (recommended) that he should give it as present, however, he should have the intention of Zakat.
1944. If a person gives Zakat to someone thinking that he is poor, and understands later that he was not poor, or owing to his not knowing the rule, gives Zakat to a person who he knows is not poor, if the Zakat which he gave to that poor still exists, he should take it back from him, and give it to the person entitled to it.
And if that thing does not exist, and the person who took it was aware that he was given from Zakat, the Zakat payer should obtain its substitute from him, and give it to the person entitled to it. And if the receiver was not aware that it was Zakat, nothing will be taken from him, and the person who has to pay Zakat will give the substitute from his own property to the person entitled to it.
1945. A person who is indebted and is unable to repay his debt, can receive Zakat to repay it, even if he has the means to meet his expenses for one year. However, it is necessary that he should not have spent the loan for some sinful purpose, or if he has spent the loan for some sinful purpose, he had repented for his sins.
However, he can receive Zakat from the share of poor (Faqir), even if he has not repented for his sins.
1946. If a man gives Zakat to someone who is indebted and who cannot repay his debt, and understands later that he had spent the loan for sinful purpose, if that debtor is poor, the man can adjust the sum as Zakat given to poor. However, as per obligatory precaution, if he has not repented for his sins, he should not consider the amount given to such person as Zakat.
1947. If a person is indebted and is unable to repay his debt, although he is not poor, the creditor can adjust against Zakat the amount which that person owes him.
1948. If a traveler is stranded because he has no money left with him, or his means of transport does not function, provided that his journey is not for a sinful purpose, and that he cannot reach his destination by taking a loan or by selling something, even if he is not poor in his hometown he can receive Zakat.
But if he can raise money for the expenses of his journey to another place nearby, by borrowing money or selling something, he should take only that much of Zakat, which would enable him to reach that place.
1949. If a stranded traveler takes Zakat, and upon reaching his hometown finds that some of it has remained unspent, as per obligatory precaution, he should send it back to the Mujtahid mentioning that it is Zakat.