ALMS ( ZAKAT )
Allah Ta’ala has stated, “The God fearing are those who spend in our path, out of Our provided subsistence” (Surah Baqarah, verse 3)
At another place He says, “And establish prayer and pay the zakat (poor due)” (Surah Baqarah, verse 43)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We find the order to pay zakat in this verse. Zakat is one of the most important duties of Islam. Let us first understand the meaning of zakat
Meaning of the Word Zakat
According to the dictionary, the word “Zakat” has two meanings. One of its meanings is “clean, pure.” Or to be clean or to purify. The other meaning is to grow, expand and multiply. Because payment of Zakat results in increased wealth, the wealth given in the path of Allah Ta’ala is called Zakat.
Zakat Being Made Compulsory
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! The Holy Qur’an states in many places about the necessity to pay Zakat. Allah Ta’ala tells the people of faith directly, “O believers! Spend in the way of Allah out of what We have given you.” (Surah Baqarah, verse 254)
At another place, describing the qualities and identity of those that have guidance and piety He says, “There is guidance to the God fearing. Who believe without seeing, and establish prayer and spend in Our path, out of Our provided subsistence.” (Surah Baqarah, verse 2-3)
At yet another place Allah Ta’ala states, “And spend something out of Our provision in Our way before death comes upon any of you.” (Surah Munafiqoon, verse 10)
Believers are being made aware in this verse that make it your habit to spend your wealth in the path of Allah Ta’ala before death comes to you. When the deeds end at the time of death, and when you are asked about this on the day of judgement, you will have nothing except regret and sadness.
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Allah Ta’ala is urging and reminding us time and again to spend in His path. “What we have given you” needs to be understood and reflected on. Sometimes, because of a lack of knowledge, a person thinks his wealth and his earnings are the result of his own efforts and labours. This thought is absolutely incorrect. Everything a person owns is by the Grace of Allah Ta’ala and is granted by Him, and he is kept devoid of this on certain occasions.
Foundation of Islam
It is reported in various Ahadith that the foundation of Islam is on five things. Testifying about the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala and the Prophethood of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam, establishing Namaz, Fasting, giving Zakat, and performing Hajj.
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam has also warned about Zakat. Hazrat Alqama radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Your faith will be complete when you pay the Zakat on your wealth and possessions.” Hazrat Abdullah Bin Umar radiallaho ta’ala anhuma narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Whoever believes in Allah Ta’ala and His Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam, it is compulsory on him to pay Zakat on his wealth.” (Tirmizi and Ibn Majah)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We learn from these Ahadith that after testifying to our faith, those Muslims that have wealth must pay the Zakat that is owing on their wealth. The person that has enough wealth and does not pay Zakat is not a complete Muslim. Those that pay Zakat have been given many glad tidings by Allah Ta’ala and Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam.
It is reported in Tibrani on the authority of Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallaho ta’ala anhu that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Whoever guarantees that they will protect six things, I will be responsible for him going to paradise” The narrator says that he asked Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam about those six things. Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Namaz, Zakat, property of others, private parts, stomach and tongue.”
Giving Zakat is Mercy
There are the glad tidings of paradise for those that pay Zakat. Paradise is a place where there is no fear or grief. There will be complete freedom from all kinds of fear and grief and a person will be at complete peace. There will be so many luxuries and bounties that we cannot even comprehend in this world. This will be for those people that have faith, have piety and good characters, and possess all those qualities that are necessary for a believer. These are the people that will be the inheritors of Paradise. Paradise is for them and they are for paradise.
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Firdaus is the highest stage of paradise. Believers have also been given the good news of Firdaus. Hazrat Abu Ayub radiallaho ta’ala anhu says, “A person came to Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam and said, tell me a deed that will take me into paradise?” Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Worship Allah, do not associate anyone with Him, establish prayer and pay Zakat.”
Doors of Paradise
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates, Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam prayed the khutbah and then said, “I swear by Him in whose control is my life.” He said this three times and then lowered his blessed head, so the companions also lowered their heads and started crying. We did not know why Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam had taken an oath. Then Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam raised his blessed head, there was rays of happiness on his blessed face and he said, “The person that prays all five Namaz, fasts in Ramadhan, and pays the Zakat on his wealth, and saves himself from large sins (Kabeera Gunah), the doors of paradise are opened for him and he is told to enter paradise with peace.” (Nisa’ee Shareef)
Hazrat Ibn Umar radiallaho ta’ala anhuma narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “When a person obtains goods or possessions, Zakat is not due on that until a full year passes.” (Tirmizi Shareef)
Hazrat Samrah Bin Jandab radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam used to tell us to pay the Zakat on items we were preparing to take to sell for business purposes. (Abu Daud)
Hazrat Musa Bin Talha radiallaho ta’ala anhu reports that we have the letter of Hazrat Mu’az Bin Jabal radiallaho ta’ala anhu that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam sent him with. The narrator reports that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam told Hazrat Mu’az Bin Jabal radiallaho ta’ala anhu to take the Zakat of grain, grapes, and dates from the crops of Muslims. (Mishkaat Shareef)
Benefits of Charity
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Where there is punishment for not paying Zakat, there is great reward for paying Zakat. It is reported that the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala is kindled by the actions of Muslims and the one who pays Zakat will be peacefully granted entrance into paradise. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all. Aameen.
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Zakat (Alms) and Sadqah E Fitr (Charity) are both compulsory (Wajib). The one who does not fulfil them is a grave sinner. It is also a great reward to give voluntary charity (Sadqah) in the path of Allah Ta’ala. Let’s look at some narrations about the giving of charity and act upon the teachings and sayings of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam to improve your life on earth and in the hereafter.
Ways To Increase Your Wealth
The Mother of Believers, Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa radiallaho ta’ala anha narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “If a Muslim gives one dry date or one morsel of food in the path of Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala increases it, and looks after it and raises it, just like a person would raise a calf or a dwarf, until it becomes as big as Mount Uhud. (Masnad Imam Ahmed)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Just as Allah Ta’ala rewards us for paying Zakat, He also gives great rewards for giving charity. If charity is given with sincerity, Allah Ta’ala increases it tremendously, and removes difficulties. We have seen Allah Ta’ala remove many calamities and illnesses are cured because of charity. Remember! Never think that giving charity will result in decreased wealth. Rather wealth will increase because of charity that we give. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to pay charity. Aameen.
Hazrat Anas radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “When Allah Ta’ala created the earth it started shaking. Allah Ta’ala created mountains and placed them on the earth to make it steady. The angels were amazed at the strength of the mountains and asked, O Lord, are there anything more powerful than mountains in Your creation? Allah Ta’ala replied, Yes Iron. The angels asked, Is there anything more powerful than Iron?
Allah Ta’ala replied, Yes Fire. The angels asked, Is there anything more powerful than fire? Allah Ta’ala replied, Yes water. The angels asked, Is there anything more powerful than water? Allah Ta’ala replied, Yes wind. The angles asked, Is there anything more powerful than wind? Allah Ta’ala replied, Yes, the children of Adam alaihis salaam, that they give charity with their right hand and the left hand is not aware of it (so secretly).” (Mishkaat)
This means that he gives charity in such a way that if he gives charity with his right hand, even his left hand does not know what he has given. To give charity like this is more powerful than mountains, iron, fire, water, wind and all things.
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! This is an era of showing off. People do not want to hide any act of goodness. According to the saying of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam, the most powerful thing is the charity that is given in secret. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to serve the creations of Allah ta’ala with sincerity. Aameen.
How is Life Lengthened?
Hazrat Amr Bin Auf radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Without doubt Allah Ta’ala increases life through charity and saves from a bad death.” (Dur E Mansur)
Freedom from the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala
Hazrat Anas radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Without doubt, charity saves you from the wrath if Allah ta’ala, and banishes (gets rid of) a bad death.” (Tirmizi Shareef)
Do Not Ruin Your Charity
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! To give charity and then remind about the favour is a great evil and oppression, which is why to give charity in secret is better. By reminding about the favour results in the charity not being accepted by Allah Ta’ala. That is why Allah Ta’ala says, “Do not ruin your charity by reminding about the favour and giving grief.”
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! If Allah Ta’ala gives us the opportunity to help His creation then be aware, never remind the poor about your favours. If you do the charity will definitely be wasted. You will also be sinful for grieving the poor. We should not dishearten anyone. We should act upon the Sunnah of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam and help the poor and pray for them as well. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all
WRATH OF RASOOL ALLAH sallalaho alaihe wasallam
Who Is The Dweller of Hell?
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “I was informed that three people will enter paradise first and three people will enter hell first .The three people that will enter Paradise first are a Martyr, a slave that remains busy in worshipping Allah Ta’ala and acts upon the teachings of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam, and one who has a pious pure family. The people that will enter hell first are a person that takes power by force, a wealthy person that does not pay Zakat, and a lewd wicked person.” (Sunan Abu Daud)
Gold Silver….and Punishment
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “The person that has gold and silver and does not pay Zakat, on the day of Judgement the gold and silver will be moulded into blocks and heated in the fire of hell. Then the forehead and all sides of his body will be marked and burnt with this. When the slabs cool down they will be heated again and he will be burnt over and over again. The day of judgement will be 50,000 years long and he will be burnt like this all the time until the judgement of all the people is completed. (Muslim Shareef)
Hazrat Abu Zar Ghaffari radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “The people that accumulate wealth and do not pay Zakat, give them the news of flaming hot rocks with which they will be burnt. Those hot rocks will be placed on his head and on his back and will come out from his chest. They will be placed on his chest, will break his ribs and come out of his back.” (Muslim Shareef)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Not paying Zakat on our wealth will result in severe punishment. Who amongst us is able to withstand this kind of punishment? We should make sure that we pay the Zakat on our wealth. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to pay Zakat on our wealth. Aameen.
Serpent Around the Neck
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “The person that does not pay Zakat on his wealth will see his wealth as a bald serpent on the day of judgement. It will be placed around his neck.” (Ibn Majah Shareef)
Hazrat Thaubaan radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, ” If a person dies without paying Zakat on his wealth, the wealth will become a bald serpent on the day of judgement. It will chase the person and the person will say, “May you perish, who are you?” The serpent will reply, “I am the wealth that you left in the world without paying Zakat on it.” It will continue chasing the person until he is overwhelmed and he will be forced to put his arm in the mouth of the serpent. The serpent will eat the arm and continue eating until it has eaten the whole body of the person” (Kanzul A’amaal)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! According to the Hadith of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam, the wealth on which Zakat is not paid will chase us on the day of judgement in the form of a bald snake. Allah O Akbar! Others will benefit from the wealth a dead person accumulates in the world, and the person who accumulated it will be subjected to punishment if Zakat is not paid on it before he dies. May Allah Ta’ala give us wealth that we can properly pay Zakat on. Aameen.
How Wealth Is Ruined
Ameerul Mo’mineen Hazrat Sayyedina Faruq E Azam radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “The wealth and possessions that are ruined on land and at sea is due to Zakat not being paid on it.”
Hazrat Buraidah radaiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “The community that does not pay Zakat, Allah Ta’ala inflicts them with famine.”
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We see from these two narrations that not paying Zakat is the reason wealth and possessions are ruined. If you want to take full advantage of the bounties that Allah Ta’ala has given you, then it is crucial to pay the Zakat that is owing on it. The blessings of Zakat will safeguard the wealth and possessions.
Result of Love of Wealth
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Sa’alba Bin Hatib was a very poor Muslim. He used to prostate excessively in the court of Allah Ta’ala. Due to his many prostration’s (Sajdahs), his forehead did not only have a mark, it was swollen like his knees. However he would be the first to leave the mosque after prayers. One time Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam asked him, “Why are you always in such a rush to leave the mosque?” He replied, “I only have this one pair of clothes. When I return home my wife puts on these clothes and prays Namaz. Yaa Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam, please pray for me that Allah Ta’ala grants me wealth.” Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “O Sa’alba, poverty is better for you.” But he insisted so Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam asked him, “What would you like?” He replied that he wanted goats and Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam made dua for him. Only a few days had passed when Allah Ta’ala granted him a field full of goats.
Gradually the goats increased in number until Sa’alba had to move outside Madinah to tend to all his goats. When the goats increased even more he had to move even further away from Madinah into the woods. He was so busy tending to his goats that performing Namaz became difficult for him. There came a time when he would only go to Masjid E Nabvi for Friday prayer (Jum’a).
When the verse regarding Zakat was revealed, Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam ordered all the Muslims to pay Zakat. He also sent a messenger to Sa’alba. When the messenger told Sa’alba about the order of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam he thought that this would result in him losing many of his goats (Ma’azallah). He told the messenger that he would think about it. When the messenger came the second time, Sa’alba said that this is a like a penalty, a punishment and refused to give any of his goats. This message was given to Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam who said, “The time for Sa’alba’s ruin is near.” At that moment a verse of the Qur’an was revealed that declared Sa’alba to be a hypocrite (Munafiq).
At that time a relative of Sa’alba was present who informed him about the revelation of the verse. Sa’alba regretted what he had done and came to Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam with the Zakat that he owed. Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Sa’alba, this is why I said poverty is better for you, and now Allah Ta’ala has rejected your Zakat and charity so I can not accept this from you.” Sa’alba returned disappointed and came to pay his Zakat during the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique radiallaho ta’ala anhu. Hazrat Abu Bakr radiallaho ta’ala anhu said, “When the Leader of the universe sallalaho alaihe wasallam rejected your charity, how would I dare to accept it?” Similarly he returned during the caliphates of Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthmaan radiallaho ta’ala anhuma and they also rejected his charity. In this state of disappointment and dejection, Sa’alba passed away.
Some Important Rules Regarding Zakat
In Shariah (Islamic Law), Zakat means to take a certain percentage of your wealth that had been decided by Shariah, and to make poor Muslims owners of that wealth.
” There is a minimum amount that a person must have before Zakat is payable. This is called the “Nisaab” in Shariah. Zakat is only compulsory when you have more than the Nisaab. No Zakat is payable if you own less than the Nisaab. The Nisaab for gold is 7.5 tola (88 grammes) and the Nisaab for silver is 52.5 tola (620 grammes). And the Nisaab for business goods and other possessions and wealth is the equivalent value in gold or silver.
” The goods that are kept for business should be evaluated. If the value is greater than the, equivalent of 7.5 tola (88 grammes) of gold or 52.5 tola (620 grammes) of silver, then Zakat must be paid on these goods. Goods for business includes all goods, whether it is a manufacturing plant or livestock. If the items are kept for business, once a full year has passed, Zakat is payable on them.
” If business inventory does not exceed the Nisaab, but you have gold, silver, cash etc, which if totalled exceeds the Nisaab then Zakat is payable.
” Zakat is not payable on the value of the house or shop that is rented to another person. However, Zakat is payable on the money that is received as rent after it has been in your possession for 1 year. If the owner has more that the value of Nisaab beforehand, then the rent money is added to his assets and is not calculated separately. The rent money must be added to the other possessions and Zakat must be paid on all.
” Zakat is not payable on fixtures and fittings in a shop i.e. all the items that are used to help sell goods but are not actually for sale. For example, cabinets, shelves, counter, heater, air conditioner, freezer, cash register, display equipment etc. All these things are in the store but are not sold and are not considered as inventory, and therefore Zakat is not payable on them.
” Zakat is compulsory; one who refuses to believe this is a non-believer (Kafir). The one who does not give Zakat is a transgressor and deserves to be executed. One who delays in giving Zakat is a grave sinner. (Alamgiri)
” There are certain conditions that must be met for Zakat to be compulsory (Wajib). The person must be a Muslim, sane, mature, free (not a slave), owner of the wealth, free from debt, and being in possession of more than the Nisaab amount for one full year.
” There is no Zakat on pearls or precious stones even if you have many of them. However if they are for business purposes then Zakat is necessary.
” One year passing means the lunar calendar, according to the birth of the moon. Zakat must be paid if a person had more than the Nisaab at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year, but did not have more than the Nisaab in the middle part of the year. (Alamgiri)
” When paying Zakat or separating the wealth, it is a condition that the intention (niyyah) must be for paying Zakat. Intention means that if asked you can definitely say that this is for Zakat.
” If you give voluntary charity (Sadqa Khairaat) all year and then say that all that I gave is Zakat, this will not be counted as Zakat. Separating the Zakat money will not free you from your obligation until you make a poor person the owner of that wealth and give it to them. If you die, the Zakat will be classed as not having been paid.
” Zakat money cannot be used for the burial or funeral expenses or to build a mosque because a poor person has not been given ownership of that money. If it is essential to use for those purposes then the way to do this is to make a poor person the owner of that wealth, and then he donates it and both people will be rewarded. It is reported in Hadith that if the wealth passes through a hundred hands then they will all receive the same reward and there will be no reduction in the reward of the original giver. (Radd Ul Mukhtar)
” It is not necessary to tell a poor person that this is Zakat money, only the intention is necessary for the person giving. Even if the poor person is told that this is a loan and the intention is Zakat then the Zakat will be accepted. (Alamgiri)
” Similarly, if the receiver is told that this is a gift, present, Eid gift to children etc, the Zakat will be fulfilled. Some poor people do not like to take Zakat money, therefore do not use the word Zakat, but make the intention in your heart. (Bahar E Shariat)
” If business inventory exceeds the value of Nisaab for gold or silver, then Zakat is payable on the total value. (2.5% of the total, not of the amount above the Nisaab) (Durr E Mukhtaar)
Who Should Zakat Be Given To?
Allah Ta’ala has told us which classifications of people are entitled to Zakat and charity. He states in the Holy Qur’an, “The poor due (Zakat) is only for those who are poor and needy, and for those who collect it, and for those whose hearts are to be conciliated for Islam, and for the freeing of slaves, and for debtors, and for spending in the way of Allah and for the traveller. This has been ordained by Allah. And Allah is Knowing, Wise.” (Surah Taubah, verse 60).
The preceding verse tells us who are worthy of receiving Zakat. These are the people that are rightfully entitled to the money of Zakat and charity. The following is a detailed description of the different classifications of people that are entitled to Zakat as mentioned in the verse quoted above.
Poor Person (Faqeer): Is that person that has some possessions but not enough money to reach the qualifying threshold or Nisaab, nor does he have enough goods in his house to reach the level of Nisaab. Or he might have enough items in his house to reach the level of Nisaab but some or all of the property is part of his basic necessities. Such as religious or educational books, clothes to wear, house to live in, tools for his profession. Then regardless of how expensive they are, they are not counted in Nisaab. Such a person is classified as a “Faqeer” (poor person), and is worthy of Zakat. If such a person is a scholar (Aalim), it is more excellent to give it to him.
” It is better to give Zakat to a poor scholar than a poor illiterate person. (Alamgiri)
” If giving to a scholar (Alim), pay special attention in relation to his respect. Give it with complete respect as you would give a gift to someone. Beware! Do not ever think of a religious scholar as being beneath you or lower than you, as this is a sure way to destruction. (Bahar E Shariat)
Needy (Miskeen): Is that person that has nothing. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an, “Or to a poor man lying in the dust” (Surah Balad, verse16)
This means that the dust that is on him is his blanket and bed. Give such a person your Zakat and earn rewards. Such a person is allowed to beg but a poor person is not because a poor person has some possessions, even though it is not enough to reach the level of Nisaab. If a person has enough to eat for even one day, it is not permissible for him to beg. (Alamgiri)
Collector (Aamil): A collector can be given Zakat even if he is rich. An “Aamil” is that person that is appointed by the Leader of Muslims to collect Zakat. This person is spending his time and effort in this work and therefore he is entitled to be paid for his work. He should be given enough so that he and his helpers expense can be fulfilled while collecting the Zakat money. His expense should not be more than half the amount that he has collected. If the money or goods are lost by the collector, the Zakat given by the people will be accepted. If the collector is a Syed (Descendant of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam), his wage should not be given from the Zakat money. If it is given to a non-Syed poor person first and then he gives it to the Syed then it is allowed. A rich collector can be given from the Zakat money but Hashmi (Syed) holds a more exalted position than a rich person does.
Console the Hearts (Mu-allifatil Quloob): This means to console the hearts. It is a general rule that if a needy person is given something, he is drawn towards the giver. That is why Allah Ta’ala has allowed this class of people to be given Zakat so that each new convert to Islam would be comforted and encouraged and he can easily live his life as a Muslim. However, when Islam gained power, the classification of “Mu-allifatil Quloob” was cancelled for all, including the companions.
Freeing Slaves: Those slaves who are able to pay some money and gain freedom. Even if he is the slave of a wealthy person or he himself has more than the Nisaab, he can be given the money of Zakat. He must not be a slave of a Syed as it in not allowed to give Zakat to a Syed. In one way he is the property of his master and the master is a Syed, so the Zakat will go to a Syed and this is not allowed.
Person In Debt (Gharim or Qarzdaar): It is allowed to give Zakat to one in debt. He should not have more than the Nisaab if he pays off his debts with what he has. Also he should not have more than the necessities of life, so that by selling them he would still not reach the level of Nisaab. Such a person can be given Zakat.
Spent In The Path Of Allah (Fee-Sabeelillah): This means to spend in the path of Allah Ta’ala. There are many ways this can be done. It can be given to a person going for Jihad (struggle in the path of Allah Ta’ala) to pay for his horse, weapons, armour and money for the journey. It can also be given to a pilgrim (Haji) who has been robbed of his money along the way, and now is in need of money to continue further. A student studying religion can also be given Zakat.
Traveller (Abn-asabeel): This means the traveller who has run out of supplies and/or money, even if he has wealth at his home. It is allowed for such a person to collect Zakat.
It is necessary when giving Zakat that the person who it is given to is made the owner of the money. Zakat money can not be given to a mosque, used for burial of the dead, make a bridge, make roads, dig wells, or to buy books to distribute.
If someone’s Mother is a Syedah but his Father is not, then he is not a Syed because in Islam heredity is from the father.
A husband cannot give Zakat to his wife and a wife cannot give to her husband. If the husband has divorced his wife, and her waiting time has passed (Iddat), then they can give Zakat to each other.