Who cannot be given zakat in islam? Who cannot receive zakat in islam?
So far, we have explained the eight classes to whom zakāt can be given. If zakāt is given to places other than these, the person will not be saved from the obligation to pay zakāt, and the individual, social and economic goals expected from this social security institution cannot be realized. This is because there are some people to whom zakāt cannot be given, even though they may be classified within the eight categories in terms of their characteristics. We will explain them in detail below:
1) Mother, Father, Spouse, and Children
A man cannot give his own zakāt to his poor wife, to his poor descendants (furūʿ), and to his poor ascendants (usul). A person’s mother, father, and grandparents are his ascendants. His sons and daughters, their children and grandchildren consist of his descendants. His wife, who is awaiting the waiting period of divorce, also falls within the scope of this provision. For a person is normally obliged to take care of these people when they are poor and provide for their sustenance. If he gives his zakāt to them, the benefit indirectly returns to him. Whereas, after giving the zakāt, there must be no ties of benefit left between the giver of zakāt and the property given as zakāt.
According to the Shafiʿis, it is not permissible to give zakāt to people who have relatives who are responsible for taking care of them. This is because a person whose sustenance is provided by his relatives is not considered needy. Such a person is like a person who earns enough for himself every day.
According to Abu Ḥanīfa and the view preferred by the Ḥanbalis, a woman cannot give her zakāt to her poor husband. For, in this case, the benefit of zakāt will return to the woman through the sustenance provided by her husband.
According to Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Shafiʿi, and Imam Malik, it is permissible for a woman to give her zakāt to her poor husband. This is because the Messenger of Allah (saw) said to Zaynab (r. anha), the wife of Abdullah Ibn Masʿūd (ra), who asked a question about this issue: “Your husband and your children are the ones most worthy of giving charity.” Those who hold the opposite view have interpreted the “taṣadduq” in this hadith as giving voluntary charity.
It is more virtuous to give zakāt to relatives, except for the descendants and the ascendants, who are qualified for it. It is more virtuous to provide first to the brothers or sisters in need, then to their children, then to paternal uncles and aunts, then to their children, then to maternal uncles, aunts, and their children, and then to other relatives from among the relatives called dhawi’l-arḥām.
The Prophet (saw) encouraged giving charity to relatives and said, “Charity given to the needy is (counted as) one charity, and if it is given to relatives it is (counted as) two charities: charity and nurturing (the ties of kinship).”
As for voluntary charities, it is permissible to give them to a son, a wife, or a husband. For, by doing this, two rewards are gained; charity and kindness to relatives. Actually, it is also permissible to give voluntary alms to the wealthy and non-Muslims. This is because Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an, “And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive” During the time of the Prophet (saw), the captives consisted of polytheists. Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said to Abu Bakr (ra)’s daughter Asma, when she asked about her polytheist mother who came to Medina, “Treat your mother well.”
Since zakāt is a religious obligation, it cannot be given to non-Muslims, unbelievers, and apostates. When sending Muadh b. Jabal (ra) to Yemen, the Prophet (saw) said to him, “Teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the zakāt from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.”
According to the majority of jurists, including the imams of four schools, zakāt cannot be given to non-Muslim subjects (dhimmis) of the Muslim state. This is because zakāt is the right of the poor Muslims and it is taken from their wealth and given to the poor. Non-Muslims are not liable for zakāt. Those who do not share such an obligation should not have the right to benefit from it.
Based on the interpretation of Umar about the term “miskīn (the needy)” noted in the verse that determines the categories of people to whom zakāt can be given as “these are the poor of the People of the Book”, some jurists argued that zakāt can also be given to dhimmis. As a matter of fact, Zufar from the Ḥanafi jurists is of this opinion. For the purpose of zakāt is to meet the needs of those who are in distress in order to gain Allah’s pleasure. This purpose is also achieved by giving zakāt to poor dhimmis.
According to Abu Ḥanīfa and Imam Muhammad, it is permissible to give only non-obligatory (nafilah) charities to poor dhimmis. The evidence is the following verse, “If you disclose (acts of) charity, even so, it is well, but if you conceal them, and make them reach those (really) in need, that is best for you: It will remove from you some of your (stains of) evil. And Allah is well acquainted with what you do.” In this verse, there is no distinction between a poor Muslim and a poor dhimmi. Therefore, the verse implies a general meaning. However, the hadith of Muadh (ra) given above specifies the general meaning of the verse about zakāt and due to this hadith, zakāt can only be given to Muslims.
According to Abu Yusuf, Imam Shafiʿi and the majority of jurists, neither zakāt nor the other types of charities can be given to dhimmis. In this regard, they compared the situation of the dhimmis, to the situation of giving zakāt and alms to ḥarbī non-Muslims.
3) The wealthy
It is not permissible to give zakāt to a wealthy person. However, since the zakāt officer will receive a share of zakāt in return for his labor, even if he is wealthy, he can receive the share allocated to him. A wealthy person who becomes needy during a journey can also receive zakāt because even if the traveler is actually wealthy, he is considered poor at that moment.
A person who has niṣāb amount of goods other than his basic needs is considered “wealthy”. A person who owns less than the niṣāb amount determined by Islam according to the various types of property can receive zakāt even if he is healthy, strong, and able to work. This is because even though a person is healthy and strong enough to work, his work may go wrong, he cannot find a new job or the income he earns from the job he works may not be enough to make a living. Accordingly, even if he has a house, household goods, servants, horses, weapons, clothes, professional tools, and the library that the scholar uses, he may still receive zakāt if he does not earn enough income to make a living since these are basic needs.
It is permissible to give a voluntary charity to a wealthy person. For this reason, it has been accepted permissible for wealthy people to receive an income from the endowments in accordance with the endowment deed. This is considered similar to a grant and a gift.
If a person gives his zakāt after making research to a person whom he thinks is qualified to receive zakāt, and then realizes that the person to whom zakāt was given is really qualified for zakāt, it is unanimously accepted that his zakāt will be valid. On the contrary, if the financial situation of the person to whom zakāt was given cannot be understood or if it turns out later that he was wealthy, zakāt will still be valid according to Abu Ḥanīfa and Imam Muhammad. However, if he gives the zakāt without making any research and without thinking about whether he is qualified for zakāt or not, even if his zakāt may still be accepted as valid, if it is found out later that he is not qualified for zakāt, he has to give the zakāt again. Because he has a flaw in making proper research.
The zakāt given to a person whose situation is doubtful in terms of whether he is qualified for zakāt or not is at risk of not being valid. If it turns out later that he is qualified for zakāt, this risk is removed.
According to the Shafiʿis, zakāt cannot be given to the poor and needy who have the opportunity to work and earn. This is because the Prophet said, “There is no right in zakāt for the rich, those who can work and have the strength to earn.”
On the other hand, people who can receive a share of zakāt even though they are rich, are listed as follows in a hadith, “Zakāt is not permissible for a rich man except in five cases: One who is appointed to collect it, a warrior fighting in the cause of Allah, a rich man who buys it with his own money, a poor man who receives the zakāt and gives it as a gift to a rich man, and a debtor.”
According to the Shafiʿis and the Ḥanbalis, zakāt can be given to muallafa al-qulūb and mujahids fighting in the Muslim army even if they are wealthy.
4) Relatives of the Prophet
It is forbidden to give zakāt and alms to the family of the Prophet (saw). This is because zakāt is considered the dirt of people’s property. The family of the Prophet is given enough to cover their needs out of one-fifth of the booty from the state treasury. The following is stated in a hadith, “These charities are only the people’s dirt; they are not lawful for Muhammad and his family.”
According to the Ḥanafis and Ḥanbalis, the children of Hashim, who are not allowed to receive zakāt and alms, are as follows: children of Abbas, children of Ali, children of Jafar, children of Aqīl, and children of Harith ibn Abdilmuttalib.
However, when the relatives of the Prophet (saw) came under great pressure and could not get their share from the state treasury, Abu Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767) said that despite the forbidding hadiths, the social conditions had changed and the rights from the state treasury did not go to their owners, and he issued a fatwa that a share of zakāt should be given to the children of Hashim. Moreover, according to many scholars, it is permissible to give voluntary alms to the children of Hashim.
5) Minors and Mentally Ills
It is not permissible to give zakāt directly to children under the age of seven and to the mentally ill. Zakāt is allowed to be given to their parents on their behalf. It is permissible to give gifts on Eid and similar happy days with the intention of zakāt to needy servants, workers, children at the age of discernment, or the poor people who bring joyful news.
It is not permissible to give zakāt to the young child of a wealthy person. This is because the young child is considered rich through his father’s wealth. On the other hand, zakāt can be given to a rich woman’s orphan child whose father was a Muslim. This child’s lineage is linked to his father, and he is not considered wealthy through his mother’s wealth.
In like manner, a person can give his zakāt to the poor and Muslim father of a wealthy person, or to his poor and Muslim elder son or daughter, or to that person’s poor and Muslim wife. This is because they are independent and are not considered wealthy through each other’s wealth.
It is essential to give the zakāt to the poor living in the same neighborhood where the zakāt property is located. For the Messenger of Allah (saw) said to Muadh (ra), “Take zakāt from the rich people of Yemen and give it to the poor people of Yemen.”
It is makrūḥ tanzihan to send zakāt to the poor in another town at the end of the year. However, if the needy people in the place where the zakāt is sent are relatives or if they are needier than the poor in the area where the property is located, then it is permissible to send it to another city.
Distributing zakāt in the same region where it was collected provides many conveniences. These include better identification of the needy, knowing the real needs, reducing the costs of collection and distribution, and granting in this way opportunities for financial and economic autonomy and local administration to various towns.
 Al-Kāsānī, ibid, II, 40; al-Maydanī, Lubāb, I, 156; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 87. Abū Dawūd, Zakāt, 44; See Ṭalāq, 19. Al-Tirmidhī, Zakāt, 26; al-Nasā’ī, Zakāt, 22, 82; Ibn Maja, Zakāt, 28; al-Darimī, Zakāt, 38; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, IV, 17, 18, 214. Al-Insan, 76: 8. Muslim, Zakāt, 49. Al-Bukhari, Zakāt, 1, 63, Tawḥīd, 1, Maghāzī, 60; Muslim, İman, 7, 29; Abū Dawūd, Zakāt, 5; al-Tirmidhī, Zakāt, 6. Al-Baqara, 2: 271. See al-Kāsānī, ibid, 43 ff.; Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, 21 ff.; al-Fatawā al-Hindiyya, I, 176; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 81 ff.; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), ibid, I, 267 ff.; al-Zuhaylī, ibid, II, 883, 884. Al-Kāsānī, ibid, II, 48; Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, 27 ff.; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 88, 93, 96; Bilmen, ibid, Istanbul 1985, p. 359-361; al-Maydanī, ibid, I, 157. Abū Dawūd, Zakāt, 24; al-Nasā’ī, Zakāh, 91; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, IV, 224, V, 362. Ibn Maja, Sunan, I, 590. See Muslim, Zakāt, 167, 168; Abū Dawūd, Zakāt, 29, ‘Imāra, 20; al-Nasā’ī, Zakāt, 95, Fay’, 15. Al-Kāsānī, Badāyi al-Ṣanā’i’, II, 49. Al-Shalabi, Ta’lil, p. 311, 362. See Muslim, Zakāt, 168; al-Zaylaī, Naṣb al-Rāya, II, 404. Al-Kāsānī, ibid, II, 47; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 81, 85, 95 ff. Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, 28 ff.; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 93 ff.; al-Fatawā al-Hindiyya, I, 178; al-Maydanī, ibid, I, 158.
Source: Basic Islamic Principles (ilmiḥal) According to the Four Sunni Schools With Evidence From The Sources of Islamic Law, Prof. Hamdi Döndüren, Erkam Publications