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innamā
إِنَّمَا
Only
l-ṣadaqātu
ٱلصَّدَقَٰتُ
the charities
lil'fuqarāi
لِلْفُقَرَآءِ
(are) for the poor,
wal-masākīni
وَٱلْمَسَٰكِينِ
and the needy
wal-ʿāmilīna
وَٱلْعَٰمِلِينَ
and those who collect
ʿalayhā
عَلَيْهَا
them,
wal-mu-alafati
وَٱلْمُؤَلَّفَةِ
and the ones inclined
qulūbuhum
قُلُوبُهُمْ
their hearts,
wafī
وَفِى
and in
l-riqābi
ٱلرِّقَابِ
the (freeing of) the necks,
wal-ghārimīna
وَٱلْغَٰرِمِينَ
and for those in debt
wafī
وَفِى
and in
sabīli
سَبِيلِ
(the) way
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
(of) Allah,
wa-ib'ni
وَٱبْنِ
and the wayfarer -
l-sabīli
ٱلسَّبِيلِۖ
and the wayfarer -
farīḍatan
فَرِيضَةً
an obligation
mina
مِّنَ
from
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِۗ
(of) Allah.
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
ʿalīmun
عَلِيمٌ
(is) All-Knowing,
ḥakīmun
حَكِيمٌ
All-Wise.

Innamas sadaqaatu lilfuqaraaa'i walmasaakeeni wal 'aamileena 'alaihaa wal mu'al lafati quloobuhum wa fir riqaabi walghaarimeena wa fee sabeelil laahi wabnis sabeeli fareedatam minal laah; wal laahu 'Aleemun Hakeem

Sahih International:

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.

1 A. J. Arberry

The freewill offerings are for the poor and needy, those who work to collect them, those whose hearts are brought together, the ransoming of slaves, debtors, in God's way, and the traveller; so God ordains; God is All-knowing, All-wise.

2 Abdul Haleem

Alms are meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer them, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves and help those in debt, for God’s cause, and for travellers in need. This is ordained by God; God is all knowing and wise.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

The compulsory alms are only for the poor and the needy and the agents employed therein and those whose hearts are to be conciliated and those in bondage and debtors and for expenditure in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer: an ordinance from Allah: and Allah is Knowing, Wise.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer; (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

The alms are meant only for the poor and the needy and those who are in charge thereof, those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free those in bondage, and to help those burdened with debt, and for expenditure in the Way of Allah and for the wayfarer. This is an obligation from Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

6 Ahmed Ali

Charities are meant for the indigent and needy, and those who collect and distribute them, and those whom you wish to win over, and for redeeming slaves (and captives) and those who are burdened with debt, and in the cause of God, and the wayfarers: So does God ordain. God is all-knowing and all-wise.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

The obligatory charity* is only for the destitute and the really needy, and those who collect it, and for those in whose hearts the love of Islam needs to be instilled**, and to free slaves, and to debtors, and in Allah's cause***, and to the traveller; this is decreed by Allah; and Allah is All Knowing, Wise. (* This applies only to Zakat. ** The new convert to Islam. *** To the fighter having no provisions for holy war.)

8 Ali Quli Qarai

The charities are only for the poor and the needy, and those employed to collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and for [the freedom of] the slaves and the debtors, and in the way of Allah, and for the traveller. [This is] an ordinance from Allah, and Allah is all-knowing, all-wise.

9 Ali Ünal

The Prescribed Purifying Alms (the Zakah) are meant only for the poor, and the destitute (albeit, out of self-respect, they do not give the impression that they are in need), and those in charge of collecting (and administering) them, and those whose hearts are to be won over (for support of God’s cause, including those whose hostility is to be prevented), and to free those in bondage (slavery and captivity), and to help those over-burdened with debt, and in God’s cause (to exalt God’s word, to provide for the warriors and students, and to help the pilgrims), and for the wayfarer (in need of help). This is an ordinance from God. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Compulsory charities (- Zakât) are meant for the destitute and the needy, and for its functionaries, and (for) those whose hearts require to be consoled (in all sincerity), and for the emancipation of the slaves, and for (the relief of) those in debt, and (for spending) in the cause of Allâh, and for the wayfarer. (This is) an obligation imposed by Allâh, for Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

11 English Literal

But the charities (are) to the poor/needy , and the poorest of poor/poor oppressed, and the doers/workers on it, and (those who) their hearts/minds (are) united/joined , and in the necks (freeing) slaves, and the obliged indebted , and in God`s sake/path , and the traveler/stranded traveler (it is) a religious duty/stipulation from God, and God (is) knowledgeable, wise/judicious.126

12 Faridul Haque

The obligatory charity * is only for the destitute and the really needy, and those who collect it, and for those in whose hearts the love of Islam needs to be instilled **, and to free slaves, and to debtors, and in Allah´s cause ***, and to the traveller; this is decreed by Allah; and Allah is All Knowing, Wise. (* This applies only to Zakat.** The new convert to Islam.*** To the fighter having no provisions for holy war.)

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Alms are only for the poor and needy, and those who work for them, and those whose heart are to be reconciled (to be converted to Islam), and those in captivity, and those in debt, and those who are on Allah´s path, and for the wayfarer. This is an ordinance from Allah, for Allah is Knower, Wise.

14 Hilali & Khan

As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara' (poor), and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and for to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun - those fighting in the holy wars), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And if they were content with that which Allah and His Messenger gave them, and had said: Allah is sufficient for us; Allah will soon give us (more) out of His grace and His Messenger too: surely to Allah we make petition.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth) and the (ransoming of) captives and those in debts and in the way of Allah and the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah; and Allah is knowing, Wise.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Welfare funds (zakat) are only for the poor, the destitute, the tax collectors, those whose hearts are inclined (towards Islam), the slaves, those who cannot pay their debts, for the cause of God, and for those who have become needy on a journey. Paying zakat is an obligation that God has decreed. God is All-knowing and All-wise.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

The obligatory charity shall be only for the poor and the needy, and for those who work to collect it, and to influence hearts (to belief), for ransoming captives, and debtors in the Way of Allah and the destitute traveler. It is an obligation from Allah. Allah is Knowing, Wise.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

As-Sadaqat (i.e., Zakah) are only for the Fuqara', and Al-Masakin and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's cause, and for Ibn As-Sabil; a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Alms are only for: the poor and the destitute, for those who collect zakat, for conciliating people's hearts, for freeing slaves, for those in debt, for spending for God's cause, and for travellers in need. It is a legal obligation enjoined by God. God is all-knowing and wise.

22 Talal Itani

Charities are for the poor, and the destitute, and those who administer them, and for reconciling hearts, and for freeing slaves, and for those in debt, and in the path of God, and for the traveler in need—an obligation from God. God is All-Knowing, Most Wise.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

The voluntary almsgivings, the alms to be dispensed, are only for the poor, who cannot find anything to suffice them in the least, and the needy, who cannot find anything to suffice them, and those who work with them, that is, [with] these alms, in other words, the one who collects [them], the one who takes the oaths [from those who claim them], the slave to be manumitted by contract, as well as the tax-summoner; and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, so that they might become Muslims, or that Islam might be firmly established, or that their peers might become Muslims, or that they might defend Muslims, all of whom are [classed according to different] categories. According to al-Shfi`, may God be pleased with him, the first and the last [of these categories] are no longer given [of the alms-tax] today, because of the [established] power of Islam; in contrast, the other two [categories] are given [of the alms-tax], according to the sounder [opinion]; and for, the manumission of, slaves, that is, [for] slaves to be manumitted by contract, and for the debtors, those in debt, if they have taken out a debt without intending thereby an act of disobedience, or those who have repented but have nothing with which to fulfil [the penalty of expiation], or to set things right between people, even if they be wealthy; and, for the way of God, that is, [for] those who are engaged in the struggle, of those for whom there is no [share of the] booty (fay'), even if they be wealthy; and for the traveller, the one cut off [from resources] during his journey -- a duty imposed by God (fardatan, `a duty', is in the accusative because of an implied verb [sc. faradah, `which He has imposed']). And God is Knower, of His creatures, Wise, in His actions. Thus, it is impermissible to dispense these [alms-proceeds] other than to these [categories], or to deny [these proceeds to] any one of these [categories] if they exist. The Imam must divide these [proceeds] among them equally, but he is permitted to give priority to certain individuals over others within any one category. The lm [of li'l-fuqar', `for the poor'] indicates that it is obligatory to include every individual [of these categories in the distribution of the proceeds]; it is not, however, obligatory [to do so] when the person in charge of the monies has to apportion it but [finds that] it is insufficient. Indeed [in such a situation] it suffices to give three individuals from each category, but anything less than that is not sufficient, as is indicated by the plural form. The Sunna shows that the prerequisite condition for receiving [a share] of such [monies] is that the person be a Muslim, but not a Hashim or a Muttlib.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Expenditures of Zakah (Alms)

Allah commands;

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُوَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ
As-Sadaqat (i.e., Zakah) are only for the Fuqara, and Al-Masakin and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's cause, and for Ibn As-Sabil;

After Allah mentioned the protest that the ignorant hypocrites mentioned to the Prophet about the distribution of alms. He stated that it is He who divided the alms, explained its rulings and decided in its division; He did not delegate this decision to anyone else.

Allah mentioned the expenditures of Zakah in this Ayah, starting with the Fuqara (the poor) because they have more need than the other categories, since their need is pressing and precarious.

It was reported that Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibn Zayd and several others said that;

the Faqir is a graceful person who does not ask anyone for anything, while the Miskin is the one who follows after people, begging.

Qatadah said,

"The Faqir is the ill person, while the Miskin is physically fit."

We will now mention the Hadiths about each of these eight categories
The Fuqara (Poor)

Ibn Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَاا تَحِلُّ الصَّدَقَةُ لِغَنِيَ وَلَاا لِذِي مِرَّةٍ سَوِي

The alms should not be given to the wealthy and the physically fit.

Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith.
The Masakin (Needy)

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَيْسَ الْمِسْكِينُ بِهَذَا الطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي يَطُوفُ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَتَرُدُّهُ اللُّقْمَةُ وَاللُّقْمَتَانِ وَالتَّمْرَةُ وَالتَّمْرَتَان

The needy person is not the one who goes round the people and asks them for a mouthful or two (of meals) or a date or two.

They asked, "Then who is the needy person, O Allah's Messenger!"

He said,

الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنًى يُغْنِيهِ وَلَا يُفْطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتَصَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِ وَلَا يَسْأَلُ النَّاسَ شَيْيًا

The one who does not have enough to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others, that others may give him something in charity, and who does not beg of people.

The Two Sheikhs collected this Hadith
Those employed to collect Alms

Those employed to collect alms deserve a part of the alms, unless they are relatives of the Messenger of Allah, who are not allowed to accept any Sadaqah.

Muslim recorded that Abdul-Muttalib bin Rabi`ah bin Al-Harith and Al-Fadl bin Al-Abbas went to the Messenger of Allah asking him to employ them to collect the alms. The Messenger replied,

إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ لَا تَحِلُّ لِمُحَمَّدٍ وَلَا لاِلِ مُحَمَّدٍ إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَوْسَاخُ النَّاس

Verily, the alms are not allowed for Muhammad nor the relatives of Muhammad, for it is only the dirt that the people discard.
Al-Mu'allafatu Qulubuhum

There are several types of Al-Mu'allafatu Qulubuhum.

There are those who are given alms to embrace Islam. For instance, the Prophet of Allah gave something to Safwan bin Umayyah from the war spoils of Hunayn, even though he attended it while a Mushrik. Safwan said, "He kept giving me until he became the dearest person to me after he had been the most hated person to me."

Imam Ahmad recorded that Safwan bin Umayyah said,

"The Messenger of Allah gave me (from the spoils of) Hunayn while he was the most hateful person to me. He kept giving me until he became the most beloved person to me."

Muslim and At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith, as well.

Some of Al-Mu'allafatu Qulubuhum are given from alms so that they become better in Islam and their heart firmer in faith. For instance, the Prophet gave some of the chiefs of the Tulaqa a hundred camels each after the battle of Hunayn, saying,

إِنِّي لَاُعْطِي الرَّجُلَ وَغَيْرُهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْهُ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يُكِبَّهُ اللهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّم

I give a man (from the alms) while another man is dearer to me than him, for fear that Allah might throw him on his face in the fire of Jahannam.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Sa`id said that;

Ali sent the Messenger of Allah a gold nugget still in its dirt from Yemen. The Prophet divided it between four men;Al-Aqra bin Habis, Uyaynah bin Badr, Alqamah bin Ulathah and Zayd Al-Khayr, saying,

أَتَأَلَّفُهُم

To draw their hearts closer.

Some people are given because some of his peers might embrace Islam, while others are given to collect alms from surrounding areas, or to defend Muslim outposts.

Allah knows best.
The Riqab

Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Umar bin Abdul-Aziz, Sa`id bin Jubayr, An-Nakha`i, Az-Zuhri and Ibn Zayd said;
Riqab means those slaves who make an agreement with the master to pay a certain ransom for their freedom."

Similar was reported from Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari.

Ibn Abbas and Al-Hasan said,

"It is allowed to use Zakah funds to buy the freedom of slaves,"

indicating that `Riqab' has more general meanings than merely giving money to slaves to buy their freedom or one's buying a slave and freeing him on an individual basis.

A Hadith states that;

for every limb (of the servant) freed, Allah frees a limb of the one who freed him from slavery, even a sexual organ for a sexual organ, for the reward is equitable to the deed,

وَمَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And you will be requited nothing except for what you used to do. (37;39)
Virtue of freeing Slaves

In the Musnad, there is a Hadith from Al-Bara bin Azib that a man asked,

"O Allah's Messenger! Direct me to an action that draws me closer to Paradise and away from the Fire."

The Messenger of Allah said,

أَعْتِقِ النَّسَمَةَ وَفُكَّ الرَّقَبَة

Emancipate the person and free the neck (slave).

The man asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Are they not one and the same?"

He said,

لَاا عِتْقُ النَّسَمَةِ أَنْ تُفْرِدَ بِعِتْقِهَا وَفَكُّ الرَّقَبَةِ أَنْ تُعِينَ فِي ثَمَنِهَا

No, you emancipate a person by freeing him on your own, but you untie a neck (slave) by helping in its price.
Al-Gharimun (the Indebted)

There are several types of indebted persons. They include;

those who incur expenses in solving disputes between people,

those who guarantee a loan that became due, causing financial strain to them, and

those whose funds do not sufficiently cover their debts.

It also includes those who indulged in a sin and repented from it.

These types have a right to a part of alms (designated for Al-Gharimun).

Qabisah bin Mukhariq Al-Hilali said,

"I carried a debt (resolving a dispute between people) and went to the Messenger of Allah asking him to help pay it.

The Messenger said,

أَقِمْ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَنَا الصَّدَقَةُ فَنَأْمُرَ لَكَ بِهَا

Be patient until some alms are brought to us so that we give it to you.

He then said,

يَا قَبِيصَةُ إِنَّ الْمَسْأَلَةَ لَاا تَحِلُّ إِلاَّ لاِاَحَدِ ثَلَاثَةٍ

O Qabisah! Begging is only allowed for three;

رَجُلٍ تَحَمَّلَ حَمَالَةً فَحَلَّتْ لَهُ الْمَسْأَلَةُ حَتَّى يُصِيبَهَا ثُمَّ يُمْسِكَ

وَرَجُلٍ أَصَابَتْهُ جَايِحَةٌ اجْتَاحَتْ مَالَهُ فَحَلَّتْ لَهُ الْمَسْأَلَةُ حَتَّى يُصِيبَ قِوَامًا مِنْ عَيْشٍ أَوْ قَالَ سِدَادًا مِنْ عَيْشٍ

وَرَجُلٍ أَصَابَتْهُ فَاقَةٌ حَتَّى يَقُومَ ثَلَثَةٌ مِنْ ذَوِي الْحِجَا مِنْ قَرَابَةِ قَوْمِهِ فَيَقُولُونَ لَقَدْ أَصَابَتْ فُلَنًا فَاقَةٌ فَحَلَّتْ لَهُ الْمَسْأَلَةُ حَتَّى يُصِيبَ قِوَامًا مِنْ عَيْشٍ

a man who incurred debts solving disputes, so he is allowed to beg until he collects its amount and then stops.

A man who was inflicted by a disaster that consumed his wealth, he is allowed to beg until he collects what suffices for his livelihood.

And a man who was overcome by poverty, that three wise relatives of his stand up and proclaim, `So-and-so was overcome by poverty.' This man is allowed to beg until he collects what sustains his livelihood.

أَوْ قَالَ سِدَادًا مِنْ عَيْشٍ فَمَا سِوَاهُنَّ مِنَ الْمَسْأَلَةِ سُحْتٌ يَأْكُلُهَا صَاحِبُهَا سُحْتًا

Other than these cases, begging is an unlawful amount that one illegally devours.

Muslim collected this Hadith.

Abu Sa`id said,

"During the time of the Messenger of Allah, a man was struck by disaster because of fruits that he bought, causing him extensive debts. The Prophet said,

تَصَدَّقُوا عَلَيْه

Give him charity.

The people did that but the amount collected did not cover his debts. The Prophet said to the man's debtors,

خُذُوا مَا وَجَدْتُمْ وَلَيْسَ لَكُمْ إِلاَّ ذَلِك

Take what was collected, you will have nothing beyond that."

Muslim collected this Hadith.
In the Cause of Allah

In the cause of Allah is exclusive for the benefit of the fighters in Jihad, who do not receive compensation from the Muslim Treasury.
Ibn As-Sabil (Wayfarer)
Ibn As-Sabil is a term used for the needy traveler in a land, where he does not have what helps him continue his trip. This type has a share in the Zakah for what suffices him to reach his destination, even if he had money there.

The same is true for whoever intends to travel from his area but does not have enough money. This type also has a share in the Zakah money to suffice for his trip and back.

This is proven in the Ayah as well as the following Hadith.

Imams Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded that Ma`mar said that Zayd bin Aslam said that Ata bin Yasar said that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَاا تَحِلُّ الصَّدَقَةُ لِغَنِيَ إِلاَّ لِخَمْسَةٍ

لِعَامِلٍ عَلَيْهَا

أَوْ رَجُلٍ اشْتَرَاهَا بِمَالِهِ

أَوْ غَارِمٍ

أَوْ غَازٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ

أَوْ مِسْكِينٍ تُصُدِّقَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْهَا فَأَهْدَى لِغَنِي
Sadaqah is not rightful for a wealthy person except in five cases;

those employed to collect it,

one who bought a charity item with his money,

a Gharim (debtor),

a fighter in the cause of Allah, or

a poor man who gets a part of the Zakah so he gives it as a gift to a rich man.

Allah's statement,

فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ

a duty imposed by Allah,

means, a decision, decree and division ordained by Allah,

وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ

And Allah is All-Knower,

knowledgeable of all things outwardly and inwardly and what benefits His servants,

حَكِيمٌ



All-Wise,

in all what he declares, does, legislates and decides, there is no true deity or lord except Him