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This category is made up of people who have nothing and are in need of support from other in order to meet their basic needs. Given that they are the poor people who beg, they have the rights of asking for and receiving zakat even though some people believe that they have some of their basic needs.
Zakat is paid to draw the hearts of those people who have been inclined towards the Islamic faith. The amount is also paid to prevent or protect non-Muslims living in Muslim states from any harm. According to the opinion of many scholars, this amount should always be considered in cases where there is a need for it. Muslim converts sometimes become disconnected from their families and are deprived of any source of income ("Zakat or Charity" par, 26). Consequently, these people have the right of receiving the zakat tax to guard them from harm and strengthen their faith.
Zakat is also paid for the purposes of buying a slave and then freeing them from places or times where they are in captivity. These captives are set free in order to worship Allah and become helpful members in the society.
These are people who are trapped in a foreign land while traveling and are in need of money in order to realize their objectives or return to their own countries. In cases where the wayfarer traveling is legal, the person is eligible or entitled to receive zakat. However, the person is not eligible for zakat if his/her purpose of traveling is illegal since the money will only help him/her in his/her sins or illegal acts.
These are people who are weighed down by debts as a result of personal needs or social obligations like money borrowed for personal or family expenditures. Debtors are eligible to receive zakat if they don't have sufficient money past their basic needs to pay off the debt.
This group is made up of people who are working for Allah's cause or soldiers engaged in war to defend the Muslim community. However, many legal experts have differed on the meaning of this group with some restricting it to soldiers who are fighting for Allah's cause regardless of their wealth status. Some legal experts argue restrict this group to voluntary mujahids who don't receive wages from the Islamic treasury.
This group is made up of people who have been appointed by an existing authority to collect zakat. These people are eligible to receive some fee from zakat for their work of collecting and distributing zakat.
Importance of Zakat:
As one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, zakat as an obligatory form of charity is important for those who profess the Muslim faith because of its various advantages. Some of the major significances of zakat include its role in meeting the needs of the poor people in the society, fortifies the relationship between rich and poor as well as purification purposes. Additionally, zakat is important for promoting kindness, sympathy and generosity as well as attracting Allah's blessings (Abdullah p, 3).
Despite being one of the five pillars of Islam, many Muslims are very careless in engaging in this important practice. Without the practice of zakat as one of the five pillars in the Islamic faith, the Islamic religion cannot be established firmly. it's therefore very important for every Muslim to not only understand the meaning and importance of this practice but to also engage in it as explained in the Qur'an and other traditional Islamic teachings.
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