The Holy Quran mentions 8 Channels of spending Zakah: “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. “[9:60].
Here is a brief description of each of these channels
A - Those who do not find enough to meet their basic needs, according to what is customary in the society or who do not have the money or halal gain, according to the majority of jurists.
B - The Poor are given Zakat to meet their basic needs for a full year because Zakat is repeated every year.The fundamental principle is that Zakat should provide adequate needs of food, clothing, housing and all that is necessary fitting for the situation without extravagance or close - fistedness for the poor or whom he / she supports.
C – People with no income or money and with no legal support: the orphans and foundling, widows and divorcees, the elderly, the disabled, the sick, those with inadequate income, students, the unemployed, the families of the missing and of the prisoners.
A - Zakat workers are those conducting business related to the collection, storage, custody, recording, and distribution of Zakat. They are appointed by the authorities in Muslim countries, authorized or chosen by the recognized authority or Islamic community bodies.
B - Some of the tasks entrusted to employees of require certain qualities for those who occupy these functions. These characteristics are Islam, masculinity, honesty, and knowledge of the provisions of Zakat.
C - Zakat workers, even if they are not poor, are entitled to a share of Zakat provided to them by the appointing body. This proportion shall not exceed the wages of similar employees.
D- Zakat committees must be monitored and supervised by the authorities that appointed or licensed them, following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in holding those appointed to collect Zakat accountable. A Zakat worker is responsible for the money in his hand and for ensuring that it is not damaged due to infringement and negligence.
E- Zakat workers should have high Islamic ethics such as kindness toward those who submit Zakat. They should make Duaa for them and to those entitled to it. They must clarify the provisions of Zakat and its importance in the Islamic community to achieve social solidarity. They should also expedite the distribution of Zakat when beneficiaries are available.
A - This provision is valid and has not been canceled, in accordance with the public doctrine. Being wealthy does not prevent the beneficiary from receiving Zakat.
B – Zakat can be paid to the following categories:
- To encourage those who are considering to embrace Islam or to influence those who are kind to Muslims.
- To encourage rulers, governors, writers, and other individuals or entities to contribute to improving the conditions of Muslim communities and minorities and support their issues. It also includes spending on disaster relief to non-Muslims if this leads to an improved perception of Islam and Muslims.
-To new converts to Islam (less than a year), and need support in their new circumstances. Zakat can be directly given to them or used in establishing scientific and social institutions to care for them
It includes those who have entered into a contract of buying their freedom from their masters and are unable to find the sum necessary. However, since this channel does not exist at present time, it transfers to the rest of the channels of Zakat, according to the opinion of most of the scholars.
It includes those who do not possess enough means to settle debts incurred for a permissible purpose that have fallen due.
Scholars differed into three opinions in the interpretation of (for the cause of Allah):
First: It means pilgrims for (Hajj and Umra). This is the view of some of the scholars.
Second: It involves all aspects of doing good such as preparations for the dead, or building bridges, schools, mosques, charities, etc.
Expanding this concept prevents making restrictions on channels of Zakah. The only control is to act by the Quran and Sunnah.
Those who have set out on a journey for a permissible purpose such as Hajj, finding a job etc. and are unable to find the necessary expenses for the journey.