Who are the poor who are considered as those who have the right to receive the zakat?
Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The poor are those who are unable to guarantee their own necessities in their lives and their family. This then becomes the obligation of the ruler, government and the wealthy to help them fulfil their necessities as stated by Imam Haramain al-Juwaini.
According to al-Qurtubi, the linguists and fiqh scholars have differing opinions on the differences between the faqir and poor and their opinions are divided into nine opinions:
- Ya’kub bin al-Sikkit, al-Qutabi and Yunus bin Habib said that the faqir is in a better position from the poor. This is also the opinion of some of the linguists and the hadith scholars such as Abu Hanifah and Qadhi Abdul Wahab.
- Some scholars state the contrary, which means the poor are in a better situation than the faqir. This is the opinion of al-Asmu’ie, a Kufah scholar and opinion of Syafie and his companions.
- In another opinion of Syafie, it is stated that the faqir and poor are the same, which means there is no difference in terms of the meaning but the only difference is in terms of the name. This is also the opinion of al-Qasimi, Abu Yusuf and all the colleagues of Malik.
- Malik stated that the faqir is those who are in need but are not begging for help, while the poor are those who begged. This is also the opinion narrated by Ibn Abbas, al-Zuhri and the chosen opinion of Ibn Sya’ban.
- Muhammad bin Musallamah is of the opinion the faqir is people who have a place to live and servant (khadam), while the poor do not have any property or wealth.
- Narrated by Ibn Abbas, the faqir is the muhajirin and the poor are the Bedouins who did not migrate. This is also the opinion shared by al-Dahhak.
- According to Ubaidillah bin al-Hasan, the poor are those who are humbled and calm without begging. While the faqir is those who are in dire need, accepting something in secret and without khusyuk.
- Mujahid, Ikrimah, and Zuhri stated that the poor are those who surround and look for something. While the faqir is the faqir in the Muslim ummah.
- Ikrimah holds the opinion that the faqir is the fuqara’ in the Muslim ummah while the poor are people from among the fuqara’ from the People of the Book.