There are eight categories of Zakat recipients to whom Zakat can be distributed. These can be identified from the following verse:

“Indeed, [prescribed] charitable offerings are only [to be given] to the
[1] poor and
[2] the needy, and
[3] to those who work on [administering] it, and
[4] to those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and
[5] to [free] those in bondage, and
[6] to the debt-ridden, and
[7] for the cause of God, and
[8] to the wayfarer.
[This is] an obligation from God. And God is all-knowing, all-wise.”
(Qur’an, 9:60)

These eight categories can be divided into three overall categories, each with distinctive direct recipients.

Overall category objectives Qur’anic Categories Direct recipients
Individual support 1,2.5,6,8 Individuals: The poor without support for basic needs, those in emergencies, and people needing support to become financially sustainable
Community development 4, 7
The fourth category literally translates as ‘winning hearts’. In today’s context, this can be interpreted as advocacy.

The seventh category literally translates as ‘God’s cause’, protecting and maintaining the Muslim community. In today’s context, this can be interpreted as community development, through building faith-based understanding and through support for key community institutions.
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