What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: I wish to give Zakāh to a poor person, but I don’t know whether they are eligible for Zakāh or not. Can I give my Zakāh to such type of poor person, and how can one recognise if a person is poor?
Questioner: Brother from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
It is essential for you to know whether the person to whom you are giving Zakāh is eligible for it or not, and a poor person – as per Islamic Law – is indeed eligible for Zakāh. The way to come to know of this is to check for the following things regarding the person you wish to give Zakāh to:
- They should not have 7.5 Tolas [~87.478 g] of gold, or its monetary value.
- They should not have 52.5 Tolas (~612.35 g) of silver, or its monetary value. The price of 52.5 Tolas of silver in today’s currency is approximately £223 (May 2019), thus if anyone even had 1 Tola [~11.66 g] of gold above their basic needs, then such person would not be deemed as poor as per Sharī’ah, because the value for 1 Tola of gold nowadays is more than £300.
Just as it is stated in Bahār-e-Sharī’at, referencing Radd al-Muhtār, that threshold here refers to the value of those items should be equal to two hundred dirhams (i.e. the current standard threshold), even though by itself it may not be so much that Zakāh is wājib on it. For example, if six Tolas of gold is equal to the value of two hundred dirhams, then the one who has this, even though Zakāh is not wājib on him, because the threshold of gold is seven and a half Tolas, but that person cannot be given Zakāh. Alternatively, in the case where a person has thirty goats or twenty cows, which add up to the value of two hundred dirhams, then such person cannot be given Zakāh, even though Zakāh is not wājib on him. Also, if he has more goods than his needs, which are also not for trade purpose, but they are equal to two hundred dirhams (i.e. threshold amount), then he also cannot be given Zakāh.
[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 1, part 5, pg 929]
- They should not have such wealth equivalent to 52.5 Tolas of silver which has the potential to increase i.e. business stock (to sell in a shop), prize bonds, etc.
- They should not have anything whose monetary value is equal to 52.5 Tolas of silver which is outside of their basic need. For example, extra furniture in the house which isn’t being used, extra cars as do some people in the U.K. etc.
- It should not be such that they possess a small amount of gold, silver and money, whose total value is equal to the monetary value of 52.5 Tolas of silver; such a person is not poor as defined by Sharī’ah.
 The exact amount is 87.47859375
 The exact amount is 612.35015625
 The exact amount is 11.6638125
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadiri
Translated by Haider Ali
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0709] How can I find out if a person is eligible to receive Zakah?