Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brief Comments on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen #14

Difference between al-Faqeer and al-Miskeen

بـسـم الله والحـمـد لله والـصلاة والـسـلام عــلى رسـول الله، وبـعـد

[Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, pg. 421]

Allaah تعالى says:

{As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakaah - obligatory charity) are only for the Fuqaraa’ (needy), and Al-Masaakeen (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islaam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allaah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujaahidoon – those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); (paying the Zakaah is) a duty imposed by Allaah. And Allaah is All-Knower, All-Wise.} [Surah al-Tawbah (9):60]

Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

Al-Fuqaraa’ (the needy) and al-Masaakeen (the poor) are the people who cannot find enough to suffice themselves and their families for a period of one year. For example: A person is employed with a monthly salary of Riyaal 4,000, but he has a family whose expenses  are Riyaal 6,000 – this type of a person will be classified as Faqeer (needy), because he does not have that which suffices his expenses. So we give him Riyaal 24,000 (2,000*12) from the Zakaah in order to pay for his expenses.

So if someone says: Who is in the greater need, the Faqeer or the Miskeen? The scholars have said: We begin with the most important one (we go according to the priority as mentioned in the Aayah), and Allaah تعالى began with the Faqeer (the needy), so the Faqeer is the one who is in a greater need than the Miskeen.

--end of quote

From Tafseer of Ibn Katheer رحمه الله on the aforementioned Aayah:

Allaah تعالى mentioned the expenditures of Zakaah in this Aayah, starting with the Fuqaraa’  because they have more need than the other categories, since their need is pressing and precarious. It was reported that Ibn `Abbaas رضي الله عنهما, Mujaahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basree, Ibn Zayd and several others said that the Faqeer is a graceful person who does not ask anyone for anything, while the Miskeen is the one who follows after people, begging. Qataadah said: “The Faqeer is the ill person, while the Miskeen is physically fit.”

*The Fuqaraa’ (needy):

Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما said that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“The alms should not be given to the wealthy and the physically fit.”

[Sunan Abu Dawood (1634), Tirmidhee (652), Ibn Maajah (1839), al-Nasa’ee (2597) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

*The Masaakeen (poor):

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“The Miskeen (poor) person is not the one who goes round the people and ask them for a mouthful or two (of meals) or a date or two but the poor is that who has not enough (money) to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others, that others may give him something in charity, and who does not beg of people.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (1479) and Saheeh Muslim (1729)]

--end of quote

Shaikh Ibn Baaz رحمه الله:

Difference between al-Miskeen and al-Faqeer

 Question: What is the definition of Al-Miskeen to whom Zakaah should be given and what is the difference between him and Al-Faqeer? 

 Answer: al-Miskeen is the poor person who can barely find enough to suffice himself, but al-Faqeer is in a greater need than al-Miskeen. Both are from the eight categories of Zakaah recipients which were mentioned in the following Aayah (Qur'anic verse): {As-Sadaqât (here it means Zakât ) are only for the Fuqarâ’ (poor), and the Masâkin (needy) and those employed to collect (the funds)}. A person is not considered poor or needy if his income covers their needs; food, beverages, clothes, and lodging. Hence, if this is the case, then it is not permissible to pay Zakaah to such persons.

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