Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
Yusuf Ali writes,
Alms or charitable gifts are to be given to the
poor and the needy and those who are employed in their service. That is, charitable, funds are not to be diverted
to other uses, but the genuine expenses of administering charity are properly chargeable to such funds.
Who are the needy?
Besides the ordinary indigent, there are certain classes
of people whose need is great and should be relieved.
Those mentioned here are:
- men who have been weaned from hostility to Truth,
who would probably be persecuted by their former
associates, and require assistance until they establish
new connections in their new environment:
- those in bondage, literally and figuratively:
captives of war must be redeemed:
slaves should be helped to freedom-,
those in the bondage of ignorance or superstition or
unfavorable environment should be helped to
freedom to develop their own gifts:
- those who are held in the grip of debt should be
helped to economic freedom:
- those who are struggling and striving in Allah’s Cause
by teaching or fighting or in duties assigned to them
by the Islamic State, who are thus unable to earn
their ordinary living: and
- strangers stranded on the way.
All these have a claim to charity. They should be relieved
by individual or organized effort, but in a responsible
In this verse, the word sadaqah refers to obligatory
See n. 1318 above. (R).