Who are the poor needy bondage.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear brother Burhan

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh


Can you please give some practical examples to understand the term "the poor, and the needy, for those in bondage" as mentioned in below verse?


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 60:

60           Alms are for the poor, and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds), for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the 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.


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Who are the poor needy bondage

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


1. ‘Fuqara’ or poor

One who does not have enough even to fulfill one’s basic needs like food and/or clothing, or the basic needs of one’s family, will be considered to be amongst the ‘fuqara’ or poor.


2. ‘Miskeen’ or needy

The literal meaning of a ‘miskeen’ is one who is weak or desperate.  A ‘miskeen’ or needy person would be one who might have enough to fulfill theirs and their family’s basic needs; but a situation or desperation has befallen them which they are unable to fulfill.  For example, one amongst their family is sick and one cannot afford their treatment, or one is unable to pay one’s housing costs, or one is unable to pay their children’s basic education fees, etc.  


3. ‘Riqaab’ or the freeing of slaves

The literal meaning of the Arabic term ‘riqaab’ is ‘neck’ or the freeing of slaves.  Because slavery is basically non-existent in this day and age, the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that if one has taken on a debt which one is unable to fulfill, and the debtor is bonded to work for his creditor until the debt is fulfilled…such a person would fall under the category of ‘riqaab’.


4. ‘Garimeen’

An example of one who fall under this ‘garimeen’ category of ‘zakah’ would be one who is serving a sentence because one is unable to pay the prescribed fine; ie. one was sentenced by law to serve 1-year in jail for a crime he committed and fined US$1,000.00.  If the person is unable to pay the fine, he would have to spend an additional 6-months in jail….such a person would fall under the ‘garimeen’ category.


Another example of ‘garimeen’ would be one who stood guarantee for the debt of another, and the person who actually took the debt dishonored the debt, and the creditors or the law are now holding the one who guaranteed the debt to fulfill his guarantee.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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