Q: The Fuqara' (poor) and Al-Masakin (the needy) are mentioned in the following Ayah, as Allah (Exalted be He) says,
As-Sadaqât (here it means Zakât) are only for the Fuqarâ’ (poor), and the Masâkin (needy)
We wish that Your Eminence will explain the meaning of the Fuqara' and Masakin described by Allah in the said Ayah. If the Fuqara' and Masakin are to be given that which will suffice them, what is the limit of sufficiency in their case respectively?
The difference between Fuqara' and Masakin is: According to the correct opinion of scholars, Fuqara' are people who have nothing to satisfy their needs and they are unable to fulfill their needs, and Masakin are the people who are less needy than Fuqara'. Other scholars oppose the previous opinion. Considering their income, they should be given Zakah (obligatory charity) that is sufficient for them for an entire year. Moreover, they should not be given more than that otherwise they are not to be considered Fuqara' or Masakin. The needs vary according to the environments in different towns and villages. (Part No. 10; Page No. 22) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!