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Now in times of the internet, some poor and needy have a bigger voice than others, and in some cases with a sad story behind, sometimes they are given much more money than they actually need, while others suffer unnoticed.

How much zakat is one allowed to receive and keep?

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    Just to be clear, a person can receive charity in the form of either sadaqah (voluntary donations) or zakat (which is the obligatory charity tax). As far as I know, there's no limit to how much sadaqah can be accepted, but distributing zakat is more strictly regulated.
    – goldPseudo
    Jan 15 at 5:15
  • @goldPseudo I guess it is a different question how a donator can know if his contribution counts a zakat, freeing him of the obligation, or just sadaqah? Jan 15 at 17:37

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Note that Zakat has multiple types of recipients as mentioned in Quran 9:60. The below answer will be limited to the poor and needy.

There are different views on the maximum amount of Zakat that can be given to a single person in this category:

  • It should be such that it (combined with the recipient's existing wealth and expected income) does not exceed the need of the person for more than one year. Because Zakat is given on an annual basis and saving for the needs of the year is permissible as the Prophet ﷺ at times did that. This is the view of the Malikis and Hanbalis and one view of the Shafi'is.

  • It should be such that the person becomes permanently independent and no longer requires donations to survive. So for example if a person needs some resources to start earning enough on his own then he can be given enough to purchase them and become independent. This is one view of the Shafi'is and Hanbalis.

  • It should be below the amount of nisab i.e. 200 silver dirhams since possessing an amount equal to nisab disqualifies him from being needy at that time. If the person is in debt or has dependents then the amount can be increased so that each person will come to possess an amount equal to nisab. Giving him more than this amount is makruh if he does not possess nisab before the donation and is invalid if he does possess more than nisab at the time of the donation. This is the view of the Hanafis.

Ref: islamqa and Badaa'i' as-Sanaa'i'

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