Question: Who are the most deserving of receiving Zakat?
Answer: In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Those Most Deserving of Zakat
The best people to give one’s zakat to are the needy among:
(1) one’s closest relatives, in order of closeness;
(2) one’s neighbors;
(3) one’s community;
(4) one’s town;
(5) the land one lives in.
[Shurunbulali; Maraqi al-Falah]
Note that zakat must be given to a Muslim. One can give other charities to both Muslims and non-Muslims [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya].
Giving one’s Zakat outside of one’s locality
It is disliked to send one’s Zakat outside of one’s land. The exception is if it is given to (a) a relative; (b) someone more in need; (c) someone more pious; (d) or to someone who brings more benefit to the Muslims–such as someone teaching Islamic Knowledge [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah].
Hope this helps
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.