Individuals strong in body and earning their living are not entitled to zakah. Their position is similar to that of the rich.
1. ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Adiyy al-Khiyar reported: “Two men told me that they went to the Prophet, upon whom be peace, during the Farewell Pilgrimage while he was distributing charity. They asked him for help. He gave them a look from the head down and then found them to be sturdy and strong. Then he said: ‘If you desire, I shall give it to you. But, there is no zakah for one who is rich, neither for the one who is strong and earning.'” This is related by Abu Dawud and anNasa’i.
Concerning the merits of this hadith, al-Khattabi says that it provides the criterion that if a person is not known to have means, it will be presumed that he has none. The hadith also provides the rule that one who appears to be sturdy is not excluded from receiving the zakah unless his income is determined, for there are some people who are strong in body but for one reason or another are unable to work. Such people may receive charity according to this hadith.
2. It is related from Rayhan ibn Yazid from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: “Sadaqah is neither permissible for the rich nor for the one who is of energetic disposition, sound body, and healthy limbs.” This is related by Abu Dawud and atTirmizhi. The latter grades it as sound (sahih). Ash-Shaf’i, Ishaq, Abu ‘Ubaid, and Ahmad uphold it. The Hanafiyyah say a strong and healthy person is allowed to take sadaqah, provided he does not possess 200 dirhams or more. An-Nawawi says: “I asked al-Ghazzali if an able-bodied person who comes from a rich family and is not used to physical labour in earning his living can be entitled to zakah. He answered that he could.” This is a sound rule which takes into consideration a person’s vocation.
For example, someone had 200 dirhams and did not pay zakah on the sum for two years. The opinion which says that zakah is due on the property itself means that the amount due is for one year only since it decreased by five dirhams, which was the amount due for zakah at the end of the first year. The second opinion, that zakah is the responsibility of the owner, means that he should pay zakah twice, one for each year, as zakah is the responsibility of the owner and is not affected by the decrease of the nisab.