Fiqh-us-Sunnah Volume 3, Zakaat and Fasting, Fiqh 3.070.

Section : Sadaqah for the Wayfarer.

Scholars agree that a traveller stranded in a foreign land should be given zakah if he lacks the means to achieve his objectives. The extension of zakah is, however, tied to the condition that the journey must have been undertaken for Islamically acceptable reasons. Just what such a trip involves is open to question. The preferable opinion among the Shaf’iyyah is that sadaqah is given even when the traveller is taking the trip for sightseeing and pleasure. The wayfarer (ibn as-sabil), according to the Shaf’iyyah, is of two kinds:

1. a person travelling within his own country, and

2. one travelling in a foreign country. Both of them are entitled to zakah, even though they could find someone to lend them the needed amount and they have enough resources in their own country to pay their debts. According to Malik and Ahmad, only the passer-by is eligible for zakah and not one travelling within his own country. Zakah is not to be given to the person if he can find someone to lend him the money he needs and if he has enough of his own money in his country to pay his debt.