بسم الرحمن الرحيم
The Exalted says:
إنما الصدقة للفقرة و المساكين و العاملين عليها و المؤلفة قلوبهم و في الرقاب و الغارمين و في سبيل الله و ابن السبيل فريضة من الله و الله عليم حكيم
“Charity is only for the severely impoverished, the working class poor, those authorized to collected it, those whose hearts are inclined (towards Islam), the manumitting of slaves, the indebted, for Allah’s cause, and the traveler; an obligation imposed by Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” [At-Taubah: 60]
These are the eight cases in which zakat is distributed, so whoever is negligent with regards to it and does not give it to one of the eight classes (mentioned in the verse) is not considered to have paid it, and its obligation (upon such) has not been fulfilled. Unfortunately some people give it to anyone even though they may have sufficient funds (for their livelihood) and do not inquire about the impoverished and those like them from the other classes. Laziness in searching (for the legislated classes or types of people) is what causes the distributing (of zakat) in this nature, and that is neither permissible nor rewarded.
Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi
Source: المنظار في بيان كثير من الأخطاء الشائعة