The concept of Zakat entails donating a portion of your wealth to those in need. In a very basic sense, it essentially that Muslims look out for one another; particularly those brothers and sisters who are in need. It serves as a means to create awareness among Muslims about the state of the Muslim Ummah (the Muslim community); to unite brothers and band them together to come to the aid of those in need.
Important Zakat Facts
Below we will highlight a few key facts pertaining to Zakat. We believe our readers will find them informative and useful in ensuring they fulfil this Obligation of Islam the right way with the best of intention.
Did you know that…
- Zakat is one of five Pillars of Islam. To be precise, it is the third pillar after the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) and Salat (Obligatory Prayer)
- The literal meaning of Zakat is purification. Here, to give Zakat implies purifying your wealth and soul by giving a portion of your wealth to those in need.
- The word Zakat appears in the Holy Quran a total of 32 times.
- Allah (S.W.T) has made Zakat compulsory on all Muslims instructing them to perform Salat and pay Zakat many times in the Holy Quran.
- This message is explicitly clear in Surat Al-Muzammil:
“And establish regular prayers and give regular charity; and loan to God a beautiful loan. And whatever good ye send forth for your souls, ye shall find it in God’s presence, Yea, better and greater in reward and seek ye the grace of God: for God is most forgiving, Most Merciful.“
- Being a fundamental pillar of Islam, Zakat is compulsory on every sane adult Muslim man or woman whose net yearly savings meet or exceed the Nisaab values.
- Zakat amounts to 2.5% of all net savings. This includes cash in hand, bank savings, bonds, and other objects of monetary value.
- Jewellery and gold are not exempt from Zakat. Therefore, their worth must be factored into total yearly savings.
- Items for personal use are exempt from Zakat. This includes your house, cars and clothing.
- Zakat is compulsory on every able bodied Muslim including those who are not employed as long as their net yearly savings meet or exceed the Nisaab Values.
- There is a clear difference between Zakat and Zakat-ul-Fitr. The latter is due on all Muslims, period. The former applies to only those who meet Nisaab values.
- Zakat is given to the poor and the needy. This includes people in debt.
- The Zakat amount can be broken down into different quantities and be given to multiple charities.
- Zakat is due on adults and as such children are exempt from Zakat.
The underlying goal of this information is to introduce the concept of Zakat to everyone. Paying Zakat is also a means of creating a spiritual connection with Allah (S.W.T) which is absolutely integral and important to being a good Muslim. It also provides Muslims with the opportunity to get involved in the community and play their part for its betterment and wellbeing. It is a noble cause.
It is absolutely imperative for parents to educate their children early on about the concept of Zakat and its importance in Islam. They should be reminded that Zakat just like Salat and Sayam (fasting) is Fardh (compulsory) on all able Muslims.
Muslim Aid is a non-profit relief aid and development organisation working in different parts of the world in an effort to assist the needy in every capacity and to get them back on their feet. Part of our goal is to create awareness about the religious obligation of Zakat among the Muslim community. With that being said, we hope that this information will prove to be helpful and insightful and it will encourage Muslims to pay Zakat graciously and generously this year, come Ramadan.