What is Zakat and Do I Need to Pay It?
The Zia Ul Ummah Foundation uses your Zakat to distribute Ramadan food packs to children, widows, the elderly, the sick and single mothers who rely on our food banks to survive.
Last year, your Zakat fed Saira– a mother with cancer who was spending her entire income on medicine for her diabetic son, which meant her and her children were starving.
Because of you, we were able to give Saira a monthly food pack so she could feed her family and focus on her recovery.
There are thousands of families, just like Saira’s, who are desperately waiting for your support.
What is Zakat?
It’s one of the five pillars of Islam, and it obligates Muslims to give 2.5% of their total annual savings in charity each year- provided those savings exceed the value of 87.5g of gold or 612g of silver.
This minimum threshold for Zakat is known as the Nisab.
The significance of this pillar is established in the Quranic verse:
“Take from their money a charity to cleanse them and purify them.” – 9:103
Calculate your Zakat
|+ Bank Saving (Use lowest amount held for 1 year)|
|+ Gold & Silver (Monetary value)|
|+ Money owed to you (Deposits, loans you made)|
|+ Resale value of shares, stocks, bonds, etc.|
|+ Total £|
|2.5% of Zakat £|
Who gives Zakat?
Every mentally stable Muslim adult who meets the minimum threshold has to pay Zakat.
But Zakat is only applicable to savings, so live-in property, mortgage loans, and assets are exempt.
Business owners are also required to pay Zakat on profits and stocks.
Who receives Zakat?
Those who are eligible to receive Zakat are identified in the Quranic verse:
“The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise.” – 9:60
This verse can be categorised into eight groups of people who are entitled to receive Zakat:
- Al-Fuqara (The Poor)
Al-Fuqara are the people who live below the poverty line and who don’t have the means to live a normal life.They deserve your Zakat so they can afford basic living essentials.
- Al-Masakin (The Needy)
Al-Masakin are extremely poor and needy people. They don’t have any possessions or income, so your Zakat will help improve their living conditions.
- Zakat collectors
Zakat can be given to people who are authorised to collect and distribute it among the needy and poor. This includes trustworthy institutions, charities and NGOs that support underprivileged Muslim communities.
- Those whose hearts can be reconciled
New converts to Islam are eligible to receive Zakat (as long as they are in need).
Slavery is prohibited in many parts of the world, but there are still some places where humans are trafficked and kept as slaves. Your Zakat is used to free these individuals from slavery.
- Those in debt
Zakat can be used to pay the debts of someone who doesn’t have the means to repay them. However, you must make sure that the money borrowed is not used for unIslamic practices or activities.
- In the path of Allah
Those who are striving in the path of Allah are entitled to receive your Zakat.
- Wayfarer (Travelers)
Zakat can be given to a traveller who is alone in a foreign land and is in need of money to get back to his destination or to fulfil his objective for traveling.
What is Zakat-Ul-Fitr or Fitrana?
Zakat-Ul-Fitr (also Fitrana) is given towards the end of Ramadan in the form of a single meal that’s donated to a needy person.
It must be given before the Eid prayer by every member of a household, including children and the elderly.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said of Zakat-Ul-Fitr:
“The fasting of the month of fasting will be hanging between earth and heavens and it will not be raised up to the Divine Presence without paying the Zakat-Ul-Fitr.”
2nd Image: US Navy Photo by Chris Fahey, NATO Training Mission, Creative Comms License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/ntm-a_cstc-a/6963445776/