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Zakat Facts – Who Is Eligible And When Is Payment Due?

What is Zakat? 

Zakat is a mandatory charity that applies to all adult Muslims who meet the Nisab threshold. It is the Third Pillar of Islam and refers to the obligatory donation expected of every qualifying Muslim, as opposed to an act of voluntary generosity through Sadaqah. There are certain regulations surrounding who is allowed to benefit from Zakat donations. 

With this being said, Zakat is not to be confused with Zakat al-Fitr; Zakat al-Fitr is a mandatory donation that must be made ahead of Eid al-Fitr.  

Below are some primary facts of Zakat that are frequentlyqueried by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. 

Zakat Meaning  

Zakat directly translates as “that which purifies”. This refers to the notion that Zakat cleanses one’s wealth.Zakat in Islam is an annual charity that is required by Islamic law. The grounds of this donation apply to all disposable income, qualifying property, and other assets.  

When Is Zakat Due In 2024? 

There is no set time frame in which Zakat needs to be paid, as long asit is given after one year has passed since the possession ofwealth. Upon reaching the Nisab threshold and holding it for a full lunar year, a believeris required to pay Zakat.  

When Do You Pay Zakat? 

As previously mentioned, Zakat may be paid at any time of the year. These times include prior to, during, or subsequent to Ramadan. Lots of Muslims decide to donate their Zakat during Ramadanas this is when they can reap the most rewards.  

Zakat-al-Fitr 2024 

As opposed to Zakat, Zakat al-Fitr (Fitrana) is a different donation that must be paid towards the end of Ramadan before Eid-al-Fitr by all adults with food in excess of their needs.The time to pay this is the same time as Eid, which is anticipated to be on or near 10 April 2024. Believers can pay their Fitrana a few days in advance for it to reach the deserving people on time. 

Who is Eligible to Accept Zakat?  

Allah (SWT) permits Zakat to be spent in eight particular ways, which are given below:

  • The wayfarer – those who are travelling and/or stranded with limited supplies. 
  • In thepathof Allah (SWT). 
  • Those in debt. 
  • Those in bondage – such as captives and enslaved people. 
  • New Muslims and friends of the Islamic community. 
  • Zakat administrators – such as charities. 
  • The needy (al-masakin) – someone in hardship. 
  • people experiencing poverty (al-fuqara) – someone with little to no income 

To answer a frequently asked question, mosques are not included in the above list - meaning that Zakat cannot be used to build a Mosque.  

Read on to find answers to other common questions, including how to pay Zakat and if you can give Zakat to family members.  

Can Zakat Be Donated for Education? 

Educational institutions like schools are not eligible to receive Zakat as Zakat payments are intended to provide someone who has nothing with something. However, if the students are eligible for Zakat, it would be possible to donate to them. 

Can You Pay Zakat On Someone Else’s Behalf? 

There are instances in which one can pay Zakat on behalf of someone else. For example, a husband may pay Zakat on his wife’s behalf; however, she must be made aware of the circumstances and authorise the donation. 

Can a Son Receive Zakat From His Mother? 

A son is not eligible to receive Zakat from his mother as it is not permissible for someone to make a charitable donation towards their dependents. Dependents such as children do not have the financial means to support themselves, meaning parents are obliged to do so. Zakat can be given to other relatives who do not come in the category of dependents.  

Can My Husband/Wife Receive My Zakat? 

If a husband falls under one of the eligibility categories regarding Zakat, his wife may donate her Zakat to him. However, a husband is notpermitted to donate his Zakat to his wife as heis required to support her financially.  

Can My Uncle Or Aunt Receive My Zakat? 

Uncles or aunts who fall under one of the eight categories may receive Zakat donations. This is because nephews and nieces are not automatically obliged to support their uncles and aunts. For this reason, aunts and uncles may also donate their Zakat to eligible nephews and nieces. 

Can Our Parents Receive Our Zakat? 

Like parents are not allowed to donate their Zakat to their children, the same applies in this case. As children enter adulthood, they are obligated to support their parents in returnfor the care that they received in their childhood.  

Can Brothers Or Sisters Receive Our Zakat? 

There is no set rule that siblings must care for one another, meaning Zakat can be donated to any qualifying sisters or brothers. 

Can a Syed Receive Zakat? 

The Qur’an dictates that descendants of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cannot receive Zakat or any other charitable donations. This still applies, even if they are considered poor. They can receive financial help from their Muslim Brothers and Sisters should they find themselves in difficulty. As long as this isn’t regarded as an act of charity, the aid is permitted. 

Does Zakat Need To Be Paid On Land? 

Family homes and business premises do not contribute to Zakat costs. However, land that produces revenue (e.g., a let-out property) is an asset, meaning Zakat applies to the generated income. 

Similarly, land that has been bought with the intention of selling is considered commercial goods. As a result, Zakat applies. This will be calculated via the land’s value. 

How Many Types of Zakat in Islam? 

Zakat refers to two types: Zakat-al-Mal and Zakat-al-Fitr. Zakat-al-Mal is the obligatory annual payment that can be made at any time. However, Zakat-al-Fitr (Fitrana) must be made during Ramadan, ahead of the Eid prayer. 

Can You Donate Your Zakat to Muslim Aid? 

Yes, Muslim Aid accepts your Zakat donations here.  

How to Calculate Zakat? 

Zakat is calculated on the amount that is in a person’s possession after one lunar year has passed. It is calculated at the rate of 2.5 per cent of the total wealth or money. To work out your Zakat, use Muslim Aid’s Zakat calculator.  

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