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Zakat in Islam

"Surely they who believe and do good deeds and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate (Zakat) they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve." [Al-Quran 2:277]

In Islam, Zakat is an obligatory act ordained by Allah (swt) to be performed by every Muslim who is able to. It is an important pillar of Islam; one that carries immense significance. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Zakat is the act of giving a part one’s wealth and property to help the poor of the community. Through this, the Muslim community is able to look out for it’s poorest and neediest.

The Meaning of Zakat

Liguistically, Zakat in the Arabic Language means growth; one says Zaka az-Zar meaning the plant grew. It can also mean purification, as Allah (swt) said:

"Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it..." (7:103)

This word (Zakat) is mentioned in many instances in the Qur’an alongside Salaat (prayer).

How Much Zakat

Zakat is levied at 2.5% of all Zakat-able assets after deducting specific liabilities for the year. The annual payment of Zakat is done according to the lunar calendar. Items like jewellery and gold are Zakat-able items and their worth should be factored in when calculating totals.

Who to Give Zakat

The Qur’an is very specific about who should benefit from Zakat donations. The main purpose is to help only those who cannot help themselves; people living in poverty, those who are disabled or elderly and those who are incapable of supporting themselves. Consider this verse from Surah At- Tauba:

“Zakat is for the poor, and the needy and those who are employed to administer and collect it, and the new converts, and for those who are in bondage, and in debt and service of the cause of God, and for the wayfarers, a duty ordained by God, and God is the All-Knowing, the Wise.”

If you wish to learn about Zakat, please visit Muslim Aid’s blog to more information. Donate your Zakat to Muslim Aid and rest assured your donations will go to serving brothers and sisters in need of help.