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What is Zakat? Six Things for Non-Muslims to Know

What is Zakat?

Zakat is an obligatory act ordained by Allah (The Glorified and Exalted) to be performed by each adult and capable Muslim. It is an important pillar among the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is a part of the wealth and property that Muslims must pay yearly, to help the poor of their community. One of the principle motivations behind Zakat in Islam is to keep the individuals who are well off clean, financially, from transgression. It is a type of Sadaqah (charity) which is mandatory on Muslims.

What is the meaning of Zakat?

Zakat Derived from the Arabic word “al-Zakat” which implies heavenly, favoring, blossom, prepare, develop and charity.In terms of phrasing, the compulsory methods for conveyance which must be done with respect to the abundance of assets that one has a good Muslim to the individuals who merit it.

Zakat means “to be clear, to grow, to increase.” It comes from the root letters za, kaf, ya, which has several meanings: to be clean [Al-Quran Chapter 24: Verse 21, Chapter 23: Verse 4], to pay the obligatory charity [Al-Quran 2:43], to be pure, innocent [Al-Quran 19:19, 18:74], to be better in purity [Al-Quran 18:81, 19:13], and to praise oneself, to justify [Al-Quran 53:32]. It has been used in the Quran to mean all of these things. It can also be considered a form of sadaqah (charity), given to the poor.

Zakat is:

  • Levied on specific assets only, identified by Shariah (Islamic Law) as assets having the potential for growth.
  • Levied at the rate of 2.5% each year (calculated according to the lunar calendar*) on the market value of the Zakat-able assets after deducting therefrom specified liabilities.
  • The compulsory transfer of ownership of a portion of the property of the giver, calculated at the rate of 2.5% as aforesaid, to a poor and needy Muslim who qualifies to receive Zakat according to the Shariah.
  • An Ibada’h (worship) and not a tax, Obligatory on every Muslim who owns Nisab viz. 613.35 grams of silver, or 87.49 grams of gold or who owns one or more assets liable to Zakat as set out below, equal in value to 613.35 grams of silver or 87.49 grams of gold. . (See Sections 12.1 and 12.2 for more on Nisab).
  • Zakat is calculated according to the lunar year. Those who pay Zakat according to the solar year should accordingly, in order to take into account the difference in days, add 3% to the amount of Zakat payable.

With regard to calculations (and specific information throughout this flyer), we have followed the opinion of the Hanafi school of thought. Information on other schools may be found by researching Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) texts, books, or consulting local scholars in this regard.

who should give zakat?

Zakat is required to be paid if an individual is:

1) Adult ( have reached the age of puberty)
2) Muslim (Zakat isn’t paid by non-Muslims)
3) Sane
4) In complete responsibility for Nisab

There are contrasts of feeling with respect to whether pre-pubescent kids, orphans or the mentally incompetent (for example insane) should pay Zakat.

Who is eligible to receive Zakat?

There are eight groups of people on whom Zakat should to be spent, as referenced in the Quran:

“The alms are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Al-Quran 9:60]

“They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.” [Al-Quran 2:215]

 “(Alms are) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah– they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging); you can recognize them by their mark; they do not beg from men importunately; and whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah knows it.” [Al-Quran 2:273]

“And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully.” [Al-Quran 17:26]

  • Fuqaraa: The individuals who own property in excess of fundamental necessities however below the estimation of Nisab.
  • Masakeen: Persons of outrageous destitution who have no riches at all.
  • Aamileen: (Zakat collector) Those persons who are named by an Islamic Head of State or Government to collect Zakat. It isn’t necessary this be a needy person.
  • Muallafatul Quloob: Those poor and needy persons who are given Zakat with the intentions of solidifying their hearts because they maybe recently converted to Islam or to bring them closer to Islam.
  • Ar-Riqaab: slaves whose experts have agreed to liberate them on a payment of a fixed amount. Zakat might be utilized to buy their freedom.
  • Ibnus-Sabeel: A voyager, who, while wealthy at his home, is stranded and needs money and financial assistance.
  • Al Ghaarimeen: An individual whose debts exceeds his assets and his net assets (after deducting his liabilities) is below as far as possible. To decide if an individual qualifies, his essential necessities of life (house, furniture, garments, vehicle, and so on.) will not be taken into account. It is conditional that the debts were not made for any un-Islamic or sinful purpose.
  • Fi Sabeelillah: Those who are away from home in the way of Allah. Those in Jihaad, those seeking knowledge, or a stranded Haji be assist with Zakat if they are in need.

What changes can Zakat bring in society?

Irrefutable, the idea of Zakat is the foundation in Islamic money and monetary framework. Zakat is a mandatory charity that each an every Muslim must pay and to support the needy people. This has caused Zakat to play a significant role in the society, particularly the Muslims society. The following are a few effects brought by the Zakat system.

The Zakat in Islam system assists with ensuring the society’s wealth circulation is in a reasonable and clean condition. Because of the wealth people must pay Zakat to poor people, the wealth won’t become excessively rich while the poor won’t become less fortunate. Certainly, there are a few restrictions to pick the Zakat beneficiaries, the restrictions can ensure those who receive the Zakat is with a sensible and acceptable reason. In this case, Zakat has become the obligation of wealthy people, much the same as a compulsory charity must done by wealthy people. The level of Zakat paid relies upon the abundance of an individual, it’s anything but a system that forces people to pay a certain sum, however is expect Muslims to pay their minimum amount according to their wealth which is affordable.

Zakat likewise permits a person to purify and grow his wealth. Man is naturally avaricious and consistently needs increasingly more to satisfy their boundless utility. Zakat, with the mandatory charity, expects Muslims to do noble charity. This procedure may make the people consider others and come out from the race of personal interests. It has helped to wash down the narrow-mindedness of a person where somebody may extend his financial relationship in order to support more poor people and those in need  The Holy Quran also has mentioned that “And whose is saved from his own avarice such are they who are successful.” With increasingly more individuals with this personality can keep up the peacefulness of the society and turns into a good example for the people to come.

When should Zakat be given?

Islam has only one motto that is keeping up harmony and harmony in the society. This motto in Islam has prompted the act of giving Zakat to the poor so as to keep up social justice.

Zakat in Islam should be paid once in every year. It’s expected on each lunar year or Hijiri or from the day your wealth exceeds the nisab amount. You can likewise check your Zakat anniversary from the date you last paid Zakat. For some the transformations between the Gregorian and Hijri Calendar become confusing. You can likewise utilize Gregorian and Hijri Date online converters to discover when your one lunar year cycle has finished.

The calculation will contrast somewhat dependent on the sort of Calendar you are using. On the off chance that you follow the Gregorian calendar you should pay 2.557% of your total assets If you follow the Hijri calendar, utilize 2.5% of your total assets.

Many people are stuck with the misguided judgment that Zakat can only be paid during the consecrated month Ramadan which isn’t right. Zakat in Islam is a yearly obligation thus you can pay it at any time of the year after your wealth has exceeded the Nisaab amount. 

Ramadan is a sacred time when Muslims quick from daybreak to nightfall and peruse the Quran. During this period giving Zakat in Islam or charity is absolutely a noble deed and the giver will acquire awards as promised by the Almighty. Nobody should confuse the willful charity or giving during the month of Ramadan with the obligatory giving in Islam which is Zakat.

Conclusion – 

Zakat acts as a bridge between rich and poor. Thus sustaining brotherhood within the society we are living in. This process lets the needy feed his/her dependent family members. To have some excuses it is to be fulfilled by only those who are eligible.