Zakat literally means “purification.” In Islam, zakat is among the most important Islamic obligations. It alludes to a believer’s wealth and soul being purified. The mobilisation of assets for the aim of financial growth and justified distribution is referred to as wealth purification.
Purification of the soul entails the absence of enmity, envy, selfishness, unease, and greed. The purifying of sin is another Quranic concept.
Zakat does not refer to charitable donations made out of charity or kindness. According to Islam, every capable Muslim must set aside a portion of his or her income each year to help Muslims in need.
After meeting commitments and family expenses, it normally amounts to roughly 2.5 percent of an individual’s net income.
Sadaqah is distinct from zakat, which entails the division or sharing of material and financial resources solely for the benefit of the poor.
In addition to the aforementioned, sadaqah entails the sharing of enjoyment with others through nice words, caring for animals or the environment, smiling at somebody, and so on. Sadaqah, unlike zakat, is not mandatory.
Both activities are considered acts of worship with the intention of spiritual healing and absolving Muslims of their sins.
This one-of-a-kind pillar emphasizes Islam’s beauty as a religion of peace, mercy, and justice. Islam encourages Muslims to share their money with those who are in need.
Zakat is mentioned in the Quran
In numerous Quran verses, zakat is stated alongside salat (prayer).
“And He has blessed me wherever I go, and He has commanded me to pray and give zakat as long as I live.”
“Let not those who are stingy with what God has bestowed upon them believe that this is good for them. It is, in fact, harmful to them. On the Day of Arising, anything they withhold will be slung around their necks.”
“Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, pay their zakat, and fear none (but for Allah) will visit and preserve Allah’s mosques.”
“However, they are your brethren in faith if they repent, establish regular prayers, and pay their zakat.”
“All things are included in My Mercy.” That (Mercy) I will ordain for those who are God-conscious and pay zakat, as well as those who believe in Our Signs.”
To better learn the Quranic words and how to recite them, you can join an online tajweed course.
Some Principles of Giving Zakat
When donating the zakat, the following guidelines should be followed:
- To donate the zakat, the giver must first express his intention to Allah (SWT).
- The zakat must be paid on the specified due date.
- Following the offering, the payer must not spend his money in excess of his regular means.
- The payment must be reasonable in light of the present financial circumstances. This means that if someone is wealthy, they must contribute a share of their earnings. If a person does not have a lot of money, they should make up for it by doing nice things and behaving well towards others.
- The zakat must be given out in the community where it was taken.
The due recipients of zakat are divided into eight groups according to the Holy Quran.
Zakat is a responsibility ordained by God, and God is the All-Knowing, the Wise, for the poor, the destitute, and those who are engaged to administer and collect it, the new converts, and for those who are in bondage, in debt, in service of the cause of God, and for the wayfarers.
Zakat can only be distributed to one of the eight eligible recipients listed in Surah Taubah of the Quran. As Muslims, we should know about the beneficiaries of zakat so for this purpose we should learn and understand the Quran.
According to the Quran, priority should be given to the poor and needy, though. Zakat can be paid directly to the poor where there is no central authority to administer it.
“Alms are for the destitute and needy, as well as those who administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have lately been reconciled (to the truth); for those in bondage and debt; in the cause of God; and for the wayfarer: (this is) ordained by God, and God is full of knowledge and understanding.”
Assets for zakat that are worth more than a certain amount
Complete ownership is an important condition to pay the Zakat. If a Muslim has full and legal possession of an asset, he or she will be compelled to pay zakat. Only assets acquired for the aim of building or generating wealth are subject to zakat.
Livestock or crops that are traded or sold, inventories of commodities used for trading, and investments such as gold or securities that have the potential to appreciate in value are all examples of this type of asset.
Zakat is only required to be paid on assets that are worth more than a certain amount. The market price of 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of pure silver is used to compute this minimum value.