Zakat: Wikis


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Zakāt (Arabic: زكاةIPA: [zækæːh], sometimes "Zakāh/Zekat"[1]) or "alms giving", one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a small percentage of one's possessions (surplus wealth) to charity, generally to the poor and needy. It is often compared to the system of tithing and alms, but it serves principally as the welfare contribution to poor and deprived Muslims, although others may have a rightful share. It is the duty of an Islamic community not just to collect zakat but to distribute it fairly as well.

Every year they give 2.5 percent of their wealth away to the poor. Zakāt is sometimes referred to as sadaqah and its plural, sadaqat. Generally the sharing of wealth is called zakat, whereas the sadqat could mean the sharing of wealth as well sharing of happiness among God's creation, such as saying kind words, smiling at someone, taking care of animals or environments, etc.

Zakat or sadqah is worship as means of spiritual purification. It is the only tax sanctioned to the state according to Islamic law or sharia.

Muslim jurists agree that zakat is obligatory on the Muslim who has reached puberty, who is sane, who is free, and who owns the minimum assigned, nisab throughout Islamic history; denying Zakat equals denying the Islamic faith. However, Muslim jurists differ on the details of zakat, which may include rate, the exemptions, the kinds of wealth that are zakatable. Zakatable refers to assets subject to zakat according to Islamic examples and directives. Some scholars consider the wealth of children and insane individals zakatable. Some scholars consider all agricultural products zakatable, others restrict zakat to specific kinds only. Some consider debts zakatable. Similar differences exist for business assets and women's jewelry. Some require certain minimum nisab for zakatability. The same kind of differences also exist about the disbursement of zakat.[2]

The Qur'an does not provide the definition of zakatable wealth nor does it provide the required percentages in zakat. It is left to Sunnah to give, by example or by directives. It must be realized, however, that the Qur'an mentions a few kinds of zakatable possessions, such as gold and silver, crops and fruits, earnings of trade and other business enterprises and what is drawn from beneath the earth (natural resources).

Muslims fulfil this religious obligation by giving a fixed percentage of their surplus wealth. Zakat has been paired with such a high sense of righteousness that it is often placed on the same level of importance as offering Salat.[3] Muslims see this process also as a way of purifying themselves from their greed and selfishness and also safeguarding future business.[3] In addition, Zakat purifies the person who receives it because it saves him from the humiliation of begging and prevents him from envying the rich.[4] Its importance and centrality to Islam results in the "punishment" for not paying when able being very severe. In the 2nd edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam it states, "...the prayers of those who do not pay zakat will not be accepted".[3]

Part of a series on the Islamic creed:

Five Pillars

Shahādah - Profession of faith
Ṣalāt - Prayers
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Zakāh - Paying of alms (giving to the poor)
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca

Six articles of belief (Sunni)

Tawhīd - Oneness
Prophets and Messengers in Islam
Islamic holy books
The Last Judgment

Principles of the Religion (Twelver)

Tawhīd - Oneness
‘Adalah - Justice
Nubuwwah - Prophethood
Imāmah - Leadership
Qiyamah - Day of Judgement

Practices of the Religion (Twelver)

Ṣalāt - Prayers
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Zakāh - Tithes
Khums - One-fifth tax
Jihad - Struggle
Commanding what is just
Forbidding what is evil
Tawallā' - Loving the Ahl al-Bayt
Tabarrá - Disassociating Ahl al-Bayt's enemies

Seven Pillars (Ismaili)

Walāyah - Guardianship
Ṭawhid - Oneness of God
Ṣalāt - Prayers
Zakāh - Purifying religious dues
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Jihad - Struggle


Kharijite Sixth Pillar of Islam.



There are two categories of charities in Islam - obligatory and voluntary



  • Zakat on gold, silver currency and jewellery
  • Zakat on cash or its equivalent such as bonds, shares of joint companies etc.
  • Zakat on rented buildings, plants (factory), and fixed capital
  • Zakat on commercial assets such as inventories, work in process etc.
  • Zakat on livestock
  • Zakat on agriculture 'Ushr
  • Zakat on honey and animal products
  • Zakat on mining and fishing
  • Almsgiving on self, Zakat al-fitr (fast-breaking zakah)


  • Donation to build mosques and Schools
  • Helping non-Muslim

Minimums and amounts

It is not written anywhere in the Qur'an that the faithful must give a specific amount, in fact it goes so far to say that there is no specific amount or rate. However, most Muslims pay 2.5% of their income as is specified in the books of Muhammad al-Bukhari and Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj.

It is an obligation on Muslims to pay 1/40 (2.5%) of the wealth which they have had for a full lunar year, 1/40 (2.5%) of goods used for trade, and 5% or 10% of certain type of harvests depending on irrigation. Exempt from Zakat are a person's house and personal transportation.

Zakat is not mandatory on harvest if the total did not reach the minimum limit (nisāb) of about 653 kg (1,440 lb) of crops[5], nor on gold amounts if the owner has less than 85 g (3.0 oz) of gold or less than 595 g (21.0 oz) of silver.[6]

The Qur'an specifies that Zakat should be paid upon receipt of income in the passage : of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered.

Most Muslims calculate and pay their Zakat at the end of the lunar year as said above. In some communities this is frowned upon.

Schedule of Zakah

Wealth on which Zakah is payable Amount which determines the payment of Zakah (Nisab) Rate of Zakah
1. Agricultural produce 5 Awsuq (653 kg) per harvest 5% produce in case of irrigated land; 10% of produce from rain fed land.
2. Gold, Silver, ornaments of gold and silver 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver 2.5% of value
3. Cash in bank or in hand Value of 595 grams of silver 2.5% of amount
4. Trading Goods value of 595 grams of silver 2.5% value of goods
5. Cows & buffaloes 30 in number For every 30, one 1year old; For every 40, one 2year old.
6. Goats & Sheep 40 in number 1 for first 40, two for 120; 3 for 300, one more for every 100.
7. Produce of mines Any quantity 20% of value of produce
8. Camels 5 in number a) up to 24, 1 sheep or goat for each 5 camels; b) 25-35, one 1-year old she camel; c) 36-45, one 2-year old she camel; d) 46-60, one 3-year old she camel; e) 61-75, one 4-year old she camel; f) 76-90, two 2-year old she camel; g) 91-120, two 3-year old she camel; h) 121 or more, one 2-year old she camel for additional 40 or one 3-year old she camel for additional 50. They also give food and rare items to the ones in need.

Who is entitled to receive Zakat

Eight categories of individuals may receive the zakat:[7]

  • 1. The needy ('Muslims)- Fuqara'
  • 2. Extremely poor ('Muslims) - Al-Masakin
  • 3. Those employed to collect - Aamileen
  • 4. Those whose hearts are to be won - Muallafatul Quloob
  • 5. To free the captives - Ar-Riqaab
  • 6. Those in debt (Muslims or non-Muslims) - Al Ghaarimeen
  • 7. In the way of Allah - Fi sabil Allah
  • 8. Wayfarer (Muslims)- Ibnus-Sabeel

As a general rule, the recipient must be a living Muslim who does not possess wealth equal or an excess of a prescribed threshold amount nisab. Those who do not give money are either poor or will go to prison.

Non-Muslims receive help through Sadaqah or charity. Only under special circumstances may a non-Muslim receive zakat.

Ineligible recipient

The following recipients are not eligible to receive the obligatory due (Zekat)

  • Descendants of the family of Muhammad
  • On behalf of a deceased person for shrouding, burial or payment of debts
  • In places where Muslims are financially capable of entertaining such projects as construction or maintenance of mosques, schools and similar projects (usually developed countries)
  • In places where Muslims are financially weak (Third World), Zekah can be used for construction or maintenance of mosques and schools (citation needed)

They may use the Sadaqah money, based on what the Shura decides.

Zakat in Sufism

While Zakat plays a large role in the Muslim religion, "classic Sufi sources portray the Sufi as standing outside the system of Zakat". This is because a traditional Sufi will own no property and therefore they will pay no Zakat. Now this places them in a class with the poor who are allowed to receive the benefits of Zakat, but they are not allowed to receive what others are able to give due to their "greater spiritual wealth".[3]

It must be noted that the Muhammad lived his life at this level, so simple were his needs and possessions that he never qualified for the nisab due to him donating most of his earnings on a daily basis.

See also


  1. ^ The reason for the ending -t has to do with Arabic orthography and grammar; see Tāʾ marbūṭa for more information. As a loan word in the languages of non-Arabic speaking Muslims, it is often pronounced with the ending -t in all instances.
  2. ^ Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. I), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi Author introduction Explanatory Issues page xix
  3. ^ a b c d Zysow, A. "Zakāt (a.)." Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online. Augustana. 27 April 2009 Brill Online. This is due to the fact that without Zakat a tremendous hardship is placed on the poor which otherwise would not be there. Besides the fear of their prayers not getting heard, those who are able should be practicing this third pillar of Islam because the Koran states that this is what believers should do. Chapter 9 verse 11 states, "if they repent, establish regular prayers and pay zakah, they are your brethren of faith", and in chapter 2 verse 155, "be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss on goods, lives, and fruits. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere."
  4. ^ Robinson, Neal. Islam; A Concise Introduction. Richmond; Curzon Press. 1999
  5. ^ إسلام أون لاين.نت - استشارات الزكاة - زكاة الزروع والثمار
  6. ^ Zakat on
  7. ^ Qur'an 9:60 At-Tawba

External links


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