In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate!
In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate!
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Zakāt
Zakāt (Arabic: زكاة[zæˈkæːt], "that which purifies"), or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality.

The Qur'an talks about the zakat in more than 29 different verses, mainly in the Medinan suras. In the Qur'anic view, zakat is a way to redistribute the wealth, thus increasing the flow of cash in the economy with a particular interest in the poor and the dispossessed Muslims. Zakat is considered more than taxation.

Verse (2:43)

 43rd verse of chapter 2 (sūrat l-baqarah):

Sahih International: And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].

Verse (2:83)

83rd verse of chapter 2 (sūrat l-baqarah):

Sahih International: And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], "Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah." Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing.

Verse (2:110)

 110th verse of chapter 2 (sūrat l-baqarah):

Sahih International: And establish prayer and give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing.

Verse (2:177)

177th verse of chapter 2 (sūrat l-baqarah):

Sahih International: Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

Verse (2:277)

 277th verse of chapter 2 (sūrat l-baqarah):

Sahih International: Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.

Verse (4:77)

77th verse of chapter 4 (sūrat l-nisāa):

Sahih International: Have you not seen those who were told, "Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah"? But then when fighting was ordained for them, at once a party of them feared men as they fear Allah or with [even] greater fear. They said, "Our Lord, why have You decreed upon us fighting? If only You had postponed [it for] us for a short time." Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah. And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed]."

Verse (4:162)

 162nd verse of chapter 4 (sūrat l-nisāa):

Sahih International: But those firm in knowledge among them and the believers believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you. And the establishers of prayer [especially] and the givers of zakah and the believers in Allah and the Last Day - those We will give a great reward.

Verse (5:12)

12 verse of chapter 5 (sūrat l-māidah):

Sahih International: And Allah had already taken a covenant from the Children of Israel, and We delegated from among them twelve leaders. And Allah said, "I am with you. If you establish prayer and give zakah and believe in My messengers and support them and loan Allah a goodly loan, I will surely remove from you your misdeeds and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever of you disbelieves after that has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way."

Verse (5:55)

55th verse of chapter 5 (sūrat l-māidah):

Sahih International: Your ally is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed – those who establish prayer and give zakah, and they bow [in worship].

Verse (7:156)

156th verse of chapter 7 (sūrat l-aʿrāf):

Sahih International: And decree for us in this world [that which is] good and [also] in the Hereafter; indeed, we have turned back to You." [Allah] said, "My punishment - I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things." So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses -

Verse (9:5)

5th verse of chapter 9 (sūrat l-tawbah):

Sahih International: And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Verse (9:11)

11th verse of chapter 9 (sūrat l-tawbah):

Sahih International: But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.

Verse (9:18)

18th verse of chapter 9 (sūrat l-tawbah):

Sahih International: The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakah and do not fear except Allah , for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided.

Verse (9:71)

71st verse of chapter 9 (sūrat l-tawbah):

Sahih International: The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

Verse (19:31)

31st verse of chapter 19 (sūrat maryam):

Sahih International: And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive

Verse (19:55)

 55th verse of chapter 19 (sūrat maryam):

Sahih International: And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakah and was to his Lord pleasing.

Verse (21:73)

73rd verse of chapter 21 (sūrat l-anbiyāa):

Sahih International: And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us.

Verse (22:41)

 41st verse of chapter 22 (sūrat l-ḥaj):

Sahih International: [And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.

Verse (22:78)

78th verse of chapter 22 (sūrat l-ḥaj):

Sahih International: And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.

Verse (24:37)

37th verse of chapter 24 (sūrat l-nūr):

Sahih International: [Are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about -

Verse (24:56)

56th verse of chapter 24 (sūrat l-nūr):

Sahih International: And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger - that you may receive mercy.

Verse (27:3)

3rd verse of chapter 27 (sūrat l-naml):

Sahih International: Who establish prayer and give zakah, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].

Verse (30:39)

39th verse of chapter 30 (sūrat l-rūm):

Sahih International: And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah. But what you give in zakah, desiring the countenance of Allah - those are the multipliers.

Verse (31:4)

4th verse of chapter 31 (sūrat luq'mān):

Sahih International: Who establish prayer and give zakah, and they, of the Hereafter, are certain [in faith].

Verse (33:33)

33rd verse of chapter 33 (sūrat l-aḥzāb):

Sahih International: And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.

Verse (41:7)

7th verse of chapter 41 (sūrat fuṣṣilat):

Sahih International: Those who do not give zakah, and in the Hereafter they are disbelievers.

Verse (58:13)

13th verse of chapter 58 (sūrat l-mujādilah):

Sahih International: Have you feared to present before your consultation charities? Then when you do not and Allah has forgiven you, then [at least] establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

Verse (73:20)

12th verse of chapter 73 (sūrat l-muzamil):

Sahih International: Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur'an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Verse (98:5)

5th verse of chapter 98 (sūrat l-bayinah):

Sahih International: And they were not commanded except to worship Allah , [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.

According to the Quran, there are eight categories of people (asnaf) who qualify to receive zakat funds

  1. Those living in absolute poverty (Al-Fuqarā').
  2. Those restrained because they cannot meet their basic needs (Al-Masākīn).
  3. The zakat collectors themselves (Al-Āmilīna 'Alaihā).
  4. Non-Muslims who are sympathetic to Islam or wish to convert to Islam (Al-Mu'allafatu Qulūbuhum).
  5. People whom one is attempting to free from slavery or bondage. Also includes paying ransom or blood money (Diyya). (Fir-Riqāb)
  6. Those who have incurred overwhelming debts while attempting to satisfy their basic needs (Al-Ghārimīn).
  7. Those working in God's way (Fī Sabīlillāh).
  8. Children of the street / Travellers (Ibnus-Sabīl).

Chapter (9) sūrat l-tawbah (The Repentance)

Sahih International: Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.

Chapter (2) sūrat l-baqarah (The Cow)

Sahih International: They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, "Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it."

Chapter (2) sūrat l-baqarah (The Cow)

Sahih International: [Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah , unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.

Chapter (17) sūrat l-isrā (The Night Journey)

Sahih International: And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully.

Many people ask “Do we need to pay Zakāt in the west?” The answer is simple. Zakāt is obligatory on all Muslims. The Tax you pay is your duty as a citizen of the country you chose to live in. It is separate from you obligations as a Muslim. However Zakāt is only payable on surplus wealth. So if after paying your taxes and all your living expenses you don’t have any surplus wealth then  no Zakāt is due.

The amount of Zakat to be paid by an individual depends on the amount of wealth and the type of assets the individual possesses. The Quran does not provide specific guidelines on which types of wealth are taxable under the zakat, nor does it specify percentages to be given.

Zakat is only payable on assets continuously owned over one lunar year that are in excess of the nisab, a minimum monetary value. The nisab is calculated after adding the cash value of zakatable assets (gold, silver, cash, stocks, merchandise for business, livestock, etc.). Personal assets such as clothing, household furniture, and one residence are not considered zakatable assets.

The amount of Zakat is best checked locally were you live. There are many hadith on the matter of Zakāt so it all depends on your personal view as to which you chose to follow.

However remember that Zakāt is only valid if you are debt free and have no other obligations and have surplus wealth. There is no maximum limit you can give as much as you want as it is your personal gift to God.


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