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Zakat

Zakat & Sadaqah

Is it the time of year that you dread the most? Still not sure when or how to pay Zakat?

Ghazali Education Trust UK can assist you with any query regarding Islamic Zakat. We can help you with all the necessary steps needed to ensure that you fulfill your Islamic obligation and pay the correct amount of Zakat at the right time.

Nisab Value

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, it is not a charitable contribution but rather an obligation and a spiritual duty on all Muslims. Zakat is subject to the conditions that one full Hijri year has passed since acquiring the wealth, that the wealth meets the minimum threshold (Nisab), and it is a specific portion of wealth. If you meet the criteria, then you are liable to pay 2.5% of the total savings and wealth as Zakat.

To give Zakat in Islam is to purify ourselves and our wealth stated in the Quran

“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it and invoke Allah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them”

al-Tawbah 9:103

Zakat is the perfect way to ensure social harmony and justice between the wealthy and the poor. The Muslim individual and Islamic charities play a positive role in fulfilling the rights of the poor and needy by giving them Zakat payments to ease a bit of their suffering.

Key Terms

Zakat

The meaning of Zakat is ‘to cleanse’ or ‘to purify’ your money. Zakat is enjoined in Islam on specific things, which are: gold, silver, crops, fruits, trade goods and an’aam livestock, for example, camels, cattle, and sheep. It is not permissible to give Zakat to one’s ascendants or descendants. Ascendants include one’s mother, father, grandfathers, and grandmothers; descendants include one's children and their children. It is not permissible for a Muslim to give Zakat to his wife or husband.

Sadaqah

The word Sadaqah means charity, it is a concept of voluntary giving in Islam which is not obligatory on any kind of wealth. The person chooses to give whenever and whatever they wish, without any specific limits or guidelines. Sadaqah is not subject to any conditions, and it may be given at any time, in any amount. Therefore, it can be given to one's ascendants and descendants, including one’s wife.

Zakat-ul-Fitr

Zakat-ul-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim and should be given when the sun sets on the last day of Ramadan. Zakat-ul-Fitr should be paid before the Eid prayer. It is not permissible for you to pay this zakat a week or two before Eid, however, it is permissible to pay it two or three days before Eid-ul-Fitr. This type of zakat has nothing to do with what a person owns of wealth, property or cars. It is to be paid on one’s own behalf and on behalf of those on whose maintenance he is obliged to spend, for example, the father may wish to pay for himself and on behalf of his family, one saa‘(this is considered to be the staple food of the community, estimated to be around £5) if he/she has wealth that is a surplus to his and his dependents’ needs for the day and night of Eid. If he or she does not, then they do not have to give Zakat-ul-Fitr. There are differences of opinion on whether only one member of the family should pay saa’ or whether payment should be given for each member, this will differ and depend on which (madhab) school of thought you follow.

Fitra (Fidyah / Fitrana)

“And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. are old), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)” Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: This refers to old men and old women who cannot fast, so they should feed one poor person for each day.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4505

Who can receive Zakat?

Zakat can be distributed to eight categories of recipients [al-Tawbah 9:60]:

  • 1Fuqaraa’ - the poor or those will low income
  • 2Al Masaakeen - the needy, those in difficulty
  • 3Those employed to collect Zakat – Zakat administrators
  • 4Those whose hearts are to be reconciled - to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined towards Islam or are new Muslims
  • 5To free the captives – slaves or those in bondage
  • 6Those in debt – who are debt-ridden
  • 7For Allah’s Cause
  • 8The wayfarer - a traveller who is cut off from everything or travelling with few resources.

When to pay Zakat?

If the assets (gold, silver, money) are in your possession for a complete lunar year (Hijri, which is 354 days) then the Zakat is due to be paid at the current Nisab rate of the time.

How much Zakat to pay?

Zakat should be paid as a fixed 2.5 % of any assets, including wealth or money saved in your bank account if it is worth more than the Nisab value at the time.

How does Zakat work?

This is a list of items that you need to pay Zakat on gold, silver, crops, fruits, trade goods and an’aam livestock, for example, camels, cattle, and sheep. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) informed us that the Nisab for gold is equivalent to 87.48 grams. This means that if you own gold that has a value above the given value of 87.48 grams of gold (please note that this may change on a daily basis), you will be liable to pay 2.5% of the total amount of gold possessed. There are differences of opinion regarding gold that is worn which may not be liable for Zakat as it is used for trading or saving purposes (please refer to your local Imam, Sheikh to know which madhab or school of thought you follow). Similarly, the Nisab for silver is equivalent to 612.36 grams of pure silver. Likewise, it becomes incumbent upon anyone who owns such an amount in any form to pay zakat on it in the amount of 2.5%. For example, if the Nisab for silver is £235.82 and you have silver or money that you have saved for a complete Hijri year (354 days), you will be liable to pay Zakat on that money if it reaches the value of the Nisab. In this instance, if you have saved £240 (which is over the given £235.82 Nisab for silver) then you will need to give 2.5% of £240, which means that you are liable to pay £6 for Zakat. The same rule applies when trying to work out how to pay Zakat on gold.

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