Paying Zakat is a religious obligation that all Muslims must follow, but what is Zakat? The Zakat meaning can be defined as the mandatory charitable donation of a set percentage of one’s wealth. Zakat is the third Pillar of Islam, and to donate Zakat is to worship Allah (SWT) and purify the self.
With all this being said, you may be wondering “how much is Zakat?” Well, Zakat requires one to donate 2.5% of their wealth; not only does this apply to cash, but also commercial items, silver, and gold. Any donation given out of generosity or kindness doesn’t count as Zakat; instead, Zakat is the compulsory distribution of one’s wealth in aid of the poor.
If you’re unsure about how much Zakat you owe, UKIM can help you out. We have a handy online Zakat calculator that allows you to work out your owed Zakat with ease.
The impacts of your Zakat are very powerful, whether it’s to the lives of the poor, your connection with Allah (SWT), or your own purity. These effects include, but are in no way limited to, the following:
Following Prophetic Tradition
Firstly, to pay Zakat is to follow a prophetic tradition. The term prophetic tradition refers to an oral or written prophecy within a culture; in this instance, this is of a religious nature. Islamic tradition states that anyone above the minimum threshold (Nisab) of possessions and wealth must donate 2.5% of their wealth to charity on a yearly basis. In prophetic tradition, this threshold is defined as 612.36 grams of silver or 87.48 grams of pure gold. Despite this, the value of silver and gold is constantly fluctuating, meaning that the threshold figure is prone to change.
Zakat applies to four types of wealth, including money, trading goods, animals, and agricultural products. As far as money is concerned, this also applies to loans, savings, stocks, bonds, and cash. Although this can be paid at any time during the lunar year, many Muslims opt for donating Zakat during Ramadan since blessings are increased during this month.
Helping Those in Need
Zakat is to be spent on those who fall under one of the eight categories of people mentioned in the Qur’an. These include travellers, those in debt, those in captivity, Zakat collectors, the needy, and the poor. On top of this, it can also be donated for the cause of Allah (SWT) and for bringing hearts together.
It’s Islamic principle that wealth shouldn’t be hoarded and that Muslims shouldn’t express greed. Instead, they should opt for a fair distribution of wealth, which Zakat contributes to. This is because it allows one to honestly measure their wealth and share it with those who need it most.