Zakat is an obligatory form of charity that every able Muslim must give on their wealth and belongings. Zakat is a Pillar of Islam and is where a Muslim gives 2.5% of their wealth. To be eligible to pay Zakat, one must be above Nisab. Nisab is the amount of wealth that a Muslim must possess for them to be considered wealthy, and, therefore, be compulsory for them to pay Zakat.
To give Zakat, one must be:
‘Charity is for the poor, the needy, those employed to administer it, those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the truth), the enslaved, those in debt, those who strive in the path of Allah and the wayfarer. An obligation from Allah, and Allah is the Knowing and the Wise.’ (Surah al-Towbah, 60).
Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which shows its significance for Muslims. Giving to charity is a virtuous act of worship and shows gratitude to our Creator for the blessings we have been given. In addition, we are all equal, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, wealth or worldly status, so we should be humble and share what we have.
Muhammad, upon him, be peace, said: “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” (Muslim)
Zakat must be given once a year, given that you have remained above Nisab for the year. If at any point you have less than Nisab, you do not need to pay for that year. Instead, your new year for giving zakat starts once you have gone above Nisab again.
It is important to note that the Nisab amount fluctuates, as well as the value of gold and silver. Gold and silver are the two values from which Nisab can be worked out.
If a Muslim has not paid Zakat for previous years, they will need to look back at financial records to see if they were above Nisab during those times, and if they were, they need to pay 2.5% of their wealth for those years to make up for them.
It is important to work out Zakat correctly in order to fulfil the responsibility of paying the right amount. You can work out your correct Zakat amount by using the UKIM Zakat Calculator.
“Do not show lethargy or negligence in giving alms and charity till your last breath.” -Muhammad, upon him, be peace (Bukhari and Muslim).
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