Everything you need to know about Zakat
When it comes to zakat, there are many rules and guidelines that must be considered; knowing what zakat is and how it used is the first step, however, it is also important to know how much to donate, when to donate, how to donate, why the Nisab values are so important and who is eligible to receive zakat.
For your convenience, we have compiled all of the frequently asked questions and answered them below to assist you with making your zakat donation. You can always receive further advice from your local imam.
What is Zakat?
Zakat is the third Pillar of Islam and requires all eligible Muslims must pay a set percentage of their annual wealth above the Nisab value. Charity giving such as this is compulsory and is distributed amongst people in need. Paying zakat is in line with Allah (SWT)’s wishes and is a reminder that anything we own in this life is not truly our own. It is believed that zakat charity is a means of purifying your wealth and giving back to not just your local community but those in need around the world.
Zakat payments are calculated on each lunar year, and should you be eligible, your zakat is calculated as 2.5% of your accrued wealth over the Nisab threshold. Your overall wealth is calculated based on assets, possessions, savings and also considers your outgoings and liabilities. Possessions that do not count towards your wealth include your home, car, and clothing, but it does include additional property and investments.
What is the Nisab Threshold?
While paying zakat is an obligation on every eligible Muslim, the Nisab threshold is in place to ensure that nobody gives more than they can afford. There are two values which are then used to calculate your threshold, and these are based on the price of silver and the price of gold:
- 612.36g of silver at current market value
- 87.48g of gold at current market value
On the day that you come to pay zakat online, make the calculation based on either silver or gold as per the current market rate to determine your nisab threshold. You can then use our zakat calculator to work out what 2.5% of your wealth is above the nisab, and this is how much you should be paying. Please bear in mind, that you must have held this wealth above the nisab threshold for a full lunar year.
When is best to donate Zakat?
The moment your accrued wealth surpasses the nisab threshold is when your Zakat year starts. You must hold the wealth above this threshold for a full year for it to count towards your zakat payment.
You can pay zakat at any point during the year, although many choose to do so during Ramadan when the spiritual rewards for doing so are much greater. You may give zakat in instalments or in one single donation.
Who is Eligible for Zakat?
Not everyone is eligible to pay or receive Zakat, with the teachings of Allah (SWT) advising us that only those with a personal wealth that exceeds the nisab threshold must make this payment. There are other circumstances that may also mean that someone is ineligible to pay or receive Zakat.
Who is Eligible to Pay Zakat?
To qualify to make a Zakat payment, you must fulfil each of the criteria below:
- Have a personal wealth that meets/exceeds the nisab threshold
- Not in captivity
- Be of Muslim faith
- Of sound mind
- Be an adult
Who is Eligible to Receive Zakat?
Just as not everyone qualifies to make a Zakat donation, neither is everyone eligible to receive it (such as mosques). The holy Qur’an places those eligible to receive Zakat into eight categories, which are:
- Those without wealth – Fuqara
- Those who are in need – Al-Masakin
- Anyone designated to collect and distribute Zakat – Amil
- Muslim reverts – Muallaf
- Those that are held in captivity/slavery – Riqab
- Anyone in financial debt – Gharmin
- Anyone fighting for the cause of Allah – Fisabilillah
- Travellers – Ibnus Sabil
Can I Pay Zakat to Parents, Siblings or Other Family Members?
Paying Zakat to family members is possible depending on the relation to each other. Your immediate family (including children, parents and grandparents) are not eligible to receive a Zakat donation from you. A husband also may not pay Zakat to his wife as she, like his immediate family, is someone that you have a responsibility to provide for, although the same is not true for a wife to her husband and, therefore, she can pay Zakat charity to him.
Relatives outside of your immediate family that meet any of the above criteria may well be eligible to receive your Zakat donation. If you are unsure, please refer to your local imam.
What is the Correct Time to Give Zakat?
Your personal Zakat year begins from the day that your personal wealth exceeds that of the nisab threshold. As soon as one Islamic (lunar) year has passed, which is the Hawl, your Zakat payment is due. If you are unsure as to exactly when this date falls, make a rough estimate and pay what is due by this time.
Give Zakat with UK Islamic Mission Today
When you pay Zakat in the UK, your donations can be used for those in need in your local community, or they can be distributed across the world for the most vulnerable and in need. Either way, it helps save and improve lives, whether by providing essential food, shelter, education or other necessities to those who would otherwise go without.
Donate your zakat with UK Islamic Mission to help transform lives around the world.