What is Zakat?


First and foremost zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and is obligatory. The word “zakat” literally means “to cleanse/purify”. “Muslims believe that paying zakat purifies, increases and blesses the remainder of their wealth.” (Islamic Relief). Muslims are required to give 2.5% of their assets to those who need it. “According to the Hanafi madhab, zakat is 2.5% of wealth that has been in one’s possession for a lunar year. If wealth amounts to less than a threshold figure, termed the nisab, then no zakat is payable. If wealth amounts to more than the nisab, zakat becomes obligatory.” (Islamic Relief) “Nisab” is the minimum amount of wealth or assets that a Muslim must own before being required to pay zakat. On Faith Consulting you can book a session with a financial advisor who can help you with zakat calculations and guide you through the process.


Who Qualifies to receive Zakat?


Muslims that fall behind the nisab are able to receive zakat. The person receiving zakat must be poor and someone really in need of extra money in order to meet their basic standards of living. There are 8 types of people that are permitted to receive zakat which follows :


  • The poor (al-fuqara) – someone with little to no income
  • The needy {al-masakin) – someone in difficulty
  • Zakat administrators – such as charities
  • New Muslims and friends of the Islamic community
  • Those in bondage – such as slaves and captives
  • Those in debt
  • For the cause of Allah
  • The wayfarer – those who are stranded and/or travelling with little resources

When must Zakat be paid?

Zakat can be paid at any time during the year as soon as you hit the nisab threshold. Many Muslims prefer to pay zakat during the holy month of Ramadan. For any further questions/inquiries book a session with one of our Muslim financil advisors.


Written by Anan Helwih


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