Zakat is an important system of Islamic ideology, it plays an active role in the social and spiritual life of the Muslim society. If established as an institution, it will create a collective social security scheme for mutual help and sympathy, and the resources can be further utilized for social development. It ensures the proper distribution of wealth and has a wide impact on the entire social and economic setup of the society.

What is Zakat?

Every adult Muslim who has accumulated wealth and exceeds the Zakat Nisab (value) is required to give a set percentage of the total wealth to charity, each year. The word Zakat means purification and growth and is obligatory on all Muslims who are sahib-e-nisab. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, which means purification. This act of giving is called Zakat and is an act of worship, which helps those in need.

Sahih Bukhari: Hadith No. 8

حَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُوسَى ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏قَالَ:‏‏‏‏ أَخْبَرَنَا حَنْظَلَةُ بْنُ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ بْنِ خَالِدٍ ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، ‏‏‏‏‏‏قَالَ:‏‏‏‏ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:‏‏‏‏ بُنِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏وَالْحَجِّ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ.

Translation: Narrated Ibn Umar (RA) : Allahs Apostle ﷺ said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad  ﷺ  is Allahs Apostle. 2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly. 3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity). 4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah) 5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

ترجمہ:ہم سے عبیداللہ بن موسیٰ نے یہ حدیث بیان کی۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ہمیں اس کی بابت حنظلہ بن ابی سفیان نے خبر دی۔ انہوں نے عکرمہ بن خالد سے روایت کی انہوں نے عبداللہ بن عمر ؓ سے روایت کی کہ  رسول اللہ  ﷺ  نے فرمایا اسلام کی بنیاد پانچ چیزوں پر قائم کی گئی ہے۔ اول گواہی دینا کہ اللہ کے سوا کوئی معبود نہیں اور بیشک محمد  ﷺ  اللہ کے سچے رسول ہیں اور نماز قائم کرنا اور زکوٰۃ ادا کرنا اور حج کرنا اور رمضان کے روزے رکھنا۔

What is Nisab?

Nisab is a minimum threshold required for a Muslim to be eligible to pay Zakat in each particular year. It is the minimum amount of wealth when it becomes the obligation of a Muslim to pay the Zakat. Islam has described Gold and Silver to calculate the Nisab threshold. A Muslim who has Gold, Silver, or equivalent value of cash is liable to pay the Zakat. As silver or gold is no more used as currency, the equivalent monetary exchange value of the rates is calculated in the local currency that is described as 21 ounces (612.36g) of silver or 3 ounces (87.48g) of gold.

Sahih Bukhari: Hadith No. 1405

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏أَخْبَرَنَا الْأَوْزَاعِيُّ ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏أَخْبَرَنِي يَحْيَى بْنُ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏أَنَّ عَمْرَو بْنَ يَحْيَى بْنِ عُمَارَةَ أَخْبَرَهُ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏عَنْ أَبِيهِ يَحْيَى بْنِ عُمَارَةَ بْنِ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا سَعِيدٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ،‏‏‏‏ يَقُولُ:‏‏‏‏ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:‏‏‏‏ لَيْسَ فِيمَا دُونَ خَمْسِ أَوَاقٍ صَدَقَةٌ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏وَلَيْسَ فِيمَا دُونَ خَمْسِ ذَوْدٍ صَدَقَةٌ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏وَلَيْسَ فِيمَا دُونَ خَمْسِ أَوْسُقٍ صَدَقَةٌ.

Translation: Narrated Abu Said (RA): Allahs Apostle ﷺ said, “No Zakat is due on property mounting to less than five Uqiyas (of silver), and no Zakat is due on less than five camels, and there is no Zakat on less than five Wasqs.” (A Wasqs equals 6O Sas)  (1 Sa=3 K gms App.)

ترجمہ: ہم سے اسحاق بن یزید نے حدیث بیان کی ‘ انہوں نے کہا کہ ہمیں شعیب بن اسحاق نے خبر دی ‘ انہوں نے کہا کہ ہمیں امام اوزاعی نے خبر دی ‘ انہوں نے کہا کہ مجھے یحییٰ بن ابی کثیر نے خبر دی کہ عمرو بن یحییٰ بن عمارہ نے انہیں خبر دی اپنے والد یحییٰ بن عمارہ بن ابوالحسن سے اور انہوں نے ابو سعید خدری ؓ سے انہوں نے بیان کیا کہ  رسول اللہ  ﷺ  نے فرمایا پانچ اوقیہ سے کم چاندی میں زکوٰۃ نہیں ہے اور پانچ اونٹوں سے کم میں زکوٰۃ نہیں ہے اور پانچ وسق سے کم  (غلہ)  میں زکوٰۃ نہیں ہے۔

What is the Zakat Percentage?

Zakat should amount to 2.5% of the total wealth accumulated over the year, excluding the liabilities (debts, etc.).

What is the Significance of Zakat?

Islamic concepts are based on the reform of individuals, who are the constituents of the society. Thus, all the Islamic commands and concepts start from the individual and ultimately reforms for the establishment of an ideal community. Zakat first builds the character of an individual and then brings positive impacts to society.

This system when implemented, will purify the person giving Zakat, from selfishness and greed, and also cleans his wealth from a portion specified for the unfortunate. Although the payment of Zakat apparently decreases the wealth of the giver, it causes circulation of wealth, which results in the development of economic growth. The Quran says:

خُذۡ مِنۡ اَمۡوَالِهِمۡ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمۡ وَتُزَكِّيۡهِمۡ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيۡهِمۡ‌ؕ

Al Quran: Surah: 9, Ayah: 103

Translation: “Take from their wealth so that you might purify and sanctify them”.

Its importance can be understood from the fact that Zakat is mentioned in the Holy Quran more than eighty times. It is as important as offering Salat, as Allah SWT has discussed it along with the Salat. For example, the following verse highlights its importance:

وَاَقِيۡمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ وَارۡكَعُوۡا مَعَ الرّٰكِعِيۡنَ O

Al Quran: Surah: 2, Ayah: 43

Translation: “So establish Salat and give Zakat, and hold fast to Allah” (3)

ترجمہ: اور نماز قائم کرو اور زکوٰۃ ادا کرو اور رکوع کرنے والوں کے ساتھ رکوع کرو

What is Zakat due on?

The Zakat is calculated including the following:

  • The value of silver and gold items owned
  • Cash at home or in the bank
  • The amount given as Loans to others
  • Stocks, share, investment and pension
  • Property owned (excluding the property you live in)
  • Farm and agricultural produce

During the first Ashra of Ramadan, recite this supplication to reap the blessings of Allah SWT.

Who is eligible for Zakat?

The Zakat must be paid to the zakat-eligible individuals, according to the set criteria. It is most often paid at the end of the year, and many choose to pay during the holy month of Ramadan. The Holy Quran has mentioned the following individuals who are eligible to receive Zakat:

اِنَّمَا الصَّدَقٰتُ لِلۡفُقَرَآءِ وَالۡمَسٰكِيۡنِ وَالۡعٰمِلِيۡنَ عَلَيۡهَا وَالۡمُؤَلَّـفَةِ قُلُوۡبُهُمۡ وَفِى الرِّقَابِ وَالۡغٰرِمِيۡنَ وَفِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ وَابۡنِ السَّبِيۡلِ‌ؕ فَرِيۡضَةً مِّنَ اللّٰهِ‌ؕ وَاللّٰهُ عَلِيۡمٌ حَكِيۡمٌ O

Al Quran: Surah: 9, Ayah: 60

Translation: “The Sadaqat (Alms) are only for the poor, the needy, those who collect them, those whose hearts are to be reconciled, to free the captives and the debtors for the cause of Allah and for the travelers, a duty imposed by Allah, Allah is full of knowledge & wisdom.”

ترجمہ: صدقات تو دراصل حق ہے فقیروں کا، مسکینوں کا اور ان اہلکاروں کا جو صدقات کی وصولی پر مقرر ہوتے ہیں۔ اور ان کا جن کی دلداری مقصود ہے۔ نیز انہیں غلاموں کو آزاد کرنے میں اور قرض داروں کے قرضے ادا کرنے میں اور اللہ کے راستے میں اور مسافروں کی مدد میں خرچ کیا جائے۔ یہ ایک فریضہ ہے اللہ کی طرف سے اور اللہ علم کا بھی مالک ہے، حکمت کا بھی مالک۔ 

Accordingly, the following are the individuals who should be considered for the charity:

  • The poor
  • The needy
  • Travelers in need
  • Those being held against their will or in slavery
  • New Muslims and friends of the Islamic community
  • Those in debt
  • Those in the cause of Allah

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