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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

Giving Zakat in Islam: Guidelines and Blessings

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Giving Zakat in Islam: Guidelines and Blessings
Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that: Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah (SWT) increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah (SWT) except that Allah Almighty raises his status. (Sahih Muslim 2588)

Introduction

Giving Zakat is a forth pillar of Islam and a source for purification of your wealth and soul. It also helps you earn spiritual rewards and blessings from Allah (SWT). When you give Zakat, you are not only assisting those in need but also improving your spiritual well-being. It is a way of showing gratitude to Allah (SWT) for all He (SWT) has given you. In addition, fulfilling Allah’s (SWT) command brings inner satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. This act of charity unites us as a community, creating a feeling of solidarity where the wealthy can support the less fortunate.


Zakat is more than just an act of charity; it is a religious obligation for all Muslims. It is a means to ensure that no individual in our community is left behind. When you give Zakat, you contribute to solving significant issues like poverty and inequality. It’s similar to watering a plant about to die; you give it life again.


Understanding Zakat: Basic Principles and Importance

Zakat is a fundamental aspect of the Islamic faith and is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is a form of obligatory almsgiving required for all financially stable and non-disabled Muslims. Zakat serves two purposes: it purifies one’s wealth and contributes to the growth and well-being of the community.


The Quran emphasizes the importance of Zakat and often mentions it alongside Salah (prayer). Allah (SWT) stresses the significance of Zakat by stating:


Surah Al-Baqarah verses 110 about Zakat
“Establish prayer, and pay alms-tax. Whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you will certainly find its reward with Allah Almighty. Surely Allah (SWT) is All-Seeing of what you do.” (Surah Al-Baqarah:110)

The verse highlights the significance of performing regular prayers and giving Zakat. Both are essential acts of devotion and obedience to Allah (SWT). To learn more about Zakat, please visit the following blog: Islamic Charity: Sadaqah, Zakat, and More.


How to Calculate Zakat in Islam

Calculating Zakat in Islam can be challenging, but it is important to fulfilling our religious obligations. Here is how to do it:


Types of Wealth Subject to Zakat

Three main categories of wealth are subject to Zakat in Islam:


  1. Monetary Assets: This is the primary focus and includes:
    • Cash in hand and bank accounts
    • Money lent to others that are expected to be repaid (debts receivable)
    • Investments such as shares, bonds, and mutual funds (if intended for saving or generating income and meeting the Nisab threshold)
  2. Physical Assets: Specific physical assets qualify for Zakat, including:
    • Precious metals like gold and silver, regardless of their form (jewelry, coins, or bullion)
    • Business inventory – products owned by a business for sale
  3. Agricultural Produce and Livestock: Zakat is imposed on the harvest, with specific rates depending on the type and irrigation methods used. Livestock like camels, cows, sheep, and goats also qualify for Zakat if they reach a certain minimum number.

It’s important to note that some exceptions and schools of thought may have slight variations. For instance, some scholars may include professional income or fixed assets, while others may not.


Nisab for Zakat

The Nisab for Zakat is the minimum amount of wealth a Muslim must possess before Zakat becomes obligatory. In Islam, giving Zakat requires us to donate 2.5% of our total wealth.


  • Gold: The most common reference point is the value of 87.48 grams (7.5 tola) of pure gold.
  • Silver: Alternatively, it can be based on the value of 612.36 grams (52.5 tola) of pure silver.

Since we don’t use gold or silver as currency anymore, the Nisab is determined by the current market value of these amounts in your local currency.


Here’s why the information might differ slightly depending on the source:


  • Fluctuating Gold Prices:  As the market price of gold changes, the Nisab value in your local currency will also fluctuate.
  • Relying on Either Gold or Silver: Some scholars consider only the gold value, while others consider the higher of the two (gold or silver) on a specific date.

If someone only has gold, they use the gold Nisab. But if they have a mix of assets, like gold, silver, and money, they use the lower silver Nisab.


Zakat Calculation


  • Total Wealth:  Adding up the value of all Zakat-eligible assets.
  • Deduct Liabilities: Subtracting any debts you owe from the total wealth.
  • Nisab Comparison: Checking if the remaining amount after liabilities exceeds the Nisab value.
  • Zakat Amount: Applying the 2.5% Zakat rate on the amount exceeding the Nisab.

For an accurate Zakat calculation, consult an Islamic scholar or use an online Zakat calculator that considers the current value of assets and liabilities, such as Zakat Calculator 2024—The Citizens Foundation (TCF).


Rules for Giving Zakat in Islam

The rules for giving Zakat in Islam are clear and focus on eligibility, timing, and specific conditions:


Eligibility

  • You must be an adult, sane Muslim.
  • Your wealth must exceed the Nisab threshold for a full lunar year.
  • The wealth you’re giving Zakat must be entirely owned by you and in your guardianship.

Timing

Zakat is a form of charity given annually, based on the lunar Hijri calendar. It’s important to note that Zakat is not limited to Ramadan, as it is mandatory when an individual meets the Nisab threshold for a complete lunar year.


Conditions

  • The giver must be a Muslim.
  • The wealth given as Zakat must be beyond your basic needs and expenses.
  • Zakat must be given readily, without any force or pressure.
  • According to Islamic teachings, Zakat must be given to eligible recipients, as discussed below.

Who to Give Zakat To in Islam

The Quran outlines eight categories of Zakat recipients in (Surah At-Tawbah, verse 60). Here are the eight categories of Zakat recipients as mentioned in the Quran:


  • People with low income – (Fuqara): refers to individuals who lack enough resources to fulfill their basic needs and sustain themselves.
  • The Needy – (Masakin): Those who are living in a state of extreme poverty and are unable to support themselves.
  • Zakat collectors – (Amil): Those appointed to collect and distribute Zakat funds. Their main responsibility is to ensure that the collected Zakat is distributed to the deserving recipients in a fair and just manner.
  • Those Whose Hearts Are to Be Reconciled – (Muallafat Al-Qulub): Support individuals who have recently converted to Islam or need help strengthening their faith.
  • To Free the Captives – (Riqab): Zakat funds are permitted to be used to release captives, as was practiced in the context of the Quranic revelation.
  • Those in Debt – (Gharimin): Those who are in debt often struggle to repay their debts unless the debt was acquired through sinful means.
  • In the Cause of Allah – (Fi Sabilillah): This refers to those fighting for a just cause, often interpreted as those struggling on behalf of the Muslim community.
  • The Wayfarer – (Ibn al-Sabil): Even wealthy travelers may experience unexpected difficulties while traveling and require assistance while away from home.

It’s important to ensure that Zakat is distributed to those who are truly eligible. Proper management is key to ensuring that this money reaches the right people who need it.


Giving Zakat on Gold in Islam

As previously mentioned, the Nisab of gold one must possess for Zakat to be obligatory. To calculate the Nisab for gold:


  • Determine the current market value of gold per gram.
  • Multiply this value by 87.48 to find the Nisab threshold.

For Example, if the current market value of gold is £47.32 per gram, the Nisab would be:


Nisab=87.48 grams×£47.32 per gram=£4,137.77

  • Multiply this value by 0.025 to find the amount of Zakat due.

For instance, if you own gold worth £4,022.20, the Zakat due would be:

Zakat=£4,022.20×0.025=£100.56


This is given in International currency. You can convert it into your local currency and ensure you are giving the amount of zakat mentioned in Islam.


Are you confused about Zakat on gold? Our guide explains Nisab, calculation, and giving wisely! Click to learn more: Understanding the Rules of Zakat on Gold in Islam


Can You Give Zakat to Siblings in Debt?


Giving Zakat to a sibling in debt can be permissible in Islam under some guidelines. However, there are some important points to consider:


  • Eligibility Criteria for Siblings: Your sibling must meet the general Zakat recipient criteria. This includes being with low-income, needy, in debt, or a wayfarer (traveler with insufficient resources).
  • Intention for Debt Relief:  While Zakat can help a sibling in debt, it’s not meant to pay off their entire debt or act as a loan. The intention of Zakat should be to alleviate their hardship.
  • Financial Responsibility: Emphasize that Zakat cannot be used to avoid your financial obligations towards your sibling.

Additional Considerations

  • Other Family Members: The same principles apply to giving Zakat to other close relatives, such as parents or children. You cannot give Zakat to those you are already financially responsible for supporting.
  • Consult a Scholar: If you have any doubts or questions regarding your specific situation, You can ask us or consult with a qualified Islamic scholar.

By understanding these guidelines, you can ensure your Zakat reaches those truly deserving while fulfilling your obligations towards your family.


You can visit other blog posts for further information about Family-related zakat questions.


Benefits of Giving Zakat in Islam

Giving Zakat strengthens community bonds as all eligible Muslims participate in this collective act of kindness. The spiritual benefits are equally significant. It is a path to gaining closeness to Allah (swt) and is believed to remove sins, akin to how water extinguishes fire. Thus, giving Zakat has multiple benefits for the giver, receiver, and society in Islam. Here are some benefits of giving Zakat in Islam:


Purification of Wealth and Soul

When you give Zakat, you cleanse your money and heart. It helps you stay disciplined and shows your obedience to Allah’s (SWT) wishes.


Symbol of Brotherhood

Giving Zakat is an act of solidarity, helping other Muslims, spreading positivity, and donating money.


Mark of a Faithful Community

Believers who give Zakat are protectors of each other, enjoining what is just and forbidding wrong, as mentioned in (Surah Al-Taubah: 71). giving Zakat collectively represents a faithful and merciful community.


Closeness to Allah (swt)

Giving Zakat demonstrates your commitment to Allah Almighty’s commands. This strengthens your spiritual connection with Him, bringing you closer to His love and guidance.


Conclusion

Giving Zakat is a significant practice in Islam with spiritual and social implications. For individuals, it helps to purify their wealth and souls, acting as a means of spiritual purification. On a Societal level, Zakat is a social welfare system that redistributes wealth, helping relieve poverty and inequality.


As we reflect on the importance of Zakat, let’s commit to a disciplined approach to fulfilling this critical Islamic obligation. By doing so, we uphold the values of our faith and contribute to the betterment of society.


Let’s commit to fulfilling the important Islamic obligation of Zakat with discipline, upholding our faith’s values, and contributing to society.


May our efforts in giving Zakat be a means of attaining closeness to Allah (SWT) and embodying the principles of Islamic brotherhood and charity.


Keep learning and teaching others by sharing this post with friends and family to spread awareness about the significance of Zakat. Together, we can foster a community of informed givers, contributing to a just and charitable society. Don’t miss out on this valuable resource.


Stay informed and deepen your understanding of Zakat with our upcoming detailed guides. By subscribing, you’ll receive timely updates and comprehensive insights into specific Zakat topics, helping you fulfill this important pillar of Islam with knowledge and precision. Subscribe now and join us in the journey of learning and giving. Thanks for being a part of this journey!

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