What is Zakat?
“Purify your wealth by giving Zakat.” (Hadith)
Zakat, the giving of alms to the poor and needy, is one of the five pillars of Islam (the others are a declaration of faith, prayer, fasting in Ramadan and Hajj). It is obligatory upon every adult Muslim of sound mind and means.
The individual must own a specific amount of wealth or savings (after living costs, expenses etc). This is referred to as Nisaab and is the threshold at which Zakat becomes payable. The amount of Zakat to be paid is 2.5% of Nisaab.
“The alms are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” (Al-Quran 9:60)
“They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.” (Al-Quran 2:215)
Through Zakat and Fitr Campaign, we help Muslims fulfill their religious financial obligation and mediate distribution of Zakat charity among eight groups of people, as commanded in at-Tawbah, verse 60. According to this verse, those groups who should receive the Zakat expenditures are:
“Zakah expenditures, an obligation [imposed] by Allah are only
- For the poor
- For the needy
- For those employed to collect [zakah]
- For bringing hearts together [for Islam]
- For freeing captives [or slaves]
- For those in debt
- For the cause of Allah
- For the [stranded] traveler.
And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
(Surah at-Tawbah, 9:60)