“In their wealth there is a known share
for the beggars and the destitute”
HOW CAN YOUR ZAKAT HELP THIS YEAR?
WHAT IS ZAKAT?
Zakat is a religious obligation upon every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty, is sane, and has above the minimum required amount of wealth (nisab).
Zakat is not only a means to purify one’s wealth but it is also a spiritual purification that serves as a means to draw an individual closer to their Creator, Allah (SWT).
Most Muslims choose Ramadan as the month to pay their 2.5% zakat, because giving charity and practicing gratitude is encouraged during this blessed month.
Human Concern International has been implementing Zakat projects for the last 40 years in over 40 countries. Thousands of Muslims across Canada trust us to distribute their Zakat in the most accountable and transparent manner. We implement projects that are Zakat eligible and have the most impact on those in need. This includes income assistance, emergency and disaster relief, food aid and refugee support.
The more Zakat that is paid, the more beneficial it is to the poor and needy. First and foremost, you need to determine whether you’re obligated to pay Zakat – and that means looking at your wealth and savings. Does it meet the Nisab? to pay Zakat by looking at whether what you own meets the nisab.
The value of the nisab in prophetic tradition is 87.48 grams of pure gold or 612.36 grams of pure silver so the monetary value of the nisab will vary according to current prices. Due to the significant difference in the cost of gold and silver, the nisab for silver is now much lower. Although both values can be used, many scholars advise that we apply the nisab of silver when calculating our Zakat so more of us are eligible to pay it. It requires giving a calculated amount (usually 2.5%) to the poor and needy.
Zakat should be calculated and paid on any surplus wealth that you have owned for at least one lunar year. This includes:
- Gold, silver, precious metal, including ornaments/jewellery containing gold/silver
- Stocks and shares
- The money you have lent to others
- Cash in bank accounts, committees or at home
- Any business stock
- Agricultural produce and livestock (cows, chickens, goats etc)
- The property you own for investment purposes
The easiest way to calculate your Zakat is to find out the monetary value of each type of wealth and then work out 2.5% of the total sum
In the Holy Qur’an (9:60), the people who have the right to receive Zakat and legal uses of Zakat are described by Allah (SWT).
- The poor: Those who have no income
- The needy: Those who may have income, but it is less than they need
- Distributors of Zakat: Those who identify the destitute and handle Zakat
- Sympathizers: Those who might enter or who have already entered Islam
- Freeing slaves: Used to ransom a slave.
- Debtors: Those unable to pay off a debt.
- Struggling for the sake of Allah (SWT): Used to benefit humanity and convey the message of Islam.
- Travellers: Those travelling and in need.
Passage of One Lunar Year
Zakat is obligatory after a time span of one lunar year passes with the money in the control of it’s owner. Then the owner needs to pay 2.5% (or 1/40) of the money as Zakat. (A lunar year is approximately 355 days).