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5 Important Facts About Zakat

by Rahul

To give is the very foundation of becoming a better Muslim. The Zakat provides a secure framework, ensuring that you share your wealth safely, fairly and effectively, with those who are in need and poverty. 

  1. What is Zakat?

Zakat is the third pillar of Islam, and literally mean to ‘purify’ your wealth in the name of Allah. It is an obligatory annual 2.5% donation on excess wealth for those living in poverty. It helps reduce the gap between the haves and the have nots, reminding us that while Allah can give great wealth, he can also take it away.  

When you donate Zakat, it must be done with a clear intention. Without that clear intention, it cannot be considered a Zakat payment.

  1. How do I qualify for paying my Zakat?

All practicing Muslim adults with a constant and consistent income qualify for giving Zakat. You must agree to giving of your own free will and have held your wealth for a full Islamic year. The Zakat takes into account all your wealth, including money in the bank, investments and stocks, any property and other gold and silver.

  1. Who benefits from Zakat?

There are a number of criteria that those who need to receive Zakat need to fulfil. One of these includes those living in poverty, have no income and do not have access to even the most basic of human needs and amenities. 

Across the globe there are hundreds of thousands of orphans forced to live in in situations where there is no breadwinner,  no wages, minimum food, no chance of education or essential healthcare. For many the Zakat is a lifeline, not just enabling them to buy the essentials, but allowing them to go to school and start to pull themselves out of poverty. Kids like 10 year old Naim-ud-din, whose father had a fatal heart attack four years ago leaving Naim, his mother and four other brothers and sisters to fend with no wages coming into the house. His mother struggled so much she would skip meals herself just to make sure her children had enough food.

Receiving Zakat not just helped put food on the table, but allowed Naim-ud-din to attend school and improve his grades.

  1. How much is Zakat?

Your Zakat is an obligatory payment, and is determined as 2.5% of your liquid assets. This includes cash in the bank, any savings, stocks, shares and investments, rental income, gold and silver. Loans, rents, mortgages, credit card debt are off-set against the final amount.

 

Asmaul Husna’s life was turned upside down when her father passed away – she was just nine years old and her mother worried constantly about putting food on the table.

Asmaul and her sibling had to leave school because, despite her mother working as a maid in different houses, there was still never enough for even the most basic of necessities. Asmaul was heartbroken – she loved her school and had held dreams of being a doctor.

Through Zakat not only did the family receive food for their table, but Asmaul’s school fees were covered and she was able to continue her education.

Asmaul’s story is just one of many tens of thousands worldwide whose lives have been significantly improved by the generosity of Zakat. And it is not just the children, but their mothers too, the widows who are often left with no visible means of income and support. Often these families suffer from the consequences of disasters and accidents, leaving them vulnerable and desperate. 

Through Zakat not only can they start to rely on a constant supply of food, and medicine, but more importantly education becomes a prime focus, enabling them to study and work towards becoming independent and productive members of their won communities. 

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