Linguistic Definition: Zakat as translated from Arabic means growth, multiplicity, fertility and cleansing.
Religious Definition: Zakat is the 3rd pillar of Islam and is the determined share of wealth prescribed by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta ‘Ala to be distributed to the 8 categories entitled to receive it. It is a worship in terms of wealth. A symbol of Islamic social justice, whereby it cleanses your soul, purifies and grows your wealth while eradicating poverty.
Difference Between Zakat And Sadaqah
|Specific rate of 2.5% and minimum level (Nisab)||No specific rate or minimum level|
|Specific period of fulfillment (Hawl)||No specific period of fulfillment|
|Specific beneficiary (Asnaf) *||No specific beneficiary|
* Disbursement by Eight Asnaf
Qur’an: “O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you…” (Al-Baqarah: Verse 267)
Hadith: “(The superstructure of) Islam is raised on five (pillars): to utter an attestation of faith, performance of prayer, payment of Zakat, fast of Ramadan and pilgrimage (to Makkah).” (Narrated by Ibn Umar R.A.)
Significance Of Zakat For The Individual
- Purifies and promotes assets.
- Develops gratitude for Allah’s bounty.
- Brings about a sense of peace and well-being.
- Significance of Zakat for Society
- Minimizes the feeling of envy among those who are less well-to-do.
- Provides a religiously-approved method of managing the society’s economy and finance.
- Makes it possible for part of the wealth of the rich to be distributed among the poor.
Conditions Of Zakat
- The person is a Muslim.
- The person has full ownership of the wealth.
- Nisab is reached: Nisab is the market value of 85 grams of gold.
- Hawl is reached: Possession of the assets for one Hijrah year or 355 days.
Zakat Recipients (Asnaf) In The Qur’an
“Zakat is for the poor and the needy, and amil (those employed to administer the funds), for the muallaf (those who have embraced Islam), for those in bondage and in debt, those who strive in the cause of Allah and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (Surah At-Taubah: 60).
One who has neither material possession nor means of livelihood; one who suffers, and has no means to sustain his/her daily needs.
One who has insufficient means of livelihood to meet his/her basic needs. Applicants are open to poor and needy Muslims fall within the following categories:
Single parent – widow or divorcee in need
Breadwinner in prison
Breadwinner or family members incurring high medical bills due to:
(a) chronic illness e.g. kidney failure, cancer
(b) mental / physical disability
Insufficient household income due to large number of dependents
One who is appointed to collect Zakat and the expenses incurred in the administration of Zakat. Disbursement to Amil includes:
One who recently embraced Islam. Disbursement to Muallaf includes grants to administer the affairs of new Muslim converts.
One who is freeing himself/herself from bondage or shackles of slavery. This category refers to those who need assistance to pursue their education, usually children of Zakat recipients. Disbursement for Riqab includes:
Education grants for needy families
Partial payment for examination fees for children, after assistance from respective schools
One who is in debt and needs assistance to meet his/her basic needs. Disbursement for Gharimin includes:
Assistance for outstanding basic necessities bills e.g. utilities bills and service and conservancy charges
One who strives in the cause of Allah for the betterment of the community. Disbursement to Fisabilillah includes:
Mosque leadership and management
Madrassah development and assistance
Youth development and engagement
Da’wah and public education
Stranded travellers on a permissible journey. Disbursement to Ibn Al-Sabil includes:
Return air ticket to home country
Zakat Fitrah is also known as Zakat on the Person, Zakat of Ramadan or Zakat Fitri. Zakat Fitrah was obliged in the second year of Hijrah, the same year that fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory. Zakat Fitrah is prescribed as a means of purification for the person who fasts, redressing wrong deeds and undesirable words uttered during fasting. Zakat is also a relief-aid to the needy.
Conditions for Zakat al-Fitr
- Possess something (food, goods or cash) in excess of his own needs and all his dependents for the day and night of Eid al-Fitri.
- To observe both periods of end of Ramadan and beginning of Shawwal. A person who dies before sunset and a child born after sunset on the night before first of Shawwal, are exempted from paying Zakat Fitrah.
- Zakat Fitrah is an obligation on the person and his dependents such as his wife, children who have not reached maturity and parents. If he is unable to pay Zakat Fitrah for himself and/or his dependents due to certain difficulties, his dependents may pay Zakat Al-Fitrah for themselves and/or for him with his permission. What is important is that Zakat Fitrah payment has been made for every individual.
Zakat Al-Fitrah vs Zakat on Wealth
|Zakat Fitrah||Zakat on Wealth|
|Aim on every person||Aim on wealth|
|Paid within stipulated time||No stipulated time|
|Amount is low and all Muslims are required to pay the same amount||Dependent on the amount of wealth the giver has|
Zakat Fitrah Rates
The Zakat Fitrah rate that is obligatory on every person is one sa’ or 2.3kg of the staple food of the territory in which the person is in.
Normal Rate (£4.00 per person in 1435H / 2015): Based on the median price of 2.3kg of rice (normal/average grade) that is consumed as a staple.
For those who can afford to pay more, should do so to further help those in need.
When to Pay Zakat Fitrah
Zakat Fitrah payment can be made throughout the month of Ramadan but must be before the start of Eid al-Fitr prayers. If it is paid after Eid al Fitr prayers it becomes just an ordinary charity.
Where to Pay Zakat Fitrah
Zakat Fitrah is to be paid in the region where the person meets the arrival of Maghrib ending Ramadan. If during that duration he is in a journey and there is no one suitable to receive Zakat Fitrah, the person then needs to pay his Zakat Fitrah at his place of destination upon arrival.