Zakat (زكاة), or almsgiving, is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with prayer, fasting, pilgrimage (Hajj) and belief in Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (SAW). For every sane, adult Muslim who owns wealth over a certain amount – known as the nisab – he or she must pay 2.5% of that wealth as Zakat.
The nisab is the minimum amount of wealth a Muslim must possess before they become eligible to pay Zakat. This amount is often referred to as the nisab threshold.
Gold and silver are the two values used to calculate the nisab threshold. The nisab is the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver.
Zakat is not just a fundamental pillar of Islam. It is also a revolutionary concept with the potential to ease the suffering of millions around the world.
Picture this: if just the ten richest people in the world paid Zakat – that would be a staggering £7.7 billion! The power of that money in tackling poverty would be huge.
Fitrana is a charitable donation of food that is given before Eid prayer, therefore it must be given before the end of Ramadan. Fitrana must be given by every self-supporting adult Muslim who has food in excess of their needs, on behalf of themselves and their dependants.
Your Zakat donation should amount to 2.5% of your total wealth. Therefore, if your total assets (after any debts owed) amounted to £10,000, you would pay £250.
There are eight categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat.
A poor person is someone whose property, in excess of his basic requirements, does not reach the nisab threshold. The recipient must not belong to your immediate family, therefore; your spouse, children, parents and grandparents cannot receive your zakat. Other relatives, however, can receive your zakat.