Zakāt (Template:Lang-ar Template:IPA2, sometimes "Zakāh/Zekat") or "alms giving", one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a small percentage of one's possessions (surplus wealth) to charity, generally to the poor and needy. It is often compared to the system of tithing and alms, but it serves principally as the welfare contribution to poor and deprived Muslims, although others may have a rightful share. It is the duty of an Islamic community not just to collect zakat but to distribute it fairly as well.
As a mandatory requirement of Islamic faith, every year 2.5% of one's wealth is given away to the poor. Zakāt is sometimes referred to as sadaqah and its plural, sadaqat. Generally the sharing of wealth is called zakat, whereas the sadqat could mean the sharing of wealth as well sharing of happiness among God's creation, such as saying kind words, smiling at someone, taking care of animals or environments, etc.
Muslim jurists agree that zakat is obligatory on the Muslim who has reached puberty, who is sane, who is free, and who owns the minimum assigned, nisab throughout Islamic history; denying Zakat equals denying the Islamic faith. However, Muslim jurists differ on the details of zakat, which may include rate, the exemptions, the kinds of wealth that are zakatable. Zakatable refers to assets subject to zakat according to Islamic examples and directives. Some scholars consider the wealth of children and insane individuals zakatable. Some scholars consider all agricultural products zakatable, others restrict zakat to specific kinds only. Some consider debts zakatable. Similar differences exist for business assets and women's jewellery. Some require certain minimum nisab for zakatability. The same kind of differences also exist about the disbursement of zakat.
The Qur'an does not provide the definition of zakatable wealth nor does it provide the required percentages in zakat. It is left to Sunnah to give, by example or by directives. It must be realized, however, that the Qur'an mentions a few kinds of zakatable possessions, such as gold and silver, crops and fruits, earnings of trade and other business enterprises and what is drawn from beneath the earth (natural resources).
Muslims fulfil this religious obligation by giving a fixed percentage of their surplus wealth. Zakat has been paired with such a high sense of righteousness that it is often placed on the same level of importance as offering Salat. Muslims see this process also as a way of purifying themselves from their greed and selfishness and also safeguarding future business. In addition, Zakat purifies the person who receives it because it saves him from the humiliation of begging and prevents him from envying the rich. Its importance and centrality to Islam results in the "punishment" for not paying when able being very severe. In the 2nd edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam it states, "...the prayers of those who do not pay zakat will not be accepted". Template:Aqidah
There are two categories of charities in Islam - obligatory and voluntary
- Zakat on wealth, including savings (traditionally gold and silver), investments, and trading/turnover stock (and cash in hand)
- Zakat on livestock which covers camels, cattle and sheep and goats as one category
- Zakat on agricultural produce, including grains, pulses, cereals and in some case other produce if they are to be dried or pressed for oil
- Zakat on the produce of mines and also buried treasure
and in some cases
- The Jizya
- Almsgiving on self, Zakat al-fitr (fast-breaking zakah)
- Donation to build mosques and schools
- Helping non-Muslims
Minimums and amounts
It is not written anywhere in the Qur'an that the faithful must give a specific amount, in fact it goes so far to say that there is no specific amount or rate. However, most Muslims pay 2.5% of their income as is specified in the books of Muhammad al-Bukhari and Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj.
It is an obligation on Muslims to pay 1/40 (2.5%) of the wealth which they have had for a full lunar year, 1/40 (2.5%) of goods used for trade, and 5% or 10% of certain type of harvests depending on irrigation. Exempt from Zakat are a person's house and personal transportation.
Zakat is not mandatory on harvest if the total did not reach the minimum limit (nisāb) of about Template:Convert/kg of crops, nor on gold amounts if the owner has less than Template:Convert/g of gold or less than Template:Convert/g of silver.
The Qur'an specifies that Zakat should be paid upon receipt of income in the passage :
...eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered.
Most Muslims calculate and pay their Zakat at the end of the lunar year as said above. In some communities this is frowned upon.
Schedule of Zakah
|Wealth on which Zakah is payable||Amount which determines the payment of Zakah (Nisab)||Rate of Zakah|
|1. Agricultural produce||5 Awsuq (Template:Convert/kg) per harvest||5% produce in case of irrigated land; 10% of produce from rain fed land.|
|2. Gold, silver, ornaments of gold and silver||Template:Convert/g of gold or Template:Convert/g of silver||2.5% of value|
|3. Cash in bank or in hand||Value of Template:Convert/g of silver||2.5% of amount|
|4. Trading goods||Value of Template:Convert/g of silver||2.5% value of goods|
|5. Produce of mines||Any quantity||20% of value of produce|
|6. Cows & buffaloes||30 in number||1 for the first 59, 2 up to 89, 3 up to 150, 1 one-year old for the first 39, 1 two-year old up to 59, 2 one-year old up to 69|
|7 Goats & sheep||40 in number||1 for first 40, 2 for 120; 3 for more than 200, 1 more for every 100|
|8. Camels||5 in number||
Who is entitled to receive Zakat
Eight categories of individuals may receive the zakat:
- 1. The needy (Muslims) - Fuqara'
- 2. Extremely poor (Muslims) - Al-Masakin
- 3. Those employed to collect - Aamileen
- 4. Those whose hearts are to be won - Muallafatul Quloob
- 5. To free the captives - Ar-Riqaab
- 6. Those in debt (Muslims only) - Al Ghaarimeen
- 7. In the way of Allah - Fi sabil Allah
- 8. Wayfarer (Muslims)- Ibnus-Sabeel
As a general rule, the recipient must be a living Muslim who does not possess wealth equal or an excess of a prescribed threshold amount nisab. Those who do not give money are either poor or will go to prison.
Non-Muslims receive help through Sadaqah or charity. Only under special circumstances may a non-Muslim receive zakat.
The following recipients are not eligible to receive the obligatory due (Zekat)
- Descendants of the family of Muhammad
- In places where Muslims are financially capable of entertaining such projects as construction or maintenance of mosques, schools and similar projects (usually developed countries)
They may use the Sadaqah money, based on what the Shura decides.
Zakat in Sufism
While Zakat plays a large role in the Muslim religion, "classic Sufi sources portray the Sufi as standing outside the system of Zakat". This is because a traditional Sufi will own no property and therefore they will pay no Zakat. Now this places them in a class with the poor who are allowed to receive the benefits of Zakat, but they are not allowed to receive what others are able to give due to their "greater spiritual wealth".
It must be noted that the Muhammad lived his life at this level as so simple were his needs and possessions that he never qualified for the nisab due to his donating most of his earnings on a daily basis.
- ↑ The reason for the ending -t has to do with Arabic orthography and grammar; see Tāʾ marbūṭa for more information. As a loan word in the languages of non-Arabic speaking Muslims, it is often pronounced with the ending -t in all instances.
- ↑ Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. I), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi Author Introduction, Explanatory Issues: page xix
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Zysow, A. "Zakāt (a.)." Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online. Augustana. 27 April 2009 Brill Online. This is due to the fact that without Zakat a tremendous hardship is placed on the poor which otherwise would not be there. Besides the fear of their prayers not getting heard, those who are able should be practicing this third pillar of Islam because the Koran states that this is what believers should do. Chapter 9 verse 11 states, "if they repent, establish regular prayers and pay zakah, they are your brethren of faith", and in chapter 2 verse 155, "be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss on goods, lives, and fruits. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere."
- ↑ Robinson, Neal. Islam; A Concise Introduction. Richmond; Curzon Press. 1999
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 Q9. What are the specified Nisab, (minimum wealth) and the rate of Zakat for each category of wealth?
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Q12. What conditions make Zakat obligatory on any individual?
- ↑ The wasuq (pl. awsuq), a measure of volume, is equal to 60 Sa', and is Template:Convert/kg.
- ↑ Zakat Assessment
- ↑ Qur'an 9:60 At-Tawba
- The Zakat Pages
- Full online Zakaat Guide including Importance, Virtues, Punishment, Rules of Nisab, Eligibility, Distribution, Calculation etc.
- Zakat and the Islamic Money System, and a New Muslim Society for the 21st Century (audio files)ace:Jakeuët
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