What is Zakat?
Zakat literally means abundance, enhancement, cleanliness and being pure. Zakat is an annual financial worship that an eligible Muslim gives to one of the eight classes determined by Allah, Zakat is one fortieth of their wealth year after year in order to abide with Allah's command.
وَاَق۪يمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَۜ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِاَنْفُسِكُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِۜ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَص۪يرٌ
Establish prayer, give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah knows of what you do, is all Seeing. (al-Baqarah 110)
Who can I give my Zakat?
These eight classes are reported in the 60th verse of Surah of At-Tawbah:
- Zakah expenditures are only for the poor
- For the needy
- For those employed to collect [zakat]
- For bringing hearts together [for Islam]
- For freeing captives [or slaves]
- For those in debt
- For the cause of Allah
- For the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
It is not permissible to give Zakat to a person who owns the amount of Nisab. However, it is permissible to give Zakat to scholars and students who are studying the Quran and it’s teachings.
Our Prophet (s.a.w.); "Even if a person who is learning knowledge has 40 years' of subsistence, it is permissible to give him Zakat."
Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is fard (Obligatory) for a Muslim who is free, sound mind, pubescent and who has sufficient amounts of wealth to give Zakat. This nisab amount in Zakat corresponds to 80.18 grams of gold. Apart from his basic needs and debts, every Muslim who has 80.18 grams of gold, cash or income producing properties of this value performs the Zakat worship once a year.
A decrease in the amount of Nisab during the year does not prevent giving Zakat. It is sufficient for the amount of Nisab to be available at the beginning and end of the year. It is necessary to make the intention (niyyah) for Zakat. When making the intention to pay Zakah, the person must make it with their heart , It is NOT sufficient to say it soley with the tongue.