Zakah is to give one-fortieth (2.5%) of one’s wealth annually to one of the eight classes of people specified in Qur’ân Al-Karîm.
The conditions that render Zakah Fardh (obligatory): An adult, sane, free and debtless Muslim who is in possession of the Nisab amount of wealth, in excess of their basic needs for a complete lunar year is obliged to pay the Zakah. This wealth should further be of productive nature. Although gold and silver are not productive, their Zakah should be given when they reach the amount of Nisâb.
Nisab: It is a religious standard to determine the liability of paying Zakah. Nisab is to possess 20 mithqâl (80,18grams) of gold or an equivalent amount of money or trade goods in excess of one’s debts and basic needs. The basic needs include a house and its furniture, clothes, tools, books, a vehicle (or a horse) and some provisions. One-fortieth (2.5%) of the taxable amount of money has to be given as Zakah. Zakat on livestock: One sheep out of every forty sheep, one sheep out of every five camels, one calf out of every thirty head of cattle. Mines (precious stones) are also subject to Zakat.
Ushr is the Zakat on farm produce, which is one-tenth of the crop from the land. If the irrigation of the land is by artificial means, the amount is one-twentieth. Farm crops include wheat, barley, rice, millet, watermelon, cucumber, eggplant, clover, olives, sesame, honey, manna, sugar cane, and fruits. Lands in Turkey are Ushr applicable as they are private and registered. Muslim landowners who are engaged in farming should give their Ushr so that their harvest will be Halal (lawful).
The eligible Zakat recipients are specified in the 60th Ayah (verse) of Sûrah Al-Tawbah. The poor who do not have the Nisab, the needy who have nothing in life (Al-Masâkîn), the officials in charge of collecting Zakat, those who have inclined towards Islâm by receiving Zakat (Muallafah Al-Qulub), People in bondage, people burdened with debts, people who are in the path of Allâh and travelers stranded without money.
Zakah can be given to any of these eight categories mentioned above. However, the most deserving people to receive the Zakah are the needy with nothing in life and those who are striving in the cause of Allâh.