Zakat means to purify one’s wealth and bring it to light. Zakat is obligatory on every man and woman who can afford it. Man thinks that paying Zakat reduces his wealth, but in reality, this is not the case. And the help of those who are entitled to Zakat in the society and the elimination of evils from the community is ensured.
Zakat is a form of obligatory charity that can alleviate the suffering of millions of Muslims. According to Muslim belief, paying Zakat purifies and increases their remaining wealth and is a blessing. Zakat is a concept associated with Islam that refers to giving a proportion of one’s wealth to charitable causes every year. As a religious practice, Zakat is considered an obligatory practice for Muslims. As described in the Quran and Hadith, Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with prayer, fasting during Ramadan, and Hajj. The Muslim must follow this procedure upon earning over a specific limit and shouldn’t be confused with charitably giving, another term for generosity.
عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُوْلُ : بُنِيَ اْلإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ : شَهَادَةُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُوْلُ اللهِ وَإِقَامُ الصَّلاَةِ وَإِيْتَاءُ الزَّكَاةِ وَحَجُّ الْبَيْتِ وَصَوْمُ رَمَضَانَ.
On the authority of Abdullah, the son of Umar Ibn-Al-Khattab (R.A.), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) say: “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Salah (Namaz, Prayer), paying the Zakat (obligatory charity), perform the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House of Kaaba, and fasting in Ramadan.” (Bukhari: 8)
According to Shariah, Zakat is defined as:
حَقٌّ واجِبٌ فِي مَالٍ خَاصْ لِطئِافةٍ مَخْصُوصَة ، فِي وَقتٍ مَخْصُوص
Zakat is an obligatory action of giving a specific portion of one’s wealth to eligible recipients every lunar year.
Wealth and income are factors that determine the amount of Zakat. It is often calculated at the end of the year and paid at that time. The people eligible for Zakat include poor and needy citizens, struggling Muslim refugees, slavery victims, stranded soldiers, and soldiers fighting for the protection of their community.
Who is eligible to receive Zakat?
Only particular beneficiaries and projects are eligible to receive Zakat. It states in the Holy Qur’an that there are eight categories of people who ought to receive Zakat:
- The Fuqara’ (Poor people)
- Al-Maskin (Those in need)
- Aamileen (Zakat collector)
- Muallafatul Quloob (someone who recently converted to Islam and is poor and needy)
- Ar-Riqaab (slaves whose freedom can be purchased with Zakat)
- Ibnus-Sabeel: A stranded traveler in need of financial assistance.
- Al Ghaarimeen: A debtor
- Fi Sabeelillah: For those who are away from home in Allah’s path
Zakat is most often distributed to the poor and the needy because they are the most important groups to receive it. Because of this, it is okay to give your entire zakat allocation to people in those groups.
Islamic charity is known as Zakat. It is the third pillar of Islam. It is essential in Islam. When everyone has wealth and gives Zakat to the poor, no one will be poor, and our society will improve.