What is Zakat and why is it important?
Zakat cannot be restricted to just a form of voluntary charity, or a type of tax or even given as a form of expressing one’s generosity or compassion towards others. It has a much deeper meaning and value in Islam and to the Muslim community.
It is a very specific type of charity which has been prescribed to the Muslims by Allah (swt) Himself. It is a fundamental condition of being a Muslim as it has been identified as the third pillar of Islam. This has been taken from the Hadith:
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is based on five (principles): To testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, to offer the prayers dutifully and perfectly, to pay Zakat, to perform Hajj and to observe fast during the month of Ramadan.” (Bukhari)
Zakat is a Divinely ordained and is regarded both as a right of Allah as well as the right of the poor. Just Zakat has set up a Zakat calculator that will make it easy for you to identify how much you need to pay.
These will then have to be measured against your liabilities, once you have calculated your liabilities the amount you owe will be deducted from the amount which is left over. This is usually 2.5%.
In order to Pay zakat you must be:
- An adult
- A Muslim
- In complete ownership of the Nisab* (Zakat applicable wealth/assets-this is a loose translation of the word given the context)
What Assets are included?
- Cash and liquid assets
- Gold and silver
- Shares, trusts, investments
- Property and fixed assets
- Debts owed to you
- Business assets