What is Zakat?
What is Zakat? is the most commonly asked question. Most of the Muslims also search for the query that why zakat is important and to whom it should be given? Most of the people also search about the criteria of being eligible for Sawm giving and percentage to be given to poor.
What does Zakat mean?
Zakat literally means “to cleanse”. It means to make your earnings and provision halal by donating a part of your earning to the poor. Allah has made the distribution different among all the people. Some are richest and some are poorer. He has ordered Muslims to give Sawm to poor because He likes human beings serving and being served.
What is the purpose of Zakat giving?
Zakat is the third basic pillar of Islam. Allah has made it obligatory for Muslims because it increases and purifies the rest of wealth. It is the best way of helping poor people. Allah likes those who help human beings. Sawm giving brings positivity and peace in the society due to the generosity of rich people.
When does Zakat become compulsory?
Zakat becomes compulsory when a person reaches the age of puberty and holds the enough assets. Islam has defined the Nisab of Sawm. Those who fulfill the criteria of paying Sawm are obliged to pay it. The quantity of Zakat has also been mentioned in Islam.
What is nisab?
Nisab is the lowest amount on which Zakah becomes compulsory for a Muslim. It is the specific quantity of Zakat defined by Islam. It can be measured with two scales:
These are the two scales with the reference of which nisab of Sawm in Islam has been defined. .
For example if a person who holds 24k of gold should give Sawm of 85 grams. Zakat is the best way of increasing wealth and making rest of the wealth pure and Halal for Muslims.
You May Also Read : What is Umrah and How to Perform Umrah?
What is the percentage of Zakat on cash?
The third scale to measure the quantity of Zakat is to apply the formula of 2.5%. If you have an amount of 500,000 its 2.5% will be 12,500. You will have to give 12500 as Zakah.
When does the Zakat year begin?
Zakat becomes payable after a year on the day when you became eligible to give Sawm. Zakat must be paid per year. For instance: You earned an amount on the 12th February and that fulfilled the criteria of Nisab, then on the 12th February of next year, you will be obliged to pay Sawm 2.5% of your amount.
How many types of Zakat?
Zakat is of two types:
- Zakat on Business
- Zakat on Eid-ul-Fitr
There is another form of Sawm that is Sawm on breaking fast but it is not considered the main type of Zakah. Main types of Zakah are two that are discussed above.
What is Zakat on business?
If you hold any kind of business that is providing you with high profits, you are eligible to pay Zakat. Here are some examples of the businesses:
- Transport business
- Crops, land, cultivation
- Production of raw materials for sale
- Production of different products like bakery products
- All the business men earn a handsome amount that fulfills the criteria of Nisab.
- 2.5% of total earning is given as Sawm.
What is the difference between Zakat and Ushr?
Ushr is the part of Zakah. It is the term used instead of Sawm for those who hold lands. There are different kinds of lands. Percentage of Ushr depends on the production and location of land.
- If land is located near the canal or river, owner will have to pay 10% ushr for that crop’s production.
- If land is not near the canals or river and is irrigated, they are required to pay 5% Sawm on their production.
- Above explanation is for those who produce grains, dates and wheat.
- For fruits like watermelons one is not obliged to pay Sawm or Ushr.
What is Zakat on Eid ul Fitr?
Muslims observe fasts during the month of Ramadan and at the end of the month, they are required to pay Sawm. This is called Zakah ul-Fitr. It is paid before Eid prayer. The purpose of this type of Zakah is to share the happiness and joy of Eid with your neighbors and poor brothers.
Who is deserving for Zakat?
A Muslim must prefer his relative or neighbor for Zakah giving. Islam has also described the needy people in eight categories that are deserving for Zakah. Here are the categories:
These are the people that do not have anything to eat but remain quiet. They do not tell their story to anyone. Prophet Muhammad recommended to help these types of people.
These are poor and needy people. Their standard of life is low as compared to the middle class and higher class people. Middle class must try their best to keep these kinds of people happy by giving charity and Zakat to them.
- Fe Sabeelillah:
These are the people that go out of their home for the sake of Allah’s happiness. They are also eligible for Sawm.
It is a person who collects Sawm and provides it to poor people. He is also eligible for Zakah.
People who are in debt and are unable to spend their life in a normal way. It is very important to serve these kinds of people.
- Ibnus Sabeel:
It is the term for the people who are stranded travelers. They are also deserving.
Slaves are also eligible for Zakah because they do not spend their life with their own desires. They highly deserve Sawmand every kind of help from other Muslim brothers.
These are newly Muslim people who embrace Islam and leave their life that was full of sins. They need help and support of Muslim brothers. This help can be provided to them in the form of Zakat to make them stand on their own foots. It is also Sadqa.
Important facts about Zakat:
- Zakah is the right of poor people that has been provided to them by Allah Almighty.
- Zakat becomes compulsory for a person who keeps money for a year that fulfills the criteria of nisab.
- After Namaz, a second pillar of Islam, Zakah has been given too much importance.
- It is the third pillar of Islam.
- It brings unity and feelings of love and brotherhood among the Muslims.
- It results in the creation of a peaceful society.
- Zakat giver must make sure that first relatives or neighbors are provided with the Zakah. Zakat given to relatives and neighbors provides greater rewards.
- Sawm ends poverty.
How to calculate Zakat?
One must keep record of his total earnings so that he becomes able to easily calculate Zakat. Add the income from all of your resources and subtract all of your expenses from total income. When you have subtracted all of your expenses, then notice the amount you are left with. If it is above the Nisab, you are obliged to give the percentage of Zakah to poor. If it does not fulfill Nisab criteria then you are not obliged to pay Sawm.
Pay 2.5% of your total savings as a Zakah. Ushr is for those who hold lands and cultivate crops. Its percentage can be seen from the above discussion.
What are the benefits of Zakat?
Zakat is very important for Muslim community as it is highly recommended in Islam for balanced life. It does not let us love this world and to collect wealth here.
- Zakah teaches us to spend our money for Allah’s happiness.
- It makes clear that nothing should be more important to us than the happiness of Allah Almighty.
- It makes society peaceful place to live.
- It brings unity among all the Muslims.
- It is the best way of increasing wealth.
- The Zakah we give to poor is the real earning for the world hereafter.
Halal and honest earning is accepted as Sawm:
According to the saying of Prophet Muhammad, Zakah is only accepted by Allah Almighty when the amount is earned in the Halal and honest way. When it is accepted, it is multiplied many times and Allah increases the provisions of those people.
First of all makes sure that you earn money in Halal way. Then spend it in the way of Allah to help poor people. No any act can provide reward equal to that which is provided the help of poor people.