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Zakah

‘Prayer carries us half-way to God, fasting brings us to the door of His palace, and alms procure us admission.’

Zakah (welfare contribution) is the third pillar of Islam. The word Zakah means to ‘purify or cleanse’. Zakah is the name given in Islam to that portion of money or wealth which as per Allah’s command is given to the poor and the needy so that they become the owner of it. In other words, fasting and prayers are forms of bodily worship while Zakah is a form of worship which is pecuniary in nature.

Zakah provides us with the opportunity of sharing our excess wealth with those less fortunate than ourselves. In fact we and our wealth belong to Allah. He is the real owner and we merely are the trustees of His wealth.

Zakah is an act of Ibadah. Ibadah is an Arabic word which means ‘worship and obedience’. It includes all activities of life, if we do them to please Allah. We pay Zakah to gain Allah’s favour. We just do our duty as trustees if we pay Zakah as an obligatory part of Ibadah.

‘Alms giving’ is a command for a person who combines in himself the following conditions:

a) he is a Muslim; b) he is a free person; c) he is a major; d) he is the owner of Nisab (the minimum required capital free from all encumbrances and needs); e) one full year has passed since he came to exclusively possess the above said capital.

Zakah will become a command and an obligation if all the above conditions combine in a person.

Similarly, if a person has less capital with him than the minimum prescribed for Nisab, or he is under debt or else one full year has not elapsed since he came to possess so much wealth, Zakah is not command for him.

It is necessary to have the intention to pay the Zakah while giving it, or at least to earmark the portion for it. No Zakah shall be deemed to have been paid if the money is given to someone without intention to pay the Zakah and late to decide to count it as such.

Wealth on which Zakah is payable

Amount which determines the payment of Zakah (Nisab)

Rate of Zakah

1. Agricultural produce

5 Awsuq (653 kg) per harvest

5% produce in case of irrigated land; 10% of produce from rain fed land.

2. Gold, Silver, ornaments of gold and silver

85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver

2.5% of value

3. Cash in bank or in hand

value of 595 grams of silver

2.5% of amount

4. Trading Goods

value of 595 grams of silver

2.5% value of goods

5. Cows & buffaloes

30 in no.

For every 30, one 1year old; For every 40, one 2year old.

6. Goats & Sheep

40 in no.

1 for first 40, two for 120; 3 for 300, one more for every 100.

7. Produce of mines

Any quantity

20% of value of produce

8. Camels

5 in no.

a) upto 24, 1 sheep or goat for each 5 camels; 
b) 25-35, one 1-year old she camel; 
c) 36-45, one 2-year old she camel; 
d) 46-60, one 3-year old she camel; 
e) 61-75, one 4-year old she camel; 
f) 76-90, two 2-year old she camel; 
g)
91-120, two 3-year old she camel; 
h) 121 or more, one 2-year old she camel for additional 40 or one 3-year old she camel for additional 50

Whom to Pay the Zakah Money

‘Alms are to be given to the poor and the needy, and to those who collect them, and to those whose hearts are won to Islam, and for ransoms and for debtors, and for the cause of God, and for the wayfarer.’ (ix. 60)

The following categories of people can (legitimately) be given the Zakah money:

a) the first are fuqara, plural of faqir, which literally means ‘a man who is afflicted by a calamity.’ Apparently, it refers to disabled people who, on account of some defect, are unable to earn their living. b) the second are Masakin, plural of miskin i.e. one caused by poverty to have little power of motion. Miskin is one, who, though fit to earn sufficient, is unable to do so on account of poverty or lack of resources. The miskin is the needy man who if given a little help can earn livelihood for himself. The unemployed would fall in this category. c) A needy person, i.e. a person who has some belongings but they fall short of the minimum prescribed for Nisab; d) a pauper, i.e. a person who just has nothing; e) a debtor, namely, a person who owes debts to others and has no alms worthy capital free from encumbrances; f) a person, ‘on journey’ who has run short of money; g) It may also be given to assist a mukatib, or slave who is working in order to purchase his freedom and to persons who are too poor to go on a jihad or to make the Hajj.

Besides these, first preference should be given to one’s kin such as sister, brother, father-in-law, son-in-law, if they are deserving. Next in preference come one’s neighbours and the people of the town who deserve it more than others. Third preference should be given to those who serve the cause of Islam, such as students pursuing religious education.

Those who cannot be given Zakah

The following persons are barred from receiving alms:

a) any well-to-do person, namely, a person on whom Zakah is due or such a one as has capital, over and above his actual needs provided it is equivalent in value to minimum prescribed for Nisab even though the capital is in the form of copper utensils (which are in themselves excluded from the lost of alms worthy capital); b) Descendant of the Prophet and Bani Hashim. The term bani applies to the descendants of Hadrat Harith bin Abdul Muttalib, Hadrat Jafar, Hadrat Aqil, Hadrat Abbas and Hadrat Ali are not allowed to receive Zakah; c) parents, grandparents and great grand parents of the person concerned; d) sons, daughters, grand children and great grand children of such a person; e) husband and wife can neither give alms to nor receive from each other; f) an unbeliever cannot be given Zakah; and g) minor children of a well-to-do person are also barred from receiving Zakah.

No one belonging to any one of the above categories is eligible to receive Zakah.

Things on which Zakah money cannot be spent

Zakah money cannot be spent on the following: items or things in which no person is likely to be the possessor or owner of the money so spent are not fit items for utilizing the Zakah money. Thus, no such money can be spent on the burial of the dead, liquidation of debt on behalf of a dead person, construction of a mosque or buying necessary accessories of the mosque as carpets, tumblers, water etc., for funeral expenses or to purchase a slave in order to set him free.

 

Zakat - Almsgiving
Muslims give a small percentage of their annual savings as alms or charity, called zakat. Learn how to calculate its amount.

Literal Meaning: Zakat means grow (in goodness) or 'increase', 'purifying' or 'making pure'. So the act of giving zakat means purifying one's wealth to gain Allah's blessing to make it grow in goodness. Source: Definition from the Zakat Collection Center in Kuala Lumpur. 

...the Qur’an says, “(Zakat) charity is only for the poor and the needy and those employed to administer it, and those whose hearts are made to incline, and (to free) the captives, and those in debt, and in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer – an ordinance from Allah. And Allah is Knowing, Wise.” (9:60)...
http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/15122001/1512200144.htm
ZAKAT: HADITH 
» One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word Zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. 
» The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The best charity is to feed an empty stomach."
» The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, "Whosoever clothes another Muslim, Allah (SWT) will cloth him on the Day of Judgment with clothes of Heaven (Jannat)."
» The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to God than a worshipper who is miserly."
» The rich will be crawling into Heaven.
» When one gives Zakat with one hand the other hand should not know.
» The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "Every good, done for the rich or the poor, is charity."
» The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "…wealth is (like) green and sweet (fruit), and whoever takes it without greed, God will bless it for him, but whoever takes it with greed…will be like someone who eats but is never satisfied…The upper (giving) hand is better than the lower (receiving) hand."
» The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The nation that withholds Zakat (i.e. does not pay it), Allah afflicts famine on them."
» Ali and Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "When Zakat is looked upon as a penalty (i.e., people will pay Zakat with a heavy heart, as though it is a penalty), then look for violent windstorms, earthquakes, men being swallowed by the earth, metamorphosis, stones being pelted from the skies, and calamities following one another in rapid succession, like beads of rosary falling one after the other when its string is cut."
» The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, "A man giving in alms one piece of silver in his lifetime is better for him than giving one hundred when about to die."
» The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abu Hurairah. Every morning two angels come down from the Heaven. One says, "O Allah! Reward all those who give in Your cause," while the other says, "O Allah! Uproot every miser who withholds."
» When people stop giving Zakat the rain stops coming down. The only reason it still rains however is because of the animals.
» Money is only yours when you spend it in Allah (SWT) `s way.

RECIPIENTS OF ZAKAT:
The recipients of Zakat, according to Qur'an are as follows:

"Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer (the funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and in debt; and for the wayfarer: (Thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom." (Qur'an 9:60) 

1. FUQARA: people who are poor and who possess more than their basic needs but do not possess wealth equal to Nisaab.
2. MASAKEEN: people who are destitute and extremely needy to the extent they are forced to beg for their daily food rations.
3. AL-AMILEEN: people appointed by an Islamic Government to collect Zakat.
4. MU-ALLAFATUL-QULUB: persons who have recently accepted Islam and are in need of basic necessities who would benefit from encouragement by Muslims which would help strengthen their faith.
5. AR-RIQAAB: slaves who are permitted to work for remuneration and have an agreement from their masters to purchase their freedom on payment of fixed amounts.
6. AL-GHAARIMEEN: persons who have a debt and do not possess any other wealth or goods with which they could repay that which they owe. It is conditional that this debt was not created for any un-Islamic purpose.
7. FI-SABILILLAH: persons who have to carry out an obligatory deed which has become obligatory on them and subsequently (due to loss of wealth) are unable to complete that obligation.
8. IBN-US-SABEEL: persons who are travelers and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakat in order to fulfill travel needs to return home.


PERSONS WHO CANNOT BE GIVEN ZAKAT:
1. Zakat cannot be given to the descendants of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wassallam);
2. Zakat cannot be given to parents and grandparents. In the same manner one's children and grandchildren cannot be given Zakat. A husband and wife cannot give Zakat to each other.
3. Zakat contributions cannot be given to such institutions or organizations who do not give the rightful recipients possession of Zakat, but instead use Zakat funds for constructions, investment or salaries.


VIRTUES OF ZAKAT:
Allah says in the Qur'an:
"The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn. It grows seven ears and each ear has hundred grains. Allah increases manifold to whom He pleases." (Qur'an 2:261)
It is stated in the Hadith that by giving Zakat the following benefits are derived:
1. Gain the pleasure of Allah
2. Increase in wealth and protection from losses
3. Allah's forgiveness and blessings
4. Protection from the wrath of Allah and from a bad death
5. A shelter on the Day of Judgment;
6. Security from seventy misfortunes

THE PUNISHMENT FOR NOT GIVING ZAKAT:
Allah says in the Qur'an:
"And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Judgment heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell. Then with it they will be branded on their forehead and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you have been hoarding." (Qur'an 9:34-35)

All Zakah items in your possession, including gold, silver, etc. if any. Once the Nisab is completed, Zakah becomes payable. 
Banknotes Gold Silver Jewelry Debts Capital Goods Merchandise Cattle Mineral Resources Fruits & Other Crops Extracted Treasures 

 

 

Status of Zakat in India today
Zakat is usually calculated and given out in the month of Ramadan before Eid. There are several ways of giving out Zakat: some people distribute it themselves among the needy, the poor widows, disabled, sick, and to help poor parents to marry off their daughters.. Some give it to charitable organizations like madrasahs, orphanages to utilize it to educate and provide fee for poor children
http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/15-1-2000/Art18.htm
Towards better handling of zakat: "I pay Zakat in the name of God. If anyone does anything wrong in its collection or distribution, he will be punished by Allah," said Mohammad Nisar, a resident of Zakir Nagar, South Delhi....
http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/01122002/0112200250.htm
...Resources for funding social work projects can also be generated locally from zakat funds. Zakat, a tithe payable by all Muslims whose wealth exceeds a basic minimum, is one of the five 'pillars' of Islam. I have no idea how many Kashmiris regularly pay their zakat, but many Muslim organizations elsewhere have experimented with new ways of using zakat funds, which could be adopted in Kashmir as well. Rather than distributing the money to individuals in need, it could be paid into community-controlled local level zakat committees (bait-ul mals) which, in turn, could use the resources to start education and training schemes and income-generation projects for the needy...
http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/01042001/Art17.htm
...Zakat - One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God and that wealth is held in trust by human beings. Zakat, or charitable giving, "purifies" wealth by setting aside a portion for those in need. This payment is usually two and a half percent of one's capital....
http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/01062002/0106200206.htm
PRESIDENT KALAM DISTRIBUTES ZAKAT
Ghaziabad: President APJ Abdul Kalam sent his zakat to the orphaned and poor children through his private secretary...
... A DREAM
Out of 150 million Muslims let us say there are 400,000 who can give Rs.2500 per annum (as zakat, sadaqah, imdaad...)
400,000 x Rs 2500 = Rs 1000 million
http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/15-1-2000/Art18.htm
...we are running a Zakat Foundation. It works to create awareness among Muslims regarding payments of zakat. A large number of Muslims do not know anything regarding how much and what to pay in zakat....
http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/01062001/inter.htm

 

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