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CHARITY (Zakah)

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Every Muslim is obligated to pay a portion of his or her wealth for the benefit of the poor and needy. Zakat means purification and growth. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a portion for those in need. This also increases social welfare and encourages economic growth.

A Muslim may also donate more as an act of Sadaqah (voluntary charity), in order to achieve additional reward from Allah.

 

ZAKAH is the third basic duty of Islam. It is a kind of tax on Muslim’s money, possessions, and it has to be paid every year. Like Salah and sawm it is also an act of worship and obedience. It is one of those activities of a Muslim’s life, which is done to gain Allah’s favour and is a compulsory duty (FARD) in Islam. Everything we think we possess, in reality belongs to Allah. Allah has granted to us every blessing, like food, clothing, money, jewellery, cattle, cars etc. However, we are not the real owners of these things, we are but the trustees. Allah allows us to fulfil our reasonable needs from the wealth He has given to us as trustees. At the same time we have responsibilities and duties. Allah wants us to share our wealth (which in fact is His) with those who are less fortunate, and in need. As true servants of Allah, we should use all our material things in the way Allah has told us to use them.

 

Of course it is obvious to us some people have a lot of these things while others have very few. Some have more money and some have less. It does not depend on our personal goodness; it has nothing to do with Allah rewarding or punishing people. Allah is testing those Muslims who have more of the things and money, in order to teach them not to cling to material things and be selfish, but to set aside a portion of their things and money to help the poor and needy. Some people say "God will provide" and try to give the impression that Allah will look after all our material needs. Unfortunately for us, this does not mean that nobody will be poor, or sick, or not affected by disasters. We must remember that not everyone in this world has enough wealth or the means to fulfil their reasonable needs. Some have little food and are hungry.

 

 

Conditions of Zakah

  1. Possession of the nisaab, which is the amount of wealth upon which Islam has legislated Zakaah. This amount is equal to 85 grams of gold.
  1. The elapse of one year. If one possesses the nisaab for a period of a complete  year, Zakaah becomes due upon him.

 

Those Eligible for Zakah

Allah has specified those who are eligible to receive Zakah. Allah says:

"As-Sadaqaat (i.e. Zakaat) are only for the Fuqaraa´ and Masaakeen (the poor) and those employed to collect [the funds]; and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined [towards Islam]; and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause (i.e. for Mujaahidoon - those fighting in Jihad), and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise..." (9:60)

 

Important Notes

  1. There is no Zakah due on those items which one possesses for personal use, such as houses, furniture, cars, and beasts of burden (horses, donkeys, etc.).
  1. There is no Zakah due on those assets one holds for rental purposes, like cars, shops, houses. Zakah must be paid on the rental payment if it is combined with his other  wealth, reaches the nisaab and remains in his possession for a period of  one year.

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