ZAKAT (Alms)

The word Zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'.

 Zakat is One of the most important principle of Islam. One must know that all the things belong to Allah and that wealth is therefore held by human being is a trust.

The person who has wealth and does not pay zakaat, he will be regarded as a great sinner in the sight of Allah and he will be severely punished on the day of Judgement. Zakat is an obligatory form of "charity" which is mandatory on every Muslim individual, irrespective of his gender.

The obligatory nature of Zakat is firmly established in the Qur'an. 

Surah No. 2, Al Baqr,  Ayat No. 267-268

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْفِقُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ

وَلَا تَيَمَّمُوا الْخَبِيثَ مِنْهُ تُنْفِقُونَ وَلَسْتُمْ بِآخِذِيهِ إِلَّا أَنْ تُغْمِضُوا فِيهِ وَاعْلَمُو

الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَاللَّهُ o أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ

o يَعِدُكُمْ مَغْفِرَةً مِنْهُ وَفَضْلًا وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Translation :

O believers ! Give from the good things which you have earned, and also give from what we have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim to give the bad things to others, which you yourselves would not like to receive, except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is self sufficient and Worthy of all praise.

The Shaitan threatens you of poverty and promote you to do the shameful deeds, but Allah promises you of His forgiveness and Bounties and Allah care for all and He knows all things.

Surah No. 2, Al Baqr, Ayat No. 262

الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنْفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى لَهُمْ

o أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Translation :

Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah and do not give reminders of their gifts or generosity nor wish to hurt the feelings (of others),― for them, the reward is with their Lord; there shall be no fear for them, and they shall not grieve.

Surah No. 2, Al Baqr, Ayat No. 264

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُمْ بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ كَالَّذِي يُنْفِقُ مَالَهُ

رِئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ عَلَيْهِ تُرَابٌ

فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَكَهُ صَلْدًا لَا يَقْدِرُونَ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا وَاللَّهُ لَا

o يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ

Translation :

O believers ! do not Spoil your charity by giving reminders of your generosity and hurting the acceptors. Like those who spend their wealth to be seen by other men, but they believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. Their example is like a hard barren rock, on which there is a little soil; when heavy rain falls on it, exposes a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide those who reject faith.

Surah No. 2, Al Baqr, Ayat No. 271

تُبْدُواْ الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاء فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لُّكُمْ وَيُكَفِّرُ

o عَنكُم مِّن سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَاللّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

Translation :

"If you give alms (Zakat or Sadaqa) openly, it is well, and if you hide it and give it to the poor, it is better for you; this will remove some of your sins ; and Allah Knows what you do."

Surah No. 3, Al Imran, Ayat No. 180

وَلاَ يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا لَّهُمْ بَلْ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَّهُمْ سَيُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بَخِلُواْ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلِلّهِ مِيرَاثُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاللّهُ بِمَا

o تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

Translation :

Those people who are well off but act as misers, they think that it is better for them. No! it is worse for them. The wealth which they hoard, will be tied around their neck on the Day of Judgment. To Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth, and Allah knows what you do.

Surah No. 9, Al Taubah, Ayats No. 34 & 35

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ

وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ

o اللّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

يَوْمَ يُحْمَى عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ هَـذَا

o كَنَزْتُمْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ

Translation :

O ' Believers ! there are many priests(Persons who perform religious ceremonies) and monks (Religious person who do not marry), who defraud the men of their wealth and deviate them from the path of Allah. And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the cause of Allah: Announce to them a most grievous penalty-On the Day when their (gold and silver) will be heated up in the fire of Hell, and with it their foreheads, their shoulders and their backs branded (stamped) with them, then they will be reminded "This is the (treasure) which you hoarded for yourselves: taste them of what you were hoarding!"

Surah No. 17, Al Isra, Ayat No. 26

وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَى حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا

Translation :

"And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not spend lavishly or wastefully."

Ahadis (plural of Hadis ):


Sahi Bukhari Sharif, Volume 2, Book 24, No.486

Narrated Abu Huraira (ra): Allah's Apostle (saws) said, "Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, 'I am your wealth, I am your treasure.'"


Sahi Bukhari Sharif,Volume 2,Book 24, Number 522: and sahi MuslimSharif ,Book No 005 ,Number 2205

 Narrated Abu Huraira :(ra) The Prophet said, "Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, 'O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,' and the other (angel) says, 'O Allah! Destroy every Miser.' "

People on whom Zakat is obligatory, must meet the following criteria:

1. The person should be Muslim, adult and sane.

2. Items of personal use (such as clothing, food, shelter, household      furniture, utensils, cars, etc). are exempted

3. If a person possesses 612.35 grams of silver or 87.48 grams of gold or any currency that equals the value of this amount of gold or silver, and this wealth remains in his possession for a complete year, then on the expiry of that year it will be Mandatory (Farz) on him to give zakaat. If his wealth is less than this, zakaat will not be Farz. This is Nisaab.

4. A person possessed the nisaab but prior to the expiry of one year all his wealth is lost and it was not in his possession for the complete year. In such a case zakaat will not be Farz.

6. A person possesses the full nisaab and also has debts which equals the nisaab. In such a case zakaat will not be Farz.

5. If his debts are such that if he were to fulfil his debts he will have a remainder of wealth which equals the nisaab, then zakaat will be Farz on him.

6. Zakaat is Farz on jewellery, utensils made by silver or gold, ornaments, and brocades (fabric with elaborate design) that have been made with gold or silver. This is irrespective of whether these items are in use or not. It is to be noted that zakaat is Farz on everything that is made of gold or silver. However, if they are less than the nisaab, zakaat will not be Farz.

7.  The owner should deduct any amount of money he or she borrowed from others; then check if the rest reaches the necessary nisab, then pays Zakat for it.

8.  A person had money equal to the nisaab which was over and above his needs, then on the expiry of the year, zakaat will be applicable on the said amount.

9. A person had silver which was equal to the nisaab. Prior to the expiry of the year, he received an amount of gold (whether more or less than the amount of nisaab). It will be added to the original amount of silver and zakaat will be Farz on the total amount upon the expiry of that year.

10. On all other metals such as steel, copper, brass, etc., the utensils that are made of these metals, clothing, footwear, if these items are for the purpose of trade and they reach the nisab, zakaat will be Farz on them .

11. Zakaat is not Farz on household articles such as utensils, pots, big pots, trays, basins, crockery and glassware, the house in which one lives, the clothes which one wears, jewellery made of pearls .

12. A person owns several homes from which he collects rent. Zakaat is not applicable on these homes irrespective of their value.

13. Zakaat is not applicable on clothes irrespective of how expensive they may be. However, if they possess gold or silver thread and if this thread were to be removed and weighed it will be added to the nisaab, then in such a case zakaat will be farz.

14. A person possesses some gold or silver, and some goods for trade as well. All these will have to be calculated together. If they reach the nisaab of gold or silver, zakaat will be farz.

15. A person upon whom zakaat is farz gives his zakaat before the expiry of one year and does not wait until the end of the year. This is permissible and his zakaat will be considered to be fulfilled

16. It is permissible for a person to give zakaat for several years beforehand. But if his wealth increases in any given year, he will have to give zakaat for the extra wealth that he obtained.

17. A person had some wealth for a full year but before he could give the zakaat, all his wealth was stolen or disappeared in some other way, the zakat will not be applicable.

18. After the expiry of the year, a person gave all his wealth in charity. Zakaat will not be farz on him.

How to calculate and WhenTo Pay the Zakaat :

1. Upon the expiry of the year, zakaat should be given immediately.If the paying of zakaat is delayed to such an extent that the second year also expires, the person will be a sinner but he can still repent for this sin and pay the total amount of zakaat immediately.

2. Zakaat should be calculated @ 2.5 % on the total amount of his wealth. It is reported that the Prophet (saws)- used to tell the people to give one dinar from every forty dinar.

(See Abu Da’ud, Hadis no. 1342; Ibne Majah, Hadis no. 1781 )

3. At the time of giving the zakaat to a poor person, one must have the intention in his heart that he is giving this money as zakaat. If he merely gives it without making any intention, the zakaat will not be fulfilled.

4. A person set aside an amount to be given as zakaat and decided that when he comes across a deserving person he will give it to him. However, when he finally gives it to the poor person he forgets to make the intention of zakaat. In this case, zakaat will be fulfilled.

5.. A person has taken out his zakaat for distribution. He has the choice of giving all his zakaat to one person or distributing it among several persons. He also has the option of giving all the zakaat on one day or distributing it over several months of a year.

6. It is better to give one poor person an amount which will be sufficient for him for that day so that he will not have to ask anyone else.

7. A person comes to borrow some money and it is known that he is so poor that he will be unable to fulfil this debt or that he is a very bad payer and never fulfils his debts. If the person gives him some zakaat money and also makes this intention in his heart that he is giving zakaat, then in such a case zakaat will be fulfilled despite the poor person regarding it as a debt.

8. If a poor person is given something as a gift, but in his heart the person has the intention of giving zakaat, even then zakaat will be fulfilled.

9. A poor person is owing you an amount. You also have to pay zakaat for the same amount. You forgave the same amount which he is owing you with the intention of it being zakaat. In such a case, zakaat will not be fulfilled. However, if you give him another amount as zakaat, and he pays you back the the old debt, zakaat will be fulfilled.

10. If you appoint someone else to give the zakaat on your behalf. If the person to whom the money has been given does not make the intention of zakaat at the time of giving the money to a poor person, the zakaat will still be fulfilled.

11. You gave a person some amount to be given to another person as zakaat. However, this person did not give the very same amount which you had given to him. Instead, he gave another currency of the same value which was in his personal possession and thought in his mind that he will use the amount that you had given him. Even in this case the zakaat will be be fulfilled.

12. If you did not give him any money but merely asked him to give some zakaat on your behalf and he does this for you, the zakaat will be fulfilled. You should reimburse the same later.

13. If a person pays some zakaat on your behalf without asking you, the zakaat will not be fulfilled. Now, even if you agree or accept his payment on your behalf, it will not be permissible.

14. You have given a person an amount to be given on your behalf as zakaat. This person has the choice of giving it to a poor person himself or asking a third person to give it on his behalf. When giving it to this third person he does not have to mention your name that this zakaat must be given on behalf of so and so person. If that person gives the money to a relative of his, or to his parents if he finds them in need, this is also permissible. However, if the person who was asked to distribute the zakaat is poor himself; he cannot take this money for his personal use. But, at the time of giving the money to him, if you told him to do whatever he likes with the money and that he could give it to whomsoever he wishes, it will be permissible for him to keep it for his personal use.

15. The Islamic rule for zakat, is that EVERY 12 moon months you have to pay ZAKAT,even if you paid last year. For the same quantity of Gold or Silver or cash you have to pay zakat every year.

Who is Entitled/ Not Entitled to Receive Zakaat:

Entitled People

Surah No. 9, Al Taubah, Ayat No. 60

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ

o وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

Translation :

"The alms (zakat) are only for the Fuqara' (the poor), and Masaakeen (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and for those whose hearts attracts and inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise."

Comments :

1.   Fuqaraa : Those who own property in excess of basic necessities but below the value of Nisab.

If a person possesses a house, clothes that are worn, slaves for domestic purposes, and furniture (these   are basic necessities), he will not be regarded as a rich person irrespective of the value of these items.

2. Masakeen: Persons of extreme poverty who possess no wealth whatsoever.

The person who has very little wealth or has no wealth at all is regarded as a poor person. It is permissible for him to accept zakaat money. The zakaat amount can be given to him.

3. Aamileen: (Zakat collector) Those persons who are appointed by an Islamic Head of State or Government to collect Zakat. It is not necessary that this be a needy person. It is permissible to give zakaat to them.

4. Muallafatil Quloob : Those poor and needy persons who are given Zakat with the intentions of solidifying their hearts because they maybe recently converted to Islam or to bring them closer to Islam.

5. Ar-Riqaab: slaves whose masters have agreed to set them free on a payment of a fixed amount. Zakat may be used to purchase their freedom.

It is permissible to give zakaat to Muslim servants, workers, employees, etc. However, this zakaat should not be included in their wages or salaries. Instead, it should be given separately as a gift. At the time of giving this gift to them, one should have the intention in his heart that he is giving zakaat.

6. Ibnus-Sabeel : A traveler, who is wealthy at his residence, is stranded and in need of financial assistance. A person may be a very rich person at home. However, while on a journey, all his money got stolen or exhausted in some other way to such an extent that he does not even have sufficient funds to reach his own destination. It will be permissible to give zakaat to such a person.

7. Al Ghaarimeen : A person whose debts exceeds his assets and his net assets (after deducting his liabilities) is below the Nisab limit. To determine whether a person qualifies, his basic necessities of life (house, furniture, clothes, vehicle, etc.) will not be taken into account. It is conditional that the debts were not created for any un-Islamic or sinful purpose. It is permissible to give zakaat to them.

8.  Fi Sabeelillah : Those who are away from home in the path of Allah. Those in Jihaad, those seeking knowledge or a stranded Haji may be assist with Zakat if they are in need.

9. It is permissible to give zakaat to all other relatives such as one's brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, maternal and paternal uncles and aunts, step father or step mother, step grandfather, step father-in-law, mother-in-law, etc.

10. If the children are mature and poor, but their father is rich, it will    be permissible to give zakaat to them.

11. If the father of an immature child is not rich but the mother is, it will be permissible to give zakaat to that child.

12. The Mehr of a woman was fixed at Rs.10000. However, the husband cannot fulfil this comittment due to poverty then it will be permissible to give zakaat to such a woman. It will also be permissible to give zakaat to her if her husband is rich but refuses to give the Mehr.

13. A person gave zakaat to another person thinking that he is poor. Later, he learnt that this person was rich or he was a recognised sayyed, zakaat will be considered to be fulfilled.

14. At the time of giving zakaat and all other forms of charity, one should first take one's relatives into consideration. However, when giving them this zakaat, they should not be told that it is zakaat so that they do not feel offended.

Non Entitled People

1.  Zakaat cannot be given to a Non Muslim.  All forms of charity can be given to a Non Muslim except the following: zakaat and sadaqatul fitr.

2. Zakaat funds cannot be used for the building of a Masjid, for the shrouding (Kafan) and burial of a  deceased person, for the payment of debts on behalf of a deceased person.

3.   Zakaat cannot be given to the own parents, maternal and paternal grand-parents and even great grand-parents. In the same way, zakaat cannot be given to one's children, grand-children, great grand-children, etc. In the same way, the husband and wife cannot give zakaat to each other.

4. It is not permissible to give zakaat to immature children if their father is rich..

5. It is not permissible to give zakaat to the descendants of the Prophet and his other family members.

6. If the woman asks her husband for her Mehr and he will give it to her without hesitation, it will not be permissible to give zakaat to her.

7. If the person who gave the zakaat to a unknown person learns that the person to whom he had given the zakaat was actually a Non Muslim, he will have to pay zakaat again.

8. A person has a doubt as to whether a certain person is rich or poor. Zakaat should not be given to him .

Hadis :

The Prophet Mohammad (saws) said: " Charity is a necessity for every Muslim. ' He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing ?' The Prophet replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.' The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work ?' The Prophet said 'He should urge others to do good.' The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity ".

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