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How to Calculate Zakat for Ramadan 2022

Paying zakat in itself, but especially paying on time or early, is a great way to weaken the natural inclination toward withholding wealth.

Paying zakat in itself, but especially paying on time or early, is a great way to weaken the natural inclination toward withholding wealth.

It’s hard to calculate zakat without knowing which numbers to obtain. 

Although zakat is not necessarily due in Ramadan, many Muslims choose to pay it during the holy month because it’s easier for them to keep track of each year. Giving charity is also an act of worship in Islam, so blessings from paying zakat (and sadaqah) are amplified during Ramadan. 

For some, it’s as easy as filling out a Zakat Calculator. For others, it could take time going through the Zakat Resource Center to find out what types of wealth are zakatable, or zakat-eligible.

Zakat is payable on five types of material wealth:

  1. Personal wealth and assets
  2. Liquid and exploited assets
  3. Agricultural produce
  4. Livestock
  5. Treasure

But let’s cover some basics. First, not every Muslim is obligated to pay zakat every year. This depends on financial standing — specifically, how much wealth (and which type or types of wealth) one has held for an entire lunar year.

If a Muslim’s wealth does not pass and then stay past a threshold for one lunar year, then that Muslim does not have to pay zakat that year. That threshold is called nisab. Muslims whose wealth surpasses nisab for a lunar year are expected to pay zakat.

Nisab is determined based on the cash value of either gold or silver. The nisab calculated with silver is noticeably lower than the nisab calculated with gold. There are Islamic scholars who argue in favor of each calculation type. Zakat Foundation of America uses gold, as explained here

One gram of gold is valued at 65.88 USD at the time of writing this piece. Nisab is valued at 85 grams of gold. Based on that, calculating nisab through gold today would look like this:

Nisab = Gold price per gram (in chosen currency) x 85 grams

So:

Nisab = 65.88 x 85

Nisab = 5,599.80 USD 

(at the time of writing this)

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It’s when a Muslim’s wealth becomes greater than or equal to nisab that the Muslim must be aware of the zakat due date. If a Muslim’s wealth reached or surpassed nisab on the third of Ramadan 2021, and that Muslim maintained that wealth for 12 lunar months, then that Muslim would have to pay zakat on his or her wealth on the second of Ramadan 2022.

Next, it’s important to know how much to pay. Generally speaking, zakat is paid at a rate of 2.5% of the assets left after paying off standard, necessary living expenses. One trick is to divide the monetary amount by 40. 

If someone saved 10,000 USD for one lunar year, even after expenses:

Nisab = 5,599.80 USD

10,000 > 5,599.80, so zakat is due

(Zakat in this case is owed on 10,000, not 5,599.80)

10,000 / 40 = 250

Pay 250 USD to a trusted zakat facilitator

Paying zakat in itself, but especially paying on time or early, is a great way to weaken the natural inclination toward withholding wealth. Zakat is meant to bring communities together by respectfully, dutifully and actively working to close the wealth gap. 

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