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FaithPractice

How Do I Know How Much Zakat I Need to Pay?

FaithPractice

How Do I Know How Much Zakat I Need to Pay?

You can’t just write a check to your favorite charity and call it Zakat. In Islam, Zakat is very clear. In order for charity to be counted towards your Zakat, you need to give charity to people in eight categories as outlined by God in the Quran. 

You can’t just write a check to your favorite charity and call it Zakat. In Islam, Zakat is very clear. In order for charity to be counted towards your Zakat, you need to give charity to people in eight categories as outlined by God in the Quran. 

Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims. It is a month where God has ordered us to abstain from eating, drinking and physical relations during daylight hours. It is the month that the Quran was first revealed and that giving your charity (in particular, your Zakat) is encouraged. But how do you pay your Zakat and how much do you pay? 

What Is Zakat? 

Zakat is considered one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a mandatory act of worship on all Muslims. Zakat is charity that is intended to purify your wealth. Zakat uplifts the poor, helps those who are troubled, and comforts those who are in hardship in communities all over the world. The law of Zakat establishes the rights of the poor to support and help.  

Who Is Required to Pay Zakat? 

Muslim adults who are sane and possess a minimum of wealth called nisab for a lunar year.

Who Receives Zakat? 

You can’t just write a check to your favorite charity and call it Zakat. In Islam, Zakat is very clear. In order for charity to be counted towards your Zakat, you need to give charity to people in eight categories as outlined by God in the Quran. The beneficiaries of Zakat are: 

  • The poor 
  • The needy (someone in difficulty) 
  • Zakat administrators 
  • Those whose hearts are to be reconciled, meaning new Muslims and friends of the Muslim community
  • Those in bondage (slaves and captives) 
  • People who are unable to pay their debt 
  • In the cause of God 
  • The wayfarer (those who are stranded or traveling with few resources) 

How Do I Know How Much Zakat to Pay? 

You must calculate your Zakatable assets. Once you deduct all of your liabilities, you pay 2.5% on the net Zakatable amount. On agricultural goods and precious metals, the rate varies. Assets that are used to calculate your Zakat amount include cash (in hand or banks), shares, pensions, precious metals, business goods, crops, cattle, and income from business properties.  

It may seem overwhelming to calculate. One way to calculate your Zakat easily is to use the Zakat Foundation of America’s Zakat Calculator. 

When Do I Pay My Zakat? 

Zakat is due as soon as the minimum amount of wealth has been held for a lunar year. Some Muslims pay their Zakat during Ramadan to get their rewards multiplied, but you need to pay Zakat when it is due and not delay paying it. It is not mandatory to pay Zakat in Ramadan, but many Muslims do so because it is easier for them to remind themselves as they prepare for a month of fasting.

If you have any other questions about Zakat, you can always visit Zakat Essentials. Zakat Essentials are Zakat-related questions answered by qualified scholars.   

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