ZAKAT: Purification of wealth

In the hierarchy of Islamic faith and religious duties, zakat is a very important obligation. It is doubly important in the sense that, on the one hand, it is a means of spiritual purification for the individual and on the other, a way to regain equilibrium in social and economic life of the entire society. It is a very IMPORTANT institution of the Islamic faith. It is probably the first pillar of its’ economic system.
Quran mentions about Zakah at various places especially verse 267 in Sura al Baqarah, verse 242 in Sura al ‘An’am, verses 34, 60, and 103 in Sura al Tawbah and several other verses.

Zakat as an obligation has been mentioned thirty times in the Quran. In twenty eight of them , it is associated with prayer.

We find a chapter on zakat in all major books of Sunnah, such as Muwatta’ Malik, Sahih al Bukhari, Sahih Muslim. Jami ‘alTirmidhi, Sunnan al Nasa’i, Sunnan abi Dawud, and Sunan Ibn Majah. In Sahih al Bukhari alone, the chapter of zakah contains 172 sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. It also contains 20 sayings of the companions and the followers.

Jurists study zakah in their books as the second major worship in Islam. It is usually listed right after prayers, in line with the sequence found in Qur’an and Sunnah.

Zakat is one among the five pillars of Islam. It is applicable only to those who possess a considerable amount of wealth, which is called as nisaab in Islamic terminology. Zakat payment is an obligation which affirms obedience of man to His creator and eases the sufferings of poor.

The word Zakat in Arabic means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, like the trimming of plants; the cutting of the plant balances as to encourage new growth. Same acts with Zakat.

Zakat becomes obligatory when the wealth reaches or exceeds the nisaab. Be it male, female, insane or a child. The nisaab (or minimum amount) defined as possession of 20 mithqal (measure during prophet’s time) of gold or golden currency. In today’s terms, 20 mithqal is approximately (87) 85 grams of pure gold. One mithqal is approximately 4.25 grams. The nisaab of silver and silver currency is 200 dirhams, which is approximately 595 grams of pure silver. The nisaab of other type of money and currency is to be scaled to that of 85 grams of pure gold. Therefore nisaab of money is the price of 85 grams of pure gold, on the day in which Zakat is paid.

Zakat is due on an individual only when there is a passage of one

Pay your Zakat to avoid Allah's SWT wrath
lunar year (approximately 355 days) on the said wealth. The individual is ought to pay 2.5% or 1/40 of his wealth as Zakat. It is important to note that an individual shall deduct all the debts that he/she has borrowed from others and then check if the remaining reaches nisaab. If yes, then Zakat should be paid accordingly.

It should be mentioned here that in case, the repayment of a debt is over a longer period of time, only those instalments should be deducted which are due within that particular year. In that case, the entire debt should not be deducted from the zakatable amount.

Now that Zakat is being described, the question arises as to who is entitled to receive Zakat? ALLAH SWT in his book, the holy Quran says: “As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara and Al-Masakin 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, and for the wayfarer (wanderer); a duty imposed by ALLAH. And ALLAH is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Taubah 9:60]

The holy Quran is very stern on those who take the matter of Zakat lightly. ALLAH SWT says: “O you who believe! Most surely many of the doctors of law and the monks eat away the property of men falsely, and turn (them) from ALLAH’s way; and (as for) those who hoard (stocked) up gold and silver and do not spend it in ALLAH’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement (punishment) , On the day when it (wealth) shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded” (Taubah 9:34-35).

When Abu Bakr RA became the caliph, a group denied paying Zakat stating that now that The Prophet PBUH is not alive to whom shall we pay Zakat now? The caliph reprimanded saying: “I swear by ALLAH, if they refuse to pay to me even a small piece of robe which they used to pay to the Messenger of ALLAH, I would fight them for it.” (Bukhari)

Muslims! Please pay off your Zakat and purify your wealth. It is not necessary to pay Zakat during Ramadan. The spirit of paying Zakat in the month of Ramadan is that ALLAH SWT doubles the reward of whatever is done during this month and it also helps an individual to keep an account on a yearly basis. Please make sure that besides paying Zakat, it is also important to make sure that it is paid to the DESERVING people only, who fall in the categories as mentioned in the Quran. It should be paid at the earliest and not later than the year is over for the next calculation of Zakat.


21 thoughts on “ZAKAT: Purification of wealth

  1. ASWK Brother

    I would like to know about Zakat. At present I am having Home loan and I am paying every month, but my wife is having some gold ornaments do I need to pay zakat for gold? As I mention to you above that I am having home lone for which I am paying every month. Kindly advice.


    1. Assalamu alaikum,
      Dear AbdulAziz,

      Brother, If you are selling all your gold to clear off your home loan then Zakaat is not obligatory on you. If you want to keep the gold in your possession then you will have to pay zakat on it..

      And my dear brother, if you have taken this home loan from any interest based banks, then you should pay your loan off as soon as possible as it is haraam.

      Allah Knows best

      Was salaam

  2. Assalamualaikum.
    I didnot get the meaning of 4th line in 6th para.(those to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam)
    and also the hadith of Abu Bakr (R.A).
    Jazkallahu Khair ya akhi

    1. It means during the time of prophet some people use to carry a lot of grudge against muslims. So prophet gave a little amount of cash and kind from the amount of Zakat so that these people can dissolve their grudge..

      Those are either Muslims, whose faith shall take root through receiving such dues, or the unbelievers, who are encouraged to embrace Islam – or to support Muslims in defending themselves.

  3. Assalamualaikum.

    want to know what will be the zakah for RENTED property, example i have two houses ,one i m living and other rented . knowing that there will not be zakah for your living house,how to calculate zakah on rented house .is it 2.5%of market value of the house OR 2.5% of rent i received for a year.

    1. As salaamuvaulikum
      Brother Abdul Gaffar
      The issue of zakat on RENTED property. There is no zakat on the total value of the house. If you recieve rent and then one year has passed on the amount of the rent then you will have to pay zakat or else there is no zakat on it..

      Allah knows best

      Was salaam

      1. assalamu alaikkum brother
        //example i have two houses ,one i m living and other rented//
        what about the zakat for the property value of which we rented.

      2. Wa alaikumus salaam,

        There is no zakat for your rented property until you intend to sell it off. Until it is in your possession and you have rented it, you have to pay the zakat on the money you earn from that rent (after whenever it reaches the nisaab or if you are already zakat payable).

        [Saqib Hafiz]

  4. Assalam-Alla-kum

    Jazak Allah Khair, for all your valued mails. It helps us to know Islamic ways and as well as refresh us do it so.

  5. Assalamualaikum
    myself yasmin from india , married to singporian muslim have a question about married life , if possible please reply to me show me the solution , i m sending u the ready typred letter which i send to some of my friend for the same question , hope u can help me in my favour.

    i was married to a muslim guy namely Mohamed Riaz moh. Omar in the month of Dec. 2009 n was gone to singpore on visitor’s visa n by that i could stay there somehow only 6 months , n now i m here in india ,,,n now my story starts as below.

    i m in india from the last 29th july,2010 ,as i couldnt get the
    anymore extension, n i still have to go through the procedure of long
    term permit , once it was applied but due to delay of submission of
    doucment they said my case was withdrowned, n still once again have to
    appl that can b in Jan.2011 n my permenant recidence app was rejected , n
    i m very sad , i n dont know what next , if i will get long term
    permit or not , etc , have worries a lot to do , may Allah help me n
    solve my probs ,ameen,

    i dont know how much i still have to bear , i did make it clear b4
    marriage , abt the matter of my right in singapore , that time riaz
    told me i will get it etc, n i said if not then how then also he said
    he will then see if not he will divorce his 1st wife , n now he is
    saying that its not good to do so he can not be selfish etc so i m
    even more worried ,

    Riaz was separated from his wife from many years like i think he said 5 years or more
    than that n then she became mental patient n not able to stay together
    neither himslef nor children can stay with her , n so now the que is
    of a new wife ,, that is me ‘yasmin’ so what should Riaz do ,? if
    government doesnt let me stay there doesnt he have to div his 1st wife
    ? is it not logical ? is it not necessary or compulsary , is it right
    to do what is happening with me?
    of course Riaz , is calling me e.veryday n giving me whatever
    necessary things n he is giving me money also monthly .
    but i dont have a house of my own or i dont have children , or i
    dont have chance to stay with him , beocz of his mental wife .what can
    be done in this matter.
    his 1st wife got children, got her own house to stay in n its
    rightfully hers , n the one i m staying is not mine it belongs to his
    elder brother , he gave us all to stay there, n i dont have children n
    how to if i m not staying with him , he is paying 500 dollars to his
    1st wife, plus the house she stays he pays 1000 dollars , etc,, i m
    not given equal things , but my fight is not at all or ever for this
    things ,i need to be around my husband wherever he is , so i need to
    stay in singapore where , whatever house he is living in , n i should
    be able to stay there for ever , children n all other things can b
    looked upon later on , slowly ,if i can stay there then definitly can
    have children , bu t1st of all how to stay there?

    our case is genuine , sing gove. gives approval for 2nd marriage means
    2 wives n we do have it , but now they are behaving like this so what
    to do ?

    1. Scholars differ with two opinions on this matter. And the correct view is that Zakat is to be paid on the gold or silver of daily use. Narrated by Aishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon her and she was wearing rings of silver on her hand. He said: “What is this, O Aishah?” She said: “I made them to adorn myself for you, O Messenger of Allaah.” He said: “Have you given zakaah on them?” She said: “No” He said: “The punishment for them in Hell is enough for you.” [Abu Dawud; saheeh]. There are some more narrations which form great evidences for this opinion.

      [Saqib Hafiz]

  6. assalamualaikum,

    Please clarify in case of lands that we possess.. should the zakat be given on the value that we bought or on todays market value of the land.

    1. For land that you posses, you will have to pay Zakat only when you sell the land. If you keep the land in possession for years then there is no zakat on it until you sell it…

    2. For land that you posses, you will have to pay Zakat only when you sell the land. If you keep the land in possession for years then there is no zakat on it until you sell it… While you sell it you will have to pay the zakat according to the rate on which you sold the land..

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