What is Zakat?

Zakat is an act of worship we perform with the wealth Allah has blessed us with.

It is a religious duty which cleans away impurities from our provision and ensures excess wealth is distributed among those in need.

Zakat is an obligation upon any Muslim who has reached puberty, is sane, and has above the minimum required amount of wealth (Nisab).

It requires giving a calculated amount (usually 2.5%) to the poor and needy.

Do I have to pay Zakat?

The more Zakat that is paid, the more beneficial it is to the poor and needy.

First of all you’ll need to work out whether you’re obligated to pay Zakat by looking at whether what you own meets the Nisab.

The value of the Nisab in prophetic tradition is 87.48 grams of pure gold or 612.36 grams of pure silver so the monetary value of the Nisab will vary according to current prices.

Due to the significant difference in the cost of gold and silver, the Nisab for silver is now much lower. Although both values can be used, many scholars advise that we apply the Nisab of silver when calculating our Zakat so more of us are eligible to pay it.

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What is Zakat payable on?

Zakat should be calculated and paid on any surplus wealth that you have owned for at least one lunar year.
This includes:

  • Gold, silver, precious metal, including ornaments/jewellery containing gold/silver
  • Stocks and shares
  • Money you have lent to others
  • Cash in bank accounts, committees or at home
  • Any business stock
  • Agricultural produce and livestock (cows, chickens, goats etc)
  • Pensions
  • Property you own for investment purposes

The easiest way to calculate your Zakat is to find out the monetary value of each type of wealth and then work out 2.5% of the total sum.

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