Zakat (zakaat, zakah), or almsgiving, is one of the five pillars of Islam. This means that Zakat is mandatory for Muslims, along with the other four sacred pillars of prayer (salah), fasting (sawm), pilgrimage (Hajj) and belief in Allah and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (shahadah). For every sane, adult Muslim who owns wealth over a certain amount – known as the Nisab – he or she must pay 2.5% of that wealth as Zakat.
“…and those in whose wealth there is a recognised right, for the needy and deprived” (Qur’an 70:24-5)
Eligible Muslims pay Zakat once a year, and it is due as soon as one lunar (Islamic) year has passed since meeting or exceeding the Nisab (certain amount of wealth). The Zakat of every Muslim is then distributed to those who meet the criteria to receive it. At SACH, your Zakat is distributed with the utmost care to ensure that the most vulnerable, including children, those affected by war, disease and climate disasters, have access to the help that they need.
What the word Zakat means?
It derives from the Arabic word “Zakah” which means “cleanliness, purification, increase, growth, righteousness, blessing and praise.”
When, how much, and to whom to pay?
Zakat has to be paid once a year from the date a Muslim wealth equals or exceeds the Nisab. However, only 2.5% of the wealth has to be donate to the eight categories of eligible recipients described in the Holy Quran.
“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and the cause of Allah and the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Al-Tawba: 60)
What is Nisab?
The Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth a Muslim must possess before they become liable to pay Zakat. This amount is often referred to as the Nisab threshold.
Gold and silver are the two values used to calculate the Nisab threshold. The Nisab is the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver.
Nisab Value (as of 22/03/2023):
Using value of silver (612.36 grams) – approximately $442.06
Using value of gold (87.48 grams) – approximately $5,443.84
Who is eligible for Zakat?
Zakat is not just a fundamental pillar of Islam, it is also a revolutionary concept which can end extreme poverty – that is the power of Zakat!
As Allah (SWT) tells us in the Holy Qur’an:
“And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good you send forth for your souls before you, you shall find it with Allah.” (Qur’an 2:110)$It is also a right that the poor have over us.
“Those in whose wealth there is a recognized right for the needy and the poor.” (Qur’an 70:24-25)
Picture this: if just the ten richest people in the world paid Zakat – that would be a staggering $9.25 billion! The power of that money in tackling poverty would be huge.
When you give Zakat to SACH Chartable Organization, your donation is used in the most effective way possible to relieve the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Donate Your Zakat: Your donations enable us to save lives
Your Zakat has funded some of our crucial work with people and communities living in disaster and war zones: drought and famine-struck countries across East Africa and communities affected by conflict in Syria. Your generosity has enabled communities to build sustainable livelihoods in the face of climate change, and enabled better lives for vulnerable orphans and families across the globe.
Alhamdulillah, you have the power to transform people’s lives.
How SACH Charitable Organization Use Your Donation
SACH Charitable Organization spends your donations in the most effective way possible to relieve the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people.
We spend the funds on the first category of Zakat – the poor and needy. As administrators of Zakat, we also take a proportion to cover admin costs of distributing aid (e.g the cost of petrol to transport the aid to a remote community). When you make a Zakat donation, we take a fixed amount of up to 12.5% in admin fees.
What is Fitrana?
Fitrana is a charitable donation of food that is given before Eid prayer, therefore it must be given before the end of Ramadan. Fitrana must be given by every self-supporting Muslim who has food in excess of their needs, on behalf of themselves and their dependants.
How much is Zakat?
Your Zakat donation should amount to 2.5% of your total zakatable wealth. Therefore, if your total assets (after any debts owed) amounted to $10,000, you would pay $250. Use our free and easy Zakat Calculator to calculate how much you owe.
Who is eligible to receive Zakat?
The Holy Qur’an determined who is eligible to receive Zakat, stating:
“As-Sadaqat (Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (Zakat funds); and for 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 (i.e. for Mujahidun – those fighting in the holy wars), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” – Chapter at-Tawbah Tevbe, 60
This means that Zakat donations cannot be given to just anyone. A husband cannot give his Zakat to his wife as he is already responsible for her, just as he is his children. A wife, though, is permitted to give Zakat to her husband, so long as he meets the relevant criteria – she must not benefit in any way from this donation (i.e. the husband using the funds to pay for a gift for his wife).
Those eligible to receive Zakat can be placed into one of eight categories, which are:
- Fakir – those with little to no income or wealth
- Miskin – those who are without food
- Amil – anyone designated to collect and distribute Zakat
- Riqab – anyone held involuntarily against their will in captivity or as a slave
- Gharmin – those struggling with unmanageable debt
- Fisabillillah – those who fight for Allah (SWT)
- Ibnus Sabil – struggling and/or stranded travellers
- Muallaf – friends of the Islamic community and/or revert Muslims
Not every Muslim is obligated to pay Zakat as per the rules set out in the holy Qur’an. To be eligible to pay Zakat, you must be past the age of puberty, of Muslim faith, sound mind, free and have a positive cash/goods flow, as well as a personal wealth which exceeds the Nisab value.
SACH Charitable Organization will ensure that your Zakat is distributed to those most in need – see the difference that your Zakat have, and continue to make, to those eligible to receive the donation.
Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions that you can use for further guidance:
No, zakat is only prescribed for Muslims.
There are eight categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat.
- The poor
- The needy
- Administrators of Zakat
- Those whose hearts have been recently reconciled
- Those who have been enslaved
- Those in debt
- In the cause of God
- Travellers (including refugees)
A poor person is someone whose property, in excess of his basic requirements, does not reach the nisab threshold. The recipient must not belong to your immediate family, therefore; your spouse, children, parents and grandparents cannot receive your zakat. Other relatives, however, can receive your zakat.
For every year that you owe Zakat, take 2.5% from the total wealth you had at the end of that year and pay that in Zakat. If you are not sure how much wealth you had, you must estimate it to the best of your ability. E.g. It is now Ramadan 2022. You have not paid Zakat for the last 5 years. You need to work out how much wealth you owned every Ramadan for the last 5 years and pay 2.5% of that.
You must pay zakat with the intention of paying it. Therefore, it is important that you make an intention to give a donation as a zakat payment.
I paid Zakat on $4,000 last Ramadan. This year I have a total of $10,000 of wealth liable to Zakat. What value do I take the 2.5% from as I paid for the $4,000 last year?
It is to be paid on the total savings regardless of what was paid on it in the past. Therefore, you would pay 2.5% of $10,000, $250.
Miscellaneous Questions: Saving and Jewellery
If a child’s wealth has satisfied all the conditions of Zakat (i.e. it is above the Nisab and has been in their possession for one year), should Zakat be paid on it?
The majority of the scholars from the past favoured the opinion that it should be paid. This is the same for both the child and the insane person. Therefore, their guardian should take the Zakat from the person’s wealth and pay it on their behalf. However, some opinion suggest that it is not due on children and insane people, so please discuss with a scholar.
I have mixed jewellery consisting of gold, silver and precious stones. How do I calculate the value on which Zakat must be paid?
The best way for you to do this would be to take the jewellery to a jeweller and ask them to value just the gold and silver parts of the jewellery. The valuations they give will be the total on which you have to pay Zakat. Precious stones are not liable for Zakat.
Miscellaneous Questions: Debt
I lent some money to a friend who informed me that s/he is able to return the money; do I have to include this in my wealth when calculating Zakat?
Yes, as it is as if s/he is just storing your money.
10 years ago I lent some money to a friend who is poor and I did not expect to get the money back. S/he has now paid me back, is this money liable for Zakat?
If the money is paid back, then it is liable for Zakat (provided the lender meet other criteria for paying Zakat). However, if the money is not paid back, then the intention for lending would need to be reviewed. If the lender was fairly sure that s/he was not going to receive it back and s/he is unable to refer it to a judiciary, then in such cases it is usually not payable. However, there are many variables and hence this question should be referred to a scholar.
My Zakat is due in Dhul-Qa’dah but I would like to pay in advance (in Ramadan). I have a debt which must be paid in Shawwal (after Ramadan). Can this be deducted from my wealth when calculating Zakat?
The general answer would be yes, however we would strongly urge you to consult a scholar about this.
Miscellaneous Questions: Business and Property
I bought a house for the purpose of renting 5 years ago. Last year I decided that I would sell the house. How do I pay Zakat on this?
For the time that you were renting the house out and did not have the intention of selling, you do not pay Zakat on the house. But you would still have to pay it on the rent you earned just like any other wealth you have. You must include it in Zakatable assets from the day you made the intention to sell the house. You must also pay it on the selling price of the house. However, if you are paying in advance, you would need to estimate this. You would need to do the same for every year after that in which the house is still for sale. But to be absolutely clear, please discuss this with a scholar.
Every year at the time of paying Zakat, you would need to calculate the total bulk selling price for all the goods for sale in your shop. E.g. All the clothes for sale in your shop add up to a total selling value of a particular sum of money. You would add this to your other zakatable wealth when calculating your total payment.
We have a zakat policy which has been reviewed by scholars and is available on our website.
We consulted a panel of experts to come up with our Zakat policy.