Page last edited on 23 April, 2003
A Brief Introduction to Zakāt or Zakćh
What is Zakah ?
|The Zakat (Alms, 3rd
of the 5 pillars of Islam) is a form of giving to those who are
less fortunate. It is obligatory upon all Muslims to give 2.5 %
of wealth and assets each year (in excess of what is required)
to the poor. This is done before the beginning of the month of
Muharram, the first of new year. Giving the Zakat is considered
an act of worship because it is a form of offering thanks to God
for the means of material well-being one has acquired.
Zakah does not only purifies the property of
the contributor but also purifies his heart from selfishness and
greed. It also purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and
jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead
good-will and warm wishes for the contributors.
For society, zakat
- minimizes the feeling of envy among those
who are not well-to-do;
- provides a religiously-approved method of
managing economy and finance;
- makes it possible for part of the wealth of
the rich to be distributed among the poor.
||Zakat means grow (in
goodness) or 'increase', 'purifying' or 'making pure'. So the
act of giving zakat means purifying one's wealth to gain Allah's
blessing to make it grow in goodness.
||The Holy Qur'an (Sura
Al-Tauba: 60) classifies the due recipients of zakat under the
following eight categories.
"Zakat is for the poor, and the needy and
those who are employed to administer and collect it, and the
new converts, and for those who are in bondage, and in debt
and service of the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers, a
duty ordained by Allah, and Allah is the All-Knowing, the
||... give your
financial obligation (zakah) of your wealth ...
--Prophet Muhammad's Last Sermon
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* pbuh - Peace be upon him; It is a
Muslim practise to convey prayers of peace whenever the name of Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) and other prophets is taken.