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Zakat Made Easy

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As one of the pillars of Islam, Zakat is an important obligation on all adult Muslims who possess the value of Nisab. However, many of us struggle with calculating Zakat and understanding all the components that make up this beautiful act of worship. That's why we've created this short step-by-step guide covering everything from who receives Zakat to why we give it in the first place and all the stuff in between!

Zakat is a duty on all adult Muslims of sound mind, if their wealth exceeds the value of Nisab (defined as 625g silver or 87.5g gold).

Muslims who own wealth or assets equal to or above a certain financial threshold (the nisab) are required to donate 2.5% of their wealth to those in need. They do this annually (every lunar year).
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and denotes the amount of wealth a Muslim must pay to certain groups of underprivileged people.

Zakat itself is neither a tax nor a charity but instead a compulsory act of worship stipulated by Allah (swt). Zakat is intended to purify our wealth, not only physically, but also spiritually.

It purifies our heart against selfishness as well as ensuring that society’s poorest are protected against hunger and destitution.
Zakat benefits not only those in need who receive Zakat but also those who have given their wealth for the sake of Allah. By paying Zakat, we acknowledge that our wealth is in fact not our own, but a blessing to be shared.
To be eligible for Zakat payment you have to be Muslim, above the age of puberty and possess the amount of nisab. If all of the above apply, you have to pay 2.5% Zakat on all of your savings and other applicable assets.

Zakat becomes obligatory once a full lunar year has passed, providing that your qualifying wealth has been held for one full year. Your Zakat year therefore starts on the date your wealth first equalled or exceeded the nisab and should be calculated on that date for each subsequent year.

If you wish you can pay your Zakat in advance. Then you can adjust the sum accordingly at the end of your Zakat year when payment is due (although this is not an obligatory requirement). However, you must pay within the subsequent year or your Zakat will be overdue.
There are eight categories of people who can receive Zakat. These groups are described by Allah in the Noble Qur’an (9:60) - they include the poor and needy.
As explained, Zakat is given annually and is 2.5% of your wealth.

Meanwhile, Zakat al-Fitr (or Fitrana) is a given only on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr (the Eid which comes after Ramadan).

This is required of every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult, as long as they have the means to pay. The head of the household may pay the required amount for the other members if preferred.

Please consult your local mosque or contact us at 0115 911 7222 to confirm the recommended amount to pay per head each year.
Zakat is due on:
• Gold & silver (ornaments or jewellery)
• Cash held at home or in bank accounts
• Pensions
• Property owned for investment purposes
• Stocks & shares owned directly
or through investment funds
• Money lent to others
• Business stock in trade & merchandise
• Agricultural produce

You can use our Zakat Calculator (below) to automatically work out how much to give.

Our handy Zakat calculator will help you fulfil your obligation easily. Here are some Zakat-eligible causes you might be interested in:

  • Blessed Bakeries: Provide daily bread in Syria and Yemen. Every £10 feeds 70 people.
  • Sponsor an Orphan: Give a child food, education and medical care for £29.50 a month (£354 a year).
  • Zakat Fund: If you can't decide where to give, our teams will allocate your Zakat to where it is most needed on the ground.

Alhamdulillah, Muslim Hands have distributed over £50 million of Zakat so far, from providing emergency food in Somalia to building homes in Syria. We are honoured to deliver your amanah to the Ummah and improve lives worldwide. (Read our Zakat donation policy).

Muslim Hands is an award-winning charity, established in 1993 to provide emergency relief and tackle the root causes of poverty. We hope this article was useful to you - if you have more questions, you can call us at 0115 911 7222.

Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.