Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. As an obligatory charity, it lays the foundations of the system of social responsibility in a Muslim society. Looking after the needy is considered everyone’s duty and a crucial part of worshipping Allah (SWT). Zakat is paid on surplus wealth once one’s possessions meet the minimum criteria. Zakat specifies a fixed ratio of a person’s wealth, which contributes to the welfare of the whole community, in particular, the most vulnerable of its members.
After the deduction of debts and other liabilities, the amount of Zakat to be paid is equivalent to 2.5% of one’s net worth.
Wisdom of Zakat
Completion of Faith:
By paying Zakat for wealth, a believer completes and perfects his faith. Giving to the poor and needy, specified in the Quran, is a demonstration of the obedience of Allah (SWT). It indicates an individual’s devotion to the injunctions of Islam and a commitment to fulfil one’s duty set out by Zakat regulations.
Purification of Wealth:
The believers donate Zakat to achieve the purification of their wealth. Giving from one’s wealth is a source of protection from problems and an increase in provision. The following verse of the Quran illustrates this promise of growth for those who give in charity.
“The example of those who spend in the way of Allah is just like a grain that produced seven ears, each ear having a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (the reward) for whom He wills. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.” [2:261]
Shade on the Day of Resurrection:
Charity secures salvation from the hardship of the day of judgment. The Prophet (SAW) said:
“Every man will be in the shade of his charity on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih al-Jaami 4510]
In another hadith, the Prophet (SAW) mentioned Zakat as a means of entering paradise.
“Feed the hungry, spread peace, speak kind words, and pray at night when people are sleeping. You will enter Paradise in peace.” [Musnad al-Bazzaar 2497]
Financial Security and the Rule of Law:
Regular Zakat donations contribute to the prosperity of society. By helping food poverty, Zakat prevents financial crimes such as stealing, theft and robbery. A wise distribution of Zakat payments can diminish social inequality and empower disadvantaged individuals to gain a degree of economic independence.
Who Can Receive Zakat?
The Quran mentions the eight recipients of Zakat in the following verse.
“The Sadaqat (prescribed alms) are (meant) only to be given to the poor, the needy, to those employed to collect them, to those whose hearts are to be won, in the cause of the slaves and those encumbered with debt, in the way of Allah and to a wayfarer. This is an obligation prescribed by Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.” [9:60]
According to this verse, payment of Zakat can be spent on the categories given below:
The poor (al-fuqara), meaning low-income or indigent.
The needy (al-masakin) means someone who is in difficulty.
Those whose hearts are to be reconciled, meaning new Muslims and friends of the Muslim community.
Those in bondage (enslaved people and captives).
In the cause of God.
The wayfarer, meaning those who are stranded or travelling with few resources.
People Who Cannot Receive Zakat Donation
According to the established regulations, Zakat cannot be given to the rich, disbelievers, dependent children, parents, and the family of the Prophet (SAW).
Zakat Donation UK
Charity Meals is a UK-based charity working to fight hunger and starvation globally. As a UK hunger charity, our team works hard to ensure access to hot meals for people experiencing homelessness, refugees, and vulnerable families in the UK. The UK has also seen a rise in the cost of living, leaving many struggling to provide nutritious meals for themselves and their families. Charity Meals’s projects, such as Family Food Parcels and Community Kitchen UK, aim to fight food insecurity and starvation in the UK.
In addition to this, Charity Meals has projects to help food poverty around the world. Many of these projects are eligible for Zakat donations. You can contribute to Charity Meals’ initiatives that provide hot meals and food parcels for struggling families. You can also donate your Zakat to the projects to ensure access to safe drinking water for those living in areas affected by water shortage.
How to Donate Zakat
To donate your Zakat, an individual has to establish the eligibility of their wealth. If it meets the Nisab threshold, which is equivalent to 85 grams of gold, Zakat must be paid for it. Zakat is paid in cash, salary, gold, jewellery, livestock, crops, and investment shares. It is 2.5% of the wealth after debts or certain liabilities are deducted from the wealth.
For your convenience, Charity Meals has integrated a handy Zakat calculator in their Zakat donation appeal. You can put the value of your possessions in this online tool, and it will give you the total you need to pay as Zakat.
Where to Donate Zakat
You can donate Zakat online from the comfort of your home. Charity Meals is working to help alleviate food poverty in multiple countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the UK. You can give your Zakat to Charity Meals and support one of their appeals to feed a number of families this Ramadan.
Fulfil your mandatory obligation of Zakat and take a step towards alleviating hunger from the world. Support Charity Meals and donate your Zakat to help the most vulnerable in deprived communities. Your generosity can save many lives.