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What are the Zakat Rules and Who is Eligible to Pay It?


Zakat Rules

“And perform As-Salat and give Zakat and obey the Messenger (SAW) that you may receive mercy (from Allah).” [24:56]

Zakat is an important obligation in Islam. As the third pillar of the faith, it forms the basis of worship and devotion in a Muslim’s life. Charity, in general, has been given great importance in the faith. According to the above verse, spending in obedience to Allah (SWT) makes a believer deserving of divine blessings.

Zakat and Sadaqah have been mentioned in the Quran alongside belief, implying how significant it is to spend one’s wealth on those who do not have enough for their survival. Paying Zakat is an affirmation of one’s faith in Allah (SWT) and the day of judgment. Zakat is a way of expressing gratitude to God Almighty by supporting those in need.

In Arabic, Zakat means "purification", as it is considered to purify the believers’ hearts of greed. The concept of Zakat helps Muslims control their love for wealth in a positive and spiritual way.

Zakat in Islam – Rules and Regulations

 Zakat is surrounded by a set of rules and regulations that need to be adhered to for the validity of Zakat payments. It is advisable to learn the necessary rules to ensure the promised reward.

Zakat must be paid for different kinds of possessions, including gold, silver, money, livestock, agricultural produce, and business goods. It is payable each year after one year has passed since the possession of assets. It requires an annual contribution of 2.5 per cent of an individual's wealth. Another Zakat rule is that it becomes applicable once the possessions reach the Nisab value – the minimum threshold for Zakat eligibility. The Nisab value is currently equivalent to 87 grams of gold.

Who is Eligible to Pay Zakat?

Rules of giving Zakat dictate that the concept of Zakat is surrounded by fixed percentages and proportions. The specified ratio establishes the eligibility to pay Zakat. So, who is eligible for Zakat?

Anyone who has wealth above Nisab value must pay Zakat on it when one year has passed since he acquired it. Those required to pay Zakat must be adults (having reached puberty), Muslim, of sound mind, and must have complete ownership of the Nisab. The Prophet (SAW) used to command his representatives to take Zakat from those who owed it so that it could be distributed among those who needed it most. Allah (SWT) says about Zakat in the Quran.

“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it and invoke Allah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [al-Tawbah 9:103]

How Much is Zakat?

As mentioned earlier, Zakat is 2.5% of the net worth of a person's wealth after ascertaining his eligibility to pay Zakat. To pay Zakat on money, the easy method is to work out the money in one’s possession a year since the time it first reached the Nisab threshold. Whatever the total amount, work out the 2.5% of it and pay as Zakat.

To make the whole process easy, Charity Meals has created an online Zakat calculator. Use this handy tool to calculate your Zakat in a fuss-free manner.

Who is Entitled to Receive Zakat?

 According to Zakat rules, Zakat can only be spent on those mentioned in the Quran. Allah (SWT) has listed eight categories to which Zakat can be given. In the light of the noble verses, these are as follows:

  1. The poor – those living in impoverished circumstances.
  2. The needy - those in difficulty.
  3. Zakat administrators.
  4. Those whose hearts are to be reconciled, meaning new Muslims and those inclined towards Islam.
  5. Those in bondage (enslaved people and captives).
  6. Those suffering from the problem of huge debts.
  7. In the cause of God.
  8. The wayfarer - those who are stranded or travelling with insufficient resources.

Who is Not Eligible for Zakat?

With regards to Zakat becoming obligatory, those without financial assets equivalent to the Nisab value are not required to pay Zakat. Rather, they might be entitled to receive Zakat if the other conditions are met.

Who is Not Entitled to Receive Zakat?

 Zakat cannot be given to anyone possessing wealth which meets the Nisab value. According to Islamic principles, Zakat cannot be spent on the following types of people:

  • Dependent children and parents.
  • The wealthy and prosperous.
  • Non-believers.
  • Descendants of the Prophet (SAW)

Donate Your Zakat to Charity Meals

 Charity Meals is a global hunger charity working in many regions affected by the effects of starvation. Our dedicated team is working hard to provide food parcels and nutritious meals in areas hit by famine, earthquakes, and war. Donate your Zakat to Charity Meals this year and support us in our mission to alleviate food poverty.