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 Zakah: How Much to Pay and to Whom

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Obedient Angel

Join date : 2011-04-30
Posts : 2448

PostSubject: Zakah: How Much to Pay and to Whom   Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:39 am

How Much to Pay and to Whom

The word 'zakah' is related in meaning to purification. Some information can be found here:

In brief, it is an obligatory portion of money given annually on your surplus possessions, be it money, gold, silver, crops, etc. Since it is money that applies to most people, this is what will be briefly discussed below. You set a yearly time for paying zakah. Suppose you set the month of January.

Now, if you have money saved and one year has passed with any amount of these savings intact, you calculate how much of it was has been untouched for one full year.

In January 2011, for instance, you see how much of your saved money has been untouched since January 2010, and you pay 2.5% of it as zakah.


Suppose, in January 2011 you have at the bank $ 20 000 -- 10 000 of them were there at the bank since November 2009, $3 000 were deposited at the bank in March 2010 and $ 7000 were deposited i November 2010.

Q. Now, how much of this should you pay Zakah on in January 2011?

A. Only the $ 10 000 because this is the amount that has been untouched for ONE FULL YEAR.

The rest of the sum goes in next year's zakah depending again on whether it will be left untouched for the following year, and so on.


It should be noted that though this example uses a month from the Gregorian calendar, Muslim must choose an Islamic month and day for calculating zakaah, e.g. Muharram 01, Shabaan 15 or whatever because there is a discrepancy between the Gregorian and Hijri calendars. If one consistently calculates zakaah using the Gregorian calendar, after 33 years one would have missed paying it in one Hijri year and would be held accountable for this.


The Qur'an specifies the categories:

The Sadaqāt (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/has been 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]

This income zakah, which is the third pillar of Islam, is to be differentiated from zakatul fitr,which is also mandatory.

The latter is a very small amount paid on any of the last two days of Ramadan or on Eid Al Fitr day before the Eid prayer for the poor to be able to share the happiness of Eid getting new clothes, etc.

The amount of zakatul fitr is very little:

A man pays for himself, his wife, and his children if they do not work. If they do, then each one pays for him/herself.

Both income zakah and zakatul fitr are to be differentiated from sadaqah which is charity money. This is not mandatory, has no minimum, no set time. You can give whatever you want any time you want. However, there is still an extraordinary emphasis on it in Islam from its beginning till the end of revelations. There are striking images about giving charity in sura 2, for instance, but it is underscored from the very first Meccan suras.

This is just a simple idea about Zakat al mal and how different it is from zakat al fitr, paid by the end of Ramadan (both obligatory), and sadaqa (optional charity). However, there are more details and zakah is to be paid on other things (gold, silver, lands, etc), if applicable.

For more details pls read the section on zakah at:

And watch these videos:

Fiqh as Sunnah (Rulings of Zakat Parts 1& 2) - Dr Ibrahim Dremali:
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