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The literal meaning of Zakat is to purify your wealth by donating a portion of one’s wealth to those in need.

The Zakat Meaning

Islam teaches all Muslims to take care of one another and give a helping hand to those brothers and sisters who are in need, to provide support whenever needed, and to look out for one another so that no Muslim will stay without decent livelihood, shelter, and food. 

One of our beloved Prophet’s teachings ﷺ is to bring awareness among all Muslims about the state of “ Muslims’ Ummah” and how it is essential to unite all Muslim brothers to aid those in need.   

Nu’man bin Bashir – May Allah be pleased with them – reported:

Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever”. — Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Zakat in Islam

Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is an Islamic finance term referring to a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet “Nisab” to donate what equals 2.5%, or 1/40 of their total wealth and savings, to charitable causes. 

Giving Zakat is mandatory for all Muslims because it is a form of worship; at the end of every Lunar year, Muslims whose personal wealth reaches or exceeds the threshold during the lunar year give away money to the poor and need to purify their annual earnings, their entire wealth, their souls, and to help their Muslim brothers and show devotion to Allah Almighty. 

Zakat in Quran

Allah Almighty has clarified that he, who doesn’t pay Zakat, is not a Believer! And Allah SWT, made that clear in many Verses. He also, Praise who give their Zakat money to their fellow Muslims – who are less fortunate than them – Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala Says in His Holy Qur’an: 

  • “those who do not pay alms-tax and are in denial of the Hereafter.” – Surah Fussilat – Verse 7. 
  • “We ˹also˺ made them leaders, guiding by Our command, and inspired them to do good deeds, establish prayer, and pay alms-tax. And they were devoted to Our worship.” – Surah Al-Anbya – Verse 73.
  • “So recite ˹in prayer˺ whatever you can from the Quran. He knows that some of you will be sick, some will be travelling throughout the land seeking Allah’s bounty, and some will be fighting in the cause of Allah. So recite whatever you can from it. And ˹continue to˺ perform ˹regular˺ prayers, pay alms-tax, and lend to Allah a good loan.2 Whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you will find it with Allah far better and more rewarding.3 And seek Allah’s forgiveness. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” – Surah Al-Muzzammil – Verse 20.
  • “Take from their wealth ˹O Prophet˺ charity to purify and bless them, and pray for them—surely your prayer is a source of comfort for them. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” —  Surah At-Tawbah – Verse 103.
  • “Do they not know that Allah alone accepts the repentance of His servants and receives ˹their˺ charity and that Allah alone is the Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful?” — Surah At-Tawbah – Verse 104.

Zakat in Hadith and Sunnah

Zakat is the Third Pillar of Islam, meaning it is an essential part of being a Muslim and an obligatory act of worship. Allah S.W.T. has made it clear that he, whose wealth has reached the Nisab and doesn’t pay Zakat money, is not a believer, meaning he is an infidel! 

Also, our Beloved Messenger has made it clear several times about the importance of giving Zakat and Sadaqah and talked about its great unlimited rewards from Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.

Ibn ‘Umar reported God’s messenger as saying, “Islam is based on five things:

The testimony that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the observance of the prayer, the payment of zakat, the Pilgrimage, and the fast during Ramadan.” – Bukhari and Muslim.

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said:

“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ turned to us and said: ‘O Muhajirun, there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with Allah lest you live to see them: Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them. They do not cheat in weights and measures, but they will be stricken with famine, severe calamity, and the oppression of their rulers. They do not withhold the Zakah of their wealth, but rain will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them. They do not break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, but Allah will enable their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands. Unless their leaders rule according to the Book of Allah and seek all good from that which Allah has revealed, Allah will cause them to fight one another.’” Sahih.

Zakat vs. Nisab

Nisab is the minimum amount of personal wealth one must possess and maintain for a whole Lunar Year. And when does the Lunar Year start and end? 

The Lunar Year starts from the date you first meet or exceed the minimum amount of wealth – Nisab -, and once you maintain the threshold for one Lunar Year, you pay your Zakat money.

The general principle here is to meet or exceed the Nisab and maintain it for the whole year. If you can’t maintain this amount of money “Nisab” for any reason, then you’re not eligible to pay Zakat until you meet the Nisab again and retain it for a whole Lunar year. 

On the other hand, Zakat is an obligatory payment every sane adult Muslim – whose wealth has met or exceeded the Nisab – has to pay, so to be eligible to pay Zakat, you must possess the minimum amount of wealth “Nisab” for one full Lunar Year. 

Zakat Facts
Zakat Facts 2

Zakat Eligibility

Allah Almighty has declared who are the eight categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat money. He says in Surah At-Tawba:

“Alms-tax is only for the poor and the needy, for those employed to administer it, for those whose hearts are attracted ˹to the faith˺, for ˹freeing˺ slaves, for those in debt, for Allah’s cause, and for ˹needy˺ travellers. ˹This is˺ an obligation from Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”. – Surah At-Tawba – Verse 60.

Therefore, only people who are eligible to receive Zakat money are:

  1. The poor.
  2. The needy.
  3. Administrators of Zakat.
  4. Those who have a reconciliation of heart (those who have embraced Islam or are inclined to it).
  5. Those who have been enslaved.
  6. Those in debt.
  7. In the cause of Allah.
  8. Travellers (including refugees).

Zakat Payment, Who and When?

Zakat is an obligatory payment in which Muslims donate a particular portion of their wealth to charitable causes. However, Muslims must meet a certain threshold before they become qualified to pay Zakat money. The amount is 2.5% or ¼ of one’s total savings and wealth. A Muslim must obtain these three conditions to become eligible to pay Zakat.

  1. To be a sane adult Muslim.
  2. To possess the minimum amount of the threshold “Nisab”.
  3. To pass a full lunar year (hawl) while sustaining the minimum threshold of one’s zakatable wealth.

There is no payment due date for Zakat. It is often paid according to every individual. Once they reach the threshold during the full Lunar Year, it will be expected to be paid. Thus, one person may owe it earlier than someone else. Nevertheless, many Muslims prefer to pay Zakat money during Ramadan as they believe its rewards multiply and they grant more fortune and Barakah in their wealth. 

Calculate your Zakat

Muslims should take inventory of their wealth and all of their possessions. Once they reach the minimum threshold – Nisab – the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver, they must pay zakat. The total amount to be paid is 2.5% or 1/40 of their entire savings and wealth. Calculating one’s wealth and possessions can be complicated. Not to worry! Here at Bonyan Organization, we have prepared a calculator to help you calculate easily and ensure that your Zakat money is well-received and well-used. 

Remember, “Whoever pays the Zakat on his wealth will have its evil removed from him” – Ibn Khuzaimah & At-Tabarani.


What Is Zakat in Islam?

Zakat is the Third Pillar of Islam and is a mandatory payment for every Muslim whose wealth meets or exceeds the minimum threshold “Nisab” for a full Lunar Year.

How Do You Calculate Zakat?

You can calculate Zakat by taking an inventory of your wealth and possessions. If they reach the minimum threshold – Nisab – the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver, you must pay Zakat using an online calculator like the Bonyan calculator. 

What Are the Rules of Zakat?

1. The donor of Zakat money must be a sane adult Muslim. The wealth must reach Nisab and be sustained for a full lunar year.

How Much Are Muslims Obligated to Pay in Zakat?

Zakat is the Third Pillar of Islam, meaning it is an essential part of being a Muslim and an obligatory act of worship. Allah S.W.T. has made it clear that he, whose wealth has reached the Nisab and doesn’t pay Zakat money, is not a believer, meaning he is an infidel!