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June 7, 2018

The Essential Zakat Guide

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Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam and an important obligation on all adult Muslims who possess the value of Nisab. Despite its importance, many of us struggle to calculate Zakat and have trouble understanding all the factors that make up this act of blessed worship. That’s why we’ve created this easy-to-follow guide covering everything from why we give Zakat to who receives it and everything in between!

Zakat is a duty on all Muslims of sound mind who are adults, providing their wealth exceeds the value of Nisab (625g silver or 87.5g gold). Muslims who possess wealth or assets equal to or above a certain financial threshold (the nisab) are obliged to donate 2.5% of their wealth to the needy.
The third pillar of Islam, Zakat indicates the amount of wealth a Muslim must pay to specific groups of disadvantaged people. Zakat itself is a compulsory act of worship stipulated by Allah (swt). It isn't a tax or a charity, but instead it is intended to purify our wealth, physically and spiritually. It serves to purify our hearts against selfishness as well as ensuring that the poorest members of society are protected.
Zakat doesn't just benefit those in need, but also those who have given their wealth for the sake of Allah (swt). By paying Zakat, we are recognizing that our wealth is not our own, but a blessing to be shared.
To pay Zakat you must be Muslim above the age of puberty and own 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. If you wish you can pay your Zakat in advance. Then you can adjust the sum at the end of your Zakat year when payment is due, although this is not a requirement. However, you must pay within the subsequent year it will be overdue.
There are various people who can receive Zakat. These groups are identified by Allah (swt) in the Holy Qur’an (9:60). Once a full lunar year has passed, Zakat becomes obligatory, 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.
Zakat al-Fitr (or Fitrana) is a duty paid on the Eid of Ramadan, which 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 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


Your Zakat donations with Muslim Hands provide life-saving and life-changing relief to thousands of people every year.

Give to one of our many Zakat-eligible projects.

Our handy Zakat calculator makes working out how much you have to pay super easy.


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Muslim Hands

Muslim Hands was established in the UK in 1993. A separate and independent entity was incorporated in Canada in October 2015 and there is a pending application for registration with the Canada Revenue Agency. Muslim Hands is an international aid agency and NGO working in over 50 countries worldwide to help those affected by natural disasters, conflict and poverty