The third pillar, Zakah (or Zakat), is only a duty for wealthier Muslims whose wealth has reached a minimum “threshold amount” that has been in their possession for a year. Each year, they must pay 2.5% of their accumulated gold, silver and savings to those less fortunate in the community. In this way, they purify their wealth. Zakah means to “purify” or “cleanse” one’s halal (permissible) earnings. Illegal earnings are not accepted by Allah because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah is pure and good and loves only that which is pure and good.”
Zakat is payable when a person’s (male or female) wealth has reached or exceeded a specified amount (called a nisab) that is mentioned in the Sharee’ah. The specific wealth upon which the Zakat is payable on four categories:
- That which comes out of the ground from crops and fruit.
- Grazing livestock animals.
- Gold, silver and cash.
- Products sold as merchandise.
- for gold, it is 85 grams; (some scholars say 92 grams)
- for silver, it is 595 grams; (some scholars say 640 grams)
- for money it is the value of 595 grams of silver which in Ramadān 2018 was £232.05 (approx.)
- The very poor (fuqara)
- The needy (masakeen)
- Those employed to collect it (to meet their needs)
- To attract the hearts of those non-Muslims who are inclined towards Islam
- Freeing captives
- Helping those in genuine debt
- To the governmental army of a Muslim country
- The traveller to help him reach his destination
“As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun, the armies of the Muslim countries), and for the a traveller who is prevented from reaching his destination; a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” (9:60)
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