What is Zakat ?

Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. It requires Muslims to give 2.5% of their qualifying wealth each year to help beneficiaries who need it across a range of categories. Zakat is both a spiritual duty and a vital part of the Islamic social welfare system.
Zakat is more than just a payment or a random act of charity. It’s a unique form of religious social welfare which benefits the whole community.


The Foundation of Our Faith

The Poor

Those in need


Those whose hearts need to be reconciled

Victims of slavery

The debtors

For the sake of God

Stranded travelers

History of Zakat

The Origins of Zakat


Jan 11

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

1 Hijri (621 AD)

A New Beginning

The Hijri era begins from the time the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) emigrated (Hijrah) from Mecca to Medina. He left Makkah at the command of His Lord, saying (to Makkah):

“You are the place that Allah loves most and you are most loved by Him. If your inhabitants had not driven me away, I would not have forsaken you.”

Jan 11

The Obligation of Zakat

The Obligation of Zakat

2 Hijri (622 AD)

The Obligation of Zakat

The obligation of Zakat was the next step in the development of society. On one hand for the spiritual suppression of the ego and on the other hand for narrowing the gap between rich and poor, fighting poverty and stimulating community development.
The centralization of alms was also introduced.

Jan 11

Zakat inspectors

Zakat inspectors

10 Hijri (631 AD)

Zakat inspectors

The Prophet (pbuh) sends Muadh ibn Jabal ra to Yemen as governor. One of his orders is to collect Zakat from the rich there and distribute it among the poor.

This order clearly indicates that Zakat is primarily local in nature and should be both collected and distributed within one’s own territory.



Frequently Asked Questions

01. What is the purpose of Zakat?

Islam primarily describes a state of subservience, along with a core set of beliefs and instituted acts.

The Prophet (may Allah’s salutations and peace be upon him) stated that Islam, that is the same state of subservience, is built on five distinctive acts:

1. Testifying that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God,
2. Maintaining Salat,
3. Giving the Zakat,
4. Fasting in Ramadan,
5. The pilgrimage to the House – for those who are able to find a way.

Being built on suggests a number of things; that these five things form the basis of true subservience to God, and in being a basis it follows that everything else in the faith follows on from them, rather than there being other aspects of the faith sitting alongside them, and thus of equal elemental disposition.

Looking at it this way, these five distinctive acts do not merely engender a ritual disposition but offer a robust course of development that founds the most fundamental aspects of complete subservience. Thus, when these foundations are implemented individually and collectively as institutions, it paves the way for Islam to flourish in the lives of those in society, resulting in a society committed to God.

02. How to calculate the Zakat within the couple?

Here are some elements to take into account:

When it comes to calculating and paying Zakat within the couple, it is not always easy to distinguish who owns what. To make the calculation easier, here are some guidelines:

1. First of all, it is important to know that zakat is a personal duty, which de facto implies that the man and the woman must calculate their zakat separately. Since zakat is a personal responsibility, it is up to each individual to make his or her own calculation of zakat.

2. When the amount to be paid is calculated (see our zakat calculator), each person can pay his or her zakat himself or herself. The man or woman can make the payment for both, this is equally valid.

3. If the couple uses a joint account, and it is difficult to distinguish who owns what, then we advice to divide the amount in this account by 2 and include this amount in each person’s separate calculation.

4. It is quite possible and normal for one person to be eligible to pay zakat (as it is above the Nisab) and the other not (as it is below it). There is no problem with this.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via our contact section. Our team will answer you as soon as possible.

Your SZF team

03. Which asset is Zakatable?

An asset must fulfil the following criteria to qualify as a Zakatable asset:

  1. Complete ownership of the asset
  2. The asset is productive (intrinsically or extrinsically)
  3. The wealth is equivalent to Nisab or more
  4. A whole lunar year passes after possessing Nisab

Complete ownership of wealth:

Complete ownership refers to having ownership and the ability to benefit from a Zakatable asset. It is not necessary to have direct possession; one may have indirect possession such as having cash deposited in the bank or money kept with a relative. This is agreed upon by the mainstream schools of jurisprudence.

Asset is productive:

Zakat is binding on wealth which is productive according to all four schools of jurisprudence.

Productivity in terms of Zakat refers to the potential of an asset to grow and increase. Productivity of an asset can be intrinsic as is the case with gold, silver and cash. Productivity can be activated by an intention to trade when purchasing stock or investing into Zakatable assets. And finally, productivity can be established through the breeding of flock.

Besides these three causes, the Shariah has not recognised any other cause of productivity. Personal assets and belongings which may appreciate will not be Zakatable despite growing in value as they are not productive wealth in Zakat terms.

The wealth is equivalent to Nisab or more:

For the payment of Zakat to be obligatory, it must equal or exceed the Nisab threshold on the Zakat anniversary.

A whole lunar year passes after possessing Nisab:

After owning Nisab for the first time, Zakat is obligatory after the passing of one lunar year. Thereafter, Zakat will be due every year on the same date if the qualifying conditions are found. It is not necessary for a year to pass on every single Zakatable asset, rather, the same Zakat anniversary will be used for other Zakatable assets such as gold, silver, cash and business stock acquired during the year.

04. Is Zakat obligatory on children?

According to the Hanafi school, Zakat is not obligatory on children who are not mature.

According to the Maliki, Shafi’I and Hanbali schools, Zakat is obligatory on the wealth of children.

05. When is Zakat obligatory to pay?

Just like Salat, Fasting and Hajj have conditions before they become obligatory, Zakat also has conditions before it becomes compulsory.

Zakat is only obligatory when certain conditions are met. There are two sets of conditions:

  1. Conditions relating to wealth
  2. Conditions relating to the Zakat payer

06. Who is liable to pay Zakat?

Whoever has the following three characteristics qualifies to pay Zakat :

  1. Adolescent
  2. Muslim
  3. Sane Adolescence (have reached the age of puberty)

In Islam, mature individuals are obliged to perform the compulsory forms of worship such as Ṣalāt, Zakat, Fasting and Ḥajj. Islam considers adolescents as mature. A person is adolescent when experiencing puberty. The following are some indications of puberty :

  1. Experiencing a wet dream
  2. Menstruation
  3. Reaching fifteen lunar years in age (approximately 14 years and 7 months)

Muslim Zakat is an action of worship and it is only obliged on those who have faith in Islam. Faith in Islam is a primary condition for the requirement of all forms of worship.

Sane According to all jurists, a sane person qualifies to pay Zakat if other conditions are found. A sane person is one who has mental capacity.
Differences of opinion: • The orphan • The child (pre-puberty) • The mad / insane.

The three schools of jurisprudence other than the Hanafi school state that Zakat should be paid on qualifying wealth owned by the orphan, child and the insane.

The three schools of jurisprudence consider the ownership of wealth reaching the Nisab as the driving factor behind the Zakat obligation.

Furthermore, the child, insane and orphan’s wealth will also benefit from the purification of wealth due to the payment of Zakat. The Hanafi school considers the element of worship in Zakat and therefore opines that Zakat is not binding on the orphan, child and insane.

Since these individuals are not obliged to perform worship, they are not obliged to pay Zakat. However, if a person has intermittent sanity, they will be required to pay Zakat. Only a person with continuous insanity and mental incapacity is exempt from Zakat.

The parent/guardian will be responsible to pay Zakat on the wealth of the orphan, child and insane. They can pay from the wealth of these individuals.

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