What isZakat?

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.
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and therefore the basis of faith. It is an obligatory act of worship, whereby Muslims spend a portion of their wealth on those entitled to it (eight categories).
When you have spent a Muslim year in possession of at least the Nisab, you must calculate your Zakat and pay it. Your Zakat year begins on the date your wealth first reaches or exceeds the Nisab.
Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth you must have to be liable for Zakat. The nisab was considered by the Prophet (pbuh) to be 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver. Today, 85 grams of gold is equivalent to 4676 Swiss francs (March 2022). Our zakat calculator automatically takes into account the latest daily rates.

The 8 categories of Zakat

The Poor

Those in need


Those whose hearts need to be reconciled

Victims of slavery

The debtors

For the sake of God

Stranded travelers

How is the power ofZakat expressed?

As long as Zakat is seen as a charity spent on the basis of personal preferences, in remote locations and only for the benefit of the poor, its great potential will not be realized. The Swiss Zakat Foundation (SZF) enables us to join forces at the local level in accordance with the spirit of zakat and to spend zakat in a balanced way in the eight established categories mentioned in the Quran (9:60).

Our inspiration and roots draw from the well-known account of Mu’adh ibn Jabal, documented in both Bukhari and Muslim. In a significant assignment, the Prophet (peace be upon him) entrusted Mu’adh due to his knowledge, eloquence, and trustworthiness, directing him to Yemen. Mu’adh informed the people of Yemen that there was a duty to contribute a portion of their wealth as Zakat, which would be collected from the affluent and distributed to those in need. Thus, poverty was eliminated (see the History of Zakat here ).

This hadith shows that it is possible to create a strong and prosperous society through Zakat.

The DNA of SZF

How We Do It



True to Our Tradition, we Distriibute Zakat at the local level



We make Zakat more powerful by centralizing it



We distribute Zakat in a balanced way across the 8 categories

We Join Forces

We centralize Zakat, as it was in the days of the Prophet (saw) and the many generations that followed. For Zakat is not only an individual matter, but a matter of the whole community. Zakat makes the society united, as if it were one family. The strong complement the weak and the rich help the poor.

We focus on Switzerland

The teachings of the four main schools of law show that spending Zakat in one’s own community is the priority. The wisdom behind this is that the community helps each other and thus develops on a collective level. A person cannot be a [true] believer if he fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.” (Sahih al-Bukhari).

We distribute Zakat in a balanced way

Contrary to what many people think, Zakat is not only for the poor. Zakat should be spent in a balanced manner among the eight established categories mentioned in the Quran (9:60). Only in this way can it provide a complete and integral response to the challenges we face.

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