Give Zakat To The Needy
What is Zakat?
Zakat is the concept of obligatory donation in Islam. It denotes the amount of wealth that a Muslim is bound to pay to specific categories of underprivileged and disadvantaged people and it must be paid as long as the individual Muslim’s annual wealth exceeds a specific value (nisab). The word ‘zakat’ originates from the Arabic ‘to purify’ which is called the third pillar of Islam. Allah SWT says within the Quran: “take from their wealth so that you might purify and sanctify them” (9:103)
Every religious, adult Muslim whose wealth conquers the current nisab value must pay Zakat, which is usually 2.5% of the individual’s total wealth. Muslims with very small or no income, those who are new to Islam, in debt, stranded until traveling, working in the cause of Allah (SWT) or in bondage, in addition to those who administer Zakat, are all entitled to receive the benefits of the Zakat donations.
What is Nisab?
The term Nisab is defined as the threshold amount that a Muslim’s wealth should total to make them eligible to pay Zakat. There are two values used to calculate the Nisab threshold – gold and silver at the value of 612.36 grams of silver and 87.48 grams of gold. The monetary value is calculated on the current price of gold and silver when working out your Zakat contribution.
Why should we give Zakat?
Zakat is neither voluntary charity nor a tax, rather it is an obligation. By giving Zakat, a Muslim is acknowledging that everything we have is Allah’s and we do not really own it, and we should use it to remember Allah and help those who are in need. It is also an act to support free us from excessive desire and greed, learn self-discipline and integrity. In an extremely world of gross social and economic inequality, it is very important for Muslims to keep up the tradition of Zakat.
When should we give Zakat?
We should record the Islamic date on which we first became the owner of Nisab – if on the same date the following lunar year, we are still the owner of Nisaab, we shall be obliged to pay Zakat. Many Muslims choose to give it during Ramadan as the awards for good deeds performed in Ramadan are greater than in any other month.
Who are eligible for Zakat?
There are two ways to answer this question –
A. Who is eligible to pay Zakat, and
B. Who is eligible to receive Zakat.
A. Who is eligible to pay Zakat?
Any adult Muslim who is working or earning more than is necessary to fulfill their everyday essential needs is expected to pay a percentage of their wealth as Zakat. As defined by the Zakat rules, those are eligible to pay zakat, must be:
- Of sound mind
- Past the age of puberty
- Have positive cash or goods flow
- Have a total personal wealth higher than the Nisab value.
B. Who are eligible to receive Zakat?
Zakat cannot be paid to everyone. There are eight specific categories of people to whom zakat can be given: “The alms are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) 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, and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Al-Quran 9:60]”
- Al-Fuqara (The poor)
Al-Fuqara means the people who live below the poverty line and don’t have enough means to live a normal life like others. They deserve your zakat in order to fulfill the daily necessities of their lives.
- Al-Masakin (The needy)
Al-Masakin, who is extremely poor and needy people. These people don’t have any possessions or earning source. Your zakat money can support them in improving their living condition.
- Zakat Collectors
Zakat can be paid to the people who are authorized to collect and distribute it among the needy and poor. It includes trustworthy institutions and NGOs who are working to support underprivileged Muslim communities.
- Who converted to Islam
Those who are newly converted to Islam are suitable to receive zakat (if they are needy). If someone has converted and is separated from their family and friends, you can give your zakat to them so that they can re-start their new journey.
- Freeing captives
Slavery is excluded in many parts of the world but yet, people are trafficked and kept as slaves. Zakat money can help slaves in freeing themselves and improve their living quality.
Zakat can be donated to pay off debts of someone who cannot repay on his own. However, one must make sure that the money borrowed by the debtor is not used for any un-Islamic or wrong intention.
- In the path of Allah
Those who are fighting in the path of Allah are entitled to receive your zakat. These are the people who are striving for Allah’s cause far away from their homes. Your zakat can support them to have a better living.
- Wayfarer (Travelers)
For a traveler who is alone in a foreign land and is in need of money to fulfill his purpose of traveling. Refugees can be donated zakat money as they leave their countries because of violence and repression in search of a safe and better place.
How Much Zakat Do You Need to Pay?
There have some rules and regulations for calculating zakat. These are given below:
- 2.5% on annual savings and personal wealth
- 5% on farmer’s assets where crops are irrigated out of the farmer’s pocket
- 10% on farmer’s assets where crops are irrigated by rain
- 20% on precious resources found on your property within the lunar year, such as oil, gold, and silver
Private property and assets must fall above the Nisab threshold in order to be included in the calculation.
Importance of Giving Zakat for Education:
We, the JAAGO Foundation are working hard from the past 12 years for removing poverty and creating a sustainable nation through ensuring quality education through ICT to the underprivileged children in the remote areas of Bangladesh. We are operating 12 schools and supporting thousands of students all over the country. Through the “Sponsor A Child” education program, monthly we collect BDT 2000 from a sponsor parent for each of the student, which is the cost of the weekly nutritious meal, basic medications, logistical supports like – books, notebooks, school uniform, school socks, and school bag for a JAAGO child. By contributing your zakat for the needy Muslim children in this great month of Ramadan, you can also be a part of the great support for eradicating poverty and changing our society. To create a society – free of exploitation, discrimination, and violence through eliminating poverty and ensuring quality education is the vision of JAAGO Foundation. When you give Zakat, you are supporting this vision with us.