What Is Zakah?
Zakah is an obligatory form of “charity” expected from every Muslim individual. Zakat can be defined as that portion of a man’s wealth that is designated for the poor. The term is derived from the Arabic verbal root meaning to increase, to purify, and to bless. “Take Sadaqah from their property in order to purify and sanctify them” (Al-Quran 9:103)

It refers to the purification of a Muslim’s wealth and soul. To “purify” is to purify them from the faults of stinginess, greed and meanness, and lack of remorse towards the needy, and other similar depravities.

“Zakat is for the poor, and the needy, and those who are employed to administer and collect it, and the new converts, and for those who are in bondage, and in debt and service of the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers, a duty ordained by Allah, and Allah is the All-Knowing, the Wise”. At Taubah 9: 60

Benefits Of Zakah
Zakat is for the welfare of the unprivileged and establishes a society on humanitarian grounds. Zakat also purifies the heart of the recipient from jealousy and hatred toward those who are wealthy in the material sense. Zakat also purifies his heart from selfishness and greed for wealth and is an essential element in attaining mutual love, cooperation, and solidarity among members of Moslem society.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “He who discharges Zakah of his property, his sins shall leave him.”

“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn; it grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grain. Allah gives manifold increase to whom he pleases.” (2:26)

In the above verse 2:26, Allah has promised that He will repay hundredfold in the hereafter what a believer spent in the way of Allah.

The Nisaab (Minimum ‘Zakatable’ Income)
The Nisaab is defined as the minimum wealth that one must hold for one year, at the end of which Zakat is payable. The Nisaab of gold is three ounces or about 85 grams of pure gold and of silver is 596 grams of pure silver. All Muslims (minor or adult) with a set minimum level of income and assets are expected to pay Zakat of at least 2.5%.

Types Of Zakah

1. Zakah On Business (URAD AL TIJARAH)
In this context, business refers to any form of trading activity that generates income (i.e. Buying and selling, for the sake of profit e.g. foodstuffs, furniture, animals, land, etc). Anyone who owns a business with a minimum working capital (Stock and Cash) must pay Zakat.

Formula: 2.5% x [(Current Assets – Current Liabilities)

2. Zakah On Rental Income
Formula: 2.5% x [Total Annual Rental Revenue – Rental Expenses]

3. Zakah On Agricultural Produce
Zakah On Agriculture Is Due Upon Each Harvest If It Is Equal To 2 Wasq (A Measure That’s Equal To 653 Kg).

Zakat is payable on all agricultural produce including fruits, commercially grown flowers, vegetables, and all types of grains at the time of harvest itself. The Zakat levy on agricultural produce varies according to the way the land is irrigated.

a) The Zakat is 10% of the land produce if the land is irrigated by streams, rivers (running water), or rainfall (without human effort).
b) The Zakat is 5% of the land produce if the land is irrigated by wells (or by artificial canal systems, tank water, or bore well and open well) There is no deduction out of this on any account.
c) For crops dependent partly on rainwater and partly on other water (Irrigation), the Zakat applicable would be 7.5% of produce.

4. Zakah On Personal Income (e.g. Salary)
In this context, personal income refers to the salary/wages, commissions, allowances, bonuses, and monetary gifts earned by a zakah payer through permissible (halal) activities.

Zakat is payable When the total annual salary (i.e. salary per month multiplied by 12 months) earned by an individual is equal to or greater than the price of 596 grams of pure silver.
Formula: 2.5% x [Total Salary for the Year + Any Other Income/allowances]

Narrated ‘Abdullah: The Prophet said, “Who among you considers the wealth of his heirs dearer to him than his own wealth?” They replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! There is none among us but loves his own wealth more.” The Prophet said, “So his wealth is whatever he spends (in Allah’s Cause) during his life (on good deeds) while the wealth of his heirs is whatever he leaves after his death.”

5. Zakah On Animals:

Goats and Sheep
Up to 39 Goats/Sheep=No Zakat
From 40 to 120 Goats/Sheep=1 goat
From 121 to 200 Goats/Sheep=2 goats
From 201 to 300 Goats/Sheep=3 goats
Thereafter 300 on 1 goat for every 100 Goats/Sheep

Cows and Oxen
Up to 29 cows= No Zakat
From 30 to 39 cows=1 one-year-old male or female calf.
From 40 to 59 cows =1 two-year-old male or female
From 60 to 69 cows =2 one-year-old male or female
From 70 to 79 cows =1 one-year-old and 1 two-year-old male or female
From 80 to 89 cows =2 two-year-old male or female
From 90 to 99 cows =3 one-year-old male or female
From 100 to 109 cows =1 two-year-old male or female
From 110 to 119 cows =2 two-year and 1 one-year-old male or female
From 120 to 129 cows =3 two-year-old or 4 one-year-old male or female
Thereafter 130 on 1 one-year-old for each 30 or 1 two-year-old for each 40.

Please Note:
· The person who owns different types of wealth e.g. animals, commercial goods and gold and silver must give Zakat on each category of wealth separately.

· Zakat must be given in kind, that is, if one’s wealth is in cattle, one must pay in cattle rather than their equivalent in money;

· Items of everyday use that are not meant for trade, such as household utensils, clothes; tools and machinery used for further production or business operation, and animals used in agriculture are not Zakatable

Where Should One Pay His Zakah?
Zakat can be paid at the mosque near you so the mosque committee or the Imaam can distribute it to the poor and needy that are entitled to get it. You can also give it to any Reputable Muslim Charitable Organization of your choice.

Please Also Note: A Muslim’s primary responsibility is to pay the Zakat, not to supervise how it is spent. Refusal to pay the Zakat for fear of it being misappropriated is punishable by Allah as indicated below.

Punishment For Those Who Refuses To Pay Zakah
Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted) has strongly warned those who are negligent in the fulfillment of these duties. Thus He said, “Those who hoard up treasures of gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah; give them the news of a painful punishment, on the Day when that (wealth) will be heated in the Fire of Hell and with it will be branded their forehead, their sides, and their backs, (and it will be said to them:) ‘This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard.'” [Al-Quran 9:34-35]

‘Let not those who are miserly with what God has given them of His bounty think that this is good for them. Rather, it is bad for them. That which they withhold shall be hung around their necks on the Day of Arising.’ [Al-Quran 3:180]

Further, At-Tabarani relates, on the authority of ‘Ali, that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Allah has enjoined upon rich Muslims a due to be taken from their properties corresponding to the needs of the poor among them. The poor will never suffer from starvation or lack of clothes unless the rich neglect their due. If they do, Allah will surely hold them accountable and punish them severely.” (Related by At-Tabarani in Al-‘Aswat and as-Saghir).