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Zaka

Zaka- 2.5% Of Your wealth

Take from their money a charity to cleanse them and purify
them. [Qur’an 9:103]

A Muslim is supposed to pay a financial obligation called Zaka. Zaka which literally mean to purify is the fourth Pillar of Islam. A Muslim should spend 2.5% of their savings that were unused for a complete year on the poor, the needy, the homeless and the orphan.

In the early ages of Islam, Zaka was pivotal as it played an important role in eradicating slavery. Muslims would use this opportunity to purchase a slave and free it on the spot.

What is Zaka?

Zaka is the amount of money that every adult, mentally stable, free, and financially able Muslim, male or female, has to pay to support specific categories people. This category of people is defined in surah at-Taubah (9) verse 60: “The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise.”

The obligatory nature of Zaka is firmly established in the Qur’an, the Sunna, and the consensus of the companions and the Muslim scholars. Allah states in Surah at-Tauba verses 34-35: “O you who believe! There are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah.

Zaka is obligatory when a certain amount of money, called the nisab is reached or exceeded. Zaka is not obligatory if the amount owned is less than this nisab.

How to work out Zaka?

  1. Set a date by which Zaka will be calculated by
  2. Work out if your wealth reaches the amount of Nisab by adding up your savings, gold, silver, any shares. Businesses also have to pay Zaka on their profits and stocks. The Nisab should be calculated on the price of silver rather than gold.
  3. Then give 2.5% of that towards those who are entitled to Zaka.
  4. After the passing of a year, redo steps 1-4. Note that it is based on the passing of a lunar year. 

 

 

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