What is Zakat?

What is Zakat?

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, paying the obligatory charity (Zakat), performing Hajj, and fasting Ramadan”
       – (Bukhari and Muslim).

Zakat is a charity that Muslims are obligated to pay from specific types of wealth and is distributed to certain kinds of recipients.

The Purpose

The Arabic word Zakat means growth, increase, blessings or purification. The purpose of paying the Zakat is ultimately a show of faith and manifestation of one’s devotion to God Most High.

However, it also serves the purpose of purifying wealth, increasing blessings, and protecting and uplifting needy and vulnerable Muslims.

Who Must Give Zakat?

A Muslim who possesses monetary wealth that is above the Nisab for a lunar year is obligated to pay the Zakat.

The Nisab is the amount of wealth that an individual must own before Zakat becomes obligatory on them.

The Nisab value was established by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and is approximately equivalent to 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver. However, because gold and silver is no longer our main medium of exchange, we calculate and pay our Zakat based on its equivalent value in paper money.

85 grams of gold is NZD $7,038.85
595 grams of silver is NZD $678.30

(These values are approximations as of 25 January 2021)

Scholars differ as to which Nisab value should be used. Those who prefer gold do so because it is closer than silver to being the international alternative currency to paper currency. Those who prefer silver hold that it should be used as it is more beneficial for Zakat recipients.

“Direct your Zakat to the most vulnerable in our local communities

Who Must Give Zakat?

There are 8 categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat. This is based on the verse of the Quran where God (Most High) says:

“Indeed, Zakat is only for the poor, the needy, those who collect it, those whose hearts are to be reconciled, to free slaves, those in debt, for the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers; [this is] an obligation from Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise”.

Our Focus for 2020:

  1. New Muslims
  2. Single mothers
  3. Students of knowledge
  4. Those affected by Covid-19