True piety is this: to believe in God, and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, and the Prophets, to give of one’s substance, however cherished, to kinsmen, and orphans, the needy, the traveler, beggars, and to ransom the slave, to perform the prayer, to pay the zakat.” – The Qur’an (2:177)
What is Zakat?
Zakat is an act of worship we perform with the wealth Allah has blessed us with. It is a religious duty which cleans away impurities from our provision and ensures excess wealth is distributed among those in need. Zakat is an obligation upon any Muslim who has reached puberty, is of sound mind, and has above the minimum required amount of wealth (Nisab). It requires giving a calculated amount (usually 2.5%) to the poor and needy.
Do I have to pay Zakat?
The more Zakat that is paid, the more beneficial it is to the poor and needy. First of all, you’ll need to work out whether you’re obligated to pay Zakat by looking at whether what you own meets the Nisab. The value of the Nisab in prophetic tradition is 87.48 grams of pure gold or 612.36 grams of pure silver so the monetary value of the Nisab will vary according to current prices. Due to the significant difference in the cost of gold and silver, the Nisab for silver is now much lower. Although both values can be used, many scholars advise that we apply the Nisab of silver when calculating our Zakat so more of us are eligible to pay it. It requires giving a calculated amount (usually 2.5%) to the poor and needy.
What is Zakat payable on?
Zakat should be calculated and paid on any surplus wealth that you have owned for at least one lunar year. This includes:
- Gold, silver, precious metal, including ornaments/jewelry containing gold/silver.
- Stocks and shares.
- Money you have lent to others.
- Cash in bank accounts, committees or at home.
- Any business stock.
- Agricultural produce and livestock (cows, chickens, goats etc.)
- Property you own for investment purposes.
The easiest way to calculate your Zakat is to find out the monetary value of each type of wealth and then work out 2.5% of the total sum.
Where can I pay my Zakat?
At Sunrise-USA, we consider your Zakat as a trust (amanah) and aim to use it in a way that helps those most in need. Whether you want to spend it on immediate relief in emergency situations or to provide long lasting solutions to those struggling. We will be sure to handle your Zakat in the most effective way to bring about the most benefit.
If you’d like a little extra help working out exactly how much Zakat you need to pay, you can use our Zakat calculator. All you need to do is put in a few numbers and our calculator will figure out your Zakat for you.