What is Zakat?

Zakat, also known as zakaat or zakah, is a fundamental practice within Islam and represents one of the five pillars of the faith. It is obligatory for Muslims, in conjunction with the other sacred pillars of prayer (salah), fasting (sawm), pilgrimage (Hajj), and the belief in Allah and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (shahadah). Every mentally sound and financially capable adult Muslim, possessing wealth exceeding a specified amount known as the Nisab, is required to contribute 2.5% of their wealth as Zakat.

The Quran emphasizes this act of almsgiving with the following verse: “…and those in whose wealth there is a recognised right, for the needy and deprived” (Qur’an 70:24-5).

Zakat is to be paid annually by eligible Muslims, becoming due once a lunar (Islamic) year has transpired since meeting or surpassing the Nisab.

What is Nisab?

The Nisab represents the minimum wealth threshold a Muslim must possess before becoming obligated to pay Zakat. This threshold is commonly referred to as the Nisab threshold and is determined by the values of gold and silver. As of December 8, 2023, the Nisab is the equivalent of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver, valuing £4,532.63 and £371.81, respectively.

Zakat: A sacred pillar

Zakat transcends its status as a fundamental pillar of Islam; it embodies a revolutionary concept with the potential to alleviate extreme poverty. Quoting the Quran: “And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good you send forth for your souls before you, you shall find it with Allah” (Qur’an 2:110). Zakat is not just a duty but a right the poor hold over the affluent (Qur’an 70:24-25).

Consider the transformative power of Zakat: if the ten wealthiest individuals worldwide fulfilled this obligation, a staggering £7.7 billion could be directed towards combating poverty.

What is Fitrana?

Fitrana, a donation often in the form of food, is given before Eid prayer and must be provided before the conclusion of Ramadan. It is mandatory for every self-supporting Muslim with excess food beyond personal needs, on behalf of themselves and their dependents.

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