Zakah: The Purifying Dues (Part 2)

Zakah: The Purifying Dues

Some benefits of zakah

Zakah has a number of benefits including the following:

  1. It strengthens the ties of brotherhood between the rich and the poor
  2. It blesses one’s wealth and purifies the heart from selfishness and thirst for wealth.
  3. It purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and hate towards those who give it and encourages him to show kindness and love for them.
  4. It brings about public advancement that leads to the happiness of all members of society.

Conditions for the Payment of Zakah

  1. The assets like money, livestock, property, etc. are subject to zakah. These assets are of growing types. They have the potential to generate income.
  2. One full lunar year should pass since the ownership of the wealth for zakah to be due. This condition does not include vegetables and fruits.
  3. The wealth must be at or above a certain limit called the nisaab. There is a different nisaab for different types of wealth.

The nisaab or amount on which zakah becomes payable of some kinds of wealth is as follows:

Silver 595 gram
Gold 85 grams
Trading goods Equal to the price of silver (595 grams)
Camels 5 camels
Sheep 40 sheep
Cows 30 cows

It is, however, important to note that the assets should be in excess of basic needs. What is needed by an individual to satisfy the basic necessities for him and his family is not subject to zakah. If the owner is burdened by debt that exceeds the nisaab or brings the wealth’s worth to below the nisaab, then zakah is not due. All debts are therefore deducted from the zakatable wealth.

Zakah is obligatory only on Muslims, regardless of whether they are adults or minors, sane or insane. Legal guardians should pay on behalf of the minor children and the insane.

Those Entitled to Receive Zakah

There are eight categories of people who are entitled to zakah.

These are as follows:

  1. The poor

These are those who do have some money but not sufficient to meet their needs and the needs of their dependents.

  1. The needy

These are those whose level of poverty is more or less the same as that of the poor they have a pressing need, such as when they require two-hundred of a certain currency, for example, but have only one hundred.

  1. Those employed to collect the funds of zakah, distribute it, record it in its register and malntain it

These will be paid their salaries from zakah funds whether they are rich or poor.

  1. Those whose hearts are to be reconciled

These are those new Muslims whose faith is still weak and need the zakah to strengthen their faith. They are also those disbelievers whose hearts may be inclined towards slam if they are given the zakah, or those influential disbelievers whose conversion to Islam is desired or their evil is to be restrained.

  1. For freeing slaves

A slave who wants to free himself from slavery should be given zakah so that he can pay the necessary money to his master to set him free.

  1. The debtors

Debtors mean those who are burdened with debts, which have not been spent for something that Allah does not like, and who cannot pay them off.

  1. In the way of Allah

This means anything that is pleasing to Almighty Allah such as Jihad in order to elevate the Word of Allah and any other form of work that is done in the cause of Allah and from which Muslims will derive benefit. such as the construction of mosques, schools, hospitals and shelters for the orphans.

  1. The travellers

A traveller may be rich in his home, but if he is in need of money while travelling, he may be given zakah.

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