In Arabic, zakat means purification, growth and blessing. It is a charitable practice that requires all able Muslims (those who meet the requirement of zakat as dependent upon nisab and hawl—see below) to contribute a fixed portion of their wealth – 2.5% of savings — to help the needy.
Zakat is not only a means to purify one’s wealth but it is also a spiritual purification which serves as a means to draw an individual closer to God. As one of the scholars said, “the soul of one who gives zakat is blessed and so is his wealth”. It is quite clear from the above narration that in addition to being a moral obligation, Zakat is also a spiritual one which is why millions of Muslims every year give Zakat to the poor.
'In their wealth there is a known share for the beggars and the destitute.’ (70:24-25)
Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth a Muslim must have—after calculating necessary expenses—to be eligible to contribute zakat. The nisab is determined by the current value of gold or silver. While some scholars encourage everyone to use the silver nisab value because it is the safest opinion and increases charity for those in need, it is ultimately up to the Zakat giver to determine which value they prefer to use. The majority today use the gold nisab equivalent.
Nisab is equivalent to the current value of 3 ounces of gold or 21 ounces of silver. The nisab we’ve calculated for our Zakat Calculator is based on the most-recent report available to us (disclaimer: this number may change daily depending on fluctuations in the gold exchange rate).
For a detailed list of wealth to include, please see our Zakat Calculator
These stipulations delineate the type of wealth that should be accounted for when calculating zakat:
The wealth is yours and under your control. You do not need to include outstanding debts when calculating zakat.
The wealth is subject to development and increasing.
After calculating necessary expenses, the wealth meets the requirements of nisab.
Personal belongings, such as clothes, primary homes, food, cars, are exempt from zakat.
You may make your zakat contributions toward any of our funds or projects. It is your intention that counts in this case. However, if your contribution is specifically made to our Zakat Fund then we will follow specific zakat guidelines.
Zakat-eligible projects are identified based upon need and in accordance with the eight categories noted in the holy Quran:
- ‘al fuqara' (the poor)
- ‘al masakin’ (the chronically needy / indigent)
- ‘al amilina alayha' (the administrators of zakat funds)
- ‘al mualafati qulubhum’ (those that incline their hearts towards good)
- 'f’il riqabi' (freeing of slaves / those in bondage)
- ‘al gharimina' (those in debt)
- 'f’il sabili-llahi' (in the way of god)
- ‘al sabili' (the traveller)
Yes. You may use the current value on stocks.
Zakat al-Mal (commonly called “zakat“) is due when a person’s wealth reaches the nisab amount and can be paid anytime during the year. Zakat al-Fitr is paid by the head of the household for each member of the family, before Eid al-Fitr prayer. Zakat al-Fitr is about the price of one meal—estimated at $10 in 2021.
Zakat al-Fitr should be paid on behalf of everyone in the family. There are some scholars that recommend that Zakat al-Fitr is also paid on behalf of unborn children after the 120th day of pregnancy, but do not view it as obligatory. Most scholars do agree, however, that Zakat al-Fitr should be paid on behalf of the baby after his/her birth. Please do consult with your local imam or scholar for further clarification.
It should be paid before Eid prayer (or any day during Ramadan). There are some schools of thought that also allow for Zakat al-Fitr to be paid even before Ramadan. Consult with your local imam or scholar if you need additional information.