Conditions for Zakah
Zakah is the third pillar of Islam. It enables us to purify our wealth and fulfill a compulsory act of worship. Several conditions must be fulfilled before zakah is due. These conditions are necessary as zakah can only be applied on those who are of legal age and who own enough assets. These conditions are categorized into two broad categories, namely performer and asset.
1. Zakah Performer
Every Muslim who has attained the age of puberty (bolough) and owns enough assets is required to pay zakah.
2. Zakah Asset
A Muslim will only be required to pay zakah if he or she has full and legal ownership of an asset.
Assets intended for increasing wealth
Zakah is payable only on those assets that are acquired for the purpose of creating or generating wealth. Some examples of this type of assets are cash savings, inventory of goods used for trade or sale, investments such as gold or securities that have potential for appreciation in value, and livestock or crops that are traded or sold.
Assets that exceed a minimum value
Zakah need only be paid on those assets that exceed a minimum value. This minimum value is calculated based on the market price of 3 oz. of gold. This minimum value is termed nisab.
Completion of Haul
Haul is defined as the completion period for a zakah asset. The length of time for haul is one Hijrahyear.
Once these conditions are met the payment of zakah becomes an obligation for a Muslim.
- Do you have $3,600.00 in cash savings?
- Do you have $3,600.00 in stocks?
- Do you have $3,600.00 in gold/silver?
- Do you have $3,600.00 in business worth?
- Do you have $3,600.00 in cattle?
- Do you have $3,600.00 in other assets?
- Do you have $3,600.00 in all of the above?
If you answered yes to ANY of the above questions then you should pay zakah.
Recipients of Zakah
There are eight categories of people who are the beneficiaries of zakah which are mentioned in the Qur’an.
- The Poor (al-Fuqura’)
- The Needy (al-Masakin)
- Administrators of Zakah (al-A’mileen)
- Those inclined to Islam (Muallaf)
- Captives seeking freedom (Riqab)
- Debtors (al-gharimeen)
- For the cause of Allah (fi sabil lillah)
- Wayfarers (ibn as-sabil)
Apply for Zakah
To apply for Zakah assistance please contact the Imam of your Masjid to complete the application process.
The zakah is to be paid locally to the Muslim community where the individual lives and earns his or her income. According to the scholars, the poor of this city have a prior claim over local zakah than the poor elsewhere. The leadership of the local Muslim community is responsible to collect and distribute the zakah. The Zakah Committee will distribute zakah to those individuals in Central Florida in the above categories. Zakah can only be sent outside when the Zakah Committee has surplus over the needs of the local community. Therefore, the correct way to give our zakah is as follows:
- Pay zakah on a specific date each Hijrah year, for example: Ramadan 27.
- Calculate your zakah or have the Zakah Committee or an accountant calculate it.
- Make the intention when paying zakah and do not mix zakah with other donations.
- Pay your zakah on time and in full to the Zakah Committee (which is in charge of collecting and distributing zakah in Central Florida.)
For more details, see this article, containing the sources on which these opinions are based.
For a printable payment form, click here
Zakah al-Fitr is an obligatory charity on every Muslim regardless of their age, status or wealth. It has to be paid by the end of Ramadan or on the day of Eid before the Eid prayer. The head of the household may pay the required amount for all other family members (including an unborn baby). The amount of zakah payable is approximately 5 lb. of staple food in the relevant country or an amount of money that is equivalent to the price of the food. The dollar amount is approximately $10.00 per person.
Zakah al-Mal (on wealth)
Zakah al-Mal is a cyclic charity based on the amount of wealth owned by a Muslim individual or organization. This payment is obligatory upon any Muslim individual or organization that has completed the requirement of nisab and haul (one hijrah calendar year). The payment is 2.5% out of the total wealth deemed for zakah. Nisab is the equivalent value of 3 oz. of gold, which equaled approximately $3,750.00
Zakah becomes due immediately one year from:
- The first day you acquired nisab for the first time
- The date you paid zakah the previous year