What is Zakat


What is Zakat

According to the Arabic language Zakat means purification and growth. Islamically it is the name for that which is paid in a specific way as a result for having money or one being alive. It was given this name because money grows from one giving Zakat and it purifies the one who gives it from being sinful. Zakat is among the major matters of Islam. During the second year AH Allaah made it obligatory. Among the items that Zakat is obligatory on are camel, cattle, sheep, and goat. The staple crops, these are crops that one stores to eat in other than times of necessity, like wheat, barley and corn. It is also obligatory on two of the fruits, dates and raisins. Trade articles are also included, these are articles used for the purpose of making a profit. If one uses some money to buy and sell, and buy and sell and so on, with the purpose of gaining money than this is trading. Gold and silver are also among the items. Zakatul-Fitr is also obligatory, this is Zakat for the body, not money. The Muslim pays this on behalf of himself, his Muslim wife, young children, and Muslim poor parents during the month of Ramadan, or during the day of Eid Al-Fitr. It is permissible to pay Zakat only to the eight types in which Allaah mentions in the Qur'an:
  1. The poor who earn what meets less than half of their needs

  2. The poor who earn what meets half or more but not all their basic needs

  3. The Zakat workers assigned by the Caliph and work without pay

  4. The new converts to Islam whose hearts are to be reconciled. Whose peers may embrace Islam if these new Muslims are given money

  5. The slaves who are short in satisfying their contract for earning their freedom from their owners

  6. Those who are unable to pay their debts

  7. Voluntary fighters who fight for the sake of Allaah, this does not include every voluntary good deed

  8. The travelers who do not have enough to enable them to reach their destination

There are two types of condition for Zakat. Conditions that make it obligatory and conditions for the validity of it. The conditions that make it obligatory are five:
  1. Islam
  2. Freedom
  3. Total ownership
  4. The passage of one year for the items which require one year to pass
  5. To own the minimum amount that is subject to Zakat

Also the animals must have been grazed in a pasture that is not owned by anybody and must be animals that are not used for work. The conditions for Zakat's validity are for it to be paid to the aforementioned eight types of people who deserve it. Second, for it to be paid to a Muslim, because it's invalid for it to be paid to a blasphemer. Third, for it to be paid to a free person, because it's invalid to pay it to a slave, except the slave who has a contract to the owner to be set free, if he works and gives a certain amount of money to his owner within a specific time. Fourth, for it to be paid to someone who is not a descendant of Hashim or Abdul-Mutallib.