Who is Eligible to Pay and Receive Zakat?

Who is Eligible to Pay and Receive Zakat?

  • HasanaH

Who is Eligible to Pay and Receive Zakat

Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. It’s a mandatory charitable donation amounting to 2.5% of a Muslim’s annual savings. Intended to purify wealth, both physically and spiritually, Zakat helps to ensure society’s poorest are protected against hunger and destitution. This charitable aid plays a critical role in supporting the poorest in the community by providing aid for basic necessities and to help them come out of a life of poverty.

Who has to pay Zakat?

Any adult Muslim of sound mind who meets the minimum amount of wealth (Nisab) during one lunar year is required to pay Zakat. Nisab must be maintained for the entire lunar year for an individual to be required to pay Zakat as soon as it is due. The Zakat year starts on the day an individual's wealth exceeds Nisab and should be calculated on this day for all subsequent years.

Traditionally, the Nisab rate is set in silver and gold. However, today, this is usually equivalent to your local currency.

The Nisab value for 2022 is as follows:

  • Using value of silver (612.36 grams) – approximately AED 1,455
  • Using value of gold (87.48 grams) – approximately AED 17,319

How to calculate your Zakat

A Zakat donation should amount to 2.5% of your total Zakatable wealth (i.e. your net worth less after any debts owed). Zakat is paid based on an individual’s wealth, not their salary. For example, if an individual earns AED 65,000 in a year, with AED 6,500 in savings, they would have to calculate Zakat from their savings as opposed to their yearly salary. However, Zakat is not paid solely on savings. Qualifying individuals need to pay Zakat another types of wealth as well, such as:

  • Gold and silver
  • Cash held in bank accounts
  • Money lent to others
  • Pensions
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Property owned for investment purposes

If you need help determining your Zakatable wealth, we suggest using a Zakat calculator.

Who is eligible to receive Zakat aid?

In general terms, Zakat can be paid to deserving individuals or groups who fall into one or more of eight categories designated by God in the Quran. However, while the Quran specifies how Zakat can be distributed, it also grants flexibility to Muslims to pay their Zakat to trusted organizations that distribute it to those who belong to one or more Zakat-worthy categories.

Eight categories of eligible Zakat recipients

  1. The poor (al-fuqarâ’): a person who is low-income or indigent.
  2. The needy (al-masâkîn): a person who has absolutely nothing in terms of wealth or assets.
  3. Zakat administrators (Aamileen): those persons who are appointed by an Islamic Head of State or Government to collect Zakat. It is not necessary that this be a needy person.
  4. Those whose hearts are to be reconciled (Muallafatul Quloob): New Muslims and friends of the Muslim community).
  5. Those in bondage (Ar-Riqaab): slaves, captives, and trafficked individuals, etc.
  6. Individuals with heavy debt (Al Ghaarimeen): a person whose debts exceeds his assets and his net assets (after deducting his liabilities) is below the Nisab limit)
  7. Travelers (Ibnus-Sabeel): Those who are stranded or traveling with few resources.
  8. In the cause of God (Fi Saveelillah): Those who are away from home in the path of Allah, those in Jihaad, those seeking knowledge, etc.

Who can Zakat Not be given to?

  • Wealthy individuals with the exceptions of the workers of Zakat
  • Individuals capable but not willing to work
  • Heretics, apostates, and any individual actively fighting against Islam
  • The family of the Prophet
  • Immediate family of the individual paying Zakat (such as spouse, children, parents, and grandparents)
  • Wives of the payer
  • Zakat cannot be used to pay a deceased person’s debt

Can Zakat be given to non-Muslims?

It is known in the Shari'ah that Zakat cannot be given to non-Muslims. The purpose of Zaka is to take from rich Muslims and provide for the poor Muslims. The majority of scholars agree that Zakat is to be paid and received by Muslims only. However, this rule is not restricted to other acts of charity, such as Sadaqah, which can be given to anyone and can also take many forms.

HasanaH for all your Zakat queries

Through Zakat the prosperous can uplift the less fortunate, comfort those who are troubled, and support others when they are experiencing hardship. Zakat has the power to change the world. HasanaH is a crowdfunding platform with the goal of connecting donors to charitable causes while remaining respectful of Islamic traditions and principles. 

As a powerful tool designed to inform and guide your Zakat & Sadaqah for maximum impact, HasanaH does not make individual judgements over which projects qualify for Zakat. Instead, we empower donors to make informed decisions based on reliable data, and to direct contributions to credible projects aligned with their priorities and values.

Are you interested in making a meaningful impact? Discover charitable projects on our platform

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