And establish prayer and give zakat, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah; surely Allah sees what you do.

—The Holy Qur’an, 2:110

What is zakat?

Offering zakat is a religious obligation for Muslims, with a beautiful result: improving the lives of those in need. It is the third of the five pillars of Islam. In Arabic, the word zakat means purification, growth, and blessing. Paying zakat is meant to serve as a reminder to be appreciative of the blessings that Allah (SWT) has given, while empowering those who have less.

There are two primary forms of zakat: zakat al-mal and zakat al-fitr.

Who’s eligible to receive zakat?

Islamic Relief USA collects and distributes zakat funds to those who are most in need, in accordance with Islamic guidelines. Giving your zakat through IRUSA means you can help provide emergency food, shelter for refugees, job training, medication, and so much more.

According to the Holy Qur’an (9:60), there are eight categories of people who qualify to be beneficiaries of zakat:

  • The poor
  • The needy
  • The collectors of zakat (Islamic Relief USA is an example)
  • Those whose hearts are to be encouraged
  • Captives
  • Those burdened with debt
  • In the cause of Allah (SWT)
  • Travelers

Most scholars agree that the poor and needy are the most important categories of people to receive zakat. It is acceptable to give your entire zakat to individuals who are in those groups.

IRUSA also follows the practice agreed upon by most scholars, which states that collectors of zakat are one of the eight groups eligible to receive zakat. As such, IRUSA is eligible to use up to 12.5% of donations made to zakat-specific funds for important core work, including administrative and operational functions.

Islamic Relief USA consults with a council of imams who follow the Fiqh Council of North America for information about religious donations. It is advised that you consult with your local imam or scholar for more detailed inquiries.

Zakat on gold

Zakat is payable at 2.5% of the wealth one possesses above the nisab, which is equal to 3 ounces of gold. Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth one must have before they are liable to pay zakat. *As of April 2, 2019, nisab is estimated to be $3849.39

Zakat must be calculated on the following assets: gold, silver, cash, savings, investments, rental income, business merchandise and profits, shares, securities, and bonds. Zakat is not paid on wealth used for debt repayment of living expenses such as clothing, food, housing, transportation, education, etc.

Zakat Calculator

Assets and Liabilities
Value in U.S. Dollars
Cash at Home
Balance Held in Bank Accounts
Resale Value of Shares
Merchandise & Profits
Gold & Silver (at current value)
Property Held as Investment
Other Income
Total of Assets Liable for Zakat
Deduct Debts
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Zakat-Eligible Total
Ensure that Zakat-Eligible Total Exceeds Nisab
Your Zakat (0.025 x Zakat-Eligible Total)

Zakat is payable at 2.5% of the wealth one possesses above the nisab. Nisab, which is equal to 3 ounces of gold, is the minimum amount of wealth one must have before they are liable to pay zakat. *The nisab amount listed is based on the latest available report for April 2, 2019 (note: This number may change daily depending on fluctuations in the gold exchange rate). Zakat is liable on gold, silver, cash, savings, investments, rent income, business merchandise and profits, shares, securities and bonds. Zakat is not paid on wealth used for debt repayment of living expenses such as clothing, food, housing, transportation, education, etc. Also, an important note: Please consider adding 2% when using Visa and Mastercard to your total zakat donation—this will compensate for any transaction fees deducted from your donation by the credit card companies, and will ensure that your intended zakat amount is paid in full.

Using credit card to pay for zakat

Please consider adding 2% when using Visa and Mastercard to your total zakat donation—this will compensate for any transaction fees deducted from your donation by the credit card companies, and will ensure that your intended zakat amount is paid in full.

DONOR REPORT

2019 Ramadan Report 

During Ramadan, many Islamic Relief USA donors give zakat to support work for people who qualify under Islamic principles: the poor, the needy, and travelers, which include refugees and other displaced families.

In the United States, zakat funds are distributed through partner mosques (masajid) and organizations. These partners know the local residents and confirm their eligibility.

Globally, our zakat funds support numerous projects, all in accordance with Islamic principles, such as:

  • Emergency food and water
  • Safe shelter for refugees
  • Job training
  • Medication
  • and much more!

Join thousands who choose to give their zakat to IRUSA—a choice that positively changes lives.

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