ZAKAT RULES - Islamic Relief USA

Zakat Rules

When it comes to paying your Zakat, the process should be as easy to understand as possible. There’s a wealth of information out there, and it can be difficult to know exactly what to do.

So, we’ve put together a list of Zakat rules for our valued readers, so that you can get all the simple to follow and accurate information you need.

We have enlisted the expertise of some of the world’s foremost Islamic scholars to form an independent Zakat Advisory Board. We work closely with our scholars in order to ensure that the information you’re reading about Zakat, is both purposeful and true.

 

Rules of Zakat

Zakat forms one of the five pillars of Islam and so this form of charity is obligatory, unlike Sadaqah or Waqf. There are two forms of Zakat, and both are obligatory, this section focuses on the first. There are rules regarding who can pay Zakat, how to pay it and who is eligible to receive it.

Here are 5 key Zakat rules you need to know about:

  1. Every adult, sane Muslim is required to pay Zakat on their wealth on an annual basis. There are also other criteria in order to be eligible to pay Zakat, including being debt free. Read more about who is eligible to pay Zakat here.
  2. The amount of wealth you pay is fixed. Zakat is 2.5% of the surplus wealth you have owned for one lunar year.
  3. The person eligible to pay Zakat must have been in ownership of the nisab (minimum amount of wealth) for one lunar year before paying Zakat on their surplus wealth.
  4. Zakat must be paid as soon as it is due (one lunar year from the anniversary of holding the nisab).
  5. Only persons who meet a determined criteria are eligible to receive Zakat.

 

Zakat al-Fitr rules

Zakat al-Fitr or Fitrana is the second type of Zakat. This Zakat is also obligatory, but is due every Ramadan, before the day of Eid, and is due on every household member regardless of their age or status.

Here are three key Zakat al-Fitr or Fitrana rules you need to know about:

  1. It must be paid once a year, during Ramadan, before the day of Eid.
  2. It is due on every household member, regardless of age or status.
  3. Zakat al-Fitr equates to the cost of one meal, which must be received by the person in need before the Eid prayer.

 

Zakat rules for gold

When you’re calculating your total surplus wealth for the year, you must include any gold that you own.

Find out more about Zakat on gold, or use our free and easy Zakat calculator to find out how much Zakat you owe on your assets.

 

Zakat rules on tax

Zakat can be difficult to navigate when it comes to questions regarding tax and pensions. Tax can impact the amount of Zakat you pay and what you pay Zakat on.

Here are two Zakat rules on tax you need to know about:

  1. Personal taxes such as road and income tax are not exempt from Zakat. However, if the taxes being paid are overdue, they become a deductible debt and exempt.
  2. Money being saved for tax purposes is deductible from the Zakat total.

 

Zakat exemption rules

Who is eligible to pay Zakat and what is eligible to pay Zakat on can be a little confusing.

Here are some Zakat rules on Zakat exemption that you need to know about:

  1. There are four categories of people that do not pay the Zakat. These are: the poor, the indigent, the debt-ridden, and the unfree.
  2. While gold and silver are Zakat eligible, there is no Zakat due on your personal belongings that you consider necessary. For example, a home, a car or other amenities that you deem vital are exempt from Zakat, but surplus homes, cars, and such may not be. Please refer to our FAQs to find out more information. We have enlisted the expertise of some of the world’s foremost Islamic scholars to form an independent Zakat Advisory Board. We work closely with our scholars in order to ensure that the information you’re reading about Zakat, is both purposeful and true. However, we still encourage you to consult with your local scholar.

Donate your Zakat now or click here to use our Zakat calculator. You can also visit our Zakat page or watch this YouTube video series for answers on frequently asked questions around Zakat.

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We ensure our content is reviewed and verified by qualified scholars to provide you with the most accurate information. This webpage was last reviewed by Sheikh Saalim Al-Azhari.

Page last reviewed: March 7, 2022

Next review due: Within 12 months

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