Zakat is the amount of money that every adult, mentally stable, free, and financially able Muslim, male and female, has to pay to support specific categories people.

Zakat is an obligation on those with excess wealth and it is a means of purifying the individual’s wealth. However Zakat only becomes obligatory, when the individual’s wealth reaches or exceeds the nisab. Zakat is not obligatory if the amount owned is less than this nisab.

The nisab (or minimum amount) of gold and golden currency is 20 mithqal, this is approximately 85 grams of pure gold. The nisab of silver and silver currency is 200 dirhams, which is approximately 595 grams of pure silver. The nisab of other kinds of money and currency is to be scaled to that of gold, 85 grams of pure gold. This means that the nisab of money is the price of 85 grams of 999-type (pure) gold, on the day in which Zakat is paid, i.e. current gold prices.

How do I calculate my Zakat?

Zakat is obligatory after a time span of one lunar year passes with the money in the control of its owner. Then the owner needs to pay 2.5% (or 1/40) of the money as Zakat.

The owner should deduct any amount of money he or she borrowed from others; then check if the rest reaches the necessary nisab, then pays Zakat for it. If the owner had enough money to satisfy the nisab at the beginning of the year, then the money increased (in profits, salaries, inheritance, grants…etc.), the owner needs to add the increase to the nisab amount owned at the beginning of the year; then pay Zakat, 2.5%, of the total at the end of the lunar year.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own Zakat individually. A Zakat Calculator can be used to calculate the amount owing.

It is important to note that Zakat is the minimum charity obligatory. A pious person may also give more, which is known as Sadaqah.

Who is entitled to receive Zakat?

The categories of people entitled to receive Zakat are defined in Surah at-Taubah: “The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise.” (The Holy Qur’an 9:60).

In other words, these categories are:

  1. Poor and needy
  2. Those who administer the Zakat Fund, such as ISOMER
  3. New converters to Islam
  4. Slaves – to buy their freedom
  5. People in debt
  6. The cause of Allah – Mosques or Dawah
  7. Wayfarer – travel who has run out of funds

How do I pay my Zakat?

ISOMER has established a number of ways that you can give Sadaqah.

My mercy encompasses all things, but I will specify it for the righteous who give Zakah.
[Quran 7:156]