Zakat Legal Meaning

Today, zakat in most Muslim countries is at the discretion of Muslims over how and if to pay, usually imposed by an individual`s piety, peer pressure, and personal feelings. [17] Among Sunni Muslims, zakat committees associated with a religious cause or a local mosque collect zakat. [83] Among Shia Muslims, MPs collect zakat on behalf of imams. [84] Zakat on wealth is based on the value of all one`s possessions. [13][14] This is typically 2.5% (or 1⁄40)[15] of a Muslim`s total savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as Nisab each lunar year,[16] but Islamic scholars differ on the amount of Nisab and other aspects of Zakat. [16] According to Islamic doctrine, the amount collected must be paid to the poor and needy, to zakat collectors, recently converted to Islam, to those who are to be freed from slavery, to those who are in debt, for the cause of Allah and for the benefit of the stranded traveler. According to Surah Al-Tawba of the Qur`an, there are eight categories of people (asnaf) who qualify for zakat funds. [54] The amount of zakat to be paid by a person depends on the amount of money and the type of wealth they have. The Qur`an does not give specific guidelines on the types of wealth taxable under Zakat, nor does it specify the percentages that must be reported. However, it clearly states to donate the “surplus” of its own income. But the common practice in the Islamic world was that the amount of zakat invested on fixed assets (for example, 2.5% (1/40). [42] Zakat is additionally payable on agricultural products, precious metals, minerals and livestock at a rate between 2.5% and 20% (1/5), depending on the type of goods.

[43] [44] According to researcher Russell Powell in 2010, zakat was required by law in Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen. There were government programmes of voluntary contributions to zakat in Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Maldives and the United Arab Emirates. [81] Zakat, Arabic Zakāt, a compulsory tax for Muslims, one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is increased to five categories of goods – food grains; Fruit; camels, cattle, sheep and goats; gold and silver; and movable property – and is payable annually after one year of ownership. The tax required by religious law varies by category. Among the beneficiaries of zakat are the poor and needy, the collectors themselves and “those whose hearts need to be reconciled” – for example, members of quarreling tribes, debtors, volunteers in jihad (holy war) and pilgrims. In six of the 47 Muslim-majority countries – Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen – zakat is compulsory and levied by the state. [17] [18] [85] [86] In Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Bangladesh, zakat is regulated by the state, but contributions are voluntary. [87] Zakat is considered a type of compulsory tax, although not all Muslims adhere to it.

In many countries with large Muslim populations, individuals can choose whether or not to pay zakat. Religious texts provide complete descriptions of the minimum amount of zakat that should be distributed to the less fortunate. It generally varies depending on whether the wealth comes from agricultural products, livestock, commercial activities, paper money or precious metals such as gold and silver. Zakat literally means “to be clear, to grow, to increase”. It comes from the root letters za, kaf, ya, which have several meanings: to be pure [Al-Quran chapter 24: verse 21, chapter 23: verse 4], to pay obligatory alms [Al-Quran 2:43], to be pure and innocent [Al-Quran 19:19, 18:74], to be better in purity [Al-Quran 18:81, 19:13] and to praise oneself [Al-Quran 53:32]. It was used in the Qur`an to mean all these things. It can also be seen as a form of sadaqah (charity) given to the poor. The practice of zakat administered by the Islamic State was short-lived in Medina. During the reign of Omar bin Abdul Aziz (717-720 AD), it is reported that no one in Medina needed zakat.

After him, zakat was seen more as an individual responsibility. [69] This view has changed in the course of Islamic history.