The Meaning and Purpose of Zakat
The literal meaning of Zakat is ‘to purify’. This refers to purifying one’s wealth for the will of Allah (SWT); to acknowledge that everything we own belongs to Allah
(SWT) and to work towards providing and supporting the Muslim Ummah. Zakat is not only a means to purify one’s wealth but it is also a spiritual purification which serves as a means to draw an individual closer to the Creator, Allah SWT.
According to Islamic regulations, Zakat is 2.5% of one year’s total cumulative wealth. This amount is then distributed to the poor.
Allah has stated in the Quran, “Indeed whosoever purifies himself (tazakkaa) shall achieve success” (87:14).
Who Should Pay Zakat?
Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. As such, it is compulsory on Muslims, provided they meet certain conditions and criteria. Any Muslim who possesses the required nisaab (the minimum amount of wealth that one must have before zakat is payable) for one whole year is bound to pay Zakat on that wealth.