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Understanding Zakat: A Guide to the Third Pillar of Islam

If you’re trying to learn more about Zakat – the noble practice of Islamic charity – then you’re in the right place. Zakat is more than just a financial obligation; it is a means of purifying the soul and creating a just and caring society as a whole.

What is Zakat?

Zakat, derived from the Arabic word “Zakaah,” means purification and growth. In Islam, Zakat is one of the Five Pillars, a mandatory act of worship and charity. It is the act of giving a portion of one’s wealth to those in need, reminding us of the temporary nature of material possessions and the importance of compassion.

The Purpose of Zakat

Beyond its financial aspect, Zakat serves essential purposes in Islam. It cultivates empathy and solidarity, fostering a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. Through Zakat, we strive to achieve social equity and uplift those who face financial hardships, enhancing the fabric of our communities. This timeless act of giving goes beyond addressing immediate material needs; it


  • strengthens the bond of community, 
  • creates a sense of shared responsibility, and 
  • instills empathy towards those facing hardships.

Who is eligible to receive Zakat?

The impact of Zakat is far-reaching, reaching those who are most vulnerable. It is channeled to help the poor, the needy, debtors burdened by loans, and more. In the Holy Qur’an, those eligible to receive Zakat have been divided into eight categories:

“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Surah At Taubah (9:60)]

Essentially, the 8 categories consist of


  1. Al-Fuqarâ’: individuals with low income or those experiencing poverty.
  2. Al-Masâkîn: those facing financial difficulties and in need of assistance.
  3. Al-Amilin: Designates individuals entrusted with the responsibility of collecting and disbursing Zakat.
  4. Al-Muallaf: Signifies friends of the Islamic community and/or newly converted Muslims.
  5. Ar-Riqab: Encompasses individuals held involuntarily in captivity or slavery.
  6. Al-Gharmin: Represents those grappling with overwhelming debts and financial burdens.
  7. Fisabillillah: “In Allah’s cause”, includes those who actively strive for the cause of Allah (SWT).
  8. Ibnus Sabil: Refers to travelers, or wayfarers, facing adversity or being stranded.

We collaborate with reputable organizations and charities to ensure Zakat reaches those who need it most.

Paying Zakat

The obligation of paying Zakat, as mentioned in the holy Qur’an, does not apply to every Muslim. To be eligible for Zakat payment, certain conditions must be met. The obligation of paying Zakat, as mentioned in the holy Qur’an, does not apply to every Muslim. To be eligible for Zakat payment, certain conditions must be met. Zakat is binding on:


  • Muslim adults (who have reached the age of puberty)
  • Those sane of mind
  • Those in complete ownership of the Nisab


Fulfilling your Zakat obligation is made accessible through various means. Local Zakat centers, online payment platforms, and donations to credible organizations allow you to contribute conveniently. Be part of this noble journey and experience the joy of making a difference.

Understanding the Nisab

The Nisab is important in Zakat calculations as it helps determine who is eligible to pay Zakat and ensures that the obligation is fulfilled responsibly and in line with Islamic teachings.


The Nisab is the minimum threshold of wealth or assets that a Muslim must possess for Zakat to become obligatory on them. It serves as a benchmark to determine whether an individual has accumulated enough wealth to fulfill their Zakat obligation.


  • Pay your Zakat when your wealth has surpassed the Nisab threshold for a full Islamic year since the first time it exceeded the threshold. 
  • Calculate the amount owed on the day of payment, based on your current wealth standing. 
  • Regardless of how much your wealth exceeded the Nisab threshold during the year, it is your present wealth that determines your Zakat obligation.

Zakat Calculator

Use our Zakat calculator to determine your contribution accurately.

The Zakat amount you owe is determined based on the following calculations:


  • For personal wealth and annual savings, Zakat is 2.5% of the total amount.
  • If you are a farmer who funded the irrigation of crops, Zakat is 5% of your assets.
  • For farmers whose crops have been irrigated by rain, Zakat is 10% of their assets.
  • Zakat on valuables and resources present on the property, such as gold, silver, and oil, is 20% of their total value.

What to Include and Exclude from Your Calculations


Assets eligible for Zakat include:


  1. Cash holdings at home, in banks, or in savings accounts.
  2. Savings designated for specific occasions like Hajj, property deposit, or weddings.
  3. The value of gold and silver in possession.
  4. Stocks and shares owned.
  5. Rental income from owned properties (e.g., second homes).
  6. The value of debts owed that are expected to be returned (e.g., loans to friends or relatives).



  1. Payments due in the month of Zakat payment.
  2. Money owed, such as mortgage/rent payments, credit card debts, and personal loans.
  3. Non-monetary items like household appliances and clothing.
  4. Business expenditures, including bills, salaries, rents, and rates.
  5. Business loans and overdrafts.

Rewards and Blessings

Beyond the tangible benefits of Zakat, there are profound spiritual rewards. The Quran and Hadith emphasize the blessings and merits of giving charity, elevating the status of the giver, and instilling a sense of contentment and gratitude. 


  • Spiritual Purification: Purifies the soul and strengthens faith.
  • Social Solidarity: Fosters community bonds and empathy.
  • Alleviates Poverty: Effectively addresses economic disparities.
  • Empowers the Needy: Enables self-sufficiency.
  • Social Cohesion: Strengthens bonds within the Muslim community.
  • Barakah (Blessings): Brings prosperity and protection.
  • Forgiveness of Sins: Seeks forgiveness and spiritual growth.
  • Protection: Safeguards wealth from misfortunes.
  • Reward in the Hereafter: Earns blessings and Allah’s pleasure.
  • Building a Just Society: Promotes social justice and fairness.


Zakat is a transformative act of kindness that has the power to uplift lives and communities. Embrace the essence of Zakat and be a source of hope and compassion for those in need. 


Take action today and entrust your Zakat with HADI Relief, ensuring it reaches those who truly need it. Witness the profound impact of your Zakat as it transforms the lives of deserving recipients. Together, let’s sow the seeds of positive change and create a world of caring and generosity.

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