Back Home Next   



Poor's Due

Ritual of Worship (Ibadat) 1. Shahaada
2. Salat
3. Saum
4. Zakat
5. Haj

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ

وَمَا تُقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللّهِ

إِنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

Be steadfast in prayer and regular in Zakat and whatever

good you send forth for your souls

you shall find it with God: for God sees well all that you do.2: 110


Zakat is an Arabic word; it roughly means the poor due.

A Muslim who is able to give of his money and belongings every year, will give it to help the poor people and those who are in need.

  1. Zakat is not a form of tax.

  2. Zakat is not a form of charity.

Zakat is a duty on every able Muslim.  He has to give to the poor and the needy to help them.  He may give it in two ways:

  1. directly,

  2. through some kind of authority when this authority is available.


WHY GIVE?   go to top of page

      It is essential that every able Muslim give of his left over earnings every year.  Zakat is the third act of worship in Islam, it is a form of Ibadat.  We give of our money to purify our earnings.  Zakat will help the needy people, and is given in obedience to Allah's Command. When it is done by every able man, the whole community will be greatly helped.


HOW DOES IT HELP?  go to top of page

      When many able persons give of their money or produce every year, this money and goods will go to helpthe poor.  This means that the

rich and able people will have slightly less money at their disposal, but this will not hurt them.  When the money goes to the poor and those who badly need it, it will help them live better.  They will be in better shape and they will be able to eat and dress better.  They will be healthier.

      The amount of Zakat is small, and when it is given it will not hurt those who give it.  But this amount, though small it is, will help the poor a good deal, because it can buy them the food they need, the clothes they put on, and it will make it easier for them to live.



      When the poor people get the extra money, they will be better able to afford to buy what they need.  This may stop them from having to beg, or steal food or what they need.  It will make life easier for them.  To be poor is very difficult, especially if you cannot eat well.  A very hungry person who cannot buy food or clothes may be forced to steal or do something bad.

      If the poor person can have this extra money, he will complain less, and he will be better satisfied.  He and his family will be able to buy rather than steal and to sleep with a full stomach rather than an empty one.



      Zakat is our religious as well as our humane duty.  It is our moral duty too.  Zakat is not a charity.  When we give of our money, we are not doing a favor to those who receive it.  It is actually an honor to give to them, it is a way in which we purify our earnings every year.  Every able Muslim has this duty on his shoulders.  Zakat is a must, it is decreed in Islam.


DO WE HAVE TO PAY EVERY YEAR?  go to top of page

      As mentioned before, we have to give every year if we can afford it.  We pay a certain amount of money from whatever is left of our earnings at the end of that year.

      In Islam, we are encouraged to live in moderation.  This means we should not waste, and we should not live too luxuriously.  When a good Muslim lives this way, he may have some extra money on hand at the end of the year.  This left

over from his earnings should be purified from the Islamic point of view.  This purification is accomplished by giving Zakat as Islam orders it.

      Zakat purifies our wealth, it will give us a feeling of goodness inside, a feeling of doing good and being of help.  It makes us feel that all things belong to Allah, and what we have at hand by the grace of God, should be used for His sake.


HOW MUCH DO WE HAVE TO PAY?  go to top of page

      Zakat consists of only a small percentage of the left over earnings; it has to go for helping less fortunate people.  Zakat amounts to two and one‑half percent of the left over earnings, but a different percentage of produce.

      Let us give an example: If by the end of the year you have $100.00 left over, the 2.5% of this $100.00 is only a small $2.50.  You cannot say that this is too much to give.  Yet, this small amount from every good Muslim can amount to a good sum of money that will go to help the poor.

       If you are a farmer however, the percentage of the produce and the goods is different.  You don't have to give only money, you may give extra produce from the farm or other goods.


IS ZAKAT AN ACT OF WORSHIP?  go to top of page

      Zakat is an act of worship, it is the third sacred duty of Ibadat.  Zakat is an act of worship, it purifies our souls.  It will teach us the beautiful sense of giving.  It will help us learn to share our wealth with others, people who are not as fortunate as we are.

      Zakat will help us learn not to become selfish and keep all the money to ourselves.  Zakat helps us learn that money and wealth are gifts from Almighty God, and that we should share it with the needy and disadvantaged.  It is a noble thing to do.

      The poor will feel good in receiving it, especially if they know that the money is not a charity.  It is their right to receive it.  Zakat will make everyone feel good inside, and be aware that we all belong to the Islamic Ummah (Community).


IS ZAKAT GIVEN ONLY TO THE POOR?  go to top of page

      Money of the Zakat goes to many people in special unfortunate situations.  It goes to:

  1. the poor

  2. the needy

  3. the destitute

  4. those in bondage

  5. in the cause of God

  6. some other special worthy purposes.



      We give the Zakat when we become old enough to work for ourselves and are able to support ourselves.  When we work and make money, we support our family first and foremost.  If we can afford to give the Zakat after we support our family, then we ought to start doing so every year.



      Certainly we can and Islam encourages us to do so.  We can be charitable.

If we are good to our friends, then we will have done an act of charity.

If we are good to our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, then we are    doing an act of charity.

If we are kind, sweet and considerate to others, then we have done a good act of charity.

If we help the sick, the weak, the blind and the deaf, then we will be doing a good act of charity.

All these acts are acts of goodness, and Islam encourages us very much to be good, very good.


TELL ME MORE  go to top of page

      Being good in school or being a good Muslim, a gentle­man, or a lady, are also acts of charity.

      Not talking behind someone's back and not hurting others, are acts of charity.

      There are many, many more examples.

Anything for the good of the society is an act of charity.  All these acts of charity, are certainly acts of worship.

      When we do all these things, we should not brag about them.


WHY NOT BRAG ABOUT THEM?   go to top of page

      When we do acts of charity, or when we give the Zakat, it is not good to brag about it.  It may be poor taste or even bad manners.

      Neither should we ever use our Zakat to gain some favors or influence.  Zakat is to help the needy for the sake of Allah (swt) and nothing else.

      Nor should we remind others of what we do for them, so that we don't hurt their feelings.


SHALL I KEEP IT A SECRET?   go to top of page

      We are giving Zakat and doing our charity because it is a duty on our shoulders.  As Muslims, we are honored to be able to do good and to prevent evil.

      When we give Zakat we don't ask for any favors in return, nor should we expect any gains, except with the Almighty.



QUESTIONS:  go to top of page

  1. What is Zakat?

  2. Is Zakat a form of tax?

  3. Is Zakat obligatory?

  4. How does Zakat help the community?

  5. How will the poor benefit from the Zakat?

  6. Do you have to pay the Zakat every year?

  7. What does Zakat do to our wealth?

  8. How much money do we have to pay a year?

  9. Is Zakat a way of worship?

  10. Will Zakat help us learn about our wealth?

  11. Who receives the Zakat?

  12. Can you help in other ways?

  13. Why is it better not to keep talking about the Zakat?

  14. When should a person start paying Zakat?

  15. What does the Zakat teach us?

  16. Is Zakat a duty on every Muslim who is capable?

  17. Does Zakat hurt the community?

  18. How much do you think the poor will benefit from the Zakat?

  19. How will the poor use the funds from the Zakat?

  20. Is Zakat our religious duty or moral duty, or both?

  21. When you give the Zakat, is it a favor to the poor or an honor to give?

  22. Being charitable is very good.  How can you be charitable in the school?

  23. Give us some examples of charitable acts.