Zakat an important pillar of Islam
Zakat, an important pillar of Islam, is a means of purifying wealth in order to ensure that the needs of the poor are taken care of. Who deserves your zakat? Zakat can be paid to the following ones who fall into one or more of the eight divisions ordained by God in the Quran (9:60).
Zakat collectors (e.g. Give Light Foundation)
Those with reconciled hearts
Those enslaved (e.g. slaves and captives)
Full of debt
In the work of God
Road master, meaning those who are left homeless or traveling with few resources.
Of the eight listed above, orphans fall into the first and second stages.
IMPORTANCE OF ZAKAT
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. It is an Arabic word, and it translates as purification or growth. It is usually thought of as a tax, as a donor has to pay 2.5% of their income to a charitable organization. However, Zakat is not valued not for the money given, but for its motive. The intentions of giving Zakat should be pure, and simply pleasing Allah, and leading good deeds.
The reasons why we are obligated to pay it is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is simply lent to us by Allah, and that we should take care of it and use it wisely. Our property is cleaned up by setting aside a portion for those in need. Moreover, paying Zakat raises our self-confidence as we know we have done an act of humility. The reference from the Quran is:
“You will not be honored until you give what you want.”
BENEFITS OF GIVING ZAKAT
“It saves a person from sin and saves the donor from moral sickness caused by love and greed.”
ZAKAT IS A RIGHT TO THE POOR
Zakat is not considered a favor given to the poor by the rich. It is the right of the poor with the wealth of the rich. Allah says:
Zakat, therefore, is not the same as the heartfelt compassion given to the needy. Withholding Zakat is seen as depriving the poor of their fair share. So a person who pays Zakat actually “purifies” his wealth by allocating to it the portion belonging to the poor.
Zakat is obligatory on a wealthy person who reaches or exceeds a certain level called Nisab. Unlike taxes, however, Zakat is an act of worship in which one receives a reward from Allah. Ignoring paying Zakat, on the other hand, is a serious sin. According to experts, anyone who does not pay Zakat by denying its obligation is considered an unbeliever.
WHAT SHOULD I GIVE?
If you have cash, gold, silver, stocks or shares that amount to more than 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver called nisab (current market levels) then you are obliged to pay Zakat.
If you own this amount for a full month of the month it means that your Zakat is valid on the last day of the 12 months.
The Zakat rate is 2.5%, e.g. 2.5 cents per dollar.