EAP Zakat Fund To Ease The Suffering Of The Palestinians
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. It is therefore one of the foundations for living a prosperous and meaningful life. The beloved Messenger of Allah (saw) affirmed the importance of Zakat in the famous hadith, when questioned by Jibril about Islam, He (saw) responded “Islam is to testify that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to pay Zakat , to fast in Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to Makkah if you are able to do so.” Sahih Hadith.
Zakat is first and foremost a compulsory act of worship and not simply a voluntary act of charity. This important distinction is critical in understanding that Zakat doesn’t just change the life of the receiver of the Zakat or society in general but also has a significant impact on the life of the giver. Therefore, one should always remember that the paying of Zakat is primarily for one’s own self.
The word zakat literally means ‘that which purifies’. It comes from the root letters Za, Kay and Ya which have been used in the Quran numerous times with several related meanings: to be clean (24:21 and 23:4), to pay the obligatory charity (2:43), to be pure, innocent (19:19, 18:74), to increase in purity (18:81 and 19:13), and to claim purity (53:32).
Zakat is thus considered the way to purify one’s income and wealth from any impurities in its acquisition. It further purifies the soul from miserliness and it also reminds Muslims that their wealth is from Allah and therefore they have been obligated to spending in the way of Allah. In doing so, it cures from the illness of the love of worldly possessions.
Zakat is payable by any Muslim if their annual wealth exceeds a certain amount. This threshold is known as the Nisab and is equal to 87.48g of Gold or 612.36g of Silver. One can quickly check the value of Gold and Silver online but at the time of writing, the Nisab value on Gold is £2800 and on Silver is £240. Scholars differ on which Nisab to use but the majority agreement is that it is better to use that which maximises the Zakat. Therefore, if your wealth exceeds the Nisab and you have held that amount for 12 whole months, then Zakat becomes due.
A Zakat year starts on the day your wealth exceeded the Nisab and therefore is due on the anniversary of that date every year However many scholars have allowed that you choose a fixed date on which you will pay Zakat and whatever you hold on that date, you should pay the required 1/40 or 2.5%. Most Muslims pick a date in Ramadan to maximise the rewards and blessings. It is also perfectly acceptable to calculate your expected Zakat in advance and pay in regular monthly instalments with a final payment to ensure that the annual Zakat due has been paid before the Zakat anniversary date.
When calculating Zakat it is important to understand that Zakat is payable on all types of wealth or asset provided that its ownership is absolute and undivided. Assets to include are:
- Gold and silver (ornaments or jewellery)
- Cash held at home or in bank accounts
- Cash lent to others
- Property owned for investment purposes
- Stocks and shares owned directly or through investment funds
- Business stock in trade and merchandise
- Agricultural produce
You can calculate your Zakat here
Zakat should be paid over as soon as possible and not delayed unnecessarily and whilst it was normally collected by the state, in the absence of this it is acceptable to pay the Zakat directly to an eligible individual or to a charity. Education Aid for Palestine takes the importance of Zakat as an act of worship extremely seriously and has extensive processes in place to ensure that it is only ever used for valid Zakat eligible programmes which meet the criteria of one of the eight categories outlined in the Shariah. Donate your Zakat now.
The eight categories for which Zakat can be paid are:
- The poor – This is someone whose wealth and income falls short of satisfying his or her essential needs.
- The destitute – This is someone whose wealth or income is far from satisfying his or her needs so in an extremely dire state.
- Workers in Zakat administration or collection.
- Those whose hearts are being reconciled. This is new Muslims who have recently accepted Islam and don’t yet have the social support structure around them or those who are close to accepting Islam.
- Emancipation of slaves. It is generally agreed that this category no longer exists.
- People burdened by debt. There are complex rules around this, but it is generally agreed that it only covers debt which has originated from Islamically lawful activity.
- In the cause of Allah. This is a category which is expressed in the Quran as Fee Sabil’Illah. This category generally covers every action intended solely to serve the cause of Allah. Many scholars agree this includes those seeking in education.
- Travellers who don’t have the means to return home.
Zakat distribution is a responsibility which must be taken very seriously, and the administrators need to be vigilant that they are ensuring that all Zakat paid is spent appropriately and is fully accountable at all time. This includes maintaining an element of independence and transparency.
This is to ensure that individuals who are not eligible are not paid Zakat such as the wealthy or those capable of working in an area where there are ample jobs. Another important category where Zakat cannot be paid is construction projects for buildings such as hospitals, mosques or school and infrastructure such as roads and canals.
Zakat Ul Fitr
Zakat ul Fitr also known as Sadaqat ul Fitr or Fitrana is an obligatory payment made at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It must be paid before the Eid prayer and is to be paid in the form of what is considered as staple foods of the community. The amount to be paid is described by the Messenger of Allah (saw) as one saa’ of food which is equivalent to four madd. A madd is the amount that can be scooped up when one puts their hands together. The monetary equivalent has been rounded to £5 per person.
This Ramadan, when you give your Zakat through EAP, you can be sure that your money will be used entirely in accordance with Shari’ah guidance on the most needy of causes Insha’Allah. You can learn more about our work this Ramadan by clicking here
Please ensure that you inform us that the donation is for Zakat when making payment so that we can ensure it is spent appropriately.