Zakat FAQ's

“The best charity is that given in Ramadan”(Tirmidhi). Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and also an act of worship. The meaning of Zakat is “to purify” and so to purify wealth, all Muslims are obliged to pay a portion of their assets to help those in need.

Zakat - Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is Zakat?

Zakat is one of the important pillar among the five pillars of Islam. It is compulsory act intended by Allah to be performed by every adult Muslim. It is part of the wealth that Muslims must pay annually, to support the poor and needy.

Q2: What is the definition of Zakat?

“Transferring ownership of an amount of material wealth specified by the Lawgiver to a poor Muslim who is not Hashimi nor their client, without material benefit returning to the giver in any way, for the sake of Allah Most High.” [Tumurtashi, Tanwir al-Absar]

There are many important points understood in this definition:

1. It is a condition that there be a transferring of ownership. (Simply put: your zakat has to be given). As such, it is not valid to forgive a debt someone owes you as zakat.

2. Zakat has to be given to the poor and needy. It is not valid to give zakat for projects, mosques, and virtuous activity, unless the zakat itself will be given to the poor and needy.

3. Zakat must be given to a Muslim. Unlike charity, it is not valid to give zakat to a non-Muslim.

4. Zakat cannot normally be given to Hashimis (those from the family of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)).

5. The giver cannot materially benefit from giving their zakat. As such, one cannot give zakat to one’s parents, children, or spouse, because benefits between these people are shared.

Q3:How much is Zakat?

Zakat is 2.5% of your total wealth. If you have £1,000 of wealth you are then liable to pay Zakat of £25.

Q4:Who is Zakat obligatory upon?

Zakat is obligatory on a person who fulfils the following conditions:

1. One must be a Muslim. The reason Islam is conditional is because Zakat is an act of worship and such worship cannot be brought about by an unbeliever.

2. The person must be free, not a slave. The reason freedom is stipulated is because perfect ownership can only arise through the absence of slavery.

3. Maturity is conditional for the reason that it is not obligatory upon a child.

4. Sanity is conditional for the reason that zakat is not necessary on the wealth possessed by children who have not yet gained intellect.

5. The person must be free, not a slave. The reason freedom is stipulated is because perfect ownership can only arise through the absence of slavery.

6. One must be in possession of a Nisab minimum amount (will be discussed further) from things of a productive nature of which a profit is derived, such as grazing cattle, crops, gold, silver or merchandise for business. The Nisab is a sum of wealth large enough to require the owner to pay zakat on it. In addition, there is no Zakat on effects that are not of a productive nature, even if these things are in excess of one's needs, such as cars, utensils, food, clothing, shelter, or furniture etc., if such items are not for trade.

7. One must have complete ownership of the minimum Nisab value for a full lunar year (12 month cycle)

Q5:What kind of assets requires paying zakat on them?

Zakat is due on a yearly basis when a morally-responsible Muslim possesses the minimal zakatable-amount (nisab) above and beyond his debts and immediate expenses, and a complete lunar year passes over it. In calculating one’s Zakat one calculates all his zakatable assets together.In calculating one’s Zakat one calculates all his zakatable assets together. “Zakatable assets” include:

(a) Cash – whether in currency form or in the bank,

(b) Gold and Silver,

(c) Money lent out,

(d) Trade goods,

(e) Stocks, and

(f) Agricultural produce.

After one calculates the above, one deducts:

(a) Debts, and

(b) Immediate expenses.

Q6:How do you calculate zakat if you receive wealth continuously through the year?

According to the Hanafi school, one adds the wealth gained during the year to the wealth which is already in one’s possession. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; ShaykhZada, Majma` al-Anhur] What counts is what is in one’s possession at the end of the lunar year (hawl). Practically, even if one was gifted gold/silver, money or the like, the day before zakat was due, one would be obligated to include it within one’s zakat calculations (i.e. the next day).

Q7: What are non-zakatable assets?

These can be classified as non-datable assets. Articles of personal use such as clothing, food, house one lives in, cars, money that does not reach the amount of nisab and any property that is not used for business. Mortgages; A long-term mortgage is to be deducted when making the Zakat calculation, for instance, if one is paying £900 on a monthly basis thus when zakat becomes obligatory, he should subtract that month’s payment out of the savings and then pay 2.5% of the total amount..

Q8: What is the amount of wealth/assets where zakat becomes liable?

Zakat is not due on gold until the owner possesses twenty Mithqāl which is approximately 93 grams. 1 gram of gold is approximately £26 thus the Nisab equates to £2422.For the latest nisaab value please use our zakat calculator With respect to silver, there is no Zakat due on it until the owner possesses 200 dirhams of silver which is equivalent to approximate weight being 630 grams. 1 gram of silver is approximately worth 42 pence thus the Nisab equates to £264.60.For the latest nisaab value please use our zakat calculator The Nisab of your monies is calculated utilising the Nisab of silver thus if you have approximately £264 of cash for a whole year, then zakat will be fardh upon you.

Q9:Who should be the beneficiaries of Zakat?

Zakat can be given to any legally poor or needy Muslim individual. A “legally poor” Muslim is defined as anyone who does not possess the zakatable-minimum himself.

An “individual” refers to an actual person who is given ownership of the wealth being given in Zakat, as opposed to an institute. This can be anyone except one’s wife, parents, and children..

One can give it to an institute if one is sure that they will disseminate the amount one is paying in Zakat to a poor or needy Muslim individual. The Qur’an (Chapter 9, verse 60) specifies eight categories for the distribution of


  • The poor
  • Those in debt
  • The needy
  • Those employed to administer Zakat
  • Those whose hearts are to be reconciled
  • Those in slavery
  • In the way of Allah
  • The destitute traveller

Please note that long term mortgage taken on home is not counted as a liability in Zakat Calculation.

Q10: How long I have to have nisab where zakat becomes liable?

A person has to have nisab for at least one lunar year after which zakat becomes compulsory to pay.

Q11: Can Zakat be paid in instalments or in advance?

It is also allowed to pay the Zakat in instalments, although it is recommended to have it paid in one single transaction. You can pay your Zakat in advance or on the due date, as long as you are sure that your wealth will remain same.

Q12: What is Nisab of Zakat?

To be eligible for Zakat a Muslim must posses minimum amount of wealth. Two values are used to calculate threshold of Nisab- Gold and Sliver.

The Nisab is the value of 87.48 grams of Gold or 612.36 grams of Silver.

The word nisab means the minimum amount of property or wealth / assets that must be owned by a Muslim before s/he is obliged to start paying Zakat. This minimum amount is called the nisab threshold.

Q13:How much is Zakat?

Zakat is 2.5% of your total wealth. If you have £1,000 of wealth you are then liable to pay Zakat of £25.

Q14: I gave a lot of money to charity over the year, doesn’t that count as Zakat?

For a donation to qualify as Zakat, there must be a clear intention present, either when you separate the Zakat money from the rest of your wealth, or when you make the Zakat payment.

Q15: Is zakat due on the same wealth each year?

The yearly repeatability of the zakat of the same wealth is explicitly mentioned in the hadith of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace): “La zakata fi maalin hatta yahula `alayhi al-hawl.” “There is no zakat due on property/wealth until the year passes while it is being owned” Narrated in Abu Dawud and elsewhere with a fair chain.
The meaning of the above wording is “whenever the year passes over any property, year after year.” If the hadith meant to say that only one year is counted and then no more zakat is due over the same wealth, the wording would have stated “hatta yahula `alayhi hawl” in the indefinite, to mean “after one year passes (and no more after that)”; but he said al-hawl “the year” with the definite article of `ahd (previous knowledge) to indicate regularity and repetition in time, because it is time or more precisely the lunar year that actually makes wealth subject to zakat rather than a property of wealth itself; and the year is circular, not linear.

Hence if a person withheld the obligatory zakat on his wealth for 5 years, he would have to pay the zakat due on the accumulated wealth of five years, not just the zakat that would have been due at the end of the first year.

Furthermore, there is ijma` (consensus) that zakat is every year even on the same wealth including gold.

Q16: Can I pay Zakat in advance?

Yes, Zakat can be paid in advance before the year has ended, but you should make sure you have wealth equal to or above the nisab

According to the Hanafi madhab, Zakat has to be paid by Muslim adults who are mentally sane and in possession of an amount of wealth [net assets] above the Nisab.

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