Are You Ready to Pay Your Zakat?

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That blessed time of the year is just around the corner – yes, soon the Holy month of Ramadan will arrive. Expected to begin on Sunday 5th May, this is the time of the year when most of the Muslims opt to pay their Zakat which, if you are unfamiliar with the practice, is an annual payment based on your amount of expendable wealth. Muslims pay Zakat to charitable organisations that then pass that money on to those who are most in need of it. Those who are living rough, caught up in conflict and struggling to meet ends meet. This is one of the five pillars of Islam that all Muslims abide. 

How to Know if you are Eligible to Pay Zakat

Not every Muslim will pay Zakat as your eligibility is determined by as to whether your personal wealth exceeds gold and silver thresholds or Nisab. These are set at the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver – it is up to the person paying to decide on which threshold to use. Zakat is payable on the following:

Gold and silver ornaments and/or jewellery 
Cash in bank accounts and/or at home 
Pension funds 
Property owned 
Any stock and shares owned 
Money loaned out 
Business stock in trade and merchandise 
Agricultural produce 

Many charity websites offer an easy to use calculator to help Muslims work out their Zakat payment as, you can imagine, it can become difficult to work out with so many variable to take into account.


Why Muslims Pay Zakat

Muslims who qualify for Zakat make the payment as it is an obligation of the Islamic faith, but also - and more importantly – to help those most in need of help. The religion is very much centred around helping those brothers and sisters, looking out for one another and showing compassion. Many decide that Ramadan is the ideal time to make payment under the belief that, during this Holy month, the rewards are multiplied. This is especially true in the final 10 nights of Ramadan when Laylatul-Qadr falls – widely believed to be the 27th night of the Islamic month but could be on any of the odd-numbered days, and all blessings and rewards are worth that of a thousand months.

Celebrations and Festivities

The Holy month of Ramadan as known to non-Muslims is most famous for the act of fasting. During daylight hours, all Muslims that qualify will not eat or drink from dawn to dusk. However, those who are not of age and those having any medical* reasons are exempted. This is a month of peaceful reflection where Muslims consider all that they have to be thankful for and the breaking of the fast sees friends and family gather round for the evening meal, which becomes something of an event in itself. At the end of Ramadan comes Eid, which is when Muslim families come together to mark the biggest celebration of the Islamic calendar. Muslims families exchange gifts with one another, following the end of the Holy month of Ramadan.

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Please note that all Muslims following their choice of faith or sect, may have differences in the rulings with respect to Zakat & Ramadan.


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