What is Zakat
Zakat, the giving of alms to the poor and needy, is one of the five pillars of Islam (the others are the declaration of faith, prayer, fasting in Ramadan and Hajj). It is obligatory upon every adult Muslim of sound mind and means.
The individual must own a specific amount of wealth or savings (after living costs, expenses etc). This is referred to as Nisaab and is the threshold at which Zakat becomes payable. The amount of Zakat to be paid is 2.5% of Nisaab.
Why do we give Zakat?
Zakat is not charity, It is not voluntary charity, not a tax but an obligation. By giving Zakat, a Muslim is acknowledging that everything we have is Allah’s and we do not really own it, and we should use it to remember Allah and help those who are in need. It is also an act to help free us from excessive desire and greed, learn self-discipline and honesty
When should we give Zakat?
You should record the Islamic date on which you first became the owner of Nisaab – if on the same date the following lunar year, you are still the owner of Nisaab, you will be obliged to pay Zakat. Many Muslims choose to give it during Ramadan as the rewards for good deeds performed in Ramadan are greater than in any other month.
Who can receive Zakat?
The Qur’an mentions eight groups of people on who Zakat should be spent:
- The Fuqara’ (the poor)
- Al-Maskin (the needy)
- Aamileen (Zakat collector)
- Muallafatul Quloob (poor and needy who recently converted to Islam)
- Ar-Riqaab (slaves; Zakat can be used to purchase their freedom)
- Ibnus-Sabeel: A stranded traveller in need of financial assistance.
- Al Ghaarimeen: A debtor
- Fi Sabeelillah: Those who are away from home in the path of Allah
How to Calculate Zakat
Visit the link and calculate zakat online http://www.islamicity.org/zakat-calculator/
or by clicking the link you can download zakat calculator excel sheet. Insert the data to excel sheet and calculate your zakat amount.