What is Zakat?

Zakat, or Zakah as it is spelt in some dialectics, entails donating a proportion of your wealth to those in need. It serves as a means to create awareness among Muslims of the state of the Ummah (Muslim community) and unite brothers and sisters across the world to aid those who are less fortunate.

“Take from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke Allah’s blessings upon them.” (Qur’an 9:103)

Zakat is one of the five Pillars of Islam and its literal meaning is purification. Giving Zakat implies purifying your wealth by giving a proportion of your wealth to the needy and is mentioned 32 times in the Qur’an.

It is obligatory on every mentally sane, free adult who has net yearly savings which meet or exceed the Nisaab values and can be split between different charities and eligible projects.

What is Nisaab?

  • Nisaab is the minimum amount of wealth required for a person to be obligated to pay Zakat
  • The nisaab levels for each type of wealth are listed below:
    • Money and currency is calculated according to the price of 85 grams of pure gold. Check current Gold prices.
    • The nisaab level of gold and golden currency is 20 mithqal, which is approximately 85g of pure gold.
    • For silver and silver currency the nisaab level is 200 dirhams which is approximately 595g of pure silver.

What is included when I calculate my Nisaab level?

The amount of Zakat due is 2.5% of all of your net savings.

When you calculate your Zakat you must include any of the assets below which have been held for more than a lunar year:

  • Cash in hand, bank savings, bonds and other objects of monetary value
  • Jewellery and gold values
  • Items for personal use are exempt from Zakat, such as house, cars and clothing. But, any income from property owned for rental income must be included and future mortgage payments should not be deducted from your assets.

Businesses and companies are also obligated to pay Zakat on their profits and stocks.

How should I calculate my Zakat?

Use our Zakat calculator below to ensure that you are paying the correct amount of Zakat. Each Muslim calculates their own Zakat individually according to their own assets.

+ Bank Saving (Use lowest amount held for 1 year)
+ Gold & Silver (Monetary value)
+ Money owed to you (Deposits, loans you made)
+ Resale value of shares, stocks, bonds, etc.
+ Total £
2.5% of Zakat £


When is Zakat due?

Zakat is obligatory when one lunar year has passed with all of the money and wealth in the control of its owner. This means that if your money regularly dips below the nisaab level throughout the year you will not be obligated to pay Zakat. Zakat is different to Zakatul Fitr which is a charity given to the poor at the end of Ramadan. Read out Zakatul Fitr.

Should I include my debts when I calculate Zakat?

Yes, you should include debts when calculating your Zakat. This excludes mortgages but includes any personal loans or money browed from others. Once this has been deducted you should then re-calculate your wealth to assess if you are above the nisaab level.

Who can be given Zakat?

The Qur’an clearly specifies the 8 categories of people who can receive your Zakat, including the poor, slaves, those in debt and new Muslims. This means there are a number of restrictions on the types of projects which can be given your Zakat and you should ensure that the organisation you are donating to abide by these rules. African Development Trust have worked alongside scholars to ensure that all of our Zakat eligible projects are compliant with Sharia rulings and spend your donations correctly.

What is the difference between Sadaqah and Zakat?
Sadaqah, unlike Zakat, is a voluntary charity and a person can choose to give as much or as little as they like. Also, when giving Sadaqah there are no restrictions on the types of projects and recipients like there is for Zakat.

Giving Zakat is a noble cause which has far reaching benefits for the poor and Muslim community. It creates a spiritual connection with Allah (swt) and just like Saym (fasting) and Salat (prayer) is compulsory on all able Muslims.

African Development Trust is a non-profit Muslim charity who have been delivering emergency relief and sustainable projects for the poor in Africa for the last 14 years. We pray that you have found this information beneficial and share it with your friends and family.

See our projects Donate your Zakat