Frequently Asked Questions
What is Zakat?
Zakat (obligatory charity) is one of the Pillars of Islam and is an obligation of every adult Muslim if they meet the necessary criteria of wealth. Zakat purifies one's wealth from selfishness and develops sympathy for the less fortunate.
What is Zakat used for?
Zakat is used to alleviate the suffering of millions of people around the world- the poor, the needy and vulnerable. Zakat is their right. We should not think that our Zakat is merely a favour for the needy, rather the needy are granting wealthier Muslims the ability to fulfill their Islamic obligation of Zakat.
How is Zakat calculated?
Zakat is 2.5% of the wealth that exceeds a person’s needs.
How do I know I am liable to give Zakat?
If your wealth exceeds a threshold figure (nisab) for a lunar year, then you are liable to pay Zakat. Nisab threshold is measured using either 87.48g of Gold or 612.36g of Silver.
Which nisab should I use- Gold or Silver?
Many scholars say that using the Silver nisab is better, as it increases the amount of Zakat disbursed to help poor, needy and vulnerable communities. This is due to the value of Silver being much lower in modern times. But if one's assets comprise of only Gold, then they should only use the Gold nisab, and if their assets comprise of only silver, they should only use the silver nisab.
When do you pay Zakat?
Zakat is paid yearly, after every lunar year, from the day your wealth exceeds the nisab. Every year on that lunar date, you must re-calculate your Zakat. If you are uncertain when your wealth exceeded the nisab, then use an approximate date.
Am I still liable to pay Zakat if my wealth went below the nisab in between the lunar year?
If your wealth exceeds the nisab at the start and end of the lunar year, then you must pay Zakat, even if your wealth went below the nisab in between.