Frequently Asked Questions about Zakat
If the whole world paid zakat, not a soul would go hungry.
What is Zakat?
Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and also an act of worship. It means ‘purification’. By giving a small portion of one’s assets to those in vulnerable situations, a Muslim purifies one’s wealth and makes the wealth gained a pleasure to Allah.
Who pays Zakat?
All able Muslims (those who meet the requirement of zakat as dependent upon nisab and hawl—see below) are required to contribute a fixed portion of their wealth – 2.5% of savings — to help those in need.
How much is zakat?
Your Zakat is calculated based off the net assets you have at the end of a one-year period. To calculate how much Zakat you owe, you can use our calculator form.
When should I pay my zakat al-fitr?
It should be paid before the Eid al-fitr prayer or any day before Eid during Ramadan. Consult with your local sheikh or scholar if you need further information.
How does ICNA Relief USA use the Zakat that you give?
ICNA Relief USA uses your Zakat to help vulnerable communities in your locality across the United States through our 6 programs.
What is Nisab and Hawl?
Nisab is the smallest amount of wealth a Muslim must have (after calculating essential expenses) to be eligible to pay zakat. Nisab is equal to the present value of three ounces of gold. Disclaimer: this number may change daily depending on the gold exchange rate.
Hawl is the ending period for a zakat asset, which is one lunar year. This means that the wealth on which zakat ought to be paid, must have been held for at least one entire year. There are some forms of zakat that do not involve hawl, such as for harvests, when zakat should be paid at the time of the harvest. For clarity, it is suggested that you consult with your local sheikh or scholar.
How is the nisab calculated?
The nisab is determined by the current value of gold. Nisab is equal to the current value of 3 ounces of gold.
What is the difference between zakat and sadaqah?
In the language of the Holy Qur’an, zakat and sadaqah are the same. But in practice, sadaqah is the term used to indicate voluntary charitable giving while zakat is mandatory.
My wealth plunged below the nisab limit during the year. Do I still pay zakat?
Yes, but we recommend that you reach out to your local sheikh for more guidance.