Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a duty performed on a regular basis. Zakat is not an option it is a compulsory act for all Muslims. It is a contribution paid once a year on savings of two and a half percent. This giving is to “cleanse” your money and possessions from excessive desire for them or greed. The idea is, that by giving this money you learn not to place too much importance on material wealth (cash and possessions).
Zakat is a compulsory payment and is neither charity nor a tax. It is expected from every Muslim individual. It is paid on the net balance after a Muslim has spent on basic necessities, family expenses, due credits, donations and taxes.
Zakat provides us with the opportunity of sharing our excess wealth with those less fortunate than ourselves. In fact we and our wealth belong to Allah. He is the real owner and we are merely the trustees of His wealth. We do our duty as trustees if we pay Zakat as an obligatory part of Ibadah.
Islam is a complete code of life which includes among other things, the economic side of life. Islam has its own economic principles. Zakat is one of the basic principles of the Islamic economy, based on social welfare and fair distribution of wealth. In addition to the compulsory payment of Zakat, Muslims are encouraged in the Qur’an to make voluntary contributions to help the poor and needy, and for other social welfare purposes. This voluntary contribution is called Sadaqah (charity).Through the payment of Zakat, the rich share their wealth with the poor and thus the process of concentration of wealth is checked and fair distribution ensured.
One of the key concerns that many people have is that any Zakat given reaches the people in need, this means that there is no money kept by a charity for administration etc. Ummah Welfare Trust operate under a 100% donations policy, this means that every single penny reaches the people in need.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
‘If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.’
Donate your Zakah every Islamic year and fulfil the right of your wealth.