The literal and simple meaning of Zakat is purity. Allah (swt) states in the holy Quran:
“Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah’s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”
Zakat is a form of alms paid on one’s wealth to the poor and needy. It is paid at a rate of 2.5% on most types of wealth, provided the wealth exceeds a minimum level known as the nisabis compulsory upon every Muslim who possesses wealth that reaches the nisab (£379.66 as of March 2022).
There are numerous benefits of Zakat:
- Zakat not only purifies our wealth, but also purifies our heart from its own greed and selfishness
- Whatever material comfort we have been given is a test for us to see how we use it for the betterment of others. Paying zakat shows us that our wealth is not our own, but that others also have a right over our money – it is a blessing to be shared
- Zakat ensures that the very poorest and needy of society are protected from poverty, hunger and provided with other necessities
- Zakat benefits the giver. We should be grateful for the opportunity to pay zakat for the sake of our own selves, increasing our righteous deeds and drawing closer to Allah through this act of worship