Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. These pillars strengthen the faith and character of the individual and build up the collective commitment and contribution of those who believe. The five pillars, individually and taken together, provide the foundation for Islam to flourish as a real commitment to God that inspires believers to strive for prosperity, harmony and justice for all.The shahadah (declaration of faith) entails a commitment to God, in thought, word and deed. Salat (prayer) enables us to have a deep spiritual connection to God. In the Qur’an, prayer is mentioned together with Zakat as fundamentals of the faith in 28 verses.In law, Zakat refers to the annual obligatory duty upon Muslims to pay 2.5% of specified components of wealth, by those who have above a minimum specified level. The word Zakat originates from the verb zaka, meaning to grow, increase and purify. When used in the context of a person, zaka means to improve or to become better. Consequently, Zakat in Arabic means blessing, growth, cleanliness and betterment.
In order for Zakat to be due on money, two conditions must be met: 1 – That it reaches the Nisab (minimum threshold) 2 – That one year has passed since it reaches the Nisab. If the money is less than the Nisab, then no Zakat is due on it. If it reaches the Nisab, and one year has passed, in other words a lunar (hijri) year has passed since the time when it reached the Nisab, then Zakat becomes due at that point. The Nisab is the equivalent of 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver. The rate that must be paid for Zakat is one quarter of one tenth (2.5%).
You have to pay the Zakat of the past years according to the amounts of money that you possessed after paying off the debts of each year. Once you arecertain about the amount in any year, then you have to pay Zakat on it. If you do not know the exact amounts, then guess and pay based on that estimate. And God is the most forgiving.
Is there any Zakat on the house one lives in or on one's car ?
Giving Zakat to relatives ?
If these relatives are among those on whom you are obliged to spend, but you give them your Zakat so that you can save money, then that is not permissible. But if your wealth is not sufficient to spend on them, then there is nothing wrong with giving them some of your Zakat. Similarly, if they are in debt and you pay off their debts from your Zakat, there is nothing wrong with your doing that, because a person is not obliged to pay off his relative’s debt, so if he pays it off from his Zakat then that is fine. Even if it is your son or your father who owes a debt to someone and cannot pay it off, it is permissible for you to pay it off from your Zakat.
Can Zakat be paid before its due date ?
Zakat on money due whose payment is delayed