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Paying Zakat - Is it obligatory?

Conditions that make Zakat obligatory

Zakat is obligatory if an individual possesses wealth to the value of the Nisab (minimum threshold). According to the Sharia, such a person is deemed to be rich. Zakat is imposed by both the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself listed Zakatable items and monetary rates to be charged on each of them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also gave us exemptions and a regimented criteria of Zakat, Zakatable items and general Zakatability. Everything has been written for and given to us, Subhanallah! – and it is our role as pious Muslims to adhere to what we have been told to do.

Conditions for Zakat to be obligatory on wealth:

  • Complete ownership
  • The wealth has the ability to grow and increase
  • The wealth has reached the Nisab
  • A whole lunar year passes after possessing the Nisab

Zakat is meant to help relieve the poor without impoverishing the rich; once you have reached the Nisab threshold you are only required to give 2.5% of your Zakatable assets. In essence, we are required to give a little from a lot – and in doing so, not do ourselves any financial damage whilst providing security for those in need.

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