Importance Of Zakat

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In Islamic perspective, Zakat is necessary on specific individuals upon specific wealth or holdings. This obligation is called by Qur’anic order, the Sunnah and Ijma’ or general opinion. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) considered Zakat to be among the pillars of Islamic faith. In fact it is second only to prayer. It is an obligatory for an individual of Muslim who are able to do so to ease economic hardship for other Muslims to eliminate inequality among other Muslims.
There are many virtues associated with Zakat which impact on the individual as well as society at large. Most important among such virtues is receiving God’s blessing upon giving the required amount to the needy.
The words Zakat appears a total of 32 times in Quran. Zakat and Zakat-ul-fitr
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• The herd reaches 25, he has to offer zakat one 2-year-old she-camel.
• The herd reaches 36, he has to give one 3-year-old she-camel.
b) Cattle
• No Zakat is required if the number is less than thirty cattle.
• A year old calf should be given if the herd numbers thirty heads.
c) Sheep
• One sheep is given in Zakat up to 120 sheep for each forty sheep.
• It is important to bear in mind that this requirement is valid only when the herd grazes in plentiful pastures.
d) Fruits and grains
• 1/20 of the yield is required to be given in Zakat if the land was irrigated at the expense of the owner
• 1/10 if the land was watered naturally, through rainfall.
e) Gold
• ½ Mithkal if the quantity was 20 Mithkal which is the “Nisab”
• In contemporary measure, the quantum liable to Zakat is 87, 48 grams of gold.
f) Articles of trade
• Should be calculated on the net balance of the value of the articles of trade at the end of the year.
To whom must Zakat be given?
There are 8 categories of people (asnaf) who qualify to receive zakat funds:
a) People who live in absolute poverty.
b) People who restrained because they cannot meet their basic needs
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e) “Those in bondage” - slave who received the promise of their owners that they could purchase freedom (Fir-Riqab)
f) The debtor who has a legitimate debt to pay back and who is unable to pay it (al-Gharimin)
g) The one who is willing to struggle in the way of Allah (Fi Sabilillah)
h) The wayfarer - traveler who finds himself in financial difficulties and therefore unable to return home (Ibnus-Sabil)
The effects to those who fail to offer zakat?
“And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God: announce unto them a most grievous penalty – On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs. – ‘This is the (treasure) which you buried for yourselves; taste then, the (treasure) you buried!” (S: 9 v.34-35)
When the rich fails to provide Zakat to the poor, it will result in bad social conditions which threaten the stability of society. Thus, Zakat is not really a gift from the rich to the poor, rather it is a duty.
Advantages of Zakat
• Increase in wealth.
• Obtaining Allah’s forgiveness.
• As a shield from the fires of

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