What is Zakat?

According to Al-Shawkani:

“Linguistically, Zakat means growth; one says Zaka az-Zar meaning the plant grew up. It can also mean ‘purification.’ In Shari’ah, it implies both meanings. The first meaning is construed as to cause growth in wealth, or as to cause more reward or as to pertain to increasing wealth, such as is the case in commerce and agriculture. This first meaning is supported by the Tradition. ‘No wealth decreases because of Sadaqat (Zakat);’ owing to the fact that its reward is multiple. There is also the Tradition: ‘God increases the reward of Sadaqat.’ The second meaning is construed to imply that Zakat purifies the human soul from the vice of avarice as well as sins.”

For the production to grow without check in an economy, the funds must circulate. In the modern economy hoarding of funds is a prime reason for the slow downs in the economy as people save more and spend less, resulting in businesses losing sales and having to layoff employees (those employees then can’t spend as much once laid off, resulting in further slow downs in the economy).

Zakat ensures that wealth is distributed and circulated in the system, resulting in an ever-growing economy.

We will further discuss the various functions of Zakat in the economy as well as the role it plays in shaping consumer behaviour in later posts.

Source: Abu Saud, Mahmud. “Money, Interest and Qirad.” Studies in Islamic Economics. Ed. Khurshid Ahmad. Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1980. 79.

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10 Comments

Filed under Zakaat

10 responses to “What is Zakat?

  1. karim ghuly

    i ve got too enough material from this web , but still i m unable to get the point, the point is bank deduct the zakat per annumly,, but why the govt deduct zakat from income, as a individual paid the taxs also it is also an income of govt???

  2. Dear Brothers,

    Zakat that we know for years which is taken once in a year is not the real practices of the true zakat. This annual zakat only for zakat fitri and unproductable wealth which need a year to wait. In the true zakat practices Muslim need to pay zakat/shadaqah any time they get income such salary, bonus, etc. We have to be serious about zakat such as the practices of the caliphate of Umar bin Khattab and Umar bin Abdul Aziz as the standard. Umar bin Abdul Aziz ijtihad (opinion) could be used as standard for zakat ijtihad. Anytime Muslim get earning should pay zakat. That is the right way, because the poor can not wait until a year. They need to eat everyday. Postponing zakat until a year or pay zakat once a year is another type of faslifying the religion. However the wrong opinion about zakat has been continuously happened during 1300 tahun after Caliphate Umar bin Abdul Aziz. Why the mazhab ulema then forgotten the right practices of Umar bin Abdul Aziz , who has proven the right Hadits of the prophet who said that there will be no one receice zakat if Muslim pay zakat in right way. They are living tens of years after the caliphate but did not make the model of zakat practices by Umar bin Abdul Aziz as standard.????
    It is about politics or what????

  3. AHMED BILAL GHAURI

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

  4. We have to go back to the early period of Islam especially used the rightously caliphate practices in practising zakat. We have to use the model that has been empirically proofed by them. All ulema and mazhab should refer to the previous practices zakat. Otherwise there is no standard in practising zakat, since all mazhab followers has different views and opinion. For the unity of Islam we have to be in one voice to practice zakat. Paying zakat once a year is another justification for those who originally postpoing the rights of the poor. I don’t agree with the opinion that zakat can be paid once a year for the whole sources of wealth. But I agree if the zakat is paid when the nsihab are reached. And zakat for agriculture zan be used as nishab and the qiyas. For those who use once a year payment of zakat, I just ask what is the relevance to the verse 9-11 of Surah Al Munafiqun??. Can they assure about their age?? Be careful brother and sister., You must pay zakat whenever you receive it right away! If you receive the nishab once a day you must pay it once a day. Since you must remember what the Verse 19 Surah Ad Zariyat and Al Maarij 24-25 mentioned. So zakat must be paid when nishab is reached not to consider once a year. Otherwise, will you be responsible for the poverty of Muslim in many part of the world?? How can you answer question, in the hereafter why many Muslim become so greedy with the wealth, while they don’t buy the fresh air and water they receive from Allah??

  5. Sanaullah

    It is not government responsibility to deduct zakaat it is our responsibility to give zakaat and dont allow banks to deduct Your zakaats we must personally find people in our surroundings whom zakaat can be given but in real wealth (gold,silver,wheat,rice etc) but not in paper currency because paper currency causes inflation but real wealth has 0% inflation

  6. Riyaz

    Instead of having dependency on government for uplifting poor condition of Muslim Minorities one should beleave in Zakaat and for Strengthening our roots education is important so,could’t we do Zakaat for the education of poor muslim….

  7. mohd abdul quddoos

    i am bacholer my parents and me having lot of credit,we have our own house in that we stay.is it faraz on us or how much compulsary on us to give zakath.

    Thanking,
    mohd abdul quddoos

  8. One of the five pillars of Islam, this is an assessment of 2.5% (usually) of a person’s wealth, to be used to support the poor, aged, and debtors in the ummah. In some cases, this assessment may be increased, depending on the wealth of the person, and the means by which they acquire their wealth

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