Zakat Al-Mal, also known as Zakah, is one of the Islam pillars that deals with matters finance. This spiritual practice entails setting aside 2.5% of a person’s savings and property gathered over one year; also known as Nisaab. The nisaab however should get to a minimum threshold before the Zakat giving to the poor is given. This noble practice is largely adhered to in Muslim countries. For instance, in Pakistan, Zakat Al-Mal is deducted by law, from one’s saved up money / property and it is mandatory. Unless the individual can present a certificate of exception, then the deduction is not made.
Muslims believe that through giving Zakat Al-Mal, one purifies his wealth from the evil that may devour it. It is also a noble act that gains them and the receiver certain benefits and discussed below. The Zakat Al-Mal contribution is a set obligation and the funds collected are used as alms (money and food given to the poor). Through this exercise, the Muslim aim to eradicate poverty and ensure an equal distribution of wealth among communities.
Zakat Al-Mal, should however not be confused with tax. These are two different things and Zakat is much lower than tax deductions across many parts in the world. Zakat should not be used to set up mosques or to pay off the deceased debts or even bury them. It should not be given to your own immediate family, it should reach out to the needy.
Indeed, certain key benefits are acquired by both the giver and receiver through the Zakat Al-Mal practice. These include the following; discouraging begging and countering destitute living among Muslims, also the giver cleanses his wealth and gains blessings from Allah. The giving teaches self-discipline and serves to free oneself from the love of worldly possessions and fighting greed. Zakat Al-Mal helps to aid people who are in debt and cannot pay back start on a clean slate. Families living in destitute standards are fed, clothed and sheltered (offered basic needs) through Zakat.
Through giving, one draws to Allah and a mutual connection is forged between the giver and the receiver.
ZAKAT AL-MAL GIVERS
Since this is a mandatory obligation for all Muslim men and women to give, there is however a caveat. If one does not have Nisaab that accumulates to a certain amount over a period of one year, he or she cannot give.
Other individuals who cannot give but are recipients of Zakat Al-Mal include the following;
– The poor and the very needy.- Muslim converts who are struggling to find their footing.- Travelers stranded in the course of their journey.- The destitute with barely means to fend for their basic needs.- People in debts they are unable to pay back.- Zakat collectors who not only collect but also distribute the collections and- Zakat is also given to relief offering organizations who cater for the poor in the community.
Most Muslims choose to give Zakat Al-Mal during the season of Ramadhan as this marks the apt time for sharing through giving and a season of blessings. Learn more about Qurban today.