Our Mosques maintain the pillar of salat; similarly, Muslim communities across the world must represent the pillar of zakat.
Last year, we distributed zakat in eleven countries across the world and provided vital funding for nine projects. Through our appeal, we were able to provide much-needed emergency relief to over 80,000 people in need. We sent food packages, warm clothing, shelters and essential hygiene items to vulnerable people in countries such as Kenya, India, Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Palestine.
During Ramadan, we were able to supply essential food packs to more than 30,000 people. We were also able to provide Sudanese women and young people with the necessary means to start their own small businesses and begin earning a living to support themselves.
In Somalia, we have helped almost 150 families to withstand the devastating effects of drought and natural disasters. By supplying tools, livestock and seeds for crops which are able to survive in harsh weather and difficult conditions, we hope to help these people improve their quality of life and become more self-sufficient.
Your zakat carries the power to change the lives of people around the world for the better. At Al Mustafa Welfare Trust, our ultimate goal is to transform today’s zakat recipients into tomorrow’s zakat givers.
Our main aim is to guarantee that every pound of zakat paid by UK Muslims is paid accurately and appropriately. We also strive to ensure that those who are eligible to receive zakat in our own communities receive the care and support they need.
We are proud to be able to say that 100% of our zakat funds are distributed in line with Sunnah and the Holy Qur’an. In addition, our zakat policies and practices are fully authenticated and audited by the Al-Qalam Shari’ah Panel.
What is Zakat?
Zakat is a compulsory act where all Muslims owning wealth above a particular threshold (the nisab value) must donate a portion of that wealth, amounting to 2.5%, to people in need.
The nisab was outlined by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at an amount equivalent to 87.48 grams of gold and 612.36 grams of silver. This equates to approximately £2,200 and £225 respectively (March 2017).
Zakat is associated with personal growth and purification. It is the third of the five pillars of Islam; it is mentioned 28 times in the Qur’an alongside the observation of Salat, the obligatory prayer, serving to further cement its importance.
What is Zakat ul Fitr?
Zakat ul Fitr is an obligatory payment of wealth which is due on Eid ul Fitr. It is a requirement of all Muslims, regardless of age or gender, the only condition being that the individual has the means to pay it.
If required, the head of household may make the payment for the rest of the household. Please consult your local Mosque for details of the correct figure to pay per person.
Who Pays Zakat?
Individuals required to pay zakat must fall into the following categories:
• Adult (must have reached the age of puberty)
• Muslim (non-Muslims do not pay zakat)
• Have complete ownership of the nisab
Who Receives Zakat?
Eight distinct categories are outlined in the Holy Qur’an (9:60) regarding the distribution of zakat. These are as follows:
1. The Poor
2. The Needy
3. Administrators of Zakat
4. Those who have Recently Converted to Islam
5. Slaves and Captives
7. According to the Wishes of Allah (SWT)
8. Stranded Travellers
The poor and needy are defined as individuals whose assets are valued below the current nisab level.
When is Zakat Paid?
Your zakat year will start on the date when your wealth first equalled or exceeded the nisab. After this, zakat must be calculated and paid once a lunar year has passed and it will then fall every year thereafter on that date. If you are not able to remember the date when you first became the owner of the nisab, then you should estimate this date. If this is not possible, you should select a specific Islamic date to adhere to instead. It is not obligatory to pay zakat during Ramadan, but many Muslims prefer to, as giving to charity during this time guarantees greater rewards.
When Must Zakat Be Distributed?
Once it becomes due, zakat should be paid as quickly as possible. At the very latest, eligible zakat should be distributed one Islamic year after the date when it is due. Delaying payment without a valid reason is a sin.
Where Should Zakat Be Distributed?
If possible, it is better to give zakat in your local community. This is due to the instruction that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) gave to his companion, Mu’adh, who was sent to Yemen to spread the message of Islam.
“O Mu’adh! Inform them that Allah (SWT) makes zakat obligatory for them. (It is) to be taken from their rich and given to their poor.” [Bukhari]
However, we must also distribute our zakat to people who are in great need across the world. We must learn to balance the giving of our zakat between local, national and international aims, without overlooking the importance of supporting those in need here in our own communities. After all, the number of eligible zakat recipients here in the UK is increasing – these people are entitled to the support of zakat payers in their own country.
How Do I Calculate My Zakat?
You can use our handy online tool to calculate your zakat quickly and easily.
Can I Spread Payments Over the Year?
You can set up a regular monthly payment like a direct debit if you wish to pay your zakat in smaller instalments. If you choose to pay your zakat with the Al Mustafa Welfare Trust, certain campaigns and sponsorships are zakat-eligible so you can spread the rewards of your generosity throughout the year.
What Happens if I Miss a Payment?
If zakat has not been paid in previous years, an honest attempt must be made to calculate the outstanding amount of money owed. You must then ensure that this is paid as a matter of urgency.
Can I Gift Aid My Zakat Payment?
Yes! Gift Aid is a valuable tax concession which enhances the value of donations made to registered charities by 25%. All UK taxpayers can Gift Aid their payments.
Can Zakat Be Paid in Advance?
Zakat can be spread throughout the year, but the total amount must be paid by the due date.
What Wealth Does Zakat Include?
Applicable assets to include in your zakat calculation are as follows: cash, shares, pensions, gold, silver, business goods, crops and cattle. Personal items like your home, furniture, cars, food and clothing do not count towards your total, although zakat is due on any investment properties.
What are Tola, Bhori and Yori?
Tola is a unit of weight used in the Asian subcontinent which equals the weight of a silver rupee. It is also known as bhori or yori. One tola equals 11.66 grams, meaning that 87.48 grams of gold equals 7.5 tola.
What is the Nisab?
Nisab is the wealth threshold a Muslim must meet or surpass for a year before zakat is owed.