5 Things to Consider Before You Donate for Zakat

5 Things to Consider Before You Donate for Zakat

5 Things to Consider Before You Donate for Zakat

Zakat is an obligatory charitable payment for all adult Muslims (those who meet the requirement as dependent upon nisab and hawl) to contribute a fixed portion of their wealth – 2.5% of savings — to help the needy. Zakat purifies your wealth and body, soul, and possessions to bring you closer to Allah.

A lot of people donate to charity every year, but not everyone understands what it means to give Zakat. Sometimes, we feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of Zakat organizations asking for our donations. It is important to know that there are a few things to consider before you donate money for Zakat.

Here are 5 things to consider before you donate for Zakat.

1. Are You Eligible to Give Zakat?

To be eligible to make Zakat payments, an individual must meet all of the following conditions:

  • They must be practicing Muslims
  • They must be free
  • They must be mentally sane
  • They must have passed the age of puberty
  • They must have a positive flow of wealth (goods or cash)

To summarize, a healthy, sane, adult Muslim who is earning, can freely move, and holds a wealth value above the current nisab threshold is expected to pay Zakat annually.

2. Who is Eligible to Receive Zakat?

Zakat is a charity donation that can be given to eight categories of people as listed in the Qur’an, including:

  • Fuqara: People living in poverty and with little to no income
  • Al-Masakin: People who do not have access to basic needs and, those who are without food
  • Amil: People employed to collect and distribute Zakat funds
  • Muallaf: Newcomers to Islam
  • Riqab: Those who are enslaved or living in captivity
  • Gharmin: Who are in debt beyond their means
  • Fisabilillah: Those who fight for Allah’s cause
  • Ibnus Sabil: Those who are stranded or without resources whilst traveling

Muslims are obliged to donate a portion of their wealth to the poor and needy. Giving Zakat during Ramadan is encouraged, but giving at other times of the year is also rewarded by Allah.

3. What is the Nisab Value and How Much Zakat Should You Pay?

Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth you need to have before you must pay Zakat on it. Calculate the worth of all your assets – such as your cash and property, gold and silver.

It’s important to know that only a select few belongings are included in Zakat, such as gold and cash. While your comfortable day-to-day living, such as your car, clothing, and home doesn’t count toward this annual payment. Any additional investments — such as property or car investment — must be counted in your Zakat calculation.

4. Check the Latest Value of Your Gold and Silver

If you have gold or silver jewelry above the Nisab threshold, then Zakat must be paid on it. Gold and silver jewelry is subjected to current market prices or value.

The values used to calculate the nisab threshold are:

  • 87.48 grams (7.5 tola) of gold at the current market rate 
  • 612.36 grams (52.5 tola) of silver at the current market rate 

The wealth you possess that surpasses the nisab value must be held for a full Islamic calendar year of 354 days (Hawl) before you calculate Zakat on it.

5. Zakat Must be Given with the Intention Being to Give Zakat – Generic Donations Do Not Count

Don’t confuse Zakat with Sadaqah. When donating for the sake of Zakat, it’s important to know where your money will be going, and you must donate it with the clear intention of it being for Zakat. If you donate to charity but do not do so specifically in the name of Zakat, it will not be counted as Zakat.


Zakat brings one closer to Allah SWT. It is a beautiful way to show gratitude to Allah who has given us everything. By giving to those in need, we fulfill our religious obligations as Muslims and ensure that no one goes without food or shelter.

Zakat also brings countless blessings to the ones who pay it. Not only does it purify one’s wealth and wash away minor sins, it also opens up a world of spiritual growth and worldly blessings for the one who gives it.

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