What is Zakat Al Mal?
Many Muslims are unfamiliar with the term “Zakat al Mal”. So, what is Zakat al-Mal? Zakat al-Mal or commonly referred to as Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. Every year, Muslims have to give money to charity as part of this pillar. It’s a certain amount of money that’s given to people in need.
When we eat an apple we consume the whole thing except the seed which is only 2 percent of it. After that, the seed is used to produce more fruits for you. Zakat fulfills the same function as the seed. Allah has blessed you with money, and you are free to enjoy it in a halal manner. In exchange, you merely have to give Allah 2.5 percent of it. As a result, Allah has vowed to reward you abundantly. On the contrary, if you become too greedy and eat the seeds of the Apple, it can be fatal for your life. Likewise, if you don’t pay your Zakat, it’ll be fatal for both your life and the afterlife.
In this blog, we will talk in-depth about what zakat al-mal is and what it means in Islam.
The Concept of Zakat al-Mal in Islam
Zakat al-mal commonly referred to as “zakat on wealth” or “alms-giving,” is a required act of worship in Islam that entails giving away a portion of one’s income to benefit those who are less fortunate. Zakat al-mal is calculated as 2.5% of an individual’s wealth. The Quran makes numerous references to the idea of zakat. In surah: 7:156 the last part states:
“......will show mercy to those who abstain from evil, pay Zakat and have faith in Our signs.”
Zakat was encouraged way before Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). In surah: 19:31 Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) mentioned zakat along with prayer:
“And has blessed me wherever I might be and has enjoined upon me Prayer and Zakah (purifying alms) as long as I live;”
The purpose of Zakat al-mal is to purify the wealth of the believers and to provide for the needs of the poor and needy in society. By giving it, Muslims demonstrate their gratitude for the blessings they have received and show compassion towards those in need. Zakat al-mal plays an important role in promoting social welfare and economic justice in Islamic societies, and it serves as a means of redistributing wealth and ensuring the well-being of the less fortunate members of the community.
The Eligibility of Zakat al-Mal
Zakat al-Mal is an obligatory charitable payment demanded of Muslims who meet specific criteria. The following are the conditions for Zakat al-Mal:
Wealth ownership: A person must own wealth that reaches or surpasses the nisab criterion.
Eligible wealth: Only particular types of wealth, including cash, gold, silver, stocks, and company assets, are eligible for Zakat al-Mal.
One lunar year ownership: The wealth must be in the person’s possession for at least one lunar year (Islamic calendar) before the Zakat al-Mal is due.
Excess wealth: After eliminating any debts or liabilities, the wealth must exceed the nisab level.
Intention: The individual must intend to donate Zakat al-Mal.
It should be noted that Zakat al-Mal is not necessary for those who do not meet these requirements. Regardless of their financial condition, Muslims are expected to contribute to voluntary charity, known as Sadaqah.
Zakat al Mal Nisab
Zakat al-mal nisab is the bare minimum of wealth that a person must possess before Zakat al-Mal becomes required. The nisab is determined by the current market price of silver or gold. The Hanafi school of Islamic law says that the nisab is worth 612.36 grams of silver, while the other schools say that it is worth 87.48 grams of gold.
This means that if a Muslim’s wealth is at or above the nisab threshold, they must pay 2.5% of their total wealth as Zakat. But they don’t have to pay Zakat if their wealth is less than the nisab. The goal of nisab and Zakat is to help people who are in need and to promote social and economic justice in the Muslim community.
Recipients of Zakat al-Mal
Zakal al Mal rules also include who can receive the zakat. The recipients of Zakat al-Mal are defined by the Quran and Hadith. In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 177, it is mentioned:
“…..true righteousness consists in believing in Allah and the Last Day, the angels, the Book and the Prophets, and in giving away one’s property in the love of Him to one’s kinsmen, the orphans, the poor and the wayfarer, and to those who ask for help, and in freeing the necks of slaves, and in establishing Prayer and dispensing the Zakah.”
So, the list of recipients of Zakat are:
- Poor (Al-Fuqara).
- Needy (Al- Masakin).
- Admins of Zakat collections
- New Muslims
- Slaves and Captives
- For Allah.
- Travelers; (who are stranded on traveling with few resources).
It is important to note that Zakat al-Mal cannot be given to non-Muslims or used for any other purpose than the ones specified above.
Assets Required for Zakat Donation
Types of zakat al mal depend on the types of asset one have. Zakat is applicable to some of the assets that Muslims own in addition to money. Let’s look at the specific properties for which you must make zakat donations:
Gold and Silver
You don’t have to give Zakat for the gold and silver you are wearing or using. It is applicable for stored gold and silver. Muslims have to pay 2.5 percent of their preserved gold and silver as a Zakat donation.
If you are a business owner then you have to pay Zakat on the below category:
i. Your cash on the business,
ii. The receivables (the money that’s going to be coming to you very shortly),
iii. The products that you are going to sell
You don’t have to pay for the fixed assets such as the buildings, machinery, vehicles and so on that are essential for the business. Additionally, if you are in a partnership business, you must pay Zakat based on your proportional stake of the organization. For example, if you own 50 percent of a business, then you only need to pay Zakat on the 50 percent that you own.
You need to pay Zakat for the full amount of the stocks if you bought it to buy and sell regularly. However, if you are buying stocks to hold, then you need to work out the Zakatable assets within that stock. For doing that, you need to go through the annual accounts where you will find the same categories as business which are cash, receivables and works in progress. For example, if you buy a stock for 100 USD and 30 percent of that is Zakatable. Then you have to pay 2.5 percentZakat for 30 USD which is around 75 cents. And that’s how you pay Zakat for your stocks.
If you invest various funds or pensions in stock, then the easy way to approach this is to take 25 percent of the investment as an approximation and then pay 2.5 percent Zakat on all of that.
If you are buying property for selling it then you have to pay the whole amount. Except if you bought to live in it or rent it out then you don’t need to give Zakat on that.
You are required to pay the normal proportion of zakat on any debts that are owed to you and will be repaid to you in a year or less
Calculation of Zakat Al Mal
Calculate zakat al mal as 2.5% of the total value of the assets that have been owned for a full lunar year (haul). To calculate Zakat al-Mal, follow these steps:
- Determine the types of assets subject to Zakat al-Mal. These typically include cash, gold, silver, stocks, and business inventory.
- Determine the total value of each type of asset you own as of the date when the lunar year ends (haul). Add up the value of all assets that meet the criteria for Zakat al-Mal.
- Deduct any outstanding debts, such as credit card balances, loans, or mortgages. Zakat al Mal is only payable on wealth that is in excess of basic needs and debts.
- If the total value of your assets after deducting debts is above the Nisab threshold, which is the minimum amount of wealth subject to Zakat al-Mal, then you must pay Zakat al-Mal. The Nisab threshold is equivalent to the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver.
- Calculate the Zakat al-Mal payment by multiplying the total value of Zakatable assets by 2.5%. For example, if your total Zakatable assets are worth $10,000, your Zakat al-Mal payment would be $250.
It’s important to note that Zakat al Mal is calculated on an individual basis and is not a collective obligation. Each Muslim is responsible for paying their own Zakat al-Mal based on their personal assets and liabilities.
Benefits of Zakat al-Mal
The magnitude of the influence of your Zakat donations on your life as well as in society is immeasurable. Among them let’s discuss a few-
1. An investment: Your Zakat is the ultimate investment for your afterlife. With this investment, you will get the greatest profit. The Prophet (SAW) said:
"Whoever gives away charity the size of a date that is acquired legitimately, since Allah only accepts the good lawful things, Allah will indeed take it with His right Hand and cause it to grow for its owner, just as one of you grows up his colt, until the point where the charity will be the size of a mountain." [Al-Bukhari]
2. A Strong Bond: Zakat draws a servant closer to his Lord and strengthens his faith. It creates a strong bond between us and Allah.
3. A Pure Soul: It contributes to the purifying of the soul by cleansing the wealth of a Muslim.
4. An Eraser of Sins and Poverty: Zakat acts as an eraser, erasing our sins like an eraser erasing our faults. It also eliminates economic suffering for the poor and minimizes social inequality among various groups of people. The Prophet (SAW) said:
“Giving charity wipes away sins just as water extinguishes fire.”
5. A Symbol of Brotherhood: Zakat is a powerful tool for Muslims to show their love, unity, and loyalty to one another. The Qur’an refers to Muslims as brothers in faith, and Zakat is one of the most effective methods to display this brotherhood.
Giving Zakat is one of the finest acts you can perform, with the potential for infinite reward. So, pay your Zakat through Umrelief and reap all of its benefits in the most efficient manner.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I pay Zakat Al Mal?
You can pay Zakat Al Mal at any time of the year. But make sure to pay it within the due year.
Is Zakat Al Maal compulsory?
If you have a nisab amount of wealth for a lunar year, then Zakat Al Mal is compulsory for you.
Donate Zakat al-Mal and Secure Your Eternal
In conclusion, the answer to the question, “What is Zakat al Mal” is, it is a compulsory charitable contribution that is required of all Muslims who are able to give. In some verses, Allah has ordered us to pay Zakat and inform us about the rewards of it. The ayah of Surah Al-Imran Verse 180 is,
“Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, pay their zakat, and fear none (but for Allah) will visit and preserve Allah’s mosques.”
You can donate your zakat directly or use different non-profit organizations to deliver your zakat to needy people. United Mission for Relief & Development (UMR) is one of these organizations and is distributing your Zakat to the most vulnerable Muslims out there in the world. By donating to UMR, you can empower underprivileged communities in far-flung, inaccessible areas of the world.
The magnitude of the influence of your Zakat donations on your life as well as in society is immeasurable. Donating zakat is one of the finest acts you can perform, with the potential for infinite reward. So, pay your Zakat through Umrelief and reap all of its benefits in the most efficient manner.