An obligation to purify one’s wealth by sharing it with the less fortunate
Whilst charity is often seen as an optional extra in society, and indeed this can also be the case for Muslims (Sadaqah), Islam has enjoined an obligation upon every Muslim to give 2.5% of his/her wealth to charity. This practice is called Zakah, literally meaning ‘to cleanse’ or ‘purify’ and is the third pillar of Islam.
The Holy Qur’an states, “You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salah) and give the obligatory charity (Zakah). Any good you send forth on behalf of your souls, you will find it with Allah. Allah is seer of everything you do.” (Qur’an: 2:110)
Zakah is a virtuous practice for Muslims for many reasons. Whilst creating healthy relations between the wealthy and poor, it also serves to soften one’s ego, distancing the heart from jealousy and greed. Zakah is not intended to be burdensome or detrimental to Muslims. As such, there is a minimum amount upon which Zakah is payable (Nisab). Muslims are only required to pay Zakah if they possess assets that fall within or above the Nisab threshold and if they are over the age of puberty and sane.
Check out our easy-to-use Zakah Calculator here: