Zakat Handbook

Learn about Zakat essentials, your individual obligations, conditions, assessments, recipients, payment, administration, calculation, and more from this book.

Table of Contents



What Does the Word Zakat Mean? (1)
Why Is the Word Zakat Used for Alms-Giving? (1)
When Was Zakat Made Mandatory? In What Form? (1)
What Is Zakat’s Special Virtue? (2)
How Does the Quran Address Zakat? (2)
How Does the Divine Law of Sharî¢ah Define Zakat? (4)
Is Paying Zakat a Condition of Faith? (5)
What Are the Consequences for Failing to Pay Zakat? (6)
Isn’t the Zakat-Charity Voluntary? (7)
Doesn’t Our Own Wealth Belong to Us? (8)
Is Zakat a Favor the Rich Grant to the Poor? (9) Can Zakat Ever Be Substituted by Other Payments? (10)
How Does Zakat Differ from Taxes or Tithes? (11)


Why Did Allah Enjoin the Zakat-Charity? (13)
What Is the Effect of Zakat’s Purification on People? (14)
Will the Zakat I Pay Bring Other Benefits to Me, Even Though It Is Obligatory? (15)
How Will Zakat Benefit My Wealth? (18)
How Can Zakat ‘Increase’ My Wealth When I Pay It ‘from’ My Wealth? (18)


What Can Zakat Do for Society? (19)
What Does the Mention of Zakat in this Verse Mean? (19)
How Does Zakat Help Create Community? (20)
What if One Is Unable to Work and Has No Capable Relative to Support Him? And Who Is Responsible for the Uncared for Orphan, Widow, and Elderly? (20)
How Does Zakat Help Mold Society Into a Family? (21)
Is Zakat a Kind of Welfare System? (21)
What Else Is Needed Along with Zakat to Establish the Economic Aspects of Social Justice? (22)
Is Earning a (Lawful) Living Obligatory? (23)
How Can Wealth Be Distributed Equitably? (24)
What is Islam’s Economic Safety-Net? (24)
Has the Practical Application of Zakat Ever Had Significant Results in a Society? (24)
Will Zakat Cure Poverty if We Partially Abide by Islam’s Injunctions? (28)


What Does the Word ‘Zakatable’ Mean? (29)
What Are the Categories of Zakatable Wealth? (29)
What Constitutes Non-Zakatable Wealth? (30)


When Does Zakat Become Obligatory? (33)
Is Zakat Imposed Only on Muslims? (33)
Is the Wealth of Muslim Minors Subject to Zakat? (33)
Is Zakat Imposed on Any Amount of Wealth? (34)
Table of Niṣab and Zakat Rates (34)
Can Niṣab Be Equated with the Poverty Line? (35)
Can Different Types of Assets Be Added Together and Zakat Imposed If the Total Value Reaches Niṣab? (36)
How Does One Calculate the Passage of One Lunar Year? (37)
NIṢaB GRAPH 02 (37)
Can You Clarify the Lunar Year and Give Examples? (38)
Can You Recommend How I Should Calculate My Zakat Year? (39)


Who Made the Rules of Zakat? (41)
What Is Zakat Payable On? (41)
Can You Clarify These Conditions? (42)
What Is A Trade Good? (42)
Are Assets Used for Growth that Are Not Trade Goods Subject to Zakat? (43)
Are Fixed Assets Subject to Zakat? (43)
What Is the Zakat on Exploited Assets? (44)
Is There an Alternative Opinion on Exploited and Fixed Assets? (44)
Is the Profit on Fixed Assets Zakatable After a Year Passes? (45)
What About Similar Products Not Mentioned in the Table of Niṣab and Zakat Rates? (46)
What Zakat Is Due on Personal Wealth? (47)
Is Zakat Due on Earned Income? (47)
Does One Pay Zakat on Jewelry and Ornaments? (49)
What Zakat Is Owed for Retirement Funds (401K, etc.)? (49)
Are 401K-Type Funds Personally Controlled or Beyond Personal Control? (50)
Is Zakat Owed on Stocks, Shares, and Bonds? (51)
What Zakat Rate Does the First Opinion on Stocks and Shares Prescribe? (51)
What Zakat Rate Does the Second Opinion on Stocks and Shares Prescribe? (51)
Is There Zakat on Interest Income? (53)
Are Debts Zakatable for Lenders? (53)
Is There Zakat on Debts for Debtors? (53)
Can the Wealthy Deduct Debt and Not Pay Zakat? (54)
Can an Interest-Bearing Mortgage or Car Loan Be Counted as Deductible Debt? (54)
What About Zakat Due on Business Wealth? (55)
What Does the Term ‘Trade-Goods’ Mean? (55)
How Is the Zakat of a Business Calculated? (56)
When and How Does One Determine the Value of a Zakatable Asset? (56)
How Is Zakat Calculated on Rental Property and Income? (56)
How Is Zakat Calculated on Agricultural Products? (57)
Is Zakat Due on Agricultural Land? (57)
Is Zakat Due on Livestock? (58)
What is Rikaz and What Zakat Is Due on It? (58)


Who Can Receive Zakat? (59)
What Is the Distinction Between the “Poor” and the “Needy” (al-fuqara’ wa’l-masakîn)? (60)
Who Are the Workers Administering Zakat (¢amilîn ¢alayha)? (60)
Who Are Those with Hearts to Be Reconciled (mu’allafat al-qulûb)? (61)
What of Emancipation (fî al-riqab)? (62)
Who Are the Debt-Ridden (al-Gharimîn)? (62)
Who Is Classified in the Cause of Allah (fî sabil’illah)? (63)
Who Is Considered a Wayfarer (ibn al-sabîl)? (64)
What Categories Are Most Deserving of Zakat? (64)
How Much Should the Poor Receive? (65)
How Can the Poor Be Helped to Self-Sufficiency? (65)
What of Unskilled People? (66)
How Much Zakat Are the Poor to Receive? (66)
There Are Two Views About Zakat Amounts. Which Is More Correct? (66)
Can Zakat Be Distributed on a Monthly Basis? (67)
Who Cannot Receive Zakat? (67)
What Does the Zakat Recipient Owe the Zakat Payer? (65)


What Does the Timing of Zakat Payment Involve? (71)
How Is the Zakat Due Date Calculated? (71)
Is Prepayment of Zakat Permissible? (71)
When Is Zakat Actually Due? (73)
Is Delay of Zakat Payment Permissible? (73)
What If One Has Unpaid Zakat for Past Years? (73)
Does Death Relieve One of Zakat Obligations Due? (73)
What if One Sets One’s Zakat Aside, Then Loses It? (74)
Must Zakat Be Paid in Money? (74)
What Essentials Make a Zakat Payment Valid? (74)


Did Zakat Have Administrators Historically? (77)
Who Is Authorized to Collect Zakat? (77)
Is Zakat Collection and Distribution Centralized? (78)
How Much Zakat Do Muslims Today Generate? (78)
What Are the Stipulations and Desirable Qualities of the Zakat Collector? (79)
What About Paying the Collectors from Zakat? (80)
Who Administers Zakat Nowadays? (81)
What If No Zakat Agencies Exist in a Particular Area? (81)
What Kinds of Muslim Organizations Manage Zakat in America? (82)
Are There Guidelines Organizations Ought to Follow with Respect to Zakat? (82)
Are There Guidelines for Maintaining Zakat Funds? (83)
Can Zakat Payers Restrict the Use of Their Payments? (83)
Are There Examples of Restricted and Unrestricted Uses? (84)
What If the Trustee Cannot Comply with a Restriction? (81)
How Can Charitable Organizations Reduce Restriction Problems? (85)
How Important Is Local Zakat Distribution? (85)
Is Local Zakat Distribution Without Exception? (87)


Can the Zakat Foundation Help Me Calculate My Zakat? (89)
Is Your Zakat Calculation Form Like Others I’ve Seen? (89)
How Do I Use the Zakat Foundation Calculation Form? (90)
What Does Your Zakat Calculation Form Not Cover? (90)


Are Muslims Obliged to Pay Charity Other Than Zakat? (93)
Can You Name Other Obligatory Alms or Charity? (94)
What Is the Obligation of Zakat al-Fiṭr? (94)
What Is the Purpose of Zakat al-Fiṭr? (95)
What Is the Payment of Zakat al-Fiṭr? (96)
Is There a Charity for Eid al-A^a Like Zakat alFiṭr? (96)
Is Uḍḥiya an Obligatory Charity? (97)
What Is the Muslim’s Duty to His or Her Neighbors? (98)
Who Comes Under the Designation “Neighbor”? (98)
Are We Obliged to Encourage Others to Charity? (98)
Can Charity Gain One Forgiveness from Wrongdoing? (99)
Are There Charitable Endowments in Islam? (100)
What Are the Best Uses of Charitable Endowments (Awqaf)? (101)
Are Donor Restrictions Enforceable in a Waqf? (102)
What Does the Word ‘Ṣadaqah’ mean? (103)
How Does Ṣadaqah Differ from Zakat? (103)
What Does Islam Seek Through Ṣadaqah? (104)
What Are the Forms of Ṣadaqah? (105)
What Is Ṣadaqah Jariyah? (106)
Is It True that a Smile Is Charity? (106)
Can You Give Me Good Counsel on Zakat and Ṣadaqah? (107)



Zakat Calculation Worksheet (113)
Worksheet Instructions (114)
Worksheet Notes (115)
Sample Worksheet (117)