What Are the Benefits of Zakat?


For Muslims, charitable giving, or Zakat, is one of the foundational pillars of Islam. For centuries, Muslims worldwide have adhered to the age-old practice of giving a portion of their wealth to those in need. This practice of giving can have profound impacts on our health and overall well-being. Even the smallest acts of charity have proven to have positive outcomes for both the receiver and the giver. Giving to charity has a tidal effect on communities and motivates others to give generously. Engaging in these acts of generosity proactively creates a legacy for yourself. You are planting the seeds that will continue to bloom long after you are gone.

Creating Justice

Giving to charity helps ensure that the world is more equitable for all. Wars, poverty, famine, and displacement have led to unimaginable levels of suffering. Sharing wealth and resources with those less fortunate than us helps create a world where people have equal access to basic human necessities. Many children, women, and the elderly rely solely on the generosity of others.There are countless benefits of giving to charity - including physical, spiritual, and physiological - that can enhance your life. 

The Prophet, on him be peace, said:
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be their charity” [Tirmidhi].

Engendering Gratitude

For many, donating to charity requires a level of self-reflection and a deep focus on gratitude. There have been direct links to mental health improvements and regular gratitude. Many have reported having greater self-esteem and satisfaction with life when helping others. A study on charitable giving involved subjects getting MRI scans after donating to causes. The portions of the brain that activated were the ones that control feelings and pleasure. The direct neuroscientific benefits of giving remain undeniable.

Decreasing Depression

Donating to charity also gives many individuals a sense of purpose and belonging. Making a difference, even in the slightest, in the lives of others can help give us a sense of direction and personal control. One specific study focused on people coping with grief after losing a close loved one. The individuals who assisted others, through monetary means or acts of service, recovered at a faster rate than those who did not provide help. When we have healthy social connections we are less likely to engage in negative behavior patterns. 

Promoting Spiritual Growth

For many, there are personal religious benefits to giving alms. Giving to charities that align with your personal beliefs can be a mood booster. Giving to charity helps us feel like we’re part of a larger community and cultivates a sense of responsibility towards others. This enables us to connect more with those around us and enhances our relationship with God. Many report feeling happier when having the ability to help others. In the Islamic tradition, giving charity acts as a purifier of our sins, for as the Prophet, on him be peace, said:

[and] Charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire…” [Ibn Majah].

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