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Zakat Facts You Should Know  

The Muslim faith is based on a strict set of beliefs and traditions. The religion is comprised of what are known as the Five Pillars, these being Shadah, Salah, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj.

Practicing Muslims will know each of these pillars in detail, but to newcomers to the faith it can seem a little confusing. Let’s take a look at the pillar of Zakat. In this article we’ve listed some Zakat facts that you need to know. Check it out below.

What is Zakat?

Zakat is the third Pillar of Islam; it represents almsgiving or the act of donating to charitable causes. This is considered a requirement for those who practice Islam, and is ranked only second to prayer in terms of importance to the Muslim faith. Zakat acts as a form of purification, meaning an individual’s wealth is considered pure after they have given some of it away to those in need.

Zakat is intended as a vehicle through which Muslims can fight inequality in their community and ensure a fair and equal standard of living for all. It can also be taken to represent growth, as through the giving of Zakat the wider community can grow and prosper.

Who can Receive Donations?

Zakat conditions outline who can receive charitable donations under the terms of the doctrine. This includes groups such as poor people, Muslim converts who are struggling financially, people in debt, soldiers, people who are enslaved, and stranded travellers.

Individuals will be tasked with managing, collecting, and distributing Zakat donations. They will be compensated for the work that they do.

What do Zakat Rules say?

Zakat rules state that, to follow its principles correctly, Muslims should donate around 2.5% of their wealth to support the community.  These donations are used to support people in need as well as the wider Muslim community, helping to build and maintain mosques and other places of worship.

There are five main rules that govern how Zakat works. These are:

  • Individuals must declare to God their intention to donate Zakat
  • Zakat must be paid on the day specified
  • Individuals must not exaggerate how much they have donated
  • Wealthy individuals can donate money. Poorer people can donate Zakat in the form of good deeds
  • Zakat is to be distributed in the same community from which it was taken

Is Zakat a Requirement?

While Zakat is a fundamental part of the Islamic faith, in many modern Muslim countries the decision to donate Zakat is voluntary. However, it is a legal requirement in some countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Yemen. In these nations, the government manages and collects all Zakat donations.

If an individual fails to pay Zakat in nations where it is enshrined in law, they can face punishments similar to those for crimes like tax evasion.


Zakat is an integral part of the Muslim faith and is used to help the needy and less fortunate. It can be quite a complicated concept, so use this guide to ensure you know all there is to know about Zakat.

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