Register | Login
Sign in with:
---------- OR ----------
Create Account | Login
Create account
As a Member You Can:
  • Join clubs to discuss your interests
  • Connect with people like you
  • Share information, seek advice, get support

in Mumbai (change city)
Select City
  • All
  • Delhi
  • New Delhi
  • Gurgaon
  • Noida
  • Mumbai
  • Pune
  • Banglore
  • Hyderabad
  • Ghaziabad
  • Chandigarh
  • Ahmedabad
  • Kolkata
  • Chennai
  • Coimbatore
  • Jaipur

The Practice of Zakat

Zakat is the Islamic practice of doing charity. Learn more about what it means.

Every Muslim has five duties that he must perform compulsorily. These include the declaration of faith, daily prayers, giving of alms, pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, and fasting during the month of Ramzan. The practice of giving alms to the needy is termed as 'Zakat'.

What is zakat?

Zakat is derived from the word 'Zakaa' which means to purify, increase, and bless. It is believed that when a person gives away a part of his wealth to a needy Muslim, his wealth will continue to grow. This is because he receives the blessings of both God and the person he has helped. Zakat is practiced as a means of achieving social justice among the Muslim community by distributing the wealth of the rich among the less fortunate.

Zakat is also believed to be a stepping stone to heaven. This is written in the Quran in verses three and four of chapter eight as "Who establishes worship and spend of that we have bestowed upon them, these are the true believers. For them are grades of honor with their Lord, and forgiveness, and a beautiful provision."

What is its significance?

Zakat is not a gift. It is an obligation to be performed by every Muslim who falls in the category of being able to give some of his wealth. Zakat is believed to purify the human soul and protect it from the sin of greed. It is human nature to be stingy and try to hoard wealth. Zakat encourages an individual to part with some amount of his wealth, for charitable purposes. By doing so, he overcomes his hoarding instincts and becomes noble in God's eyes.

Zakat is an excellent way of doing charity. When an individual pays zakat, he is helping his less fortunate brethren. This promotes peace and harmony among the rich and the poor since the poor are thankful for the generosity of the rich. As per the Quran, the Lord places great significance on the donation of wealth to benefit those who are in need.

Zakat also promotes social justice in society. It encourages the distribution of wealth between the haves and have-nots. It has the added benefit of fostering the spirit of brotherhood among the members of a community since people get a sense of being in a family. According to the Quran, this is akin to the discomfort that the entire body feels even when a single part is hurt.

The paying of zakat is also believed to cleanse a person's sins. The Lord bestows his mercy on those who demonstrate that they care for others. Zakat acts as a form of social security for the poor and protects them against utter poverty. It makes an individual feel good about himself since he learns to appreciate his place in society. He also experiences the joy of conquering his demons like greed, temptation etc. Zakat also motivates a person to make a larger effort in his work and ensures that he remains loyal to his community.

Who can receive zakat?

Zakat can only be given to a person if they come under one of the prescribed categories. The first category is the 'masakeen' or those who live in utter poverty. These people are dependent on the generosity of others even for their basic needs. The second category is the 'fuqaraa' or the poor. Although these people have some money, it is still not enough for them to live on.

Zakat money is also used to pay the 'salaries' of those people engaged in the task of collecting zakat. These people collect the Zakat, keep an account of the amount collected and are also responsible for overseeing its distribution. Zakat may also be distributed to those involved in the cause of spreading Islam. An individual is also entitled to receive Zakat if he has taken a loan but does not have enough finances to both repay his loan and provide for the basic needs of his family.

Zakat can be paid to a traveller, who is stranded in a foreign land and has no means of reaching his home. This is allowed only if the purpose of travel is deemed to be lawful. Zakat is also to be used to free captives of slavery. Although slavery does not exist nowadays, it can be used to free a poor labourer from his greedy and corrupt masters. This may be in the form of providing some training, buying machinery, or helping a person to start a small scale business.

Zakat can also be paid to a newly converted Muslim who is facing persecution for his beliefs. This is usually when a person is ostracised by his family and loses his source of income.

Do you give to charity? What do you think of the practice of zakat? Do you think giving a portion of earnings to the poor should be made compulsory for those who are able to afford it? To share your views, experiences, and suggestions, click here?

Back to Previous Page    More on Festival Index

Email this Article to a Friend

Follow us on:

Featured Articles - Infertility | Baby Development | Health and Fitness | How to Get Pregnant | Parenting Advice | Weight Loss | Pregnancy Advice | Name Numerology
Baby - Baby Photo Contest | Lucky Names | Lucky Birthdates | Horoscopes | Chinese Calendar | Compatibility Test | Fun Zone
Parenting - Message Boards | Planning a Baby | Pregnancy | Parents of Babies | Baby Names | Baby Name Poll | Birth Announcements | Parenting Quiz
Family - Cooking Club | Love & Relationships | Beauty Tips | Kids Weight Calculator | Recipe Maker
General - Calorie Counter | Personality Quiz | Love Signs | Compatibility Quiz
Home | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Comments or Suggestions | Indiaparenting News Articles | Contact Us | Advertise with Us | | RSS
Copyright (c) 1999 - 2018 India Parenting Pvt. Ltd.