Charity (Zakat)

Every Muslim adult in Islam is required to give 2.5% of their savings each year, to the poor and the needy. This is called ‘zakat’. However if you do not have any savings or cannot afford to pay you are exempt.

Muslims are taught to take care of the people around them and to ensure that the poor and the helpless are looked after. The idea of zakat is to ensure that those most in need are always provided for.

The Arabic word ‘zakat’ literally means ‘to make pure’. Muslims believe that paying zakat, actually purifies their wealth and doesn’t decrease it as God will bless them and give them more in different ways.

When Muslims give zakat, it teaches them that money is not everything. It encourages them to be kind and generous, and think of those less fortunate than themselves.

Giving charity is therefore a very praiseworthy act in Islam, and Muslims will also give charity voluntarily (as well as the compulsory zakat). This type of charity is called ‘sadaqah’.