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What is Zakat in Islam?

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and is considered wajib, or a must for Muslims. In Malaysia, you can actually get jail time or be forced to pay a hefty fine for not paying your zakat on purpose (under the Syariah Criminal Enactment law of each state). So to our Muslim readers, no skiving on your zakat payments.

Zakat is a compulsory payment for charity by aMuslims only, and is calculated from their acquired wealth, or income. Fun fact about zakat : In some cases (for farmers, etc) crops and livestock can be used as payments for zakat.In Malaysia, zakat falls under the state legislation and each state has different rates and methods of calculation to determine the zakat amount that muslims have to pay.

As known, Zakat is the amount of money that every adult, mentally stable, free, and financially able Muslim, male or female, has to pay to support specific categories of people. Here we understand that, as a Muslim we should pay the zakat because it is an obligation commanded by Allah.

The Prophet says: "Verily Allah has prescribed zakat as cleanup of the property." Narrated by Bukhari.

From Ibn Abbas r.a. reported: "The Prophet was to determine the obligation of zakat fitrah, to cleanse those who do fasting from vain words and bad words, and also to feed the poor, so anyone who fulfilled before prayer festival and it is zakat fitrah is fulfilled, and those who fulfilled the feast after the prayer and it is normal sedakah like other voluntary charity.
"(Abu Daud)