Zakat is an act of worship through a compassionate act of sharing your wealth. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and its obligatory upon all Muslim who are of sane mind & has the necessary means.
Now let’s try to answer some of most asked questions on Zakat;
• I never gave zakat and I know nothing much about it…
Zakat is an obligation on every muslim of sane mind & who have sufficient wealth over and above Nisab.
If you are qualified to pay Zakat and if you are not paying, then it’s like you are holding someone else right on that money. That money belongs to someone else, its someone’s food or its someone’s sole option for a lifesaving surgery and Allah had destined it to be so and you are like ‘No, I won’t give it to them’.
• What is Nisab?
Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth that a muslim need to possess for a whole year before zakat becomes due. Nisab is the cash equivalent of 87.48gm of gold or 612.36 gm of silver in current market value.
Suppose value of 1gm of Gold in today’s value is INR 2750/-. Now Nizab value would be INR 2,40,570/- as of today.
• Zakat? Mmmmm, but its my hard earned money….
From the Baby Boomers to the Millennial’s and to the Generation X, the above thought seems to be getting instilled and cemented deeper.
I can’t find an answer, but maybe a few ‘What if questions’ holds the key;
• What if you had some birth defects, defying you a normal life.
• What if you were born into a family in some remote jungle, still using sign language to communicate.
• What if you didn’t make out safe from that fatal accident/fall that day…do you still remember it? Yes, I meant that one only…scary wasn’t it.
Need more, ‘What if questions’. Think…
It’s time to come out of that whirlpool of self centered thoughts, to a life of compassion and self fulfilling eternal delight.
• I own some Gold, I have a monthly salary, but I have mortgage loan to payoff. Do I owe Zakat
Suppose you have a mortgage or car loan of INR10 lakh on which you are paying INR 10,000 as monthly instalment, consider at the same time you have INR 3,00,000 in your bank account or Gold worth 60gms (assuming that you are above Nizab limit) you are bound to pay zakat for rest of your wealth. You can deduct the monthly mortgage instalment as expenses for zakat computation.
• I have invested money in a partnership business, do I have to pay Zakat on it.
Zakat need to be paid on the capital invested into the business and also on any profit gained out of it. One complete year need to pass before you owe it.
• I’m paying tax on my income, do I still owe Zakat
Tax is the duty of a law abiding citizen. And Zakat is your divine obligation to your fellow beings. So yes, you need to pay Zakat even if you are paying tax. The tax you are paying can be accounted as an expense in your calculation of Zakatable net worth.