I have drafted a longer article on the topic, but I think this simpler one is better inshaAllaah for everyone. This is a strong, important reminder for those it applies to:
In The Qur’an -which inshaAllaah you have been reading a lot this month- what is the ‘partner-in-mention’ of the prayer (the most important pillar and daily evidence of Islam -after Tawheed-) ?
The third pillar of Islam. And there is no house without pillars.
The reason for this reminder is that many people think you have to be extremely , filthy rich to be handing out zakat and fulifilling this GREAT IBAADAH.
ITS NOT A TAX, ITS AN ACT OF WORSHIP INSTITUTED BY THE ONE WHO GAVE YOU THAT WHICH YOU HAVE. YES, HE GAVE IT TO YOU.
Zakat is handed out annually as per the Islamic calendar (lunar) from the specific types of wealth, which has reached the Nisaab, and has been in one’s possession for a year. It is only directed to the specific categories of needy people defined. Not anyone. This is important.
Any time / day of the year you hand it out. But to make things easy and not to forget; its simpler give it out every ramadhan.
The Nisaab: The minimum amount in one’s property that qualifies to be purified.
Mainly what concerns most of us is : Cash, Gold & Silver (bullion, or coins, or jewellery), Merchandise for sell.
Now pay attention:
Zakaat is handed out on Gold which is 85 grams or more, and / or on Silver which is 595 grams or more.
And Zakaat is handed out on Cash which is equal to buying Gold which is 85 grams or more, and / or on Silver which is 595 grams or more.
Since price of silver is always lower, we say: The Nisaab for Cash is whatever is equal to buy 595 grams of Silver.
Just look at how much you have, and then hand out 2.5% of that.
So in actual figures , and according to today’s gold and silver prices (you always check the prices as they change http://goldprice.org/) :
1 ounce of silver today is: 40.14 CAD$ .
595 grams = 21 ounces.
21 x 40.14CAD$ = 842.94 CAD$ .
Hence the Nisaab for Cash is 842.94 CAD$ .
Therefore whoever has had 842.94 CAD$ or more for a year, should give out Zakaat.
And how much you give out?
2.5 % .
That is : 2.5 % of 842.94 = 21.073 CAD$ .
And like that, if you have 2000$ just take out 2.5%, you have 3550 $ just take out 2.5%, you have a million just take out 2.5%, you have three million. Just 2.5 % .
As you see you dont have to be that rich to give Zakaat, whoever has 842.94 dollars or more gives out Zakaat.
For actual Gold & Silver (bullion, or coins, or jewellery), and for Merchandise for sell (cars, house, cookies,): just look at the worth of these commodities and also take out 2.5%.
Purify yourselves, and your wealth.
Give it out with an open heart, submitting to your Lord, let your heart say: ‘O Allaah you gave me this wealth, and you directed me to give out every year, and now I am fulfilling Your command; please reward me and be pleased with me.’
As for the benefits of giving out Zakaat, and the warnings of holding back: next article inshaAllaah, but one or two texts for now:
“Take from their property charity (Zakat), you would cleanse them and purify them thereby, and pray for them; surely your prayer is a relief to them; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.” (Suratu Tawba: 103)
And also: Allaah says “And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allâh has bestowed on them of His Bounty (Wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakât). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allâh belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allâh is WellAcquainted with all that you do.” [Al-‘Imraan :180]
An explanation of the above verse:
Bukhaari narrated from Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (sallahAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.‘ Then he (sallahAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said recited: “And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allâh has bestowed on them …”