Al-Haram Mosque in Makkah The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah . Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem


Islam: God's Message of Guidance to Humanity


By Hassan Ali El-Najjar


Table of Contents


I. Introduction: Basic Information


1. Islam: A Brief Introduction


2. Three Levels of Faith: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan 


3. The Scientific Evidence That God Exists and the Holy Qur'an Is His Message to Humanity 


4. Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an


5. Humans, As God's Caliphs on Earth


6. Adam's Contest With the Angels, and Getting Out of Paradise

Worshippers By Choice Or Forced Slaves?  


8. The Relationship Between the Spiritual and the Physical Aspects of Islamic Teachings  


9. Mind, Self, Soul, Spirit, and Happiness from an Islamic Perspective 


10. Heart-Mind Relationship in the Holy Qur'an  


II. Islam: The Five Pillars of the Faith Structure


11. Islamic Proclamation of Faith


12. Performing Islamic Prayers


13. Giving Zakat, Charity, The Third Islamic Duty


14. Fasting and Ramadhan, Great Gifts from Allah to Muslims


15. Haj, Pilgrimage, the Fifth Pillar of Islam


III. Iman: Allah, His Angels, Messengers, Messages, Latter Day, and Qadar


16. Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran 


17. Angels


18. Noo'h, Noah, in the Holy Quran  


19. Ibrahim, Abraham, in the Holy Quran


20. Moussa, Moses, in the Holy Quran


21. 'Eissa, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Quran  


22. Muhammed in the Holy Quran


23. Prophet Muhammed's Night Journey and Ascent to Heavens, Al-Issra Wal Mi'raj


24. .The Last Day, The Hour, Resurrection, Reckoning, and Judgment


25. God's Precise Measurement and His Just Decree, Al-Qadar Wal Qadha


IV. I'hsan: Watching Allah in Speech and Deeds


1. Introduction to Islamic Law, Shari'a, Part I, Prohibition, Don't Do, and Do Commands in the Holy Quran


2. The La (No) Commands


3. The Imperative Commands 




Articles with Islamic Perspective:


Health Care Crisis in the US: An Islamic Perspective


"Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns: An Interactive Lecture


Six Questions About Islam, Muslims and Jews


Five Islamic Issues: Predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days

Food Islamic Rules and Teachings


Are Muslim women second-class citizens  


The French Ban on Islamic Headscarf, an Interview with


Links to Islamic Topics 2007-2010


Links to Islamic Topics 2007


Links to Islamic topics 2006


Links to Islamic topics 2005


Links to Islamic topics 2004


Links to Islamic topics, 2003


2002 Links to Islamic topics








God's Message of Guidance to Humanity




Giving Zakat (Charity), The Third Islamic Duty


By Hassan Ali El-Najjar


Updated on the 18th Day of Rabi' Al-Thani, 1441 hijriya - 15th Day of December 2019








1441 \ 2019





I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful





Giving charity (Zakat) is the third Islamic duty, or way of worship (ibada, ), after the proclamation of faith and the establishment of prayer. As a noun, the Arabic word zakat is mentioned in the Holy Quran to mean purification of the human self of stinginess (59: 9), of hoarding (3: 180), and of contamination (9: 103). It is also used as a verb (zakka) to refer to Gods praise of believers (24: 21) and a persons effort towards purification (92: 18).

The word "Zakat" is a noun derived from the verb "zakka," which is mentioned with its various forms in the Holy Quran. The word "zakat" is mentioned as a noun 32 times. In 26 times of them, it is mentioned following the command of establishing prayer. Two other forms of the verb "Zakka" (tazakka and yatazakka) are also mentioned with the command of establishing prayer, in the same verse. [1] 


This chapter includes verses dealing with the topic of giving charity (Zakat), particularly those related to this way of worship (ibada) as a God's Command, believers' duty, meaning, beneficiaries, rewards for givers, punishment to the miserly, the rationale for giving charity, benefits to society,  charity rules, and how it is operationalized. However, theres no claim that this chapter covers various aspects of this topic. In particular, readers are advised to seek for professional operationalization of how much they are required to spend annually, as their charity (Zakat) giving. [2]   



1. The Commands of Giving Zakat


Allah, praise to Him, has commanded Muslims to give charity (Zakat), as their third duty, or way of worshipping Him. In most of the times, giving charity is mentioned in the Holy Quran directly after mentioning the establishment of prayer, as in the following three verses.  


( 2: 43).  


And establish prayer, give charity, and bow with those who bow (in worship) (Al-Baqara, 2: 43).     


   ۗ ( 2: 110). 


And establish prayer, give charity, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah is Seeing of what you do (Al-Baqara, 2: 110).    


 ( 24: 56).  


And establish prayer, give charity, and obey the Messenger, that you may receive mercy   (Al-Noor, 24: 56).   



2. Giving Charity (Zakat): The Third Duty (Way of Worship) of Believers


In addition to being the third Islamic duty (way of worship), giving charity (Zakat) has been described as a major characteristic of believers, as stated in the following verses: 


 ( 5: 55). 


Your patron is Allah, (then) His Messenger, and (then) those who have believed - who establish prayer, give charity, and bow (in worship) (Al-Ma-ida, 5: 55).   


   ٰ    ( 9: 71). 


The believing men and believing women are patrons to one another. They enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, establish prayer, give charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger - those whom Allah will have mercy upon. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise (Al-Tawba, 9: 71).  


( 19: 31). 


And He has made me (Jesus) blessed wherever I am, and has enjoined upon me prayer and charity, as long as I remain alive (Maryam, 19: 31).  


  ﴿٥٤ ﴿٥٥ ( 19: 55- 56). 


And mention in the Book, Ismail (Ishmael). Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. (54) And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and charity, and his Lord was pleased with him (55) (Maryam, 19: 55-56).  


  ﴿٧٢   ﴿٧٣

 ( 21: 72- 73). 


And We gave him Is'haq (Isaac) and Ya'acoob (Jacob) in addition, and We made both (of them) righteous. (72) And We made them leaders, guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of charity. And they were worshippers of Us (73) (Al-Anbiya, 21: 72-73). 



3. Meaning of Giving Charity (Zakat) 


The Arabic word, which also means "charity," is "Sadaqah." It is mentioned 19 times in the Holy Quran as nouns, adjectives, and verbs, derived from the verb tasaddaqa. However, Allah, praise to Him, chose to describe the act of giving charity as "Zakat," which means "purification" in Arabic. So, giving charity purifies the human self (which is part of the soul) of its shortcomings, as it elevates humans to a higher level of compassion and kindness, in which they care about other human beings, who are less fortunate for a reason or another. [3]


In addition to being purified by giving charity (Zakat), the human self can also be purified by learning from God's Book, and by following His commands, as stated in the following verses.  


 ( 2: 151). 


We also have sent among you a messenger from yourselves, reciting to you Our verses, purifying you, and teaching you the Book, the wisdom, and teaching you that which you did not know (Al-Baqara, 2: 151).   


     ( 9: 103). 


(O, Muhammad)! Take from their wealth a charity, which disinfects them and purifies them, and pray for them (call Allah to bless them). Indeed, your prayer is peace (tranquility) for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing (Al-Tawba, 9: 103).   


ٰ ٰ    ( 35: 18).  


And whoever purifies himself (by giving charity and by being close to Allah), he only purifies himself for (the benefit of) his soul. And to Allah is the (final) destination (Fatir, 35: 18).  


 ٰ ٰ    ( 24: 30). 


Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do   (Al-Noor, 24: 30).   


ٰ   ﴿١٢     ( 19: 12- 13). 


(Allah said): "O Ya'hya (John)! Take (learn) the Scripture with determination." And We gave him (good) judgment (while yet) a boy (12) And (We gave him) affection from Us and zakat (purity), and he was righteous (Maryam, 19: 12-13).


 ( 19: 19). 


(The Angel) said (to Maryam, Mary): "I am only the messenger of your Lord, to give you a pure boy (Maryam, 19: 19).   


( 91:  9). 


ٰ ( 92: 18).  


He has succeeded who purifies it (the self) (Al-Shams, 91: 9). 


(The righteous is the one) who gives (from) his wealth to purify himself (Al-Layl, 92: 18). 



4. Beneficiaries: To Whom Charity (Zakat) Should Be Given? 


The beneficiaries of charity (Zakat) are mentioned as twelve categories of people. These are the poor, the needy, the deprived, relatives, orphans, needy travelers, those who ask for help (petitioners), for freeing slaves and captives, for those in debt, for bringing hearts together (support for new Muslims), those employed to collect it, and for the cause of Allah, as stated in verses 9: 60 and 70: 24-25), as follows:


    ( 9: 60). 


Charity expenditures are for the poor, the needy, those employed to collect it, bringing hearts together (for Islam), freeing captives (or slaves), those in debt, the cause of Allah, and the (needy) traveler - an obligation (imposed) by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise (Al-Tawba, 9: 60).


﴿٢٤ ﴿٢٥﴾ ( 70: 24-25). 


And those within whose wealth is a known right (24) For the petitioner and the deprived - (25) (Al-Ma'arij, 70: 24-25). 


ٰ ٰ ٰ ٰ ( 2: 177).



Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but righteousness is (in) one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets, and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask (for help), and for freeing slaves (Al-Baqara, 2: 177). 



5. Rewards for Charity (Zakat) Givers 


Believers who give charity (Zakat) will have great rewards from their Lord. They will be compensated for their spending in the sake of Allah, during their first life on Earth. However, the greater rewards will be in the hereafter, which will include an everlasting life in Paradise, enjoying God's Mercy, and avoiding His punishment in the Hell Fire, as stated in the following verses:  


 ( 2: 277). 


Indeed, those who have believed, do righteous deeds, establish prayer, and give charity (zakat) will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve (Al-Baqara, 2: 277).    


﴿١٧ ٰ ﴿١٨﴾ ( 92: 17- 18). 


But the righteous one will avoid it (the Fire) (17) who gives (from) his wealth to purify himself (18) (Al-Layl, 92: 18).  


ٰ     ٰ  ( 4: 162). 


But those (who are) firm in knowledge among them, and the believers, believe in what has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), and what was revealed before you. And the establishers of prayer, the givers of charity (zakat), and the believers in Allah and the Last Day - those We will give a great reward (Al-Nissa, 4: 162).  


ٰ        ( 7: 156).  


And decree for us a good (life) in this world and in the Hereafter. Indeed, we have turned back to You. (Allah) said: "I afflict My punishment on whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things." So I will decree it for those who are righteous, (who) give charity (zakat), and those who believe in Our verses (Al-A'araf, 7: 156).  


 ٰ ٰ ( 20: 76).  


(There are) gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and that is the reward of (the one) who purifies himself (Taha, 20: 76).  


  ( 22: 41). 


Those who, if We give them authority on the land, establish prayer, give charity (zakat), enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of (all) matters (Al-'Haj, 22: 41).  


  ٰ ( 30: 39).  


And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah. But what you give in charity (zakat), desiring the countenance of Allah - those are the multipliers (of rewards) (Al-Room, 30: 39).   



6. Punishment for Not Giving Charity (Zakat)  


Those who are capable to give charity (Zakat), but do not do so, will be punished in the Hell Fire, with the heated gold and silver, which they horded and denied the less fortunate from, as stated in verses 41: 6-7 and 9: 34-35.


ٰ ٰ ٰ   ﴿٦ ﴿٧ ( 41: 6- 7). 


Say (O Muhammad): "I am only a human like you, to whom it has been revealed that your God is One God. So, take a straight course to Him and seek for His forgiveness." And woe to those who associate others with Him - (6) those, who do not give charity (zakat), and in the Hereafter they are disbelievers (7) (Fussilat, 41: 7).


  ﴿٣٤﴾ ٰ ٰ  ٰ ﴿٣٥﴾ ( 9: 34-35). 


O you who have believed, indeed many of the rabbis and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly, and avert (poeple) from the way of Allah. And those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend it in the way of Allah - give them tidings of a painful punishment. (34)  


The Day when it (the bullion of gold and silver) will be heated in the fire of Hell, to sear (burn) their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs. (Iit will be said): "This is what you hoarded for yourselves. So, taste what you used to hoard." (35)  (Al-Tawba, 9: 34-35).  



7. Rationale for Giving Charity (Zakat)  


Allah, praise to Him, is the Merciful and the Beneficent, who benefits all of His creations, as He described Himself in the Holy Quran. By commanding believers to give charity (Zakat) and care for each-other, He wants them to be like Him in His giving and generosity to all of His creation, which benefits them in various ways. 


First, all of God's commands to humans aim at benefiting them as individuals, groups, communities, and as a world. While cleanliness of wudu, movements of prayers, and fasting bring direct benefits to the human body and self, giving charity brings benefits to the human self too. This happens as a result of purifying and elevating it to a higher level of compassion, thus contributing to the self-content and its internal peace. Knowing that giving Zakat brings them closer to their Lord, believers become assured of the everlasting gratification in the hereafter, which contributes to their contentment and happiness, during their life on Earth. 


Second, Allah, praise to Him, made giving charity (Zakat) a right for the needy in the wealth of the wealthy, as stated in verses 70: 24-25 and 6: 141. This right stems from the fact that the success of individuals is not just dependent on their personal characteristics. Rather, many other people and circumstances contribute to their success, such as the blessing of being raised in a functional family and a functional community, both of which provide them with the right health care, education, and security. Thus, giving charity (Zakat) is an act of giving back to the community some of what an individual takes from it. It's a right for the needy in the wealth of those who are better off. 


﴿٢٤ ﴿٢٥﴾ ( 70: 24-25).  


And those within whose wealth is a known right (24) For the petitioner and the deprived - (25) (Al-Ma'arij, 70: 24-25).  


     ( 6: 141).  


Eat of its fruit when it yields, give its due (charity) on the day of its harvest, and do not be wasteful (excessive). Indeed, He does not like those who are wasteful (commit excess) (Al-Ana'am, 6: 141).  


The same meaning is also mentioned in the following Hadith of the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, about God's command for rulers to take charity from the wealthy and give it to the poor: 


(): "... " (: 2\119 : 1\50-51).


Companion Ibn Abbas, mAbpwt both, said that when the Prophet, pbbuh, sent (his companion) Mu'adh, to Yemen, he said to him: 


"Inform them that Allah has ordained Charity on them, from their wealth, to be taken from their wealthy, to be returned to their poor" (Al- Bukhari: 2/119, Muslim: 1/50-51). 



Third, as an act of social solidarity, giving charity (Zakat) contributes to more stability and prosperity in society, as the needy know and feel that they are not abandoned and left behind, as mentioned in the 'Hadith:


: " " (: 4692).


Companion Al-Numan Bin (son of) Bisher, mAbpw them, said that the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, said:


The example of believers in their love, mercy, and sympathy towards one-another is like (organs of) the body. When one organ is hurting, other organs are affected too, with sleeplessness and fever (Muslim: 4692).


However, instability and disorder may occur in societies where the wealthy deny this right of the poor, who may react to this denial by participation in riots, upheavals, and revolutions, as stated in verse 8: 25.  


  ( 8: 25).  


And avoid an upheaval (trial), which will not strike those who have transgressed, among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty (Al-Anfal, 8: 25). 



Fourth, when charity (Zakat) is given, it benefits recipients directly, as it enables them to buy the goods and services which they need. However, it benefits society as a whole indirectly, with its multiplier effects on the providers, administrators, middlemen, retailers, sellers, and other buyers. Thus, the act of giving leads multiplies several times in its benefits to society. Therefore, Allah, praise to Him, promised givers multiple rewards in response to the multiple benefits they give to society, as mentioned in verse 2: 261. 


ۗ ۗ ( 2: 261). 


The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing (Al-Baqara, 2: 261).    


Finally, if the wealthy stop paying charity (Zakat) to the poor, wealth will be circulating among the rich only. This is counterproductive, as it leads to less circulation of capital, and consequently, less multiplier effects on local economies, and on the global economy at large, as pointed in verse 59: 7.


ۚ ( 59: 7).


So that (wealth) will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you (Al-Hashr, 59: 7).


In addition, giving charity (Zakat) contributes to creating love, sympathy, and solidarity among people, which are among the main characteristics of believers, as mentioned in a famous Hadith.



8. Gods Commands for Muslims to Follow His Messengers Clarifications (Sunna)  


Allah, praise to Him, has commanded Muslims to worship Him through performing the five mandatory duties (ibadat): Performing prayers, giving charity (Zakat), fasting the month of Ramadhan, and making the pilgrimage to His House in Makkah if they are capable to do so. However, He did not give details in His Book about how they can perform these duties. This task of clarifying God's commands was given to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammed, pbbuh (16: 44), who also taught them as he was taught by the Angel Jibril (Gabriel), peace be to him (53: 5), about how these ways of worship can be performed. 


 ( 16: 44).  


And We revealed to you the message (the Holy Quran), that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them, and that they might think (about its content) (Al-Na'hl, 16: 44).   


ٰ ( 53: 5). 


(It was) Taught to him by (the) one (who is) intense in strength (Al-Najm, 53: 5).


Allah, praise to Him, has also commanded Muslims to follow His Messenger's Sunna (his sayings, acts, and approvals), particularly his explanation of God's commands, and how to perform their duties. God's command to Muslims to follow His Messenger's explanation and clarification of Gods commands are found in many verses in the Holy Quran. Here are some of them:   


( 4: 59). 


ٰ  ( 4: 65). 


 ( 4: 80). 


 ( 33: 36). 


 ( 59: 7). 


O You, who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Al-Nissa, 4: 59). 


But no, by your Lord, they will not (truly) believe until they make you (O Muhammad their) judge concerning that over which they dispute (Al-Nissa, 4: 65). 


He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah (Al-Nissa, 4: 80). 


It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should have any choice about their affair (Al-A'hzab, 33: 36). 


And whatever (teaching) the Messenger has given you, take it; and what he has forbidden you about, refrain from (Al-'Hashr, 59: 7).



9. Rules and Operationalization of Charity (Zakat): How Much Should Be Given Away? 


Thus, the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, taught Muslims about how to pray, including the number of units (Rak'as) in each prayer and what to recite in each movement. He also taught them about how to fast, and about the specific rules and rituals of the pilgrimage (Haj). Further, his teachings covered the amounts of charity (zakat) due on each type of wealth people may have, including financial wealth, property, agricultural products, as well as animals and their products.


Financial Wealth


The Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, taught Muslims that charity (Zakat) on financial wealth is 2.5%, whether this is in gold, silver, money, or in value of merchandise, estimated in money. It is due after saving a minimum amount of wealth for a year.  


: " : " " ( : 1782).


The Mother of the Believers, Aisha, mAbpwh, said that she heard the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, saying:

No charity (Zakat) is due on wealth until it is saved for a year (recorded by Ibn Maja: 1782).

The intended year is the one calculated according to the lunar calendar, which is eleven days less than the solar calendar year, as mentioned in verse 2: 189 of the Holy Quran.


ۖ ۗ ( 2: 189).


They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, "They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj" (Al-Baqara, 2: 189).

For charity (Zakat) to be due, a person should have saved at least twenty golden dinars for a year, which are equivalent to 85 grams of gold today. Charity (Zakat) is also required if a person has saved five awaqs or two-hundred dirhams of silver for a year, which are equivalent to 559 grams today. [4]   


" " ( : 409).


Ibn Omar and the Mother of the Believers, Aisha, mAbpwt both, said that the Prophet, pbbuh, used to collect half a dinar on every twenty dinars, and a dinar on every forty dinars (recorded by Ibn Maja: 409).


: " . ( ( . . ( ( . " ( : 1574 : 561).


Caliph Ali Bin Abi Talib, mAbpwh, said that the Prophet, pbbuh, said: Bring to me a quarter of ten percent (2.5%) from every forty dirhams (of silver), but you dont have to give charity (Zakat) until you have had two-hundred dirhams for a year. If you have had two hundred dirhams, saved for a year, then the charity due on them is five dirhams. Concerning gold, the minimum amount is to have twenty dinars, saved for a year. Then, the charity (Zakat) on them is half a dinar, and so on (Abu Dawood: 1574, Al-Bayhaqi: 561).


Stocks, Merchandise, and Profit-Producing Property


The main view of Islamic scholars on the charity (zakat) due on various kinds of property, which are used to produce profit (Al-Mustaghallat), such as factories, buildings, trucks, and airplanes, is 2.5% of the annual profit. However, there is a minority view that the charity (zakat) should be calculated of both the property market value and the annual profit a property produces, together.


Charity (Zakat) is also 2.5% due on the net value of raw materials, manufactured commodities, traded money (as a commodity), commercial stocks, and stocks of investment funds, after subtracting administrative costs. The exception is the charity (Zakat) due on stocks of industrial companies, which is limited to 10% of their profits. [5]   


Agricultural Products


In the case of agricultural products, the minimum quantity for giving charity (zakat) is 610.5 kilograms of grains or fruits. The charity (zakat) is calculated as 10% of the products if these are produced with rain, or water from springs, or any natural way without irrigation. However, it is calculated as 5% if irrigation is used. This is learned from the following two Hadiths:


: " ѡ " ( ). 




Abdullah Bin (Son of) Omar, mAbpwt both, said that the Prophet, pbbuh, said: If (agricultural products) are watered by the sky (rain), or springs, or by other natural ways, the charity due is 10%, but if these are watered by irrigation, its 5% (Al-Bukhari: 1797).


: " (: 2 /529 1390 2 /673 979).


Companion Abu Said Al-Khudri, mAbpwh, said that the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, said: No charity (zakat) is due on less than five awsuq (610 kilograms) of dates, or less than five awaqs of silver, or less than five adult camels (Al-Bukhari: 2/529, 1390, Muslim: 2/637, 979).


. . .


These two Hadiths complement each other. While the first Hadith specifies the amount of charity due on each type of the agricultural products, the second specifies the minimum quantity the charity is due on such products. [6]


In our time, major portions of agricultural products are produced in farms, which use a lot of resources during the process of production and marketing, such as labor, irrigation systems, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging, and transportation. So, these products do not represent the simple agricultural production mentioned in the Hadith. In this case, agribusiness owners can calculate their charity (zakat) amount due on their agricultural products by deducting their costs from sales. Then, they give a charity (zakat) of 2.5% of their annual profits, following opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars, or 2.5% of the net market value of the products, including the profit, following the minority opinion. 


Domestic Animals and their Products


In our time, major portions of domestic animals and their products are produced in farms and big ranches, which use a lot of resources during the process of production and marketing, such as labor, buildings, electricity, water, feed, medicine, machines, and transportation. In this case, owners of these farms and ranches can calculate their charity (zakat) due by deducting their costs from sales. Then, they give a charity (zakat) of 2.5% of their annual profits, following opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars, or 2.5% of the net market value of the products, including the profit, following the minority opinion. 


However, if the animals graze on natural pasture, most of the year, without cost from their owner, then charity (zakat) is due on both, the animals and their products. For a minimum of five camels, one sheep is due, one bull calf is due on thirty cows, and one sheep is due on forty sheep. [7] 


Important Note:


The topic of the charity (Zakat) rules has been addressed as general principles and general information, in this section. Thus, readers are advised to seek for assistance from professional Islamic scholars, concerning the operationalization of how much they are required to spend annually, as their charity (Zakat) giving.




Giving charity (zakat) is one of the main commands of Allah and the third duty (way of worship) for Muslims to observe. It is a way to purify the human self (the moral decision-making part of the soul), which is rewarded by living eternally in Paradise, for giving it. However, it is a right for the poor in the wealth of the wealthy. Therefore, those who are wealthy and deny it to the poor and the needy will be punished in the Hell Fire. 


Allah, praise to Him, wants humans to care for and benefit each-other. When this happens, individuals, groups, and communities experience social solidarity, stability, and prosperity, all of which are among the great outcomes of giving charity (Zakat). If the wealthy ignore the poor and deny them their right in the wealth, then stagnation, instability, and disorder may happen as a result. 


This is Islam at one of its manifestations, as God's message of guidance to humanity.  






Honorific Address Titles:


Muslims show their respect and appreciation to Allah, His Messengers, and to the Prophets Companions by using the following terms, which are used in abbreviation throughout the book, including this chapter:


Allah, praise to Him (ptH).


The Messenger of Allah (the Prophet), peace and blessings of Allah be upon him (pbbuh).


A Companion of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with him/her (mAbpwh), in plural (mAbpwt).


[1] The verse statistics mentioned in this Chapter and throughout the book are drawn from two Arabic indexes of the Holy Quran. The first is the search function of an online source, The second is a paper index, titled, "The Holy Quran Index," by Muhammed Fuad Abdul Baqi. Cairo: Dar Al-Fikr.1406 (1986). The Arabic Title of the index is: Al-Muajam Al-Mufahras Li Alfadth Al-Quran Al-Kareem.  


The word "Zakat," which means "purification" or "giving charity," was mentioned as a noun in the Holy Quran 32 times. In 26 times, it was mentioned following the mention of establishing prayer, as the second and third duties (ways of worship) and characteristics of Muslims, as stated in the following verses: 


2: 43, 2: 83, 2: 110, 2: 177, 2: 277, 4: 77, 4: 162, 5: 12, 5: 55, 9: 5, 9: 11, 9: 18, 9: 71, 19: 31, 19: 55, 21: 73, 22: 41, 22: 78, 24: 37, 24: 56, 27: 3, 31: 4, 33: 33, 58: 13, 73: 20, and 98: 5. 


The word "Zakat" was also mentioned as a noun, mean charity and "purification of the human self" but without being mentioned together with prayer, in verses 7: 156, 23: 4, 30: 39, and 41: 7.


Further, the word "Zakat" was mentioned as a noun, in verse 18: 81, and in verse 19: 13, as adjective of Prophet Yahya (John), peace be to him.


Verse 35: 18 contained mentioning prayer as well as two forms of the verb zakka, which are tazakka and yatazakka.


Other derivatives of the verb "zakka" were mentioned 20 times in the Holy Quran but without being linked with the duty of establishing prayer, as stated in the following verses: 


2: 129, 2: 151, 2: 174, 3: 77, 3: 164, 4: 49 (twice), 9: 103, 20: 76, 24: 4, 24: 21, 35: 18 (twice),  53: 32, 62: 2, 79: 18, 80: 3, 80: 7, 87: 14, 91: 9, and 92: 18. 

Finally, adjectives derived from the verb zakka were mentioned 6 times in the Holy Quran, as stated in verses 2: 232, 18: 19, 18: 74, 19: 19, 24: 28, and 24: 30.


[2] The English translation of the meanings of the verses of the Holy Quran in this book, including this chapter, is based on the Sahih International and other translations of the Holy Quran, which are published at However, this author is solely responsible for the changes he made to the translations, the transliteration of the Arabic letter sounds, the use of parentheses to a clarify the meaning of the Arabic text, and the use of the English comma instead of the Arabic conjunctive word "and" when there's a sequence of related words or phrases.


The Arabic conjunctive letter (  ) is translated by this author as a comma (,) instead of translating it as "and" because both the comma and the Arabic letter   have the same meaning. Thus, in some cases, this translation conforms to the English language norm of using commas to separate related words or phrases, with using "and" before the last word of the sequence. 


Here is an illustration about the difference in the translation, as applied to verse 2: 83, which has seven Arabic conjunctive   letters, separating related words or phrases in a sequence:   


ٰ ٰ  ( 2: 83). 


The following is a translation of Verse 2:83, using an emphasized English comma (,) as a translation for the Arabic conjunctive letter (  ) : 


And (O Muhammed, mention to people the time) when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel (enjoining upon them to): "Do not worship except Allah, do good to parents, relatives, orphans, the needy, speak to people (with) good (words), establish prayer, and give zakat." Then, you (Children of Israel) turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing (Al-Baqara, 2: 83).    


The following is a translation of the same Verse, 2:83, using the English conjunctive word "and" as a translation for the Arabic conjunctive letter  : 

And (O Muhammed, mention to people the time) when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel (enjoining upon them to): "Do not worship except Allah and do good to parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and speak to people (with) good (words) and establish prayer and give zakat." Then, you (Children of Israel) turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing    (Al-Baqara, 2: 83).     


[3] The word sadaqa," which means "charity" was mentioned as a singular noun 5 times, in the Holy Quran, in the following verses: 2: 196, 2: 263, 4: 114, 9: 103, and 58: 12.


It was also mentioned as a plural noun (sadaqat) 9 times, in verses 2: 264, 2: 271, 2: 276, 4: 4, 9: 58, 9: 60, 9: 79, 9: 104, and 58: 13.


Moreover, it was mentioned as an adjective in 3 verses, which are 12: 88, 33: 35, and 57: 18.


Finally, it was mentioned as a verb in 3 verses, which are 2: 280 (tasaddaqoo), 5: 45, and 12: 88 (tasaddaqa).


[4] See Al-Ghufayli (2008: 160) in regard to estimating the twenty dinars as the equivalent of 85 grams of gold and the five awaqs as the equivalent of 559 grams of silver.


. 2008. " : ." . 1429 \ 2008 .


Al-Ghufayli, Abdullah Mansoor. 2008. Nawazil Al-Zakat: Dirasa Fiqhiya Tasiliya limustajdat Al-Zakat (Contemporary Issues of Zakat: An Analytical Study). A Ph.D. Dissertation (in Arabic), accepted by Sharia College, Imam Muhammed Bin Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1428 / 2007. Published by Iman Press and Publication, in 1429 / 2008


[5] For more information about the two main viewpoints of Islamic scholars about the topic of the profit-producing property, see Al-Ghufayli (2008: 125-135). For more details, see Al-Ghufayli (2008: 137, 154-160, 170, 182-184, and 228), and for stocks of the industrial companies, see Al-Ghufayli (2008: 175-177).


[6] See Al-Ghufayli (2008: 98-103, 107), for a detailed discussion about the calculation of the minimum amount of agricultural products, which charity (zakat) is due on.


. . 2035 610.500 . (   2008: 103).


[7] If animals are used for commercial purposes, such as selling and buying them or their products, then the animals are treated as a business, and the 2.5% charity (Zakat) rate applies.


If animals are used for their products and for reproduction purposes but graze on natural pasture, most of the year, then charity (Zakat) is due on them. For a minimum of five camels, one sheep is due, one bull calf is due on thirty cows, and one sheep is due on forty sheep,


However, if the animals are fed with vegetation or feed provided by their owners, no charity (Zakat) is required on them.

For more details, see Al-Ghufayli (2008: 115-122).


Details of specifying charity (Zakat) on animals are mentioned in a Hadith narrated by Caliph Ali, and in a directive by Caliph Abu Bakr, mAbpwt both.

Heres the Arabic text of the Hadith narrated by Caliph Ali, mAbpwh, followed by an English translation:


: " . ."


. ." .


: " ."


: " . . . . ."


: " . .


.  ( : 9 1572 17: 1574 : 561).


Caliph Ali, mAbpwh, said: (Zuhayr said: I think), the Prophet, pbbuh, said: "Pay a fortieth. A dirham is payable on every forty, but you are not liable for payment until you have accumulated two hundred dirhams. When you have two hundred dirhams, five dirhams are payable, and that proportion is applicable to larger amounts.


"Regarding sheep, for every forty sheep up to one hundred and twenty, one sheep is due. But if you possess only thirty-nine, nothing is payable on them." He further narrated the tradition about the sadaqah (zakat) on sheep like that of az-Zuhri.


"Regarding cattle, a yearling bull calf is payable for every thirty, and a cow in her third year for forty, and nothing is payable on working animals.


Regarding (the zakat on) camels, he mentioned the rates that az-Zuhri mentioned in his tradition. He said: "For twenty-five camels, five sheep are to be paid. If they exceed by one, a she-camel in her second year is to be given. If there is no she-camel in her second year, a male camel in its third year is to be given, up to thirty-five. If they exceed by one a she-camel in her third year is to be given, up to forty-five. If they exceed by one, a she-camel in her fourth year which is ready to be covered by a bull-camel is to be given." He then transmitted the rest of the tradition like that of az-Zuhri.


He continued: If they exceed by one, i.e. they are ninety-one to hundred and twenty, two she-camels in their fourth year, which are ready to be covered by a bull-camel, are to be given. If there are more camels than that, a she-camel in her fourth year is to be given for every fifty. Those which are in one flock are not to be separated, and those which are separate are not to be brought together. An old sheep, one with a defect in the eye, or a billy goat is not to be accepted as a sadaqah unless the collector is willing.


Translation by, at:


A detailed explanation of the Hadith is posted on the Islam Web, at:


A valuable treatment of the topic of charity (zakat), by a contemporary author, is in the following book (in Arabic):


Al-Qahtani, Said Bin Wahf, 2010 (3rd Edition). Charity (Zakat) in Islam, According to the Book (Quran) and Sunna. Center for Calling and Guidance, in Qasab (1431/2010).




(1431 2010 ) " : " . : .


A detailed analysis of the topic of charity (zakat) by an early Muslim scholar is in the Book of Zakat (kitab Al-Zakat), part of the treatise written by Al-Hafidh Al-Maqdisi, who died in 744 hijriya (1343 AD).


Al-Maqdisi, Al-Hafidh. 2007. Tanqeeh Al-Tahqeeq fi Ahadith Al-Talieeq. (Arabic) Edited by Sami Muhammed Ahmed Jadallah and Abdul Aziz Nassir Al-Khayani. Published in Riyadh by Adhwa Al-Salaf, in 1428 hijriya (2007 AD).


The book is also carried by several websites, such as:




( 744 1343 ).  " ." . " " 1428 (2007 ). :


Heres the Arabic text of the directive


issued by Caliph Abu Bakr to Companion Anas, who was going to collect charity (Zakat) from the people of Bahrain, mAbpwt both, followed by an English translation:



" .  







( ) .  





. ( : 3/319).


Rules of charity (Zakat) due on domestic animals, which graze on natural pasture lands, were given by the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, mAbpwh, in his directive to Companion Anas, mAbpwh, who was going to collect charity (zakat) from the people of Bahrain. In that directive, he used the example of getting charity on camels in kind (in the form of sheep, cows, and camels). The closest meaning of what he wrote is as follows:


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


This is the duty of charity, which the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, ordained on Muslims, and which Allah has commanded His Messenger with. Whoever is asked of Muslims to pay it rightly, he/she should give it. Whoever is asked to pay more than that, he/she should not give.


In (case of) 25-35 camels, the due charity (zakat) is one female sheep, which is in its second year of age and whose mother is pregnant (Bint makhadh untha, ).


In (case of) 36-45 camels, the due charity (zakat) is one female sheep, which is in its third year of age and whose mother has given birth (Bint laboon untha, ).


In (case of) 46-60 camels, the due charity (zakat) is one female camel, which is in its fourth year of age (huqqa tarooqa Al-Jamal, ).


In (case of) 61-75 camels, the due charity (zakat) is one female camel, which is in its fifth year of age (Jathe-a, ).


In (case of) 76-90 camels, the due charity (zakat) is two female camels, which are in their third year of age and whose mothers have given birth (Binta laboon, ).


In (case of) 91-120 camels, the due charity (zakat) is two female camels, which are in their fourth year of age (huqqatan tarooqata Al-Jamal, ).


In (case of) more than 120 camels, the due charity (zakat), on every 40 camels, is a female camel, which is in its third year of age and whose mother has given birth (Bint makhadh, ).; or on every 50 camels, is a female camel, which is in its fourth year of age (huqqa, ). (Ibn Hijr: 3/319).


Note: While in most culture theres only one word in reference to camels, the Arabian culture is unique in using several names for the animal, on the basis of its sex and age, as the resulting differences have different marketable values.


Explanation of the Arabic terms used in Caliph Abu Bakrs directives, from Ibn Hijr (3/319) is as follows: 


: ѡ   "" . 


: .   : " " ѡ . ."  


: .  


. .


ǡ ( : 3/319).


Abu Bakr's rules about the charity (zakat) due on domestic animals are explained in detail by many scholars, such as Sa'id Bin Ali Al-Qa'htani, at


Abu Bakr's rules were also explained briefly by Muhammed Bin Salih Al-'Uthaymeen, at:  




About the Author and the Book:


* The author of this book has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology. He was born in Gaza, Palestine in 1369 Hijriya (1950) but he has been living in the United States since 1986.
The authentic Quran Arabic text is used as a reference for the translation of the meanings of the Quran verses, particularly from


The works of the three renowned Islamic scholars Al-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi, and Ibn Katheer, have been used throughout the chapters of this book, as these are the most credited interpretations of the Holy Quran, for their use of 'Hadith, companions' interpretations, and their thorough knowledge of the Arabic language.


  ( 61: 8).  


They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it (Al-Saff, 61: 8). 




Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.