What is zakat and How to Calculate It?

Among the top charitable practices, zakat stands out as a fundamental pillar of Islam, emphasizing the importance of helping those in need. This concept not only strengthens the community bonds but also ensures that the less fortunate are looked after. In this blog post, we will explore what zakat is, how to calculate it, and how initiatives like the Muslim food bank in Toronto are pivotal in channeling these funds to the needy.

What Is Zakat?

Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the foundation of a Muslim’s faith and actions. It is a form of almsgiving treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax, which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer in importance. The practice of zakat is a way to purify one’s wealth by distributing a portion of it to those who are less fortunate. It serves as a reminder to not be selfish and to think of others’ welfare as well. The significance of zakat cannot be overstated, as it helps in reducing social inequalities and eliminates poverty in the community. 

  • Surah Al-Baqarah (2:110):  “And establish prayer and give zakat, and whatever good you send forth for yourselves – you will indeed find it with Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Seer (of what you do).

How to Calculate Zakat?

Calculating zakat can seem daunting at first, but it’s relatively straightforward once you understand the basics. Essentially, if you are an adult, sane, Muslim, and meet the minimum wealth threshold (nisab), you are required to pay zakat. The nisab is the minimum amount of wealth an individual must have before they are liable to pay zakat, which is equivalent to the value of 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver.

The general rule is to pay 2.5% of your total savings and wealth that has been in your possession for a lunar year. This includes cash in hand, in bank accounts, investments, gold and silver, and business merchandise. To simplify the calculation:

  • Total Wealth Calculation: Sum up all your assets including cash, savings, gold, silver, and investments.
  • Deduct Liabilities: Subtract any immediate debts or liabilities from your total wealth.
  • Apply Nisab: If the remaining amount is more than the nisab, zakat is due.
  • Calculate Zakat Amount: Finally, calculate 2.5% of the remaining wealth as zakat.

Muslims looking to fulfill their zakat obligation can easily calculate their due amount using Zakat Calculator. This tool ensures an accurate calculation that adheres to Islamic principles.


Zakat is more than just a religious obligation; it’s a way to purify your wealth, help those in need, and strengthen your community. Whether you’re contributing to a food bank, volunteering your time, or making a food donation, every little effort counts. Muslim Food Bank play a crucial role in ensuring these acts of charity reach those who need them most, embodying the true spirit of zakat.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What Is Zakat in Islam?

A: Zakat is a form of charity that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It involves giving a portion of one’s wealth to those in need, and it’s a way to cleanse your wealth in the eyes of Allah.

Q: How to Calculate Zakat?

A: To calculate zakat:

  • Determine your total assets (this includes cash, gold, silver, investments).
  • Subtract any debts you owe.
  • If what’s left meets or exceeds the nisab (minimum amount of wealth required to be eligible to pay zakat), then calculate 2.5% of this amount. That’s your zakat.

Q: How to Calculate Zakat on Cash?

A: Add up all the cash you have, in hand and in bank accounts. If it meets or exceeds the nisab, then calculate 2.5% of this total as your zakat.

Q: How Much Zakat to Pay?

A: Zakat is typically 2.5% of your total savings and wealth that has been in your possession for a lunar year, provided it exceeds the nisab.

Q: How to Calculate Zakat on Gold?

A: First, find out the current market value of the gold you own. If this value meets or exceeds the nisab, calculate 2.5% of this value to find out how much zakat you owe on it.

Q: What Is Zakat Al Fitr?

A: Zakat al Fitr is a type of zakat that is paid at the end of Ramadan, before the Eid prayer. It is aimed at purifying those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.

Q: Who Is Eligible for Zakat?

A: Zakat can be given to anyone in need, including the poor, the destitute, those in debt. And travelers in need, among others specified in Islamic law.

Q: How Much Is Zakat Al Fitr?

A: The amount varies by location. And is typically based on the cost of one meal for one person in your community. It’s best to check with a local mosque or Islamic authority for the specific amount.

Q: How to Pay Zakat?

A: Zakat can be paid directly to those eligible, through local mosques, Islamic charities, or using online zakat calculators and payment platforms that ensure your zakat reaches those in need.

Q: How Is Zakat an Example of the Will of Allah?

A: Zakat is a practice commanded by Allah, serving as a means to redistribute wealth within the community, ensuring that everyone, including the less fortunate, is cared for. It’s a manifestation of Allah’s will for social equity and compassion among Muslims.

Q: When Is Zakat Due?

A: Zakat is due one lunar year after you first meet the nisab threshold. Many Muslims choose to pay during Ramadan because of the increased rewards for good deeds during this holy month.

Q: What Does Zakat Mean?

A: Zakat means “purification” and “growth” in Arabic. It refers to the act of purifying one’s wealth by giving a portion to those in need, which in turn, leads to growth in society.

Q: How to Calculate Zakat on Salary?

A: If your saved salary, after expenses and any debts, meets or exceeds the nisab at the end of the lunar year, then you calculate 2.5% of those savings as your zakat.

Q: When to Pay Zakat?

A: Zakat is paid annually, after one lunar year of owning wealth that meets or exceeds the nisab threshold.




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