Islamic Concept of Zakat – Charity and Social Justice

Zakat is an essential pillar of Islam that emphasizes the importance of charity and social justice. It is the third pillar of Islam and is obligatory for every Muslim who possesses a specific amount of wealth. The concept of Zakat goes beyond just giving money to the needy. It is a means of purification of wealth, as well as an act of worship and devotion to Allah. In this article, we will delve deeper into the Islamic concept of Zakat, its significance, and the impact it has on society.

What is Zakat?

Zakat is a cornerstone of Islam and has a significant place in Muslims’ daily life. It is both a required act of kindness and a purifying ritual. Giving a portion of one’s income to people in need is known as zakat, which is an Arabic word that means “purification”. It promotes compassion, fosters social cohesion, and guarantees an equitable distribution of wealth within the neighborhood. Muslims who qualify for the Zakat obligation must donate a certain portion of their yearly earnings and savings to help the less fortunate, such as the underprivileged, widows, orphans, and others facing financial difficulty. By carrying out the obligation of Zakat, believers uphold the Islamic values of charity, empathy, and equality while also advancing social justice and purifying their own wealth.

The Importance of Zakat in Islam:

Zakat is an integral part of the Islamic faith and is considered one of its foundational pillars. The Islamic teachings encourage Muslims to practice the key values of charity, compassion, and social justice, emphasizing their importance in their daily lives.” Zakat is a mandatory obligation for all Muslims who possess a certain amount of wealth, and it is a way of fulfilling their social responsibility towards their community.

One of the most crucial aspects of Zakat is its role in reducing poverty and inequality in society. By giving Zakat, Muslims contribute to the betterment of their community and help those who are less fortunate. People with low income, the needy, and those in debt can receive financial assistance through the use of Zakat funds. Zakat also bridges the gap between the rich and the people with low income, ensuring a more equitable distribution of wealth in society.

Another important aspect of Zakat is its role in promoting economic growth. Zakat encourages the circulation of wealth in society, which helps to create a more vibrant and dynamic economy. By giving Zakat, Muslims contribute to the development of their community and the betterment of their society. The Islamic financial system also includes Zakat as an essential component, which ensures the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the people with low income and maintains financial stability.

The Impact of Zakat on Society:

Zakat has a significant impact on society, as it helps to alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and promote social justice. We use Zakat funds to provide financial assistance to people with low income, the needy, and those in debt. The beneficiaries can use Zakat to fund public projects, such as building hospitals, schools, and other community facilities.

Zakat also helps to promote economic growth, as it encourages the circulation of wealth in society. By giving Zakat, Muslims contribute to the development of their community and the betterment of their society. Additionally, the Islamic concept of Zakat encourages Muslims to be mindful of their wealth and to use it in a responsible and ethical manner.

Zakat and the Islamic Financial System:

A cornerstone of the Islamic financial system, zakat is essential in advancing social welfare and economic justice. Based on their wealth and income, Muslims are obligated to offer in this manner of charity. This charitable giving method, which has its roots in Islamic principles, aims to redistribute wealth and help people in need. In Islam, zakat is not only a charitable deed but also a form of devotion. It is regarded as a means of purifying one’s wealth and obtaining Allah’s blessings. The word “zakat” itself denotes expansion or purification. Muslims recognize that Allah has bestowed them with wealth and therefore they share a portion of their riches with the less fortunate. Moreover, zakat is essential to the Islamic financial system, built on justice, fairness, and accountability. It reduces poverty, narrows the wealth gap, and fosters a just society.

The governance of zakat distribution and collection ensures accountability and prevents mishandling of funds. The Islamic financial system, built on the values of justice, fairness, and accountability, relies on zakat as a crucial component. It contributes to the reduction of poverty, closing the wealth gap, and building a more just society. In addition, governing bodies regulate the distribution and collection of zakat to ensure accountability and prevent mishandling of funds. The destitute, the needy, those who are in debt, travelers, and the Muslim community as a whole are among the groups of persons who are qualified to receive zakat. Approved organizations typically facilitate the collection of zakat or distribute it directly to those in need. Encouraging Muslims to offer their zakat locally supports the neighborhood and addresses urgent needs.


In conclusion, Zakat is an integral part of the Islamic faith that promotes charity, compassion, and social justice. It is a means of purifying wealth, fulfilling social responsibility, and promoting economic growth. Additionally, zakat funds provide financial assistance to individuals with low income and the needy, while also financing public projects that benefit the community as a whole.

Promoting social cohesion, reducing inequality, and ensuring fair distribution of wealth in society are not the only limitations of Zakat; it actively achieves these goals by encouraging the giving of money. The Islamic concept of Zakat encourages Muslims to be mindful of their wealth and to use it in a responsible and ethical manner. Additionally, by giving Zakat, Muslims contribute to the betterment of their society and fulfill their obligation to Allah.


Frequently Aske Questions (FAQs):

1. What are the 3 conditions of Zakat?

The three conditions of Zakat are:

  • Ownership: The individual must possess the minimum amount of wealth (Nisab) that makes them eligible to pay Zakat.
  • Eligibility Period: A lunar year (Hawl) must pass while the wealth remains in the possession of the individual.
  • Intention: The intention to fulfill the obligation of Zakat must be present while giving the charity.

2. What is the concept of Zakat PDF?

The concept of Zakat PDF refers to the distribution and management of Zakat through a philanthropic development fund (PDF). This approach ensures efficient collection, organization, and allocation of Zakat funds to various eligible recipients, such as the people with low income, needy, debtors, and other deserving individuals or groups.

3. What is Zakat in the 5 pillars of Islam?

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, which are the foundational acts of worship for Muslims. It is the obligatory giving of a portion of one’s wealth to the less fortunate as a means of purification, blessing, and social responsibility. Zakat holds a significant position among the five pillars, along with the declaration of faith, prayer, fasting during Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

4. What is Zakat and its types?

Zakat is an obligatory form of charity in Islam where Muslims give a specific portion of their wealth to assist the less fortunate. There are two main types of Zakat:

  • Zakat al-Mal: This refers to the mandatory giving of a portion of one’s wealth, including cash, gold, silver, business assets, and agricultural produce.
  • Zakat al-Fitr: This is a specific form of Zakat given at the end of Ramadan before the Eid al-Fitr prayer. It is typically in the form of staple food items and is aimed at purifying the fast and assisting people with low income to celebrate the festive occasion.

5. What are the 7 categories of Zakat?

The seven categories of Zakat recipients, as mentioned in the Quran (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:60), are:

  1. The  People with low income (Fuqara): Individuals who lack sufficient means to meet their basic needs.
  2. The Needy (Masakin): Those who are destitute and unable to provide for themselves.
  3. Zakat Collectors (Amilin): Individuals appointed to collect and distribute Zakat funds.
  4. New Muslims (Mu’allafatul Qulub): Those who have recently embraced Islam and require assistance.
  5. Freeing Slaves (Ar-Riqab): The freeing of slaves through the payment of Zakat.
  6. Debtors (Al-Gharimin): Individuals burdened by debt, seeking help to repay their obligations.
  7. Stranded Travelers (Ibnus-Sabil): Travelers in need of financial assistance.

6. What is the basic principle of Zakat?

The basic principle of Zakat is to purify and grow one’s wealth through the act of giving. It is an obligation and a means of acknowledging that all wealth is a blessing from Allah. By fulfilling this duty, Muslims demonstrate gratitude, compassion, and social responsibility, ensuring the equitable distribution of wealth and assistance to those in need.

7. How much is Zakat in money?

Zakat is typically calculated as 2.5% of one’s eligible wealth. The Nisab, which is the minimum amount of wealth one must possess to be eligible for Zakat, is based on the value of silver or gold. The exact monetary value of Zakat varies depending on the individual’s total wealth and the current market value of silver or gold.

8. How is Zakat calculated in PKR?

To calculate Zakat in Pakistani Rupees (PKR), an individual would determine their total eligible wealth and then calculate 2.5% of that amount. The resulting figure represents the Zakat owed. It is important to consider the current market value of silver or gold while calculating the monetary value of Zakat.

9. Who is Zakat eligible?

Zakat eligibility extends to those who possess wealth above the Nisab (minimum threshold) and meet the specific criteria outlined in Islamic teachings. Generally, individuals who have held wealth above the Nisab for a lunar year are obligated to pay Zakat. However, it is advisable to consult with knowledgeable scholars or Islamic authorities for precise guidance regarding eligibility.

10. Can I pay Zakat monthly?

While Zakat is typically calculated annually based on the lunar year, it is permissible to pay it in installments throughout the year, including on a monthly basis. Many individuals find it convenient to distribute their Zakat amount over regular intervals to ensure a consistent and timely contribution to those in need.