Islamic concepts

Zakāh — wealth purification

The third Pillar of Islam is Zakāh: Islamic philanthropy. Your annual goal is to donate 1/40 (that is 2.5%) of your net worth to the needy.

30:39 9:103 2:110

The giving of a small percentage of one's surplus wealth to charity

Eligible givers

First you must become financially stable.

pay all debts first?

Your personal net worth must be at least

Niṣāb — minimum amount of wealth to be subject to Zakah

money, liquid assets or commodities equivalent to at least one of the following:

The primary forms of wealth subject to zakāt include gold, silver, livestock, agricultural produce, articles of trade, currency, shares and bonds, and other liquid assets.

generally defined as

  • precious metals
    • 20 Islamic gold dinars, i.e. 85 grams (3 ounces) of 25 carat gold
      • currently 4,137.87 CAD
    • 200 dirhams, i.e. 595 grams (21 ounces) of silver
      • currently 765.37 CAD
  • livestock
    • 5 camels
    • 30 cows
    • 40 sheep
  • equivalent amounts of other commodities

rich enough

possessed the niṣāb, the minimum amount of wealth that may be subject to zakāt

mandatory for every Muslim who posesses

personal duty

Eligible recipients

According to the Qurʿān they fall into eight categories:

  • the destitute (al-fuqarāʿ)
  • the needy (al-masākīn)
  • the zakāt administrator (al-ʿāmilūn ʿalayhā)
  • those receptive to Islam (al-muʿ allafa qulūbuhum)
  • those who are in bondage (fī al-riqāb)
  • debtors (al-gharīmūn)
  • those in the way of God (fi sabīl Allāh, i.e., engaged in anything that enhances the religion)
  • the wayfarer (ibn al-sabīl)

Balance of wealth

Ideally, zakāt creates a balance of wealth, freeing the individual to concentrate on spiritual advancement rather than material gratification. The Qurʿān, elucidating this point, warns against the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few:

"What Allāh has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the townships—belongs to Allāh—to His Messenger, and to the kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; in order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you (59:7)."

They calculate it for you


  • The Calculation of Zakah for Muslims in North America (Monzer Kahf)