How to Give Zakat and Who Deserves It
Zakat

How to Give Zakat and Who Deserves It: A Call For Save Lives in Bangladesh

Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, an essential part of the faith that focuses on helping those in need. For Muslims in Bangladesh, giving zakat is a spiritual duty that purifies wealth and supports the community.

This guide will help you understand how to give zakat and who deserves it, written in simple, easy-to-understand English.

What is Zakat?

Zakat is a form of almsgiving treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax. It is not just charity but a mandatory process for those who are able.

The word “zakat” means “purification” and “growth.” By giving a portion of your wealth to those in need, you purify your wealth and contribute to the growth and betterment of the community.

Why is Zakat Important?

  • Obligatory Duty: Zakat is a religious obligation for Muslims, similar to praying and fasting.
  • Wealth Distribution: It helps in the redistribution of wealth, ensuring that those who are less fortunate receive assistance.
  • Spiritual Growth: It purifies the giver’s heart from selfishness and greed.
  • Social Responsibility: It promotes a sense of community and social responsibility.
  • Economic Balance: Zakat helps in reducing poverty and bringing economic balance to society.
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How To Calculate Zakat?

Before we delve into who deserves zakat, it’s essential to know how to calculate it. Zakat is usually calculated as 2.5% of one’s savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as nisab. Here’s a simple step-by-step process:

  • Determine Nisab: The nisab is the minimum amount of wealth one must have before they are liable to pay zakat. It is equivalent to the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver. As gold and silver prices fluctuate, check the current value to determine your nisab.
  • Calculate Your Wealth: This includes cash in hand, savings, investments, stocks, gold, silver, business goods, and rental income. Add up all these assets.
  • Subtract Liabilities: Deduct any debts or liabilities from your total assets. This includes any money you owe.
  • Check if You Meet Nisab: If your remaining wealth is above the nisab threshold, you are required to pay zakat.
  • Calculate Zakat: Multiply your zakat-able wealth by 2.5% (or 0.025). This is the amount you need to give as zakat.
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Who Deserves Zakat?

The Quran specifies eight categories of people who are eligible to receive zakat. These categories are outlined in Surah At-Tawbah (9:60):

  • The Poor (Al-Fuqara): Those who have no or very little income and cannot meet their basic needs.
  • The Needy (Al-Masakin): People who may have some income but still cannot fulfill their basic necessities.
  • Zakat Collectors: Those appointed to collect and distribute zakat.
  • New Muslims or Friends of the Muslim Community (Mu’allafatu Qulubuhum): Individuals who have recently accepted Islam or need encouragement to strengthen their faith.
  • Freeing Captives or Slaves (Riqab): This category applies historically to freeing slaves, but in a modern context, it can also include helping those in various forms of bondage or oppression.
  • Those in Debt (Gharimin): People burdened with debts that they cannot repay.
  • In the Cause of Allah (Fi Sabilillah): Those who are striving for the cause of Allah, which can include various forms of charitable work, educational projects, and more.
  • Travelers in Need (Ibn Sabil): Those who are stranded or traveling and in need of assistance.
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How To Distribute Zakat in Bangladesh

  • Research and Identify: Look around your community. You might find many people who are eligible for zakat. Research local organizations that support these causes.
  • Local Charities: Bangladesh has numerous reputable charities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that help the poor, needy, and other eligible categories. Organizations like BRAC, Grameen Bank, and various Islamic charities have programs that you can contribute to.
  • Personal Giving: Sometimes the best way to give zakat is directly to those in need. This way, you can see the impact of your donation firsthand.
  • Mosques and Islamic Centers: Many mosques and Islamic centers collect zakat and ensure it is distributed according to Islamic guidelines.
  • Online Platforms: There are various online platforms where you can give zakat. Make sure to verify the authenticity of the platform before donating.
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Practical Tips for Giving Zakat

  • Plan Ahead: Set aside a portion of your savings for zakat regularly, so it’s easier to give when the time comes.
  • Keep Records: Maintain a record of your zakat calculations and payments. This helps you stay organized and ensures you are fulfilling your obligation correctly.
  • Educate Yourself: Continuously educate yourself about the rules and regulations of zakat. Attend local classes or seminars if available.
  • Involve Your Family: Teach your children about the importance of zakat and involve them in the process. This instills the value of charity from a young age.
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The Impact of Zakat in Bangladesh

  • Poverty Alleviation: By distributing wealth, zakat helps reduce poverty and supports the less fortunate in meeting their basic needs.
  • Economic Empowerment: Many zakat funds are used to support small businesses and vocational training, helping people become self-sufficient.
  • Community Support: Zakat fosters a sense of community and mutual support, encouraging people to look out for one another.
  • Orphan Educational Opportunities: Zakat can fund educational programs, scholarships, and schools, providing better opportunities for future generations.
  • Healthcare: Zakat funds are often used to support healthcare initiatives, providing medical assistance to those who cannot afford it.

FAQ

Can I Give Zakat to Family Members?

Yes, you can give zakat to family members who are eligible under the zakat categories, except for your direct dependents like parents, children, and spouse. Helping extended family members who are in need is highly encouraged.

What If I Missed Paying Zakat In The Past?

If you have missed paying zakat in previous years, you are still obligated to pay it. Calculate the amount owed for each year and distribute it accordingly.

Is Zakat Only Given During Ramadan?

While zakat is often given during Ramadan for its added spiritual rewards, it is not restricted to this month. Zakat can be given at any time of the year when it becomes due.

Conclusion

Giving zakat is a powerful way to fulfill a religious obligation, support those in need, and contribute to the betterment of society.

By understanding how to calculate and distribute zakat properly, you ensure that your contributions are effective and meaningful. In Bangladesh, where poverty and need are prevalent, your zakat can make a significant impact.

Remember to research, plan, and give with the intention of helping and uplifting your community. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your zakat reaches those who deserve it and fulfills its true purpose of purification and growth.

Whether through direct giving, supporting local charities, or contributing to larger initiatives, your zakat can help build a better, more compassionate society.

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