Zakat (Arabic: زكاة zakāh [zaˈkaːh], “that which purifies”,also Zakat al-mal [zaˈkaːt alˈmaːl] زكاة المال, “zakat on wealth”,or Zakah)is a form of alms-giving treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax, which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer (salat) in importance.
As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, zakat is a religious duty for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. It is a mandatory charitable contribution, often considered to be a tax.
Zakat is based on the value of all of one’s possessions. It is customarily 2.5% (or 1/40) of a Muslim’s total savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as nisab, but Islamic scholars differ on how much nisab is and other aspects of zakat. According to Islamic doctrine, the collected amount should be paid to the poor and the needy, Zakat collectors, those recently converted to Islam, those to be freed from slavery, those in debt, in the cause of Allah and to benefit the stranded traveler.
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