During the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world are encouraged to give freely to charity.
Giving Zakat (alms giving) is extremely important in the Islamic faith – it is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Zakat is mandatory on all Muslims who are financially able to give a portion of their wealth to those who are in need.
What Is the Purpose of Zakat?
- To distribute the wealth of the community to those who are less fortunate
In the famous Hadith of Mu’adth (PBUH): “If they obey you to do so [pray 5 times a day], then inform them that Allah has made it Fard upon them to pay Zakat from their wealth. It is to be taken from the wealthy and given to the poor amongst them”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, No.1331)
- Giving in the path of Allah reminds us to remove the love of our wealth from our hearts – we all know how greedy we can become 🙂
Should I Give Zakat?
- Nisab: Zakat is mandatory on those who are financially able to give it. There is a certain amount of money, called nisab, that needs to be reached or exceeded before Zakat is mandatory.
- Assets/wealth that equal to or exceed the nisab, and minus any debt, is zakatable
- Assets/wealth have to be in your possession for one lunar year before Zakat is obligatory on it. The amount has to be equal to or greater than the nisab
When Should I Give Zakat?
- Popular to common belief, Zakat is not mandatory during Ramadan. However, because it is a holy month, most people prefer to give Zakat during Ramadan.
How Much Should I Give?
- According to Isna Canada’s 2010 Zakat Calculator, the nisab is $3,915 – this number changes based on the value of gold
- The rate of Zakat is 2.5% of your zakatable assets
- Check out Isna’s ZAKAT FORM 2010-1 to do the math yourself 🙂
Give, Give, Give!
In a decade where there is such an abundance of food, there is no reason for thousands of people to be starving. If we can spend $5 on our daily coffee at Starbucks, we can donate a small amount to those who are in need.
So give, and give freely.
Obviously, there are lots of different causes to donate to. Below are some issues and organizations that urgently require help:
- Somalia – we’ve all seen the graphic pictures of children starving in Somalia. From July 6 to Sept 16, the Government of Canada is matching all donations made by Canadians to eligible charities. Donate. Donate. Donate!
- Islamic Relief Canada – they help numerous different causes from Somalia to the floods in Pakistan to the Japan Tsunami
- Muslim Welfare Centre of Toronto – you can choose to donate through the Muslim Welfare for international aid or local shelters
- Al Maghrib
- Your local Masjids, schools, Welfare Centres, etc
“Those who spend their wealth in charity by night and day, secretly and openly, they will have their reward from their Rabb. They shall have nothing to fear or to grieve.” [2: 274]