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Zakat is an annual compulsory tax in Islam that Islamic law prescribes every Muslim has to pay on his property and income. The zakat must be paid by all independent, free, able-bodied adult Muslims, and the proceeds go to a fund to help those co-religionists who are in need. The zakat is paid from part of the property and funds of a Muslim for the benefit of certain categories of people in need. The amount of deductions from the money is 2.5%. 

Zakat explained

The zakat in Islam is one of the five pillars of the Muslim religion, one of the basics, the fulfillment of which is the most important duty of a Muslim, if he or she is able to fulfill it.

The zakat is paid at the rate of 2.5% of the money mass, from the income or the amount kept (at home, in a bank account, stocks or deposits), provided that the amount in cash equivalent for the year on the date of payment of thezakat, reached nisab or zakat taxable amount, which in 2021 is about 5000 $. 

The prescriptions of Islam in paying zakat apply only to Muslims, for non-Muslims living in the territories of the Islamic state a fixed amount of tax is set at 10%.

The zakat is not just a tax, in Islam it is the most important socio-economic institution, which is designed to establish the principles of justice in the Muslim society. It affects many aspects of life in society. Payment of the zakat means, according to Shariah, that the accumulated wealth of a Muslim and his income is not sinful. In Muslim countries there are open charities that collect and distribute the zakat.

The zakat and sadaqah should not be confused, since zakat is obligatory almsgiving in Islam, and sadaqah is voluntary almsgiving. Zakat how to pay and its amount is determined by the Shariah once a year and under certain conditions. Sadaqa almsgiving is paid according to Islam in the amount that the Muslim himself considers appropriate, and he can pay it at any time and in unlimited quantities.

Allah Almighty has shown great mercy and profound wisdom in entrusting Muslims with the duty of paying the zakat, because the zakat has many benefits: it combats poverty, strengthens brotherhood between Muslims, fosters generosity in Muslims, purifies from greed and from stinginess of hearts, imparts barakat to the material condition of man, and also exalts the property of a Muslim and protects him from troubles and even illnesses.

Payment of Zakat

By its very nature, the zakat is the property of poor Muslims in need, so a Muslim who does not pay zakat in the earthly world will still have to return it to those who needed it, but did not receive it, in Ahirat. Therefore, after the death of a Muslim, his relatives should first pay the zakat from the property left behind by the deceased, if he has zakat debts, and only after that can the execution of the will begin.

If a Muslim denies the obligation of the Zakat, he falls into disbelief, and if a Muslim refuses to pay the Zakat, the Muslim ruler must take away his Zakat and distribute it to the needy. 

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