Zakat is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. It is a charity duty imposed on a certain threshold of excess money and paid to the poor. It is the most important pillar after testifying that there is no deity than God and prayer.
Linguistically speaking, the Arabic word zakat signifies growth and increase. In Islamic contexts it refers to a duty imposed on money that exceeds a certain threshold, bound by time, and is payable to specific groups.
Zakat is an Islamic obligation and one of the five pillars upon which the structure of Islam is built. It is indeed the most important rukn of Islam after prayer.
‘Attend regularly to your prayers and pay your zakat.’
‘Take a portion of their money as charity, so that you may cleanse and purify them thereby.’
:The Prophet (peace be upon him) says
‘Islam has been built on five pillars: testifying that there is no deity other than Allah worthy of being worshipped and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), attending to the prayers, paying the zakat, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House, and fasting in Ramadan.’
Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 8; Muslim, hadith No. 16
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent his Companion, Mu’adh ibn Jabal as governor of Yemen, he gave him instructions as follows:
‘Call on them to believe and declare that there is no deity other than Allah worthy of being worshipped and that I am Allah’s messenger. If they accept this from you, then inform them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to offer five prayers on every day and night. If they accept this from you, then inform them that Allah has imposed on them a charity duty that will be taken from the rich among them and paid to the poor.’
Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 1,395; Muslim, hadith No. 19.
All Muslims throughout the world agree that it is a binding duty, and the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Companions agreed to fight those who rebelled against it.
- Al-Nadawi, Al-Fiqh al-Muyassar, p. 121.
- Al-Nadawi, Al-Fiqh al-Muyassar, p. 122.