Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. An obligatory form of giving, Zakat requires that each year, every financially stable Muslim gives a set proportion of his or her wealth to benefit the poor and the needy. In the literal sense, Zakat means blessing, purity, and goodness. It forms an essential part of Muslim character and practice.
The activities of the Al Jisr Foundation are focused on aiding those mentioned by Allah in the Holy Qur’an, verse 60 of Surah At-Towbah:
“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.’’ [Qur’an 9:60]
- One’s zakatable wealth rises to a minimum threshold (Nisab)
- A lunar year (Hawl) passes while one’s zakatable wealth sustains the minimum threshold (Nisab)
Beneficiaries of Zakat
- Those living in absolute poverty (Al-Fuqarā’)
- Those restricted because they cannot meet their basic needs (Al-Masākīn)
- The zakat collectors themselves (Al-Āmilīna ‘Alaihā)
- Non-Muslims who are sympathetic to Islam or wish to convert to Islam (Al-Mu’allafatu Qulūbuhum)
- People whom one is attempting to free from slavery bondage. Also includes paying ransom or blood money (Fir-Riqāb).
- Those who have incurred overwhelming debts while attempting to satisfy their basic needs (Al-Ghārimīn)
- Those working in God’s path (FīSabīlillāh)
- Children of the street/ travellers (Ibnus-Sabīl)
It should be noted that the last 6 beneficiaries are limited to specialized institutions for Zakat, but that the first and second beneficiaries can be allocated Zakat on behalf of individuals.
- Implants the quality of giving in the Muslim
- Purifies the soul from miserliness
- Systemically combats poverty and hunger
- Strengthens relations between members of the community, leading to stability, and thus to development in all areas