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zakat (zə-kätˈ) [Arab.,=purification], Islamic religious tax, one of the five basic requirements (arkan or “pillars”) of Islam. All adult Muslims of sound mind and body with a set level of income and assets are expected to pay zakat. Zakat is due yearly on certain types of property and is distributed to eight categories of individuals specified by the Qur'an. These categories are usually defined to include orphans, the poor, travelers, beggars, debtors, slaves, and the efforts to propagate Islam. Zakat is payable, at different rates, on crops, harvests, herds, gold and silver, and merchandise. For gold and silver, which is understood to include all liquid assets, the rate is 2.5%. Being religiously prescribed, zakat is distinct from charity (sadaqa) which is voluntary. Zakat is essentially a personal exercise with no intermediary control, and could be given directly to its recipients, although a central treasury often collects it. In recent times, Pakistan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia have enacted legislation to enforce the zakat.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Arabic, ‘‘purification”), a religious “purifying tax” among the Muslims; it is prescribed in the Koran and its size and the rules concerning its use are discussed in the sharia. The zakat was designed for the maintenance of Muhammad and his family and for aid to the poor, travelers, and the participants in the “holy wars1’(jihad). In the feudal Muslim state, the zakat was levied (only from Muslims) on cattle, handicrafts, trade profits, personal money, and precious stones and jewels. Today, the zakat is a voluntary contribution to the Muslim clergy.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The matter regarding the release of zakat fund to the vocational training institutes was also discussed in the meeting.
Moreover, matter regarding release of Zakat fund to vocational training institutes were also discussed in the meeting.
The 'Zakat Semarak Ilmu' programme is co-organised by the Ministry of Education, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), Zakat Collection Centre (PPZ) and the Malaysian Translation and Books Institute (ITBM) who will distribute donations from zakat in the form of books.
"According to Administrator General Zakat, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Nisab for Zakat for the Zakat year 1439-40 AH is Rs44,415 (Rupees forty four thousand four hundred fifteen only)," according to SBP notification.
No Zakat would be deducted on amounts less than Rs44,415.
From this Ramadan, Muslims across the world will have a global platform under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to channel their obligatory alms, or zakat , for the refugee and displaced families from Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
Besides, he said that medicines worth over Rs164m were distributed in different hospitals approved by the Sindh Zakat Council.
Although zakat in Islam is mandatory for all Muslims, whoever owned an asset that is above the minimum amount of Nisab threshold (Saad & Haniffa, 2014), it is up to the zakat payers whether they prefer to pay their zakat through zakat institutions or pay directly to the asnaf.
Being one of the five pillars of Islam, the Quran and Hadith give detailed directives regarding how and when this obligation has to be fulfilled by Muslims, a few of which are discussed below: On what items should Zakat be paid on?
A global platform, which will allow proper and efficient channelling of the Zakat funds directly to the poor and vulnerable refugee families in host communities, has been launched in Abu Dhabi.
Since the original zakat calculation that provided by TAZU is manual calculation by using Microsoft excel only.
MANZAP is a zakat flagship intervention of the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ibadan branch, designed to provide the services of collection and distribution of zakat (obligatory tax for Muslims) and sadaqat (voluntary donation) for the benefit of deserving beneficiaries.