When is best to donate Zakat?
The moment your accrued wealth surpasses the nisab threshold is when your Zakat year starts. You must hold the wealth above this threshold for a full year for it to count towards your zakat payment.
You can pay zakat at any point during the year, although many choose to do so during Ramadan when the spiritual rewards for doing so are much greater. You may give zakat in instalments or in one single donation.
Who is Eligible for Zakat?
Not everyone is eligible to pay or receive Zakat, with the teachings of Allah (SWT) advising us that only those with a personal wealth that exceeds the nisab threshold must make this payment. There are other circumstances that may also mean that someone is ineligible to pay or receive Zakat.
Who is Eligible to Pay Zakat?
To qualify to make a Zakat payment, you must fulfil each of the criteria below:
- Have a personal wealth that meets/exceeds the nisab threshold
- Not in captivity
- Be of Muslim faith
- Of sound mind
- Be an adult
Who is Eligible to Receive Zakat?
Just as not everyone qualifies to make a Zakat donation, neither is everyone eligible to receive it (such as mosques). The holy Qur’an places those eligible to receive Zakat into eight categories, which are:
- Those without wealth – Fuqara
- Those who are in need – Al-Masakin
- Anyone designated to collect and distribute Zakat – Amil
- Muslim reverts – Muallaf
- Those that are held in captivity/slavery – Riqab
- Anyone in financial debt – Gharmin
- Anyone fighting for the cause of Allah – Fisabilillah
- Travellers – Ibnus Sabil
Can I Pay Zakat to Parents, Siblings or Other Family Members?
Paying Zakat to family members is possible depending on the relation to each other. Your immediate family (including children, parents and grandparents) are not eligible to receive a Zakat donation from you. A husband also may not pay Zakat to his wife as she, like his immediate family, is someone that you have a responsibility to provide for, although the same is not true for a wife to her husband and, therefore, she can pay Zakat charity to him.
Relatives outside of your immediate family that meet any of the above criteria may well be eligible to receive your Zakat donation. If you are unsure, please refer to your local imam.
What is the Correct Time to Give Zakat?
Your personal Zakat year begins from the day that your personal wealth exceeds that of the nisab threshold. As soon as one Islamic (lunar) year has passed, which is the Hawl, your Zakat payment is due. If you are unsure as to exactly when this date falls, make a rough estimate and pay what is due by this time.