Once Zakat becomes due then the scholars are all of the opinion that it must be paid without delaying it unless there is a valid reason to do so.

If one is unable to pay the Zakat in one payment then he/she may be able to pay in instalments as longer as the total amount due is paid.

Can I pay my Zakat in advance or arrears?

Zakat can be pre-paid before your Zakat anniversary. This is to encourage people to increase in worship and make the most of blessed times like Ramadan or the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. If you do pay early, you still need to work out your Zakat due on your Zakat anniversary to make sure you’ve paid the right amount.   CALCULATE YOUR ZAKAT NOW  
Anyone who is a Muslim, adult (has reached puberty) and is sane, is expected to give Zakat if they have the minimum amount of wealth, which is known as the Nisab. The Nisab was set by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at a rate equivalent to 87.48 grams of gold and 612.36 grams of silver. If you’re not up to date on your gold and silver values then don’t worry, this simply means about £3,664.54 (gold Nisab) and £286.34 (silver Nisab) as of February 2020 respectively. Check out our Nisab Rate page which is regularly updated with the latest amounts.   CALCULATE YOUR ZAKAT NOW  
Zakat is due immediately upon your Zakat anniversary. If you’re not sure when this is or you’re paying for the first time, simply work out the day you first owned wealth over and above the Nisab threshold (if you don’t know the exact date you can estimate). Once you’ve paid your Zakat once this then becomes your Zakat anniversary. Zakat can be pre-paid before your Zakat anniversary. This is to encourage people to increase in worship and make the most of blessed times like Ramadan or the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. If you do pay early, you still need to work out your Zakat due on your Zakat anniversary to make sure you’ve paid the right amount.   CALCULATE YOUR ZAKAT
Q: Why is there a gold Nisab and a silver Nisab?

A: There are two standards as opposed to one. The reason for this is that Dinar and Dirham were commonly and interchangeably used in the markets in the Prophetic era.

There are two standards as opposed to one. The reason for this is that Dinar and Dirham were commonly and interchangeably used in the markets in the Prophetic era. The exchange rate at the time was 1:10, and therefore the Zakat payer ended up paying the same amount in terms of purchasing power in the prophetic era. However, there is a stark difference between the gold and silver Nisab today. Hence, the silver Nisab is commonly suggested as the benchmark for Zakat obligation.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam
From the five pillars, the Qur’an mentions the three pillars of ‘Īmān, Ṣalāt and Zakat together repeatedly. The great scholar, Imam al-‘Irāqī (d.806 AH) states that whoever performs these three pillars correctly, will be able to perform fasting and Ḥajj easily. Al-Kirmānī (d.786 AH) mentions Ṣalat and Zakat have more importance and emphasis due to their universal nature. It is of no surprise then that the Qur’an exhorts steadfastness on Salat and Zakat twenty-eight times.

In fact, Mulla Ali al-Qari (d.1014 AH) states that Salat and Zakat are the origins of all worship and good deeds. Imam al-‘Ayni (d. 855 AH) refers to Zakat as the partner of Salat. If Salat and Zakat are rightfully established at a macro and micro level in the society, they will help in all other good deeds and acts manifesting in society.

It is upon this establishment of virtue which Allah promises prosperity and harmony for all.

“God has made a promise to those among you who believe and do good deeds: He will make them successors to the land, as He did those who came before them; He will empower the religion He has chosen for them; He will grant them security to replace their fear. ‘They will worship Me and not join anything with Me.’ Those who are defiant after that will be the rebels. Establish Salat, give Zakat and obey the Messenger so that you may receive [this] Mercy!” (Quran 24:55-56).">

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The purpose of Zakat is to enable Islam to flourish as intended: as a real commitment to God that inspires believers to strive for prosperity, harmony and justice for all. Supporting the poor and needy is a key component of this, but not the only element.

There are two aspects which work together to achieve the purpose:

Individual support. (the majority of NZF’s work) 50% of Muslim households are in poverty compared to 18% for the population overall. Under the welfare system, application procedures for housing and other benefits are time consuming and bureaucratic. Applicants can encounter delays of up to several months before any benefit is forthcoming. NZF aims to provide assistance during this crucial time so that applicants (often with children) can live in safety and with dignity whilst other options are being explored. Through NZF’s support, those most in need in our community will feel a sense of belonging, their situation can improve and they can strive to become Zakat payers themselves.

Community-level support. Within the UK, young Muslims are excluded, discriminated against, or failed, at all stages of their transition from education to employment. In a survey taken in 2010, “just one in four” of the British public feel positive about Islam – the proportion is likely to be lower now. There is a great need to support Islamic scholarship, our community institutions and to engage in advocacy for Islam and Muslims. Through NZF’s support, our community will improve in its understanding of faith and in its participation in wider society while external perceptions of Islam and Muslims improve.
The concept of the National Zakat Foundation was born when shocking stories of poverty in the UK came to light. Although there are many Muslim charities in the UK, practical support for those suffering from poverty and destitution is scarce and fragmented. As a result, the National Zakat Foundation was established to provide an effective, organised and professional service to help those in need on our doorstep.

Since then, NZF has been thinking deeply about the purpose of Zakat. The two key principles behind the NZF approach are thought leadership and transformative impact.

NZF’s strategic approach to ensuring the purpose of Zakat is fulfilled, is to:

Take a holistic approach to distributing Zakat across the eight categories of Zakat recipients - providing practical support and building understanding of Islam and Muslims. This is achieved through providing practical support for those most in need and supporting Muslim community institutions and engaging in advocacy.

Distribute Zakat locally - all scholars agree that each country is worthier of its own Zakat. This is where our primary responsibility lies as we know our local context and needs the best.

Pool Zakat resources - by collecting and distributing the Zakat that is due, for the purposes which we believe God has decreed.

Those most in need in our community will feel a sense of belonging, their situation can improve and they can strive to become Zakat payers themselves. Our community will improve in its understanding of faith and its participation in wider society. This will help external perceptions of Islam and Muslims improve.

When both these aspects are achieved, Islam can flourish as a real commitment to God that inspires believers to strive for prosperity, harmony and justice for all.
Q: Why do the scholars differ in relation the wealth of children?#

A: The three schools of jurisprudence other than the Hanafi school state that Zakat should be paid on qualifying wealth owned by the orphan, child and the insane.

The three schools of jurisprudence consider the ownership of wealth reaching the Nisab as the driving factor behind the Zakat obligation. Furthermore, the child, insane and orphan’s wealth will also benefit from the purification of wealth due to the payment of Zakat.

The Hanafi school considers the element of worship in Zakat and therefore opines that Zakat is not binding on the orphan, child and insane. Since these individuals are not obliged to perform worship, they are not obliged to pay Zakat. However, if a person has intermittent sanity, they will be required to pay Zakat. Only a person with continuous insanity and mental incapacity is exempt from Zakat .

The parent/guardian will be responsible to pay Zakat on the wealth of the orphan, child and insane. They can pay from the wealth of these individuals.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam
Q: Why can't we give Zakat to help non-Muslims?

A: The majority of scholars agree that Zakat is to be paid and received by Muslims only. Zakat is subject to many rules when it comes to its discharge and distribution. For example, according to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, a child who is wealthy is not required to pay Zakat. Similarly, a person cannot give Zakat to his parents or children etc. Another example is that one cannot use Zakat money to cook some meals to feed the poor people.

However, these rules are not restricted to other acts of charity such as Sadaqah which can be given to anyone and can also take many forms. For example, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “If a Muslim plants a tree, or sows a field and men and beasts and birds eat from it, all of it is charity from him.” [narrated in Muslim]

Hence we encourage Muslims to also spend as much Sadaqah as possible to help both Muslims and non-Muslims (whether poor or not) in what ever form possible.