the third basic duty of islam is zakah.
what is zakah?
zakahis an act of worship (ibadah in arabic), just like salah. sawm and hajj. ibadah is any good activity we do to please allah. it is the payment of money which a muslim makes towards the cost of welfare to help people who are needy.
what are the welfare purposes or good causes?
they are: helping the poor, the needy and people in trouble or difficulty.
who must pay zakah?
zakah must be paid by those muslims who have more money than they need to spend. zakah is paid on a saving which a muslim has kept for a whole year without spending.
how much must be paid?
the payment is two and a half percent, which is two and a have pence (cents) for each pound (dollar) on cash and the value of gold and silver jewellery. these is a different rate for cattle a muslim owns and the crops he has grown.
we and our wealth belong to allah. allah give us all that we have. so we have to share our extra money with our fellow people who are in hardship.
zakah is not the same as charity (sadaqah). zakah is a payment we have to make once each year, and is only spent on the special good causes mentioned in the qur’an (surah 9, verse 60). charity is something we choose to give for any good cause at any time. allah loves us to give charity too.
allah will give us more if we pay zakah.