UAE Friday sermon: Muslims reminded to pay zakat

ABU DHABI // Friday’s sermon tells all Muslims to pay zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, as it is an obligation for all Muslims who meet the criteria of wealth.

As Ramadan nears, the faithful are reminded to pay zakat to seek the bounties of Allah.

Allah says in the Quran: “And establish prayer and give zakat” (Al-Baqara: 110).

The Prophet Mohammed also said: “Islam is based on [the following] five [pillars]: to testify that there is no deity save Allah, and Mohammed is His Messenger; offer the [compulsory congregational] prayers; pay zakat [obligatory charity]; perform Haj [the pilgrimage to Mecca]; and observe fast during the month of Ramadan.”

The types of wealth liable for zakat include gold, silver, money, livestock (camels, cows and sheep), crops and trading goods at a varying rate, depending on the assets.

As for the amount of zakat, if the money a Muslim possesses reached the zakat nisab (the minimum amount liable for paying zakat), which is estimated at about Dh12,500, and when a full lunar year has elapsed since the nisab has been reached, then he must pay zakat at a rate of 2.5 per cent.

Zakat is also payable yearly on trading stocks and shares, as well as their profits, provided that their value has reached the nisab.

Moreover, zakat can be either paid in cash or in kind. No zakat is payable on women’s jewellery if these are used for adornment, the sermon says.

In the Quran, Allah says of those who deserve zakat: “Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] 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] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise” (At-Tawba: 60).

Here, the poor person is the one who does not earn any money, while the needy are those whose earnings are not sufficient enough to meet their needs. Those in debt are those who cannot afford to pay it off to the lender, the sermon explains.

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