Your Zakat can end Poverty

Islamic Relief will continue its life-saving work around the world during Ramadan 2023, ensuring your donations get to those who need them most. We are on the front lines in over 30 countries, just like we have been with every major disaster since 1984, delivering food, water and emergency relief to those in desperate need.

It is incumbent on us to emphasise the importance of Zakat and the benefits of this religious obligation. Zakat has the potential to ease the suffering of millions worldwide and end global poverty – this is the power of Zakat.

According to the United Nations, the amount needed to achieve the first 2 Sustainable Development Goals – to end extreme poverty and hunger globally – is approximately R4.5 trillion.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was sent as a mercy to all and his lifestyle embodies being in the service of those in need while being in need himself. He put great emphasis on the payment of Zakat as a means to relieve the difficulties of those in need.



Imagine a world where everyone contributes and donates 2.5% of their wealth to those in need. The annual amount would be trillions of dollars which will showcase the true power of Zakat. Imagine what could be done with that! Poverty will be eradicated SubhanAllah!

Capitalism, conflict, greed, inequality, water shortages, climate change, lack of education, poor public infrastructure all create, exacerbate and shape poverty. The ending of global poverty is not an easy and simple process but a shared common goal could lead to achieving this.

Allah has shown us the way – all we need to do is follow.


What is Zakat?

Zakat (zakaat, zakah), or almsgiving, is one of the five pillars of Islam. This means that Zakat is mandatory for Muslims, along with the other four sacred pillars of prayer (salah), fasting (sawm), pilgrimage (Hajj) and belief in Allah and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (shahadah). For every sane, adult Muslim who owns wealth over a certain amount – known as the Nisab – he or she must pay 2.5% of that wealth as Zakat.

“…and those in whose wealth there is a recognised right, for the needy and deprived” (Qur’an 70:24-5)

Eligible Muslims pay Zakat once a year, and it is due as soon as one lunar (Islamic) year has passed since meeting or exceeding the Nisab (certain amount of wealth). The Zakat of every Muslim is then distributed to those who meet the criteria to receive it. At Islamic Relief, your Zakat is distributed with the utmost care to ensure that the most vulnerable, including children, those affected by war, disease and climate disasters, have access to the help that they need.

What is Nisab?

The Zakat Nisab value is the minimum threshold required for an individual to be obligated to pay Zakat in that specific lunar year. Your total overall wealth must equal or exceed the Nisab value in order for you to be liable to pay Zakat.

The Nisab was set by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at a rate equivalent to 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver. Originally, these values of silver and gold were equal but in recent times, they have become vastly different. The gold-based threshold being significantly higher than the silver-based threshold.

Nisab threshold as at 3rd March 2022
Nisab: R 8764.08 Silver: R 14.31 p/g Gold: R 1091.79 p/g Calculations inclusive of VAT

How do I Calculate My Zakat?

If the net value of asset that have been in your possession for a full calendar year equals or exceeds the Nisab threshold, then you are obliged to pay Zakat on the total value of your assets. If you only have gold as an asset, then the Nisab measure for gold should be used. There is general consensus among scholars that if you have a mixture of assets, then using the silver measure for Nisab is safer and more beneficial for the recipients of Zakat.

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