Pay Your Zakat Today!

“Establish prayer and give zakat, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves—you will find it with Allah. Surely Allah sees what you do.”

– Quran 2:110

I always look forward to my annual “pay your zakat” post! It’s really awe-inspiring to see how many come to these posts in Ramadan.

Zakat is a major part of Ramadan. Before it ends, after fasting for the last few weeks, purifying oneself while feeling for the struggles of those less privileged, one must give zakat (or Ramadan charity). It’s the practice of purifying one’s materials by donating 2.5% of one’s wealth and assets.

Zakat Calculator

Here are some wonderful organization that I believe are worthy of your zakat and continued donations throughout the year.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) informs and defends community members across the nation. I commend and admire my friend’s working there for their dedication to support local communities, providing legal services, education and training.

Islamic Relief USA is always hands on and on the ground, be it here in the USA or around the world. You can choose to have your zakat go toward meal packages, disaster relief or orphan sponsorship programs.

Pure Hands started when the war in Yemen caused the most devastating humanitarian crisis in the world. Working with multiple organizations across Yemen, this US based non-profit organization has been working non-stop to provide on-going humanitarian aid.

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) provides medical aid to children across the Middle East. They continue to support refugee children in dire need from Palestine, Yemen, and Syria.

Zakat Foundation of America continues to support many initiatives throughout the year. They have multiple programs one can choose to contribute their zakat too, with the Covid response in India, clean water initiatives, and educational sponsorship.

Launch Good has been a crowdfunding staple for Muslims looking to organize and donate to local and global initiatives. This is a great starting point to find and support these amazing initiatives.

Qatar Red Crescent Society has started an initiative for vaccine equity. The WHO Director-General even acknowledged their efforts for this very important global cause. We truly can’t make it to the other side of this pandemic alone.

If there is an organization you’d like included, please do so in the comments below!

May God accept our fasts, our prayers, and our zakat.

Paid Your Zakat Yet?

If the answer is no, now is the time to do so!

First, what is “zakat”?

Zakat (or Zakah) is an Arabic word now used universally to mean “obligatory charity“. As prescribed to Muslims with means, it’s obligatory to make an annual contribution of 2.5% against all assets one holds for a minimum of one year towards charitable use.

A good example might be one has, after expenses, a $1,000 in the bank, gold or silver worth $5,000 and a car worth $10,000. Their total assets are at $16,000 and they’d pay a minimum of $400 against that.

Have you feared to present before your consultation charities? Then when you do not and Allah has forgiven you, then [at least] establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

The Holy Quran, 58:13

Check out this Zakat Calculator by Islamic Relief USA

With fasting, we purify our bodies, minds, spirits as well as our material things. To do so, we sacrifice a bit of everything to bring forward our renewed selves. Fasting from food to bring in good energy. Fasting from day to day worrisome thoughts to bring in happier thoughts (think meditation). Fasting from earthly things to remind ourselves of the bigger picture through worship and Quran reading. To fully complete the month of Ramadan, one must give their zakat before Eid ElFitr (Festival of Breaking Fast), hence the term “Zakat ElFitr” (Zakat of Breaking Fast).

Remember, zakat is also giving your time and reminding others to do their part as well. Many get caught up with work, family gatherings and Eid shopping that a kind reminder is always appreciated. I know I appreciated the one I received yesterday and I hope this post as those I’ve written for the last several years serves as your kind reminder to fulfill your zakat.

Who qualifies to receive zakat?

The idea of zakat is to support those in need. That can be in the form of food, shelter, legal services or any other means to help them live a decent life. What do you have that others may have less of? If you were in a bad situation, what would you need to get out of it. It’s hard to put ourselves in another’s shoes sometimes but one of the main ideas of Ramadan is just that. Living with little food, little energy, but lots of dedication to get through it.

With that said, there are so many organizations, both locally and internationally, out there in need of our zakat to continue the amazing work they do not just in Ramadan but year round. I recommend checking on those that have been highly rated by Charity Navigator, many of which four star rated.

I personally would suggest the following organizations:

  • Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) for their amazing efforts to provide medical aid to children across the Middle East. They are currently supporting refugee children in dire need from Palestine, Yemen and Syria.
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for their dedication to helping local communities at large with legal services, training and support. They are currently supporting those in need through the disastrous border immigration response and the xenophobic Muslim Ban currently in effect.
  • Islamic Relief USA for their excellent disaster relief responses, meal plans across the globe and orphan sponsorship programs. You can select one or multiple programs you want your zakat to go towards.
  • Project Feed SF for feeding neighbors in need right here in San Francisco for over 10 years now. This and other amazing campaigns worthy of your zakat are listed under Launch Good.

Insha’Allah this information is helpful to you all. May God accept our fasts, our prayers and our zakat… ameen.