Islam and the Quran

What is zakat?

Question: What is zakat?

Zakat is a worship which is a financial obligation upon Muslims who have a certain amount of wealth. It is the rightful share of others in a person’s possessions.[1]

The word “zakat” is of the root “za-ka-wa = زكو” which means “improvement”.[2]

Zakat is given by Muslims as a type of worship which improves their personality, as well as the situations of other people. Giving zakat puts the money into circulation, thus also improving the economy.

Zakat is mentioned in the Quran always in definite form: “az-zakat”. This means that  the worship of zakat was already known in the society to which these verses were sent down, and that the verses point at that known worship of zakat.


[1] Al-Ma’arij 70:23-25

[2] Raghib al-Isfahani, Mufradat, art. زكو

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