Saturday, October 24, 2009
Zakāh (Arabic: زكاة or "alms giving", one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a small percentage of one's possessions (surplus wealth) to charity generally to poor and needy individual. It is often compared to the system of tithing and alms, but it serves principally as the welfare contribution to poor and deprived Muslims, although others may have a rightful share. It is the duty of an Islamic community not just to collect zakat but to distribute it fairly as well.
Zakat is sometimes refers as sadaqah and its plural, sadaqat. Generally the Sharing of wealth is called zakat whereas the sadqat could be sharing of wealth as well sharing of happiness among God's creation such as saying kind words or smile at someone or take care of animals or environments etc.
Zakat or sadqah is worship in Islam a means of spiritual purification. It is not a tax burden but serves as socio-financial system of Islam by re-distributing the wealth among poor and needy.