Every Muslim is required to give zakat, the charitable act of donating a portion of one’s earnings to the underprivileged.
Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, is an essential act of worship for Muslims around the world.
As a mandatory form of almsgiving, zakat is an integral part of the Islamic faith, fostering social responsibility, economic equality, and spiritual growth.
With a wide array of reputable charities and organisations operating in the country, Qatar offers many options for those looking to distribute their zakat in a meaningful and impactful way, whether through supporting education, healthcare and disaster relief.
Types of Zakat
‘Zakat Al Mal’ and ‘Zakat Al Fitr’ are the two types of Zakat that must be offered though they are frequently misunderstood.
The term ‘Zakat Al Mal’ refers to the amount that must be donated to charity based on the kind and quantity of assets a person possesses. It must be paid once a year, at the end of the lunar cycle, to mark the end of one year of wealth ownership. Wealth in the form of money, gold, silver, stocks, goods that are useful for reselling, shares, or even livestock, is subject to Zakat Al Mal.
However, ‘Zakat Al Fitr’ is a food donation that is required to be made during the month of Ramadan, more specifically, before the Eid Al Fitr prayer. The most popular way to give this charity is in the form of rice. It is expected of those who have enough money to support themselves and their dependents.
How to calculate Zakat
It’s important to know what Nisab is, which is the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to do Zakat.
If Zakat is to be paid for wealth in the form of money that is in hand or at the bank, and the owned amount meets the defined Nisab, then the payable charity is 2.5% of the wealth owned.
The minimum amount of Nisab according to Islamic law is 3 ounces of gold or 21 ounces of silver, but since all transactions in modern society are made in cash, this amount can also be calculated as cash value based on the price of gold or silver at the time.
In Qatar, Qatar Charity provides a convenient online calculator to make calculating Zakat simple. This year, the Nisab amount for money is QAR 20,071.05, while for gold its 85 Grams of 24 Carat/Calibre and over
Zakat on stocks
The Nisab amount on stocks depends on why the stocks were bought. If the shares were bought with the intent to sell them for a profit, the amount will be determined using the share’s current market value.
If the shares were purchased with the intention of receiving dividends, the cash dividend will be subject to the Nisab amount that applies to money.
How and where to pay Zakat in Qatar
Zakat can be paid at any of the various reputable organisations in Qatar that support a wide range of causes both locally and internationally.
Dedicated Zakat payment services are even available on the websites of organisations like Qatar Charity and the Qatar Red Crescent Society, making it simple to calculate and pay for Zakat.
Authorities also offer a government run e-service to pay Zakat on the Hukoomi website.
- Qatar Charity
Qatar Charity is a leading non-governmental organisation that focuses on humanitarian and developmental projects in Qatar and across the globe. Their initiatives include education, healthcare, water and sanitation, social welfare, and disaster relief. They accept zakat donations and ensure they are distributed.
- Eid Charity
Eid Charity, also known as Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad Al Thani Charitable Association, is a Qatari humanitarian organisation that provides various social and developmental services to local and international communities. They use zakat contributions to fund projects in education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and emergency aid.
- Qatar Red Crescent Society
QRCS is a humanitarian organisation that aims to assist and empower vulnerable communities by providing healthcare, disaster relief, and development aid. As a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, they accept zakat donations to support their efforts in Qatar and around the world.
- Education Above All Foundation
EAA is a Qatar-based global foundation that aims to improve access to quality education for marginalised and vulnerable populations, particularly in areas affected by poverty, conflict, and disaster. Their primary initiative, Educate A Child (EAC), focuses on enrolling out-of-school children and providing them with a quality primary education.
Silatech is a social initiative that works to create job opportunities and foster economic empowerment for the youth in the MENA region. They focus on entrepreneurship, skill development, and employment. Contributing to Silatech will help them further their mission of reducing poverty and promoting social development.