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Zakat Institution


Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Terengganu


Lembaga Zakat Negeri Kedah



Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Johor

W.P. Kuala Lumpur

Pusat Pungutan Zakat MAIWP


Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Istiadat Melayu Kelantan

Negeri Sembilan

Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Sembilan

Pulau Pinang

Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Pulau Pinang


Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah


Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak


Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and is an essential act of worship and is carried out to please Allah. Its importance and rewards are highlighted several times in the Quran such as:

“And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and whatever of good (deeds that Allah loves) you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allah. Certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.” (2:110)

“And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.” (3:180)

Therefore Allah has commanded that a share of wealth be distributed annually amongst the groups of individuals who are entitled to receive it. We give a portion of our wealth out of duty to our Lord and because we are always working towards loving obedience to Him.

The word “zakat” itself literally means growth, purification and blessing which has many positives outcomes as follow.

Zakat Fitrah, also known as Zakat al-Fitr, is a mandatory charitable contribution in Islam that Muslims are required to give at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is a form of purification for those who fast, as well as a means to assist those who are less fortunate to enjoy the festivities of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Zakat Fitrah is obligatory upon every Muslim who possesses the necessary amount of food beyond their own needs and those of their family on the day and night of Eid. The amount to be given typically consists of a specific measure of food, such as wheat, barley, dates, or raisins, or its equivalent monetary value. This contribution is meant to ensure that everyone can partake in the celebrations of Eid and meet their basic needs.

Zakat Fitrah should ideally be given before the Eid prayer to ensure it reaches those in need in time for them to also celebrate Eid. It is distributed among the poor and needy in the community, providing them with the means to enjoy the festival and meet their essential needs.

Muslims are obligated to pay zakat fitrah for themselves, their families, and their dependents subject to the following conditions:

  1. Having a surplus of food or property from the needs of himself and his dependents on the eve and on Eid Fitr.
  2. Live in part of both the months of Ramadan and Shawal:
    1. Children born before the sun falls at the end of Ramadan and are still alive after sunset.
    2. Embracing Islam before sunset at the end of Ramadan and perpetuating his Islam
    3. Someone who died after sunset at the end of Ramadan.
  1. Sunnah (supererogatory) Time – Throughout the month of Ramadan
  2. Mandatory Time – Sunset at the end of Ramadan until sunrise on 1 Shawal
  3. Makruh (undesirable)Time – After the Eid Fitr supererogatory prayer until sunset on 1 Shawal
  4. Haram Time – After sunset 1 Shawal
  5. Afdhal (Recommended) Time – After sunset at the end of Ramadan until before the Eid Fitr supererogatory prayer

The obligatory rate of zakat fitrah is one Baghdad bushel which is approximately 2.7 kg of rice or its equivalent value. This value is based on stipulations by the state religious authorities. The zakat payment rate is based on the value of the price of rice weighing 2.7 kg.

  • It purifies our wealth and our hearts from greed and misery
  • It shows we acknowledge that wealth belongs to Allah and that other Muslims  have a right upon it
  • It is a good deed that by its obligatory nature draws us closer to Allah
  • It protects the poor and needy from hunger, provides them with the basic necessities and improves their economic circumstances
  • We take an active part in contributing towards society

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The distribution of zakat fitrah is prioritized for the poor and needy, then to other eligible recipients from the eight categories of zakat recipients. In the context of Malaysia, the method of paying zakat fitrah is determined by religious institutions empowered to do so.

Zakat is mandatory for individuals who meet the following criteria:

  1. They are free men or women.
  2. They are Muslims, as Zakat is a religious duty similar to the five daily prayers.
  3. They are mentally sound, according to Imam Abu Hanifa, though Imam Malik believes even an insane person is liable for Zakat.
  4. They are adults, as children are exempt, but guardians should pay on their behalf according to Imam Shafi’i and Imam Malik.
  5. They have complete ownership and control of their wealth, able to spend or dispose of it freely.
  6. They possess wealth exceeding the nisab threshold, which is the minimum amount needed to cover basic needs.
  7. They are free from debt, which can be deducted from their assets before calculating Zakat.
  8. They have owned the wealth for a full lunar year, with Zakat becoming obligatory if the remaining amount exceeds the nisab threshold at the end of the year.
  1. Zakat Fitrah (Tithes)
  2. Business Zakat
  3. Income Zakat
  4. Zakat on Savings
  5. Zakat on Gold and Silver
  6. Agricultural Zakat (Paddy)
  7. Zakat on Livestock
  8. Statutory Contribution Zakat
  9. Zakat on Shares and Bonds
  10. Zakat on Minerals and Treasures

Taxes and zakat are two things that are generally seen to have similarities but are very different in concept, methodology, legality, and aspects of obligation.

Taxes, as defined by financial scholars like Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, are: A financial obligation imposed on citizens to pay to the government (state) at a specific rate, taking into account the needs and benefits that the government administration will provide to fulfill the public needs of the citizens within a country and to realize some of the economic, social, political, administrative planning and restructuring, and other goals for the common good that are on the agenda of a country. [Fiqh al-Zakah, Volume 2, p. 997]

Taxes are the responsibility of the state, and the source of taxes comes from all types of income and can be collected from all citizens who have income. Taxes are also collected for the purpose of the state administration's interests, as stated by Dato' Haji Abdul Aziz @ Ambak Ismail, a member of the Fatwa Committee of the Islamic Religious Council and Malay Custom of Terengganu:

Referring to the principle of governance or Sharia law in Islam which means; any government affairs towards the citizens in a particular state are subject to the existence of virtue and benefits to the citizens themselves.

He also stated that the method of imposing taxes is important to safeguard the interests of the citizens and in the Islamic political system, the government and the citizens are equally responsible. The government (authority) is responsible for the citizens and the citizens must also be responsible for the ruling government, meaning both parties help each other because the government provides services to the citizens and provides good services to the citizens. Citizens should cooperate with the government by complying with the regulations imposed as long as there is no oppression.

According to Dr. Yusuf Qardhawi, the Arabic term for taxes is "dharibah," as stated in the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 61 which means:

Then they were struck by humiliation and poverty...

Based on this verse, taxes mean something that is imposed or in other words, pressure. This means that taxes are payments imposed by the government on the citizens [See paper by Dr. Ruziah Ghazali: Implications of Zakat on the State Taxation System]

As for zakat, it is a specific obligation in religion which means a specific right based on a specific rate in the wealth of the Islamic community, paid to specific groups with specific conditions aimed at thanking Allah's blessings and drawing closer to Him in the sense of purifying the soul and wealth.

Allah Almighty says:

And in their wealth, there is a rightful share for the petitioner and the deprived.

Surah Al-Maarij verses 24 - 25

Aspects Zakat Taxes
Concept Purification of soul and wealth, religious duty Imposed by the government on citizens, a burden
Consequences Sinful if not paid, neglecting duty to Allah Non-payment leads to government penalties
Eligibility Only eligible Muslim individuals All eligible citizens must pay
Collection Collected by Islamic governments only Can be collected by any governing body
Source Only from halal sources From all sources, including haram and riba
Rate Fixed rate, typically 2.5% of wealth Varies annually, may increase with wealth
Distribution Limited to 8 categories of recipients Used for general government expenditure
Nature Specific worship (pillar of Islam) Social responsibility and obligation to state
Basis of Obligation Derived from divine revelation Determined by government laws and needs
Evaluation Based on current wealth and estimated value Based on government budget and changing laws
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