Zakat is one of the five pillars in Islam that the Muslims are required to give to the less fortunate. It is obligatory to pay Zakat. Zakat means “purification”, thus it purifies your wealth and soul. 

Zakat is significant since it benefits not just the receiver but also the giver and society as a whole. The importance of Zakat cannot be overstated.

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However, many of us don’t know about the two types of Zakat and where can our Zakat go, or who is eligible to receive Zakat?

Two types of Zakat

Zakat al-mal

It is commonly known as Zakat. Muslims are obligated to pay Zakat on their wealth once a year. Every Muslim must pay 2.5% p.a of their wealth to the less fortunate. Only those Muslims who have reached a specific financial limit known as Nisab are obligated to pay this. 


Zakat al Fitr

It is also known as Zakat for breaking the fast during Ramadan. It is a religious obligation that every Muslim must fulfill after Ramadan, regardless of age or gender. Zakat al-Fitr provides food resources to the fasting and believing poor, allowing them to worship God wholeheartedly, commemorate the Eid Prayer, and share the day’s joy and delight with their children and families.

 “Gratify [the poor] on this day,” the Prophet [SAW] notably declared in this regard (Al-Shawkani, Nayl Al-Awtar).


Who can receive Zakat?

 Zakat is a religious tax that can be paid to deserving individuals or groups who fall into one of God’s eight zakatable categories in the holy Quran. 


Eight kinds of people who receive Zakat are:

  1. Low-income referred to as the poor.
  2. The needy people, i.e., someone who is in difficulty.
  3. Administrators of the Zakat.
  4. Those whose hearts are to be reconciled, including new Muslims and Muslim friends.
  5. Those enslaved (enslaved people and captives).
  6. Those who are in debt
  7. In the service of God’s will.
  8. Those who are stranded or traveling with little resources are known as wayfarers.


The wealthy can raise the needy, assist those in need, and console those suffering through Zakat. The zakat legislation establishes the rights of the poor to support and help one another and the freedom of those held captive as enslaved people or debtors. Zakat can alter the course of history. However, you first must pay for it.