There are two things, which confuse the majority of Muslims, almost every year. One, the way of saying Eid prayers. The other being the procedures, principles, and calculations governing zakat. The holy month of Ramadan is about to commence, in a matter of days. This holy month is full of blessings for Muslims. It is also the month in which, a large percentage of Muslims pay their zakat money. Zakat can be paid at any time of the year. However, most Muslims like to pay it in Ramadan. As the pressure of paying it within time increases, numerous questions generate in every Muslim’s mind. One of these rather frequently asked questions about zakat is can zakat be given to mosques?
Zakat is important to Muslims
Before we begin searching for an answer to this particular question, we must first have an overview of zakat itself. Zakat is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam. Hence, its importance is undoubted. Muslims are obliged to pay a certain amount of money, on an annual basis. This money serves as a kick-starter for the circulation of wealth in society. The underprivileged section of the social benefits in a most marvelous manner from this charity money. The benefits are not only restricted to recipients. Those who pay zakat become one-step closer to Allah (SWT)’s forgiveness and countless blessings.
How much is paid in Zakat?
How much is exactly paid in zakat? Well, first you must have a certain amount of money before you become eligible for paying zakat. This money is called Nisab. The traditional parameters for determining Nisab, there are two standards. These are gold and silver. 85 grams of gold or 613 grams of silver ought to do the trick. In terms of percentage, zakat is 2.5 percent of your annual savings.
The eligibility criterion for Zakat
Before we turn our attention to mosques, one final piece of knowledge is needed in solving this jigsaw puzzle. Who is eligible for zakat? The holy book of the Quran serves as a guiding light for all Muslims. In the matter of Zakat, Allah (SWT) says:
“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise”
Can Zakat be given to Mosques?
Well, the matter has become quite simple, has not it? The short answer to the query that can zakat be given to mosques is no. In light of the aforementioned verse from the holy book, there are eight categories. Only these people are eligible for zakat. Mosques are the house of Allah (SWT). These are not owned by any individual In particular. Hence, Muslim jurists believe that mosques do not qualify for the zakat money.
It is important to understand what paying zakat to a mosque means. It usually implies the meaning that money is being given to a mosque for construction purposes. However, zakat cannot be given for refurbishment purposes as well. However, there is a way in which zakat can be given to a mosque. If one is willing to pay zakat to a mosque because it is collecting money to distribute to the poor ones, the deed becomes permissible.
Some Muslim scholars do not agree with this point of view. They are of opinion that in the cause of Allah can be interpreted as a way of giving zakat to mosques. However, the majority firmly disagrees with this point of view. Most Muslim scholars think that in the cause of Allah means that zakat must be given to those who physically struggle in the name of Allah (SWT).
Zakat is an Islamic obligation that serves more than one purpose. In this discussion, we have answered a question that concerns many Muslims. However, you can still pay zakat to research centers, which are disseminating knowledge. However, the intentions must be pure in this regard. After all, every action of us is judged based on our intentions. So what are you waiting for? Pick that calculator and calculate your share of zakat for this year!