Zakat is one of the most important pillars in Islam. Zakat is also obligatory whereas sadaqa is voluntary. Zakat means both purification and growth also Zakat purifies the money. Zakat is the amount of money that every adult, mentally stable, free, and financially able Muslim, male and female, has to pay to support specific categories of people.This category of people is defined in surah at-Taubah (9) verse 60: “The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise.” (The Holy Qur’an 9:60).
The obligatory nature of Zakat is firmly established in the Qur’an, the Sunnah or hadith, and the consensus of the companions and the Muslim scholars. Allah states in Surah at-Taubah verses 34-35: “34:O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder them from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way Allah has pleased us to do. announce unto them a most grievous penalty- 35:On the Day when heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, their flanks, and their backs.- “This is the treasure which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the treasures ye buried!” The Holy Qur’an 9:34-35).
The prophet (pbuh) said: “Any owner of gold and silver, who does not deliver from them their right, on the Day of Quiyamah Day of Judgment, the gold and silver will be shaped as foils of fire. Then it will be heated in the fire of Hell; and then with it he will be ironed on his side, his forehead, and his back” narrated by Muslim.
It is agreed between Muslims in all the centuries the obligatory nature of paying Zakat for gold and silver, and from those the other kinds of currency.
Zakat is obligatory when a certain amount of money, called the nisab is reached or exceeded. Zakat is not obligatory if the amount owned is less than this nisab. The nisab or minimum amount of gold and golden currency is 20 mithqal; this is approximately 85 grams of pure gold. One mithqal is approximately 4.25 grams. The nisab of silver and silver currency is 200 dirhams, which is approximately 595 grams of pure silver. The nisab of other kinds of money and currency is to be scaled to that of gold, 85 grams of pure gold. This means that the nisab of money is the price of 85 grams of 999-type gold, on the day in which Zakat is paid.
Types of Zakat:
Is to give livestock, cereals, money, food, shelter, minerals, stocks, gold and silver.
When Is Zakat usually paid?
Zakat is paid usually every year by every financially stable Muslim at the end of every year. There is no specific amount that is stated in the Quran but most people usually pay 2.5% of their money.
Sadaqa is the voluntary charity.
Sadaqais what is given voluntarily for the sake of Allah to obtain the recompense from Allah when the person who does so aims at conformity with the truth in his deed.
Types of Sadaqa:
Sadaqa can be given in many good ways and includes all types of good acts such as:
Takbeer, Tasbeeh, saying the shahada and many other good acts and also everything done good intentionally is sadaqah.
Some differences between ZAKA and SADAQA
1. Zakat is obligatory while Sadaqa is supererogatory or voluntary. The money for the purpose of Zakat can be taken by force by the authorities while for Sadaqa, this is not the case
2. Zakat must be managed by a central authority while Sadaqa may be given individually or through authorities
3. Sadaqa is usually for exigencies or a sudden unforeseen crisis while Zaka is a continuous program aimed at providing the resources for the physical and personal development of the people
4. For Zakat, no categories of people have been mentioned in the Quran to whom it is for. [It is for the general physical and personal development of all]. For sadaqa, the categories of people whom it is for is mentioned.
5. In a bid to establish an economic system based upon the Quranic teachings, Sadaqa may be a measure much prevalent in the transitory stage while Zakat will be the main hallmark of the maturity of such a system when all will be provided what they need for their physical and personal development
6. To affect Zakat, an Islamic authority may levy fixed taxes of different sorts changeable according to the economic state of the nation but for Sadaqa, there is no fixed amount.