No matter which country Muslims live, and regardless how high or low a countrys taxes are, paying Zakat cannot be replaced. It isnt a tax, it is worship. It isnt optional, it is an obligation. It is an ever-going and unbreakable Pillar of Islam. It cannot be replaced by any other taxes there are. Its payment cannot be stopped by whatever circumstance a Muslim is in. Allah Himself made giving Zakat to the poor a sign of loyalty to Him alone. Unpaid taxes may be forgiven by governments in various countries, but neglecting the duty of paying Zakat cannot be absolved. All Muslims must understand that Zakat is not their own. It belongs to other people. To know how much Zakat one owes to the needy, itll be much easier to use a Zakat calculator.
According to Ibn Hazm, an 11th century Muslim scholar and polymath from Spains Andalusian region, if a Muslim fails to pay ones due Zakat, its possible that ones wealth may be fully consumed just to pay off all those years of neglecting to pay ones duty. In other words, there is no way that a Muslim can escape ones duty. Other scholars meanwhile, believe that Muslims who dont pay their Zakat are not allowed to do business with other Muslims. Their right to conduct business, in whatever transaction, is forfeited. This includes ongoing contracts which shall be deemed invalid once its known that one of the parties in the transaction did not pay their annual Zakat.
Not intending to scare Muslim brothers and sisters, everyone is reminded that computing and paying due Zakat, using a Zakat calculator, is a solemn obligation. Muslims strongly believe that it is a chance to double ones blessings. More importantly, it is a chance to help other people. In Islam, a man or woman should never be content with the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them until they have paid their Zakat to the unfortunate, the lawful trustees in Allahs sight.
Allahs Lawful Trustees
The lawful trustees who receive Zakat payments are categorized into eight groups assigned by the Quran. Those who are eligible to receive it are (1) the al-masâkîn, or those who are in need or having problems and difficulties in life; (2) the al-fuqarâ, or those who have little or no wealth at all; (3) the wayfarer, or those who are travelling and are stranded, or cannot go further in their journey because of diminishing resources; (4) the captives and slaves, or those in bondage; (5) the new Muslim converts, or those who needs reconciliation with Allah and Islam in general; (6) the debt-ridden; (7) the defenders of Islam, or those who are in the cause of God; and (8) the Zakat administrators.
The Quran also indicates how to distribute Zakat precisely. A Zakat calculator will be most helpful in this situation. Muslims need to calculate their Zakat based on five categories which are (1-2) personal and business wealth, (3) agricultural produce, (4) livestock, and (5) treasure. It excludes properties for commercial, family, or personal use. It also does not include properties in public trust such as mosques, orphanages, hospitals, and schools. Most importantly, illegally-acquired or unlawful wealth is not allowed as Zakat payments.
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