Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

Get access

Religious Practices: Zakāt (Almsgiving) and Other Charitable Practices: Overview
(2,029 words)

Zakāt, or the paying of the alms due, is the third pillar of Islam. It is prescribed in the Qurʾān, dating back to the second year after the Hijra, and is amplified in later ḥadīth, by jurists such as Bukhārī. The zakāt is levied annually on all Muslim men and women who live above subsistence level and whose debts do not exceed their assets. The original meaning of zakāt refers to both purification and growth. As the setting aside of a portion of one's possessions for those in need, zakāt purifies the wealth from which it is taken, and protects this wealth from misfortune. Moreover,…

Cite this page
Findly, Ellison Banks, “Religious Practices: Zakāt (Almsgiving) and Other Charitable Practices: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0619a>
First published online: 2009

▲   Back to top   ▲