The financial obligation upon Muslims. An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word Zakat means both “purification” and “growth.” Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need and for the society in general. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
Each Muslim calculates his or her own Zakat individually. This involves the annual payment of a fortieth of one’s capital, excluding such items as primary residence, car and professional tools.