Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. In Arabic it means to purify or nurture. Islam requires that every Muslim to give away 2.5% of his wealth to charity.
Evidence for imposing Zakat
From the Quran:-
And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].
(وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ)
From the Hadith:-
I gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet (ﷺ) for offering prayer perfectly, giving Zakat, and giving good advice to every Muslim.
— Sahih al-Bukhari 1401 
How to pay Zakat
Who should pay Zakat?
- A Muslim, non-Muslims are not required to pay Zakat.
- An adult, it is not obligatory on a minor.
- A free person and not a slave.
- The person should be prudent and not mad.
- His wealth should reach the nisab.
Who can receive Zakat?
Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] 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.
(إِنَّمَا ٱلصَّدَقَٰتُ لِلْفُقَرَآءِ وَٱلْمَسَٰكِينِ وَٱلْعَٰمِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَٱلْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَٱلْغَٰرِمِينَ وَفِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱبْنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ ۖ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ)
Categories of people eligible for Zakat:-
- The poor.
- The needy(People who can't meet their basic needs)
- Al-Amiliyn Ailha or the Zakat collectors and distributors.
- Mualaf/ Those who are expected to convert to Islam.
- Freeing slaves.
- Whoever has a debt that he is unable to pay.
- To warriors fighting a jihad.
- To stranded travelers.