The Power of Zakat

Last year, your Zakat changed the lives of 1 million people.

Through your actions, you have shown how Canadians fulfill the highest purpose of Zakat, advancing the fight against poverty through sustainable change and providing immediate emergency aid.

You help make the world a better place.

Help me understand Zakat

Zakat is a charitable donation that Muslims calculate and pay every year as a percentage of 2.5% on their surplus wealth. This includes cash, stocks, investment property, gold or silver.

Zakat al-Fitr is a special charitable donation given before Eid al-Fitr prayers. It is equal to the price of one meal, which is given on behalf of every member of the family.

Zakat is not just a fundamental pillar of Islam – it is also a revolutionary concept with the potential to ease the suffering of millions around the world. For the orphans, widows and people struck by tragedies, it’s the difference between life and death.

This Ramadan, your Zakat has the power to change the lives of over 1 million people.

Because of you,

  • a Rohingya refugee family can be fed for the whole month
  • an orphaned child in Syria can get proper medical care
  • a single mother in debt can dare to break the cycle of poverty

Every life deserves a chance.


can provide clean water for a year



sponsors an orphan for a year



can provide emergency relief



can deliver emergency food aid


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Paying Zakat is an act of worship that cleans away impurities from our provision and ensures excess wealth is distributed among those in need.
  • Zakat is an obligation upon any Muslim who has reached puberty, is of sound mind, and owns the minimum amount of net worth (Nisab) for one year.
  • You can calculate today’s nisab and your Zakat in Canadian dollars here

Zakat should be calculated and paid on any surplus wealth that you have owned for at least one lunar year. This includes:

  • Gold, silver, precious metal, including ornaments/jewellery containing gold/silver.
  • Cash in bank accounts, committees or at home.
  • Stocks, shares, and pension/investment accounts.
  • Money you have lent to others.
  • Property you own for investment purposes.
  • Agricultural produce and livestock (cows, chickens, goats etc).

Personal things you own (your home, furniture, cars, food, clothing) are not included in Zakat calculations. Living expenses and debts are also subtracted from Zakat calculations. The easiest way to calculate your Zakat is to find out the monetary value of each type of wealth and then work out 2.5% of the total sum. You can do so directly by using our online calculator.

Nisab is the minimum amount of net worth that acts as the threshold for when Zakat becomes obligatory on you.

There are two ways to determine nisab:

  • Gold: The nisab by the gold standard is 3 ounces of gold (87.48 grams) or its cash equivalent. The price will vary with the current market value of gold.
  • Silver: The nisab by the silver standard is 21 ounces of silver (612.36 grams) or its equivalent in cash. The price will vary with the current market value of silver.

Calculate today’s nisab and your Zakat in Canadian dollars here.

After a full lunar year passes from the date you become an owner of nisab, Zakat is then due upon your net wealth. If you cannot remember the exact date, an estimated date can be used.

If you generally own nisab every year, it can be helpful to set a certain date in the Islamic lunar calendar, and adhere to calculating and paying Zakat on this date every year.

If the amount decreases during the year, but comes back up to nisab one lunar year after owning it, Zakat is still due upon your net wealth, despite the fluctuation.

Islamic Relief ensures Zakat is used in the most transparent and effective ways. The vast majority of our projects are Zakat compliant and target those most in need. Your Zakat donations will only go towards Zakat compliant projects.

The following are some of the ways that Islamic Relief uses Zakat money:

  • Ramadan Feed the Needy project in over 30 countries.
  • Food Aid to families living in vulnerable households.
  • Nutritional Feeding for malnourished mothers and children
  • Urgent Aid for displaced and refugees families all across the globe (Syria,Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia and a host of other countries)
  • Food security and income generation for vulnerable families.