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Your Zakat in Trusted Hands

Your Zakat is an Amanah, and we take that trust very seriously. At Islamic Relief Canada, we follow a scholar-verified Zakat Policy to ensure your Zakat reaches as many poor and needy people as possible to transform their lives.

This ensures that Islamic principles are adhered to every step of the way from project design and community fundraising discussions to project implementation. Your Zakat is in trusted hands.

Some of the reasons to trust Islamic Relief with your Zakat:

Our work is scholar verified

A group of respected scholars have been consulted in the making of our Zakat policy, and continues to provide advice to ensure our Zakat policy is shari’ah compliant.

We are 100% transparent

We don’t say that we have a ‘100% donation policy’. The truth is, it costs every single charity money to deliver relief—and we think you’d prefer us to be real about it.

What is Zakat?

Zakat (zakaat, zakah) is mandatory for Muslims as one of the five pillars of Islam, along with prayer, fasting, pilgrimage (Hajj) and belief in Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (SAW). For every sane, adult Muslim who owns wealth over a certain amount – known as the nisab – he or she must pay 2.5% of that wealth as Zakat.


…and those in whose wealth there is a
recognized right, for the needy and deprived

(Qur’an 70:24-5)


To find out if you’re eligible to pay Zakat, use our Zakat Calculator.

What is Nisab?

The nisab is the minimum amount of wealth a Muslim must possess before they become eligible to pay Zakat. This amount is often referred to as the nisab threshold.

Gold and silver are the two values used to calculate the nisab threshold. The nisab is the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver.

Nisab as of April 15, 2023:

Silver (612.36 g)
Price/g: $1.09
Nisab: $667.47
Gold (87.48 g)
Price/g: $86.09
Nisab: $7,531.15

Zakat: A sacred pillar

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.

As Allah (SWT) tells us in the Holy Qur’an:

And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah (Qur’an 2:110)


Picture this: if just the ten richest people in the world paid Zakat – that would be a staggering $13 trillion! The power of that money in tackling poverty would be huge.

At Islamic Relief, we use your Zakat in the most effective way possible to relieve the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Donate Zakat: Your Donations Enable Us to Save Lives

Your Zakat has funded some of our crucial work with people and communities living in disaster and war zones: drought and famine-struck countries across East Africa and communities affected by conflict in Yemen. 

We strive to ensure that your Zakat empowers the individuals and families who receive it, ultimately contributing to bringing them out of the difficult circumstances they are in. We ensure your Zakat reaches the hands of those who need it most, providing rights-holders with the tools to support themselves and pass it on to the next generation. 

This means your donations help generations of families access food, medical care, clean water, and education in a dignified manner for years to come. 

Alhamdulillah, you have the power to transform people’s lives. Give your Zakat today!

How Islamic Relief uses your Zakat donation

Once you pay Zakat online, Islamic Relief Canada allocates your contribution to our projects on the ground. Islamic Relief spends your donations in the most effective way possible to relieve the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people. We assist people with Zakat funds in both Canada and across the world, as long as they qualify for it. 

Your Zakat Reaches People Through:

  • Cash Transfers
  • Food & Nutrition 
  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
  • Shelter & Protection
  • Livelihood Support
  • Education

In 2022 we distributed Zakat to over 1 million people through Zakat-eligible portions of 80 projects! Your Zakat is helping to continue preserving the dignity of thousands and empowering them to build a better life. 

What is Fitrana?

Fitrana is a charitable donation of food that is given before Eid prayer, therefore it must be given before the end of Ramadan. Fitrana must be given by every self-supporting Muslim who has food in excess of their needs, on behalf of themselves and their dependants.


How much is Zakat?

Your Zakat donation should amount to 2.5% of your total zakatable wealth. Therefore, if your total assets (after any debts owed) amounted to $10,000, you would pay $250. 

Use our free and easy Zakat Calculator to calculate how much you owe.

Zakat FAQs

Please note that for any specific queries, it is advisable to contact your local imam. You can also call our office at 1 855 377 4673. During Ramadan, Islamic Relief Canada has a scholar available to issue specific guidance.

Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions that you can use for further guidance:

What is Zakat?

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a compulsory donation to charity by all Muslims who reach the minimum threshold for payment.

How much is Zakat?

Zakat is 2.5% of your total wealth. Therefore if you have $10,000 of wealth liable to Zakat, you would pay $250.

Who is eligible to receive Zakat?

There are eight categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat:

  1. The poor
  2. The needy
  3. Administrators of Zakat
  4. Those whose hearts have been recently reconciled
  5. Those who have been enslaved
  6. Those in debt
  7. In the cause of God
  8. Travellers (including refugees)

Find out more about Zakat eligibility here!

Does the non-Muslim have to pay Zakat?

No, zakat is only prescribed for Muslims.

What is Zakat al mal?

Zakat al mal means zakat on wealth, which we commonly shorten to just Zakat.

Miscellaneous Questions

I normally give a lot of money in charity throughout the year, do I still have to pay Zakat?

You must pay zakat with the intention of paying it. It is important that you make an intention to give a donation as a zakat payment.

I paid Zakat on $4,000 last Ramadan. This year I have a total of $10,000 of wealth liable to Zakat. What value do I take the 2.5% from as I paid for the $4,000 last year?

Zakat is to be paid on the total savings regardless of what was paid on it in the past. Therefore, you would pay 2.5% of $10,000 = $250.

I owe several years of Zakat, how do I pay?

For every year that you owe Zakat, take 2.5% from the total wealth you had at the end of that year and pay that in Zakat. If you are not sure how much wealth you had, you must estimate it to the best of your ability. E.g. It is now Ramadan 2021. You have not paid Zakat for the last 5 years. You need to work out how much wealth you owned every Ramadan for the last 5 years and pay 2.5% of that.

If a child’s wealth has satisfied all the conditions of Zakat (i.e. it is above the Nisab and has been in their possession for one year), should Zakat be paid on it?

The majority of the scholars from the past favoured the opinion that it should be paid. This is the same for both the child and the insane person. Therefore, their guardian should take the Zakat from the person’s wealth and pay it on their behalf. However, some opinion suggest that it is not due on children and insane people, so please discuss with a scholar.

I have mixed jewellery consisting of gold, silver and precious stones. How do I calculate the value on which Zakat must be paid?

The best way for you to do this would be to take the jewellery to a jeweller and ask them to value just the gold and silver parts of the jewellery. The valuations they give will be the total on which you have to pay Zakat. Precious stones are not liable for Zakat.

I have savings which I shall use to go for Hajj, is this to be included in my wealth when calculating Zakat?

Yes, it must be included.

Miscellaneous Questions: Business, Property and Debt

I lent some money to a friend who informed me that s/he is able to return the money; do I have to include this in my wealth when calculating Zakat?

Yes, as it is as if s/he is just storing your money.

10 years ago I lent some money to a friend who is poor and I did not expect to get the money back. S/he has now paid me back, is this money liable for Zakat?

If the money is paid back, then it is liable for Zakat (provided the lender meet other criteria for paying Zakat). However, if the money is not paid back, then the intention for lending would need to be reviewed. If the lender was fairly sure that s/he was not going to receive it back and s/he is unable to refer it to a judiciary, then in such cases Zakat is usually not payable. However, there are many variables and hence this question should be referred to a scholar.

My Zakat is due in dhul-Qa’dah but I would like to pay in advance (in Ramadan). I have a debt which must be paid in Shawwal (after Ramadan). Can this be deducted from my wealth when calculating Zakat?

The general answer would be yes, however we would strongly urge you to consult a scholar about this.

I bought a house for the purpose of renting 5 years ago. Last year I decided that I would sell the house. How do I pay Zakat on this?

For the time that you were renting the house out and did not have the intention of selling, you do not pay Zakat on the house. But you would still have to pay Zakat on the rent you earned just like any other wealth you have. You must pay Zakat after one lunar year from the day you made the intention to sell the house. You must also pay zakat on the selling price of the house. However, if you are paying in advance, you would need to estimate this. You would need to do the same for every year after that in which the house is still for sale. But to be absolutely clear, please discuss this with a scholar.

I have a shop where I sell clothes. How do I pay Zakat?

Every year at the time of paying Zakat, you would need to calculate the total selling price for all the goods for sale in your shop. E.g. All the clothes for sale in your shop add up to a total selling value of a particular sum of money. You would add this to your other wealth when calculating your total payment.

Beneficiaries of Zakat

What is the definition of the poor and needy?

The Fuqara & the Masakin. Fuqara are those that do not own wealth to the amount of Nisab. Masakin are those who do not have food for the day (15 -20% of the world).

How do you assess whether someone is poor and needy?

We have delivery offices in the countries in which we work and they carry out assessments – using selection criteria – because we want to ensure that we are reaching the most vulnerable people.

Can I give Zakat to my family members?

It can only be given to people from one of those seven categories. Most scholars agree that you can give zakat to a family member if they’re from one of the categories. E.g. they are poor and unable to provide for themselves, and is not already dependent on you. But if he/she is one of your dependents, you are obliged to spend on them anyway and cannot give them anything from your Zakat.

Can I use my zakat to sponsor an orphan?

If the orphan is eligible to receive zakat (E.g. they or their family own less than the nisab or do not have food for the day) then they will be eligible to receive it. Orphans would come under category 1 and 2 recipients of Zakat.

What kind of projects do Zakat funds support?

Islamic Relief Canada spends Zakat on projects where there is clear ownership of the aid to reduce poverty and hardship in disadvantaged communities, and where we can guarantee that the recipients are poor and needy and directly receive the assistance. So, for example, we can provide food packs to destitute people so they can feed themselves and their families; or livelihood assets, tools and support for families to develop their own business and make a sustainable income.

It is also permissible to fund communal welfare assets and programs, such as clean water sources, health clinics, critical medical equipment, temporary food producing outlets (e.g., bakeries), water containers, schools, training centers, seed banks, communal farmlands, water dams, etc. to reduce poverty and hardship in disadvantaged communities. Projects involving communal welfare are funded on the condition that the community is empowered through ownership of the asset.

How Islamic Relief spends Zakat

How does Islamic Relief spend Zakat funds?

Abiding by our scholar verified Zakat policy, Islamic Relief uses Zakat funds for Zakat eligible purposes as defined in the eight categories of Zakat. Islamic Relief identifies those well below Nisab and mainly allocates Zakat funds to category 1, Fuqara & Masakin (the poor and needy).

Zakat funds reach the poor and needy through cash transfers, food, shelter, education, and livelihood support, providing rights-holders the means of ownership and a chance to uplift themselves from poverty. 

To read more about Islamic Relief Canada’s Zakat policy, click here.

Do you give Zakat funds to people in Canada or only to people overseas?

We assist people with Zakat funds in Canada and overseas, as long as they qualify for it.

We ensure our content is reviewed and verified by qualified scholars to provide you with the most accurate information. This webpage was last reviewed by Sheikh Saalim Al-Azhari.

Page last reviewed: 21 February 2023

Next review due: Within 12 months

Our Zakat Projects

Once you donate your Zakat, Islamic Relief Canada allocates your contribution to our projects on the ground. We have numerous projects with Zakat-eligible portions, preserving the dignity of thousands and empowering them to build a better life. 

You can see all of our 2023 Zakat-eligible projects through this catalogue!  

Your online Zakat donation can support:

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