Obligatory Charity (Zakat)
Zakat must be given away "on the day of harvest" (6:141). Whenever we receive "net income," we must set aside 2.5% and give it to the specified recipients – the parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien, in this order (2:215). The vital importance of Zakat is reflected in God’s law: "My mercy encompasses all things, but I will specify it for the righteous who give Zakat" (7:156).
Zakat must be carefully calculated and given away on a regular basis whenever we receive any income. Government taxes should be deducted, but not other expenses such as debts, mortgages, and living expenses. If one does not know needy persons, he or she may give the Zakat to a mosque or charitable organization with the distinct purpose of helping poor people. Charities given to mosques or hospitals or organizations cannot be considered Zakat.
Zakat Must Be Given "On The Day Of Harvest"*
[6:141] He is the One who established gardens, trellised and untrellised, and palm trees, and crops with different tastes, and olives, and pomegranate – fruits that are similar, yet dissimilar. Eat from their fruits, and give the due alms on the day of harvest,* and do not waste anything. He does not love the wasters.
*6:141 Zakat charity is so important, the Most Merciful has restricted His mercy to those who give it (7:156). Yet, the corrupted Muslims have lost this most important commandment; they give Zakat only once a year. We see here that Zakat must be given away "on the day we receive income." The proportion that came to us through Abraham is 2.5% of our net income.
Requirements For Attaining God’s Mercy The Importance of Zakat
[7:156] "And decree for us righteousness in this world, and in the Hereafter. We have repented to You." He said, "My retribution befalls whomever I will. But My mercy encompasses all things. However, I will specify it for those who (1) lead a righteous life, (2) give the obligatory charity (Zakat),* (3) believe in our revelations, and
*7:156 The importance of the obligatory charity (Zakat) cannot be over emphasized. As instituted in 6:141, Zakat must be given away upon receiving any income – 2.5% of one’s net income must be given to the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien, in this order (see 2:215).
Recipients of Charity
[2:215] They ask you about giving: say, "The charity you give shall go to the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien." Any good you do, GOD is fully aware thereof.