Crash Course in Islam — Zakat
>>STEVE ST. GEORGE: Hello. I'm Steve St. George. And this is your crash course in Islam. Today we examine the practice of charity in Islam. Like tithing or alms giving in Judaism and Christianity, Muslims are required to donate a certain amount of their wealth to charity. This practice which is commonly called Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat requires only those who can afford it to give a portion of their wealth to the poor. Many often give more than is required. It's seen as a way to purify a Muslim of greed and to increase a generous spirit. In some countries in the past Zakat was managed by the government seen as a way to regulate the economy and to ensure a fair distribution of wealth. One could also practice Zakat by freeing slaves or contributing to the community through service. Today many Muslims still practice zakat by working in their communities or through charitable giving. Although it's largely a personal thing with most governments no longer regulating the practice. Charitable giving is not confined to the Zakat however. Often Muslims breaking their fast at Ramadan will make a donation and repentance for some sin. But that act of charity does not count toward the yearly requirement to practice Zakat. For crash course in Islam I'm Steve St. George.