Zakat Al Fitr
Zakat is a form of obligatory charity or almsgiving in Islam. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Many may be interested in calculating the amount of Zakat they are supposed to pay and where they can donate during Ramadan. In the UAE, Muslims can calculate and pay zakat within a few minutes on WhatsApp.

On Sunday, April 2, the Zakat Fund, a UAE government organisation that accepts Zakat, and allocates it to its projects and activities, announced on Twitter that individuals can access the Fund’s services through the newly launched ‘Zaki Platform’, available on WhatsApp.

+ 9718008222

The Whatsapp number you can use to calculate and pay Zakat in the UAE.
What is Zakat?
Zakat is a form of obligatory charity or almsgiving in Islam. According to the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai (IACAD), there are two types of Zakat in Islam – Zakat-Al-Maal, which is the Zakat on a person’s wealth, and Zakat-Al-Fitr, which is specifically linked to Ramadan. For Zakat-Al-Maal you would need to have a minimum amount of wealth, which is called ‘Nisab’. The calculator provided below is for Zakat-Al-Maal.

How to calculate and pay Zakat on WhatsApp

1. Save the number – +971800 8222 – in your phone’s contacts and then send a ‘Hello’ message on WhatsApp to this number.

2. The virtual assistant, will send a menu option, which includes:
- Zakat payment request or Senior benefactors Service
- Zakat calculation
- Zakat disbursement beneficiaries

Select the second option. You will receive information on the minimum amount of wealth you need to have, for you to give Zakat. This minimum amount is referred to as Nisab. As per the Zakat Fund Whatsapp service, the Nisab in today's value = Dh20,378.75 If your personal wealth, overall, is above this amount, you would be obligated to pay Zakat.

The system will then ask you if you wish to calculate Zakat on your individual wealth (this will be option 1). Choose the option, by sending the number ‘1’ as a response. You will then be asked to select the type of wealth on which you wish to calculate the Zakat:

- Calculation of Zakat for money.
- Calculation of Zakat for gold.
- Calculation of Zakat for silver.
- Calculation of Livestock Zakat.
- Calculation of Crops and Fruits Zakat.

If you wish to calculate Zakat on gold as well as cash savings, you can ask the system to calculate the two and add them later, to get the overall Zakat amount that you need to pay. This is because the calculations for the Zakat amount vary, depending on the type of wealth a person has. For an in-depth guide on how Zakat is calculated, click here.

Paying Zakat

The system will then give you the option to pay the Zakat amount. From the main menu, select the option ‘Zakat payment request’, which is option 1.

Next, you will have to select your payment method. The available options are:

- Pay through credit card and bank transfer.
- Pay by SMS
- Bank accounts service
- Senior benefactors service (this is a personalised service for senior citizens and other categories of applicants, who can receive Zakat collection services at home)

Depending on the option you have selected, the virtual assistant will send you message with the Zakat payment instructions. For example, if you choose credit card or bank transfer, you will be sent a link to the online payment portal.