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[zuh-kaht] /zəˈkɑt/
noun, Islam.
a tax, comprising percentages of personal income of every kind, levied as almsgiving for the relief of the poor: the third of the Pillars of Islam.
Also, zakah
[zuh-kah] /zəˈkɑ/ (Show IPA)
Also called sadaqat.
1800-05; < Turkish zekât or Persian zakāt < Arabic zakāh Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for zakat


(Islam) an annual tax on Muslims to aid the poor in the Muslim community
Word Origin
from Arabic zakāt alms
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for zakat

1802, from Persian zakat, etc., from Arabic zakah.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for zakat

an obligatory tax required of Muslims, one of the five Pillars of Islam. The zakat is levied on five categories of property-food grains; fruit; camels, cattle, sheep, and goats; gold and silver; and movable goods-and is payable each year after one year's possession. The tax levy required by religious law varies with the category. Recipients of the zakat include the poor and needy, the collectors themselves, and "those whose hearts it is necessary to conciliate"-e.g., discordant tribesmen, debtors, volunteers in jihad (holy war), and pilgrims.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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