zakat

zakat

[zuh-kaht]
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] .
Also called sadaqat.


Origin:
1800–05; < Turkish zekât or Persian zakāt < Arabic zakāh

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zakat (zaˈkat)
 
n
Islam an annual tax on Muslims to aid the poor in the Muslim community
 
[from Arabic zakāt alms]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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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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