Proud to be Muslim and empowered with my finances + my step-by-step Zakaat calculation

Salaams

Today I went to my local Citizens advice bureau for mandatory pension advise and what could have been a regular boring meeting turned out to be a rather interesting discussion when we started talking about shariah compliance dealings!

As the adviser was curious about shariah compliant pension and loans,  I ended up explaining to the adviser how it all works islamically as I understood it, and why we as Muslims do not accept or pay interest, how we only engage in definitive transactions avoid anything speculative. ISo we don't have the stress of market rates and speculation - we know exactly what we are in for and that's all we take a loan for - no hidden costs or added drama! I explained how we are taught not to just float around but we are proactive and aware of exactly what we are in for with anything financial.

It made me realise Alhamdulillah, how fortunate we are as Muslims to :
a) have a sustainable and wholesome model when it comes to finance and borrowings and investments etc
b) be in the position to be fully aware of exactly what our assets and wealth is so we can calculate zakaat (compulsory charity of 2.5% p.a to give to the poor to keep money circulating within society)
c) be aware of all the details in any financial dealings - where our money is invested, what it is worth etc. totally proactive and in charge!

The adviser said he didn't have a clue as to how much wealth he has, and it seems so hard to calculate this. But whilst we are not taught to  sit and count our gold everyday, because of Zakaah, we take some time out, once a year to take stock, list all our assets and liabilities and pay our due - what a wonderful way to be conscious of all that we own, and use the opportunity to be grateful for what we have and also plan for the future. And calculating is made so easy nowadays with Ready-made excel sheets, and online tools. This is my Step by Step Zakaah calculation method that I employ each year:

1.Many years ago I took all my jewelry to weigh and recorded this, So now I can just use that list (topped up with anything additional)
2. I use an excel template from SANZAF  and update it each year with the new figures, but there is also a great tool on NZF if you prefer a UK sheet (zakaat tool)
3. I call my local jeweler for the price of gold, and I use this site (and then take the higher amount between the 2 to be safe)
4. I check my bank balance (and wallet!), any investments etc. Don't forget the cash stash in your bottom drawer! Also to remember any foreign currency
5. Populate the spreadsheet, and the Zakaah due is automatically calculated. I always round up just in case,
6. Start paying up - with family, and then there's loads of charities that can be paid online.

So I know some people find it laborious and difficult, but its really not once you have it all set up and have a plan. I'm so proud to be Muslim and be so empowered with my finances. I hope you are too :)

Powering through pensions and zapping my Zakaah, Inshallah
M4Life

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