Zakat is the term for the compulsory yearly charity that all Muslims must give to the poor and needy or those of any of the seven categories of people mentioned in the following verse:
‘Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah and for the wayfarer: (thus it is) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.’ (Qur’an Chapter 9, Verse 16.)
This duty is regarded as an act of worship and self-purification as it requires sacrificing your own wealth for the benefit of others.
The figure set for Zakat is 2.5% of a person’s wealth each year. The giving of Zakat also helps to unite the Muslim community as it forms a bond between members and encourages individuals to help each other. It also reminds Muslims that all wealth belongs to Allah and that Muslims should not cling to worldly possessions.
For more information about Zakat please see the site below or other sites related to the topic.