Department of Zakat and Ushr is a Government owned and managed department setup under Zakat and Ushr Act, 1985 with an aim to collect Zakat and Ushr from the rich in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and distribute the same among those who need it. This Department is headed by The Chief Administrator.
The main objective includes the collection of money of Zakat and to distribute amongst the needy, indigent and the poor of the state, particularly orphans and widows, the handicapped and the disabled, who are eligible to receive Zakat according to Islam, for their subsistence or rehabilitation. This amount is paid to them either directly or indirectly through approved educational institutions or public hospitals, clinics, dispensaries or health laboratories etc.
IMPORTANCE OF ZAKAT IN ISLAM
Zakat can be referred to spending a fixed portion (2.5%) of one's wealth for the poor and the needy. The literal meaning of Zakat is to “grow fin goodness” or “increase” or “purifying” or “making pure”.
In classical Arabic Zakat is also known as “Zakaat” or “Zakah”. It is known as “Zekat” in Turkish Language, on the other hand in English language it is known as “Alms”, “Tithe” and therefore in Islam it is the third of the Five Pillars of Islam.
THERE ARE TWO MAIN TYPES OF ZAKAT
ZAKAT ON SELF:
Zakat on self (zakdt-ul-fitr) is a per head payment equivalent to cost of around 2.25 kilograms of the main food of the region (this may be wheat, dates or rice, depending on the place) paid during the month of Ramadan by the head of a family for himself and his dependents to the Zakat collector (amil).
ZAKAT ON WEALTH:
Zakat on wealth (zakdt-ul-mal) comprises all other types of Zakat such as on business, on savings, on income, on crops, on livestock, on gold, on minerals, on hidden treasures unearthed, etc.
The payment of Zakat is obligatory on all Muslims. In current usage it is interpreted as a 2.5% levy on most valuables and savings held by sahib-e-nisab, if the total value is more than a basic minimum known as "Nisab" (3 ounces or 87.48g of gold).