Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and also an act of worship. The meaning of Zakat is “to purify” and so to purify wealth all Muslims are obliged to pay a portion of their assets to help those in need. In order to pay Zakat, a Muslim must be adult, sane and possess the nisab (a minimum amount of wealth) for an entire year.
Assets to include in your Zakat calculation are cash (on hand and in bank accounts), shares, pensions, gold, silver, business goods, crops and cattle. You do not need to count personal items such as your home, furniture, cars, food, clothing, which are not used for business purposes. Zakat benefits the giver as well as the receiver.