What is the purpose of Zakat?

Islam primarily describes a state of subservience, along with a core set of beliefs and instituted acts. The Prophet (may Allah’s salutations and peace be upon him) stated that Islam, that is the same state of subservience, is built on five distinctive acts: ‘Testifying that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God, maintaining Salat, giving the Zakat, fasting in Ramadan, and pilgrimage to the House – for those who are able to find a way.’ Being built on suggests a number of things; that these five things form the basis of true subservience to God, and in being a basis it follows that everything else in the faith follows on from them, rather than there being other aspects of the faith sitting alongside them, and thus of equal elemental disposition. Looking at it this way, these five distinctive acts do not merely engender a ritual disposition but offer a robust course of development that founds the most fundamental aspects of complete subservience. Thus, when these foundations are implemented individually and collectively as institutions, it paves the way for Islam to flourish in the lives of those in society, resulting in a society committed to God.