How Muslim Americans meet their charitable obligations: 3 findings from new research
Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, is an obligatory act of giving and among several distinct forms of Islamic charity. The Quran and hadiths, the words and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, prescribe what kind of charitable causes are eligible to receive these funds.
Although Muslims are expected to give away 2.5% of their wealth every year, there is no time of year officially designated for Zakat. Yet, many Muslim Americans fulfill this mandatory charitable obligation during Ramadan, a monthlong period of fasting and spiritual growth.
Muslim Americans gave US$1.8 billion in Zakat funds in 2021, we found in new research regarding how and where Muslim Americans give Zakat. We – three scholars of philanthropy – surveyed a representative sample of 1,005 Muslim Americans.
We estimate that Zakat accounts for around 40% of total U.S. Muslim giving, based on the results of an earlier related study completed in 2021. Here are three key findings from our latest research about how Muslim Americans approach this charitable tradition today.