In this context the following few points which are the characteristics of the Zakat system are remarkable:
1. A lowest possible level of the surplus wealth was fixed. (Which is: two hundred Dirhems or seven and a half tolas of gold or fifty two and a half tolas of silver i.e. fifty two and a half rupees over which an entire year has lapsed). In this way, a large portion of the wealth of the community is made use for the benefit of the poor; and very little of personal wealth is left out of this collective collaboration.
2. The amount of Zakat levied on this wealth is kept very little which is by all means quite bearable by the owners of the wealth. That is: the fortieth portion (2.5 %)
3. The circumference of the needy is kept very vast and their prominent categories and classes are made specific. And those are the ones who exist in every society and civilization. That is the poor and the pauper, those under debt, slaves, wayfarers, and those who are from the administrative or missionary angle necessary to be included among the beneficiaries, that is the ones employed for the collection of Zakat (‘the agents employed therein’) and ‘those whose hearts are conciliated’. And then this circle is further broadened and generalized by the addition of ‘in the way of Allah’.
4. No condition is imposed on these needy ones except their being Muslims and being needy. That is neither the condition that they must pay some fee to receive the Zakat nor the condition that some of their money must be deposited in advance with the Baitul-Mal (the state exchequer) nor that they will have to repay this subsidiary amount together with some addition to it or only the capital without any addition. It is, instead, their right and it is the duty of the head of the state and the Islamic collectivity to pay them their due. If they committed dereliction in it or misappropriated the amount they would be sinners and usurpers.
5. Having given the Zakat amount to its beneficiaries, every kind of ownership-related connection of Zakat-givers with that amount would get severed. There will be neither theirs’ nor of those managing it (the state and the Baitul-mal) any rights and reservations tagged to it. Nor would for them be kosher, as is the case with usurious loan, to take any sort of advantage out of it. So much so that it is not correct even to give it to some such person by giving whom it might ultimately come into his own use; such as: mother, father, sons/daughters, and spouse. The Zakat recipient would remain as free as he had been before receiving it. For him to repay it or compensate it in any form and in any way is not necessary at all --- contrary to usury wherein the recipient gets enmeshed for a long while (and sometimes for all times to come) in its snare.
6. Zakat is one of those kinds of wealth which have viability and capability of growth like the hard cash, gold and silver, the merchandise, crops and cattle. For, these are the items which can compensate for this deduction that takes place every year. For, they are viable and keep growing. As regards to items of daily use and necessity, such as: wearing apparels, kitchen utensils, residential houses, riding cattle and the household goods, etc. are exempt from Zakat.
Likewise, the time for Zakat falling due for payment is fixed at the end of the year. The one year long period is long enough span to have it utilized. Moreover, during this period the effect and impact of fluctuations in rates and prices, vagaries of weathers and various seasons and harvests also becomes evident.
7. The Zakat system is essentially a collective one. That is to say that should there not be any particular hindrance, it is required to be collected, collectively, under the management of the Islamic state and be distributed as well collectively by it. In this way no particular individual gets personally indebted to any other particular individual. Nor is it necessary to make it known to everyone that so-&-so has been given the Zakat. In this way many a white-collared, self-respecting people who do not like to make their wants and that they are among the recipients of Zakat known to others can get due financial aid under a common and collective scheme.
8. Living under the umbrella of such an Order, even an unadventurous Muslim has this satisfaction during his life-time that in case he suddenly dies or for any other reason could not leave behind for his children any wealth, they would not, thanks to the Zakat system, have to live unfed and unclad. Because of that he does not remain ever so haunted with the fear of death. Undaunted and fearless, he can take part in such religious and social activities as involve the risk of life. He undertakes to perform Jehad, migration, Haj-pilgrimage and other journeys with a contented heart and assurance that there lies at the back of him a treasure which is not anybody’s personal and does not belong to any individual which would take care, when he is no more there, of his feeble and orphaned children and his helpless and hapless wife (widow). Similarly, he has this assurance that in case he is run out, while on journey, of his provisions and/or he becomes a victim of some accident, he has everywhere, as it were, an amount of money kept preserved for him and he can easily get back home.
9. Banu-Hashim cannot be given Zakat. And thus the door to emergence of a class of dynastic and lineal hangers-on among the Muslims is closed for ever. And the door to bringing relief to others, the common beneficiaries of Zakat, who would have otherwise, owing to the blue-blood of Banu-Hashim, been virtually deprived, is kept ajar forever.
 See for the details and enunciations of avenues of Zakat as well as differences in opinions of the Fuqahaa ‘Ahkamul Qur’an’ by Al-Jassas and ‘Tafseer Ahkamul Qur’an’ by Al-Qartabi.
 According to Imam Abu haneefa everyone who himself is not owner of the Nisab (lowest ceiling of wealth necessary for imposition of Zakat obligation) can be entitled to Zakat amount.
 As is the rule followed by the cooperative societies and banks.
 Like it happened among the Hindus and the Jews that because of Brahmins among Hindus and children of Judah among the Jews, the door to alms and charities for the general public has almost been closed.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human