All things belong to God, and wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The original meaning of the word zaka is both ‘purification’ and ‘growth.’ Giving zakat means ‘giving a specified percentage on certain properties to certain classes of needy people.’
The percentage which is due on gold, silver, and cash funds that have reached the amount of about 85 grams of gold and held in possession for one lunar year is two and a half percent.
Our possessions are purified by setting aside a small portion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. A person may also give as much as he or she pleases as voluntary alms or charity.