Islam seeks to prevent inequality amongst its people via a welfare tax that taxes certain goods so that the poorer members of society will receive some support from others who are better off.
Zakat is a tax applied in varying amounts on the value of certain livestock, crops, gold, silver and currency. Muslims who qualify for this tax must pay it each year to the qualified scholar of Islam in their district, who then redistributes the money to the poor and needy and other causes mentioned by the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
Zakat is often mentioned in the Qur’an with the Salat, to show the importance of this obligation.
Several narrations from the Prophet and the Imams also say that a Muslim will not enjoy blessings from their wealth or possessions so long as they do not pay the religious dues on them.
Giving Zakat is one of the ways that Islam attempts to better the welfare of society without being unfair in how much it takes from one Muslim to give to another.