Skip to main content

Zakat

First suggested by Holly Birkin (Kingswood), who helped us make numbers physical
What influences what people do with their money? Explore how someone’s religion might play a part with some tasty snacks.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • A4 paper
  • Sticky tack
  • Play dough
  • 100 chocolate buttons (or similar – see examples below)
  • Table knife
  • Plates (if using food)

Activity introduction 

This activity will get everyone thinking about the things that might influence what people do with their money – including religion. They’ll explore one example, zakat in Islam, using chocolate buttons (or something else) to get their heads around what 2.5% looks like.   

Before you begin 

  • Write each of the items from the list below on a different piece of paper, and hide the pieces of paper around the meeting space before the session.   
  • Label one part of the meeting space influences’ and the other ‘doesn’t influence’.
  • This activity explores what 2.5% looks like with food items like chocolate buttons, crackers, sweets, or anything else that you can cut up. We’ve suggested a few tasty ways to make percentages hands-on, along with some other options that don’t involve food.  
  • There are some great games to to with budgeting and saving on the Scout Store: look for Money Bags, Buy It Right Shopping Game and Money Box Tree!

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session. 
  • Stay socially distanced when moving around the space and when talking to other people. 
  • Consider how everyone can safely cut up their food. 

Step 1: money choices 

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that two areas of the meeting space represent things that influence what people do with their money and things that probably don’t influence what people do with their money.  
  1. Everyone should search around the meeting space to find the hidden words.
  2. Everyone should decide which area each word belongs in – does it influence what people do with their money or not?
  3. Once they’ve placed all the words in the two areas, everyone should chat about the things people thought had an influence. Why did they choose to put them in that area? How might they influence people? Where did people put religion?
  4. The person leading the activity should explain that different religions have different approaches to money. The religion that someone belongs to might affect what they choose to do with their money. Can anyone think of any examples?  

 Step 2: All about zakat 

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that it’s time to explore an example of how one religion approaches money. Does anyone know anything about zakat in Islam?
  2. If they need to, the person leading the activity should talk about how zakat is one of the five pillars (main beliefs and practices) of Islam. Muslims donate 2.5% of whatever they earn (over a certain amount) to charity. 
  3. Everyone should get stuck into one of the hands-on ways to understand what 2.5% looks like. 
  1. Everyone should compare their 2.5% of play dough, chocolate buttons, or biscuits to the original pile. What does it look like? If it looks small, what would happen if everyone combined their share? 
  2. The person leading the activity should explain that if lots of people donate a small amount, it can quickly add up and make a big difference. 

If you have play dough

  • The pile of play dough represents all of someone’s earnings. To find what zakat would be, you need to find 2.5%. 
  • If you divide the pile into 10 equal bits, each bit will represent 10%. 
  • If you take one of the bits and break into four equal pieces, each piece will represent 2.5%.
  • You could break one of the 10% bits into four equal pieces by making it into a flat circle and drawing a cross to split in into quarters, or you could roll it into a sausage, halve it, and halve it again.
  • If everyone takes one of the smallest pieces of play dough, they’ll have 2.5% of the original pile. This represents Zakat, 2.5% of the earnings.

If you have 100 of something tasty (like chocolate buttons)

  • The pile of 100 chocolate buttons represents all of someone’s earnings. To find what zakat would be, you need to find 2.5%.
  • 100 buttons is 100% (all) of the buttons. This means that each button represents 1% of the pile (because 100% divided by 100 buttons is 1%).
  • If each button is 1%, two and a half buttons is 2.5%.
  • Make sure everyone’s washed their hands before they touch any buttons.
  • If everyone takes two buttons and another half a button, they’ll have 2.5% of the original pile. This represents Zakat, 2.5% of the earnings.

If you have 10 of something tasty that you can cut into four (chocolate buttons, crackers, or biscuits work well)

  • The pile of 10 chocolate buttons represents all of someone’s earnings. To find what zakat would be, you need to find 2.5%. 
  • 10 buttons is 100% all of the buttons. This means that each button represents 10% of the pile (because 100% divided by 10 is 10%). 
  • If each button is 10%, a quarter of a button is 2.5% (because 10 divided by 4 is 2.5). 
  • Make sure everyone’s washed their hands before they touch any buttons.
  • If everyone takes a quarter of a button, they’ll have 2.5% of the original pile. This represents zakat, 2.5% of the earnings. 

Reflection

What does everyone think about what they’ve learned? 

As Scouts, helping others is an important part of our Promise. Donating money is just one of many ways to help others, and it’s a personal choice – there isn’t any right or wrong way to approach it. Has this activity made people think about what they might want to do with their money when they’re older? What would it feel like to give some money to charity? 

It’s important to remember that everyone’s situation will be different, and not everyone can afford to give money away – can people think of some other ways that they can support others?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Food

Check for allergies before you begin and read the guidance on food safety. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.