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Summary of Zakaah rulings

Summary of Zakaah rulings 1

The position of Zakaah and the Basic Rule of Its Ordainment:

Zakaah is one of Islam’s pillars and great foundations. It is Joined by Allaah The Almighty with prayer in many locations of His Glorious Book. The source of its obligation lies in the Quran, the Prophetic Sunnah andthe consensus of the Islamic ummah.

Concerning the Book of Allaah The Almighty, a mention may be made of His Saying (what means):

• #{And establish prayer and give zakaah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy.}## [Quran 24:56]

• #{O you who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of Allaah. And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allaah – give them tidings of a painful punishment. The Day when it will be heated in the fire of Hell and seared therewith will be their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, [it will be said], “This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you used to hoard.”}## [Quran 9:34-35]

As far as the Prophetic Sunnah is concerned, the Messenger of Allaah said: ~“Islam is based on five (pillars): to testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; to establish prayer; to give Zakaah; to observe the fast of Ramadan; and to perform Hajj to the House (i.e. the Ka‘bah) for him who could find thereto a way).”~~ [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

The Messenger of Allaah further said: ~”Any owner of gold or silver who does not pay the Zakaah due on it will, on the Day of Resurrection, have his treasure heated in the Fire of Hell and then made into plates. His flanks, forehead and back will be branded with them. Every time they (i.e. the plates) get cold, they will be heated again on a day that will last fifty-thousand years. This will be done to him until Allaah Pronounces the judgment on His slaves. Then one will be shown his path, leading him either to Paradise or to Hellfire.”~~ [Muslim]

Ruling on Zakaah:

Zakaah is due on everyone who meets the following conditions:
1- Faith in Islam: the disbeliever is not asked to give it even though he will be accounted for not giving it since the disbelievers are addressed by Sharee‘ah commands.

2- Freedom: it is not due on a slave’s wealth even though it is due on the wealth of the mentally disabled and children.

3- The full possession of the due Nisaab (i.e. the minimum amount liable for Zakaah) and the Nisaab of each kind will be accurately defined later. If one’s wealth is less than the Nisaab, no Zakaah will be due except for the Rikaaz, which is what is found buried from the time of Jaahiliyyah (i.e. pre-Islamic period of ignorance).

4- Stability of Nisaab: it is not due on the share of the Mudhaarib before distributing the money.

5- The elapse of a full lunar year on prices, articles of merchandise and live stock. Concerning grains, fruits, what comes out from the land, products of grazing animals, the profit from trade and Rikaaz, Zakaah is due on that even if a full lunar year does not elapse on it.

In other words, Zakaah is due on every free Muslim in full possession of a due Nisaab upon which a lunar year has elapsed, whether he is young or old, sane or insane. The only exception is that the young or insane does not give out his Zakaah by himself but it is given out by his guardian.
Kinds of wealth on which Zakaah is due:
1- Currencies and prices (i.e. gold, silver and cash money)
2- Articles of merchandise
3- Livestock
4- What comes out from the land of grains and fruits
The focus will be made in what follows on prices and articles of merchandise.

The due Nisaab of Zakaah on prices and articles of merchandise:
1- The Nisaab of gold is 20 dinars (i.e. approximately 85 grams).
2- The Nisaab of silver is 200 dirhams (i.e. approximately 595 grams).
3- The Nisaab of cash money is debatable. It is more precautious to be that which benefits the poor better. Take this illustrative example: suppose that a gram of gold is worth 50 riyals and that of silver is 1 riyal: if gold is considered, then the Nisaab is 50×85=4,250 riyals and if silver is considered, then the Nisaab will be 1×595=595 riyals. Thus, consideration of silver will be more beneficial to the poor. Being so, whoever has 595 riyals and above has indeed possessed the due Nisaab and Zakaah becomes due on him. Some scholars measure the Nisaab only in gold especially these days when silver is very cheap and he who possesses 595 riyals is not rich.

Zakaah on articles of merchandise:

Articles of merchandise are goods planned for sale with the intention of making profit, like cars, equipment and various kinds of commodities ready for trade (i.e. those which are purchased with the intention to be sold in trade rather than to be used). If a lunar year elapsed, a merchant should assess the commodities he has according to their market value at the very time Zakaah became due on him rather than according to their value on the day he bought them. This is in order not to wrong the poor, in case the price rose, or the merchant, in case the price fell. The assessment should depend on the retail price for the retailers, the wholesale price for the wholesalers and the average for those who combine both.

Notice: a man may buy a commodity with the intention to sell it and make a profit but he uses it instead. On the other hand, another man may buy a commodity with the intention to use it and, seeing it improper, he sells it instead. On which of both is Zakaah due?

The separating limit is the original intention. If one’s original purpose when purchasing a commodity is to sell and trade in it, then it will belong to the articles of merchandise on which Zakaah is due even though it may probably be used. If the original purpose of buying is to use it, then no Zakaah will be due on it even though it may probably be sold.

If one bought a commodity with the intention to use it and a year later intended to sell it, it would be considered an article of merchandise from that very date and not from the date he bought it. Vice versa, if he bought it with the intention to traffic in it and a year later he intended to use it, Zakaah would not be due from that very date and would be due only for the previous time.

Zakaah on shares:

Concerning the Zakaah of shared companies, the purpose of a shareholder from possession is one of two:

1- To intend an investment in the long term and gain profits and revenues. If he is in the Saudi market, no Zakaah will be due on the shareholder because the company pays it on his behalf. If he is in another market where the companies do not abide by paying Zakaah, he should estimate the Zakaah by accounting the real holdings on which Zakaah is due far from the market value. If it is difficult for him and he likes to be more cautious, then he should give Zakaah like the rights of sharers (i.e. owners) which is 2.5%. The rights of sharers are the total assets minus the total deductions and the result is multiplied by 2.5%.

2- To intend by possession of shares to trade or make a Mudhaarabah with the expectation that their price will rise so as to sell them. That is to buy today and sell tomorrow and so on. This person should give Zakaah on the shares he has like articles of merchandise. If a lunar year elapsed on him, he should consider the market value rather than the nominal or real value of the shares and give Zakaah on them as articles of merchandise (i.e. 2.5%).

A differentiation should be made between an investor and a Mudhaarib. The one who intends to sell a share within a year is a Mudhaarib on whom the Zakaah of articles of merchandise is due and the one who intends to sell after more than a year is an investor.

Equity funds:

Equity funds are frequently like a Mudhaarib in purchasing and selling shares. So the Zakaah due on them is like that due on articles of merchandise as was clarified in number (2). If it is the day that ends a lunar year on which an almsgiver gives out his Zakaah, he should assess the equities he has on that day and give out as much as 2.5% thereof. It is worth mentioning that the funds themselves usually do not give out Zakaah and it is entrusted to the customer, the owner of the equities.

Zakaah on jewelry:

Scholars have two different opinions about the obligation of Zakaah on jewelry. What is intended by jewelry is only gold and silver. No Zakaah is due on precious stones, pearls and the like, regardless of how high their price may be.
1- The first opinion claims that no Zakaah is due on jewelry because the purpose is to use them permissibly rather than to trade in them. Thus, the meaning of increase does not apply to them, neither in reality nor in consideration. They bring many indications in support of this opinion and, at the same time, render weak the indications of those who advocate the obligation of Zakaah on jewelry. This opinion is adopted by many scholars.

2- The other opinion argues that Zakaah is due on jewelry in view of the general traditions concerning the Zakaah on gold and silver and the Hadeeth of the woman with the two bracelets and others. This is the opinion of many including Ibn Baaz, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen and others.
However, it is worth mentioning that, in the case of adopting the opinion that no Zakaah is due on the jewelry of women, the following criteria should be observed:

a- To intend only adornment thereby and, in case saving is intended, Zakaah becomes due on it.

b- To intend to use it in a current rather than a future need. An example of a future need is that one keeps it for his would-be wife. In this case, Zakaah becomes due on it.

c- To remain fit for adornment. But whatever is crushed or broken and thus becomes unusable thereof, then Zakaah is due on it because it is not prepared for such use.

d- To be used permissibly. If its use is impermissible, then Zakaah becomes due on it. An example of impermissible use is to be in the form of a statue or an idol and so on.

e- Not to exceed the limit of moderation and usage in the amount of jewelry that is used. But if it exceeds the limits of extravagancy, then Zakaah becomes due on what is beyond the limit of moderate usage.

Zakaah on salaries:

Zakaah is not due on a salary once it is received. It should be joined with what one has. If a lunar year elapsed and he has something thereof, he should give out Zakaah for it.

Zakaah on residential date-palm trees:

Some people have date-palm trees in their homes or resorts whose fruits reach the due Nisaab and take no heed of giving the Zakaah due on them. The due Nisaab of fruits is five Wasaqs and the Wasaq is sixty Saa‘s (i.e. three-hundred Saa‘s or nearly six-hundred and fifty-three or six-hundred and twelve kilograms). If the date-fruits reach the due Nisaab, one-twentieth (i.e. 5%) becomes due because it is irrigated by artificial means as is prevalent in our lands these days. If it is watered by rain, then one-tenth (i.e. 10%) is due. If it is equally watered by artificial as well as natural means then 7.5% is due.

Channels of spending Zakaah:

The channels of spending Zakaah are the eight categories mentioned in Saying of Allaah The Almighty (what means): #{Zakaah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakaah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allaah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allaah . And Allaah is Knowing and Wise.}## [Quran 9:60]

The following points should be made here:

• Zakaah is neither permissible nor sufficient for him upon those whom the almsgiver should spend like a child, wife or father. According to some scholars, Zakaah is not valid for everyone whom the almsgiver should inherit when that one dies.

• Zakaah to a relative is better than to anyone else because it acts both as Zakaah and a means of strengthening kinship ties. Relatives are worthier of the favor, provided that they are not among those upon whom the almsgiver should spend as was previously clarified.

• Zakaah should not be paid to the almsgiver’s employees, such as a driver and servant, in order to avoid mixing Zakaah with obligatory fees.

• It is permissible to pay Zakaah in advance to serve a public benefit such as when a calamity befalls the Muslims or there is a needy person whose state requires Zakaah to be given in advance. In such a case, Zakaah may be paid in advance and deducted from the obligatory alms when a lunar year elapses.

• It is also permissible to delay Zakaah to serve a predominant need or benefit. Such a case is when the lunar year elapses on one upon whom Zakaah is due and he has no money at hand to pay Zakaah from or he has goods offered for sale which he could only sell after a long time. In this case, there is no harm to delay Zakaah till money becomes available. Another example is that the almsgiver knows that his relative is in need and he could only convey Zakaah to him after a long time. At any rate regardless of what Zakaah is delayed, with or without a legal excuse, the almsgiver remains liable for it and will not be free from this obligation until he gives it. It should be accounted from the very day it becomes due rather than the day on which it is paid.

Summary of Zakaah rulings 2How to calculate Zakaah:

A Muslim could calculate his Zakaah according to one of the following two ways:

1- To make for each lump sum he gains an independent lunar year from the very moment he possesses it until it amounts the due Nisaab and, if a lunar year elapses on that kind of money, he will give Zakaah on what he has of it and the same applies to all kinds. For example, if one receives the salary for the month of Muharram, its lunar year will be Muharram of the following year and the lunar year of the salary of Safar will be Safar of the following year. The same applies to any money he receives, that is, to record the very day on which he receives that money and then wait for the elapse of a lunar year on it. But it should be kept in mind that if the money is a trade profit or comes from that of a previous Zakaah, it should have the same lunar year of the principal and not an independent year. Nevertheless, this way is somewhat difficult.

2- The other way is easier; it is to consider the time at which one attains a due Nisaab and waits until a lunar year elapses from the very date he got the Nisaab. Then, he gives Zakaah on all the wealth he has on which Zakaah is due even if no lunar year elapsed on the whole of it. At the same time every year, he should give out Zakaah on the wealth he has. This way he will be relieved of calculating Zakaah on each part of his wealth individually.

A practical example for Zakaah according to the second way:

Fix for yourself a day for Zakaah, say, the fifteenth of Ramadan every year. Being so, when it is the fifteenth of Ramadan this year, you should collect the following:

• Your cash stock whether in bank accounts or cash in hand.
• The market value of the Mudhaarabah shares on that day.
• The last assessment of equities on equity funds.
• Gold and silver not prepared for the adornment of women like gold ingots.
• Gold and silver prepared for adornment according to the opinion which adopts the obligation of Zakaah on it.
• Debts you have with others in case your debtors are rich and the debts are payable during the same year.
• All you offered for sale of land, homes, livestock or goods in a marketplace or others.
• The total of all that was previously mentioned minus the debts you owe and expect to pay throughout the same year. For example, if you buy a house in installments for one million riyals, you should not deduct the whole sum but only what you will pay throughout the present year: the installment sum multiplied by twelve.

The final result of all that was previously mentioned minus debts is the money on which Zakaah is due.

In conclusion, I remind all brothers and sisters to exalt the symbols of Allaah The Almighty, perform them as they are commanded by their Lord and learn that wealth belongs to Allaah The Almighty which He Distributes among His servants to Test which of them is better in deed and in this let the competitors compete.

May Allaah Accept from all of us our fasting, Qiyaam and righteous deeds. Allaah Knows best and may He Send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad all his family and Companions.

By Muhammad Ibn Sa‘ood Al-‘Usaymi