Sunday, 21 January 2018   5. Jamadi-ul-Awwal 1439


Verse Of The Day
Behold! his Lord said to him: "Submit (thy will to Me):" He said: "I submit (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe." 2:131

Obligatory Purifying Charity (Zakat)

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is a monetary devotion and an obligation that has been ordained in the Shariah. Zakat literally means ‘to increase.’ Technically it means to purify one's wealth by distributing a prescribed amount, which has to be given to the poor as a fundamental obligation. Zakat is not a government tax, but its main purpose is to keep those who are wealthy clean monetarily from sins.

Zakat was made compulsory in Makkah at the same time as Salat. The amount, distribution, etc. were defined in Madinah in the second year of Hijri.

Virtues of Zakat

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Qur’an: "Allah destroys wealth obtained from interest and will give increase for deed of charity." (2:276)

Benefits Derived by Giving Zakat

1. Gaining of the pleasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)
2. Increase in wealth
3. Protection from losses
4.  A cause thus established for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)'s forgiveness and blessings are obtained
5. Safety from calamities
6. Protection from the wrath of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and from a bad death
7. Zakat will provide a shelter on the Day of Judgment
8. Security from seventy misfortunes
9. It will serve as a shield from Hellfire
10. It contributes to barakah in wealth
11. It saves from fear and grief.

There are two major benefits of giving Zakat:
1. It keeps one away from sin and saves the giver from moral ill arising from the love and greed for wealth
2. Through Zakat the poorer class, (those themselves) are being cared for, such as widows, orphans, the disabled, the poor and the destitute.

Punishment for not giving Zakat

Zakat is an obligation. Any person who denies it being an obligation loses his Iman. However if he recognizes Zakat being obligatory but neglects this duty he will be termed a Faasiq (Transgressor).

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Qur’an: "And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Judgment heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Jahannam, then with it they will be branded on their foreheads and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you had been hoarding." (9:34)

Rasul Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said: "The nation that does not give Zakat, Allah will bring about a drought on them (i.e. necessities of life will become scarce)" 

In another hadith: "The persons on whom Allah has bestowed wealth, and he does not give Zakat, on the Day of Judgment, this wealth will turn into a venomous bald serpent which will wind around his neck and, bite his jaws, and will say: "I am your wealth, I am your treasure." (Bukhari)

Zakat Obligation

Determining Zakat Eligibility

1. Zakat is obligatory on the free, adult, sane, Muslim:
- when he possesses the nisab with complete possession, and
- a [lunar] year has passed over it.

Zakat is not obligatory upon a child, or an insane person, or a mukatib.

Zakat is not obligatory upon anyone who has a [due] debt encompassing his money. But, if his money is more than the debt, he pays zakat on the excess if it reaches nisab. For example, A person has R 300-00, but owes R 200-00. Zakat is due on the remaining R100-00.

There is no Zakat on people whose liabilities exceed or equal their assets.

If one advance-pays the zakat before the year [has passed over and he possesses nisab, it is valid.

If wealth is destroyed after the obligation of zakat [has become due], it is waived.

One who gave all of his wealth in charity, without intending zakat, its obligation is waived from him.

Types of Wealth on which Zakat is Obligatory

  1. Zakat is due (in various proportions) on wealth that is of a productive nature from which he can derive profit or benefit such as merchandise for business, gold, silver, cash, trade-goods freely-grazing livestock kept for milk, breeding or fattening camels, cows, sheep and goats, produce (excluding firewood, reeds and grass), buried treasures and metals.
  2. Zakat is obligatory on the income of properties if it is equal to the value of nisab.
  3. Zakat is obligatory on the income derived from a hiring business, such as crockery, cars, 
vans, trucks etc.

Zakat on Silver

1. There is no charity obligatory on any silver less than 200 dirhams. [200 dirhams corresponds to19.69 troy oz. and 612.36g.]

2. Then, if it is 200 dirhams, and a [lunar] year passes over it, 5 dirhams are due for it.

3. There is nothing due on the excess until it reaches 40 dirhams, then 1 dirham is due for it. [Similarly] for every 40 dirhams, there is 1 dirham [due]. Abu Yusuf and Muhammad said: Whatever exceeds 200 [dirhams] its zakat is in proportion.

4. If the silver is dominant in silver coins, then their ruling is that silver.  But, if alloy is dominant then their ruling is that of trade goods, and its reaching nisab is taken into account.

Zakat on Gold

1. There is no zakat obligatory on any gold less than 20 mithqal. [20 mithqal corresponds to 2.81 troy oz. and 87.48g]

2. Then, if it is 20 mithqal, and a [lunar] year passes over it, then half a mithqal is due for it.

3. Then, for every 4 mithqal, 2 qirat [are due]. There is no charity obligatory on any gold less than 4 mithqal according to Abu Hanifah.

4. There is zakat due on raw gold and silver, [as well as on] jewelry and vessels [made] of them.

Zakat on Goods

1. Zakat is obligatory on trade goods, whatever they may be, if their value reaches the nisab of gold or silver; one assesses it based on whichever of the two is more beneficial for the poor and destitute.

2. If the nisab is complete at the two ends of the [lunar] year, then it’s dropping in between does not waive the zakat.

3. The value of goods is added to gold and silver. Similarly, gold is added to silver in value in order to reach the nisab, according to Abu Hanifah.  Abu Yusuf and Muhammad said: Gold is not added to silver by value, but it is added by parts.

Zakat on Animals that is Obligatory

1. It is compulsory to give Zakat on camels, cattle, water buffaloes, goats and sheep. (Any such Halal animal that can be slaughtered for Qurbani in terms of Shariah) when they:

  • Graze on the open veldt for the greater part of the year and are not stall fed;
  • Are kept for milk, breeding or fattening. Such animals are termed 'Saa'imah'.

2. Zakat on Saa'imah animals is calculated on number and not value therefore stud or thoroughbred animals and crossbred animals are treated alike for Zakat purposes.

3. Where animals are kept for trade, Zakat will be calculated and given as is done in commercial establishments (i.e. on the monetary value of each animal). The nisab is the same as that of trading.

4. If one has a mixed flock of goats and sheep and the number of each kind individually makes Zakat applicable then the Zakat of each respective group will be given from its own kind.

5. When the number of each type of animal individually does not make Zakat binding, but the total of both kinds does amount to the nisab then Zakat will be given from the type of animal that is greater in number.

6. If both kinds are equal in number, one has the option of choosing the Zakat animal from whichever kind he desires. It must be noted that the Zakat animal should be of a good quality.

Types of Wealth on which Zakat is NOT an Obligation

1. Zakat is not obligatory on effects that are not of a productive nature even if in excess of one's needs, if such items are not intended for trade, such as: living quarters (residential homes), household furniture, utensils, 
personal clothing, whether they are in use or not (however, Islam does not justify 
extravagance), cars, riding beasts, slaves in service, weapons of use.

2. Zakat is not obligatory on any other metal besides gold and silver.

3.  There is no Zakat on diamonds, pearls, and other precious or semi-precious stones which 
are personal use. Zakat is payable on the gold or silver used in making jewelry with 
diamonds, pearls etc. There is no Zakat on imitation jewelry.

4. Zakat is not obligatory on fixtures and fittings of a shop, car, truck or any delivery vehicle etc., which is used in running a business.

Animals on which Zakat is NOT an Obligation

1.Animals that are stall fed for six months of the year and then left to graze on the veld for the remainder of the year are not Saa'imah and thus no Zakat will be liable on their owner.

2. There is no Zakat payable on animals, which are reared for riding, or for drought purpose or for one's own use or consumption.

3. There is no Zakat on wild game.

4. There is no Zakat on horses, donkeys and mules if they are not for trade.

5. There is no Zakat on a herd which consists of calves only i.e. until they reach a capable age of breeding. If such a herd has one animal that could be used for breeding, then Zakat will have to be given on all of them. In this case that particular full-grown animal will have to be given as Zakat. If this animal (which is capable of breeding) dies, then Zakat will still be necessary on the rest of the herd of calves.

6. Zakat is not applicable on sheep that are less than twelve months old.

Nisab & Rate of Zakat

The amount of wealth, which makes one liable for Zakat, is called nisab. The payment of Zakat is compulsory on the excess wealth or asset that is equal to/or exceeds the value of nisab, and which is possessed for a full Islamic year. If such wealth decreases during the course of the year, and it increases again to the value of nisab before the end of the year, Zakat then must be calculated on the full amount that is possessed at the end of the year.

The nisab of gold and silver fixed by Rasul Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) is as follows:




Troy oz.


20 Mithqaals





200 Dirhams




The rate of Zakat, which was fixed by Rasul Allah (blessings and peace be upon him), is 2.5% (1/40) i.e. 2.5 cents in a dollar.

Time & Nisab of Zakat for Livestock

1. The owner must have possession of animals for one lunar year before Zakat becomes obligatory.
2. The nisab for Saa'imah animals is governed by the number of animals in one's ownership and not by the monetary value of each animal. (refer to tables for detail)

Table of Zakat for Sheep and Goats

The nisab (minimum number) when Zakat becomes applicable is forty animals which are more than twelve months old. There is no Zakat if the number is less than forty. Thereafter for each additional hundred, one sheep that is one year old must be given as Zakat.


Zakat on 1 year old


1 animal


2 animals


3 animals


4 animals

Table of Zakat for Cattle & Water Buffaloes

The Nisab when Zakat becomes applicable is thirty animals. There is no Zakat if the number is less than thirty.



1 year old

2 years old


1 animal




1 animal


2 animals


Thereafter, in every thirty animals, one, 1 year old animal should be given and in every forty, a 2 year old animal should be given as Zakat.




1 year old

2 years old


1 animal

1 animal



2 animals


3 animals



2 animals + 1 animal


1 animal + 2 animals


4 animals or 3 animals

Recipients of Zakat

Allah, the Exalted, says: "Alms are only for the poor, the destitute, those who collect them, those whose hearts are to be reconciled, for [mukatib] slaves, debtors, and in the Path of Allah, and the wayfarer. An [ordained] obligation from Allah. And Allah is Knowing, Wise." [Qur’an, 9:60]

These are eight categories, out of which ‘those whose hearts are to be reconciled’ have dropped, because Allah has granted honor to Islam and has freed [it] of need of them.

1. The Poor (Fuqara): People who are poor and who possess more than their basic needs but do not possess wealth equal to nisab.
2. The Destitute (Masakeen): People who are extremely needy to the extent that they are forced to beg for their daily food ration.
3. The [Zakat] Worker (al-Aamileen): Those who are appointed by Islamic Head of State or Government to collect Zakat. It is not necessary that this be a needy person.
4. Slaves (ar-Riqab): Those slaves that are permitted to work for remuneration and have an agreement from their masters to purchase their freedom on payment of fixed amounts..
5. The Debtor (al-Ghaarimeen): Those that have a debt and do not possess any other wealth or goods with which they could repay that which they owe. It is conditional that this debt was not created for any un-Islamic or sinful purpose.
6. In the Path of Allah (Fi SabeeLillah): Those people that have to carry out an obligatory deed which has become obligatory on them and subsequently (due to loss of wealth) are unable to complete that obligation. Important: A common misunderstanding about the term ‘fee Sabeelillah' has misled many to believe that this includes all types of charitable deeds. The Commentaries of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Rasul ullah (Sall allaho Alaihi Wa Salam) do not support this view. 

7. The Wayfarer (Ibn us Sabeel): Those persons who are travelers and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakat in order to fulfill travel needs to return home.

Important: All the above-mentioned recipients excluding al-Aamileen must be those who do not possess the nisab.

The possessor may pay [some] to each of them, or he may restrict himself to one category.

1.It is not permissible if one owns merchandise or wealth in excess of his needs to the value of nisab nor is it permissible for such a person to accept Zakat. 

2. A person that does not own an amount equal to the value of nisab is known as Faqir. This person could be given Zakat and it is permissible for him to accept Zakat. 

3. A person who owns wealth, which in value exceeds the amount of nisab, but this wealth is not intended for business nor does he require it for his daily needs. Such a person is regarded as well to do and should not be given Zakat. 

4. The books of a scholar or tools of a tradesman are among his necessities, irrespective of their value. Besides these if he does not own wealth equal to nisab he could be given Zakat. 

5. When giving Zakat, Sadaqah etc. one's poor and needy relatives should be given preference. To avoid embarrassing them it should be given to them without saying that it is Zakat or Sadaqah. 

6. There is great reward in giving Zakat to poor who are striving in the way of the Deen or those who are engaged in religious knowledge, or to religious institutions where poor or needy students are being cared for. Care should be taken that only such institutions are given Zakat where it is used according to the Shariah. 

7.  It is permissible to give Zakat to those that have recently accepted Islam and are in need of basic necessities who would benefit from encouragement by the Muslims which would help to strengthen their faith in Islam. 

8. A child of a wealthy father cannot be given Zakat. When such a child becomes mature in age, and does not own wealth to the value of nisab, he may then be given Zakat.

Relationships Eligible to Receive Zakat:

Brother, sister, nephew, step-grandfather, step-niece, (brother's and sister's children, uncle, aunt, (both paternal and maternal,) grandmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, provided they do NOT possess nisab.

People, Relationship & Causes Making One Ineligible to Receive Zakat

1. Zakat cannot be given to Banu Haashim. The Banu Hashim are the Household of `Ali, the Household of `Abbas, the Household of Ja`far, the Household of Harith ibn `Abd al-Muttalib; nor to their freed slaves and the wives (Allah be please with all of them) of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). 

2. Zakat cannot be given to parents, grandfather etc. even if higher [up in ascendancy].
3. Zakat cannot be given to one's children and grandchildren even if lower [down in descendancy].
4. Husband and wife cannot give Zakat to each other. 

5. Zakat contributions cannot be given to such institutions or organizations that do not give the rightful recipients (Masaarif) possession of Zakat, but instead use Zakat funds for construction, investment or salaries. 

6. Zakat cannot be given to non-Muslims. The same ruling applies to Wajib sadaqah i.e. sadaqatul fit'r, kaffarah. 

7. If one cannot determine whether the recipient is needy or not, then it is better to make certain before giving him Zakat. If Zakat is given without inquiry and subsequently it is known that the recipient is wealthy then Zakat is not valid. It has to be given again. 

8. Zakat will not be fulfilled by purchasing books for an institution, or land purchased for public utility and made waq'f.
9.  Zakat cannot be given to built a mosque with it
10. Zakat cannot be used for the shrouding of a deceased person who has no heirs, because at that time he/she cannot become the owner. 

11. A dead person’s debt cannot be paid from Zakat. 

12. Zakat cannot be given to one’s mukatib or slave. Nor may a slave be bought with it to free.
13. Zakat cannot be given to the child of a wealthy person if he is a minor, nor to the slave of a wealthy person.

Miscellaneous Regulations

1. Abu Hanifah and Muhammad said: If one pays zakat to a man whom one thinks to be poor, and then it transpires that he is rich, or Hashimi, or an unbeliever, or [if] one paid [it] in darkness to a poor person, and then it transpired that he was his father or his son, then repeating it is not [obligatory] upon him. Abu Yusuf said: Repetition is [obligatory] upon him.

If one paid [it] to a person, and then he learned that he is his slave or mukatib, it is not valid according to the verdict of them all.

2. It is not permissible to pay zakat to anyone who possesses the nisab of whatever type of wealth it may be. It is permissible to pay it to anyone who possesses less than that, even if he is healthy and earning.

3. It is disliked to transfer zakat from one land to another; rather the alms of each people should be distributed amongst them, unless a person transfers it to his relatives, or to a people who are more in need than the people of his land.

The Intention of Zakat

It is not valid to offer zakat without an intention coinciding with the payment, or coinciding with the setting-aside of the obligatory portion.

1.It is obligatory to make intention for the fulfillment of Zakat.
2. When giving Zakat to a needy person, the intention should be that, "I am giving this as Zakat." If the intention is not made the Zakat will not be valid. 

3. It is not necessary to reveal to the needy person to whom Zakat is given, that the cash or kind, which is being given to him, is Zakat. 

4. When one puts aside an amount for Zakat with the intention that he will give it to the needy, but at the time of giving Zakat he forgets to make the intention, the Zakat will still be valid. 

5. If one gives a deserving person some money as a gift but makes the intention of Zakat, the Zakat will be valid.

Method of Distributing Zakat

1.The obligatory rate for Zakat is 2.5%.
2. Zakat should be given as soon as possible after it becomes due. It is possible that death 
may occur and thus lead to failure in fulfilling one's obligations. 

3. A poor man cannot be paid for his work from Zakat, nor can Zakat be given in payment of 
anyone's services, except when an Islamic government pays salaries to persons appointed by the government to collect Zakat. 

4. Zakat will only be valid if the recipient is made the owner of that amount i.e. the ownership must transfer to the recipient.
5. Zakat cannot be given or used for the construction of a masjid, madrasah, hospital, a well, a bridge or any other public amenity. 

6. Poor students can be given a bursary from Zakat. If the student is of an understanding age, Zakat must be given to him personally; and if he is not of an understanding age, then his parents or legal guardian must be given possession of the amount. 

7. Zakat can be paid in kind from the same merchandise on which it is due or alternatively, it could be paid in cash. It is of vital importance to ensure at all times that the recipient is made the OWNER of the Zakat. 

8. Authority can be delegated to another person or an organization for the distribution of Zakat in order that it is utilized in accordance with the laws of Zakat. 

9. If a person requests someone to give a certain amount on his behalf as Zakat, and that sum is given out, then that Zakat will be valid. The sum given will be a right upon the one who made this request. 

10. If an agent is given Zakat for distribution, and he does not distribute it then the Zakat will not be regarded as fulfilled, and the sin of not discharging the obligatory duty of Zakat will remain incumbent on whom it was obligatory.
11. It is optimal to give one's Zakat when it is due, rather than wait for Ramadan.

Sadaqat al-Fitr


1. Sadaqat al-Fitr is wajib on the free Muslim, if he is in possession of the quantity of nisab in excess of his dwelling, clothing, furnishings, horse, weapons and service slaves.

2. He gives it out on behalf of himself, his minor children and his slaves.
He does not pay [it] on behalf of his wife, nor his adult children, even if they are in his household.
He does not give it out on behalf of his mukatib, nor his slaves [who were acquired] for trade.
There is no fitrah due on either of the two [masters] of a slave [co-owned] between two partners.
A Muslim master pays the fitrah on behalf of his unbelieving slave.

3. The obligation of the fitrah is attached to the rise of the dawn on the Day of [`Id al-] Fitr. So, whoever dies before that, his fitrah has not become wajib. Whoever accepts Islam, or is born, after the rise of the dawn, his fitrah has not become wajib.


1. The fitrah is: half a sa` of wheat,  OR one sa` of [dried] dates or raisins or barley.

The sa` according to Abu Hanifah and Muhammad is 8 Iraqi ratl. Abu Yusuf said: [it is] 5 1/3 ratl.  [1 sa` is a volume of 2.03 litres, and corresponds to approximately 3,149.28g. 1 sa` ~ 4 mudd; 1 mudd ~ 2 ratl; 1 ratl ~ 20 istar; 1 istar ~ 4½ mithqal {Radd al-Muhtar}]

2. It is recommended for people to give out the fitrah on the Day of Fitr before going out to the prayer place. If they advance- pay it before the Day of Fitr, it is valid.  But, if they delayed it beyond the Day of Fitr, it is not waived, and it is [still an obligation] upon them to give it out.


From "Mukhtasar al-Quduri", a matn of Hanafi fiqh & “Taleem ul Haq"

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