Zakat (Zakah) is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a duty performed on a regular basis. Zakat (Zakah) is not an option it is a compulsory act for all Muslims. It is a contribution paid once a year on savings of two and a half percent. This giving is to “cleanse” your money and possessions from excessive desire for them or greed. The idea is, that by giving this money you learn not to place too much importance on material wealth (cash and possessions).
The benefit of giving Zakat (Zakah)
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated that ‘success is for those who give Zakat’. He has also stated ‘Whatever you give, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will replace it with even more and Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the best at giving wealth’. He has also stated ‘that those who are misers, then don’t think that whatever Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has given them due to His virtue that it is a good thing for them but it is a bad thing for them, because that item will be wrapped around their necks and a lock put on it for those who are tight with their money’.
Punishment and loss for not giving Zakat
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has also stated ‘ those who collect silver and gold and do not spend it in the path of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) then they will be given severe punishment and give them the good news that when they are heated in the fire of Hell and with that their foreheads and sides and backs will be marked and they will be told that this is that gold and silver which you gained for your desire and so taste what you had gained’. The Holy Prophet (SallallahoAlaihiWasallam) has reported that ‘the goods that are destroyed, are destroyed due to not giving Zakat’. He has also reported’ that ‘strengthen your possession by giving Zakat and heal your sick by giving Sadaqa and pray to deter any difficulties and cry and perform worship’. He has also reported that ‘Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has made four things obligatory and those who only perform three of them and miss one then it will be of no use to them until all four things are not performed. Salat, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj, and he stated that those who do not give Zakat, their Salat is not accepted [Tibrani, Abu Da'ud, Imam Ahmad].
Rule: Zakat (Zakah) is Farz and those who reject it as Farz are infidels and those who do not give Zakat (Zakah) are wrongdoers and worthy of execution and those who delay and do not give Zakat (Zakah) on time are sinners and their testimony or oath will not be accepted [Alamgiri,Bahar]. According to Shariah, Zakat (Zakah) is defined as from your goods to take one part for Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) which has been fixed by Shariah and to make a Muslim poor person the owner of it.
Rule: To replace something is not giving Zakat (Zakah), for example, to feed a poor person with the intention of giving Zakat (Zakah) as this would not be making the person the owner of the money. However, if food is given and whether he eats it or takes it with him then this will be counted as giving Zakat (Zakah) and in the same way if clothing is given with the intention of Zakat (Zakah) then the Zakat will be fulfilled [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: It is also a condition to make someone the owner that knows how to accept, it, meaning if someone throws it away or is easily fooled into giving it away then this is not counted as making someone the owner, for example if a small child or an insane person is given Zakat (Zakah) then it will not count. If the child does not have sense then the Zakat (Zakah) should be given to his father who should also be poor and then should be made the keeper or the child’s guardian or person looking after the child [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Conditions when Zakat (Zakah) would become necessary
Rule: There are a few conditions when Zakat (Zakah) would become necessary.
1. To be a Muslim
2. To be an adult
3. To be sane
4. To be free (i.e. not a slave)
5. To be the owner of goods above Nisaab (threshold-where Zakat would become necessary)
6. To be a complete owner of the goods
7. To be free from any sort of loan
8. To be free from any goods which are regarded as basic necessities of living
9. The good have a value which will increase
10. For a year to pass
Rule: Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary for an infidel. If an infidel became a Muslim then he would not be ordered to pay Zakat (Zakah) for goods from previous years when he was not a Muslim [All books].
Rule: Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary for a child [Hidava etc.].
Rule: Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary for a person who has been insane for a full year. If a person is sane at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year but was insane in the middle of then Zakat (Zakah) is still necessary. If a person is insane from birth and then after reaching adulthood he gains sanity then Zakat (Zakah) will become necessary from that year and not from the previous years [Johra, Alamgiri, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary for possession of goods which are below the fixed threshold of Shariah, meaning if a person had goods but were less than the threshold of Nisaab then Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary for them.
Rule: You must have complete ownership of the goods, meaning if you had possession but was not an owner then Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary.
Rule: If money or goods have been given as a deposit or guarantee, then Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary on the person giving the deposit or the person keeping the deposit nor is it necessary for the years that it was held when the deposit has been given back [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar etc.].
Rule: If a person has enough goods above the threshold of Nisab but he owes so much that by paying the debt off he would go below the threshold of Nisab then Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary on them whether the debt is of a worldly nature (such as a loan or repayment for lost goods or payment) or if it is of a religious nature (such as previous Zakats), for example, if a person has been above the threshold of Zakat (Zakah) for only one year and he has not given Zakat (Zakah) for two years then only the first year’s Zakat (Zakah) is necessary not for the second year, because after giving the first year’s Zakat (Zakah) from his goods the goods then fall below the threshold therefore the second year’s Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary [Alamgiri, Radd-ul-Mohtar].
ZAKAT (ZAKAH) FOR GOLD. SILVER AND BUSINESS GOODS
Nisab for Gold and Silver
The Nisab (threshold) for gold is seven and a half Tola (88 grammes) and for silver it is fifty two and a half Tola (620 grammes). The Zakat (Zakah) for gold and silver is determined by it’s weight and not it’s value. For example, jewellery or utensils of gold is made but it’s making makes the value of the gold more than 200 Dirhams (which may be the price of 7.5 tolas of gold). Also nowadays the value of 7.5 tolas of gold makes many Nisabs when compared with the 52.5 tolas of silver and therefore the Nisab will be calculated on weight and not on the value. In the same way by giving silver as Zakat (Zakah) for gold then the value will not be counted but the weight will be counted even if because of work and craftsmanship the value has increased. For example, if you had £700 worth of silver and you gave £25 for Zakat (Zakah) because although the jewellery was worth £700, it actually cost another £300, making the total £1000, then the Zakat (Zakah) would need only be £20 and the other £5 would be extra as the Zakat (Zakah) is given on the weight and not the total value.
Rule: When it is referring that the weight is taken into consideration and not the value then this is when the Zakat (Zakah) is being given for like to like product. Such as gold for gold or silver for silver and if another product is being given for another product, for example gold is being given as Zakat (Zakah) for silver or vice versa, then the value will be taken into consideration. [Radd-ul-Mohtar].
How much Zakat (Zakah) should be given ?
Rule: When you have enough gold or silver that goes above the Nisab then one fortieth is given, i.e. 2.5%. Whether it be in it’s original form or in the form of coins or something has been made out of it (such as jewellery, utensils, watch etc.) then Zakat (Zakah) is necessary on it. For example if you have 88 grammes of gold then 2.25 grammes of Zakat (Zakah) is necessary or if you have 620 grammes of silver then 15.75 grammes of silver is necessary for Zakat (Zakah) [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: Except for gold and silver you have other goods which are for business purposes then if the value of that adds to the same as the Nisab for gold or silver then Zakat (Zakah) is necessary on that also, meaning the fortieth part of the goods is to be given for Zakat (Zakah). If you did not have enough goods that reached upto the Nisab level but you also had some gold or silver then they should be combined together and then if the total adds up to the Nisab level then Zakat (Zakah) is necessary. The value of the goods should be calculated with the going currency of that county, for example in India the currency would be Rupees and for the UK it would be sterling. If gold or silver coins are used somewhere then it is upto you to use whichever coin you like. However, if you use Rupees and the Nisab does not complete but by using an Ashrafi the Nisab completes or vice-versa, or by using one currency the Nisab completes but with another currency there is more than one-fifth of the Nisab left-over then use the currency that gives more Nisab left-over meaning one fifth more and do not use the other currency that does not add up to the extra Nisab [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Zakat (Zakah) on Notes is also necessary
Rule: It is necessary to give Zakat (Zakah) on notes as this is the same as money [Bahar]. This means that Zakat (Zakah) is necessary on the amount equivalent to 620 grammes of silver or 88 grammes of gold or above as the same rules that apply to gold and silver will also apply here.
Rule: Zakat (Zakah) Is necessary on business goods that have been available for a year and the condition is that the value of the goods are not less than 200 Dirhams at the start of the year [Alamgiri].
Rule: Pans that have been loaned out do not need Zakat (Zakah) paid on them and in the same way a house that has been rented out do not need Zakat (Zakah) paying on it [Alamgiri, Qazi Khan].
ZAKAT (ZAKAH) ON SAIMA ((ANIMALS)
Definition of Saima
Zakat (Zakah) is necessary on three types of animals that are Saima, i.e. camels, cows and goats. Saima is those animals who spend most of the year grazing and their purpose is to gain milk or their young or just to keep [Tanweer, Bahar]. If hay or grass is brought to them in your home or the animals are used to shift loads or carry loads or are used for travelling on, then even if they graze, they are not Saima and their Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary. In the same way if they are kept to eat meat then Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary even if the animal grazes in the wild. If the animal is for sale and is kept to graze, then this is also not Saima, however, the value is to be calculated as business goods and the Zakat (Zakah) is to be given as normal [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar].
Zakat (Zakah) on Camels
Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary on less than five camels. When you have five or more than five but less than twenty-five, then on every five camels one goat is given as Zakat (Zakah). Therefore if you have five then one goat is to be given and if you have ten then two are given etc etc [Hidaya, Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: The goat that is given in Zakat (Zakah) is not to be less than one year old. The goat can be male or female, the choice is yours [Radd-ul-Mohtar].
Rule: If you have more than one Nisab but less than two Nisabs (more than five but less than ten) then Zakat (Zakah) on the extra amount is forgiven and is not necessary, meaning if you had seven or eight then only the one goat is necessary [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Zakat (Zakah) on Cattle
Rule: If you have less than thirty cows then Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary. When you have thirty then the Zakat (Zakah) is one calf older than one year. If you have forty then the Zakat (Zakah) is one calf older than two year’s old. This rule applies to upto fifty nine cattle. On sixty cattle the Zakat (Zakah) is two calves older than two year’s old. Then the rule is on every thirty one calf one year old and on every forty one calf two year’s old. For example on seventy you would give two calves one calf that is one year old and one calf that is two year’s old. For eighty you would give two calves that are both two year’s old etc.etc.
Rule: The same rule applies to cows and buffaloes and if you have a mixture, then they would be added together. For example, if you have ten cows and twenty buffaloes then Zakat (Zakah) would have to be given. The Zakat (Zakah) given is the calf of the animal that there is more in quantity, e.g. if you have more cows than buffaloes then a calf of a cow would be given. If the amount is equal then the calf of the animal is given that is worth more in value [Alamgiri].
Zakat (Zakah) on Sheep and Goats
If you have less than forty sheep or goats then Zakat (Zakah) is not necessary. Between forty and one hundred and twenty then you would give one goat or sheep, meaning regardless of the quantity between this figure, only one goat is sufficient. Two goats are given for the quantity between one-hundred and twenty one and two hundred. Then upto between 201 and 300, three goats are to be given. Between 301 to 400, four goats are given in Zakat (Zakah). Then for every hundred extra one extra goat is given and for any goats that are between the hundred mark, then there is no extra Zakat (Zakah).