JUMMA MASJID - MUMBAI
By Syed Khalid Hussain
From a study of the Holy Qur’an and Traditions of the Holy Prophet, it transpires that there are three objectives of Zakat (poor-due). One is basic and specific and the other two are secondary and collective.
The basic and essential objective of Zakat is purification of the soul. It cures the lust for wealth, infuses the feat Allah in man’s heart and makes one amenable to good deeds. The Holy Qur’an says: “And away from it (Hell) shall be kept the most pious one, who gives away his wealth in order to purify himself.” (XCIL:17-18)
On another occasion Allah addresses and exhorts the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) in these words: “Take alms of their wealth, wherewith you may cleanse and purify them.” (9: 103)
These verses make the real importance of Zakat quite clear: it aims to emancipate the heart from temporal preoccupations and purifies the soul.
It is an acknowledged fact that the love of material things is the real enemy of prayer. It turns a man away from Allah and the After-life. The Holy Prophet once said: “The root of all evil is the love of worldly things.” (Mishkat)
Although temporal love includes many things the most powerful and dangerous of all is the love of material wealth. The Holy Prophet has, therefore, regarded it as the greatest of all evils for the Muslims: “The trial for my Ummah is wealth.” (Tirmidhi)
If a Muslim can save himself from the lure of wealth, he will be able to protect himself from many other vices.
Because of its basic aim and purpose, poor-due is known as zakat in Islam. Literally it means both purification and growth. To give a portion of one’s income to the needy for the pleasure of Allah is called Zakat because it purifies the soul. It must, however, be remembered that the aim of zakat is achieved only when its payment is motivated by sincere desire and practical effort. The pleasure of Allah should be the first and foremost consideration while paying Zakat. It must be free from every other motive.
Zakat should be paid out of the income earned only by fair and honest means. Whatever is paid should be respectable. If cheap and worthless stuff is given in zakat it will go in vain. It will be no better than a hypocritical gesture.
Zakat’s beneficiary should neither be made to feel grateful for it, nor should his feelings and self-respect be hurt. Otherwise, Zakat will cease to have any meaning.
One secondary objective of the poor-due is to provide basic necessities to poor Muslims. The Holy Prophet said: “Verily Allah has ordained the payment of Zakat on them (Muslims). It will be taken from the rich and returned to the poor.” (Muslim)
These Traditions make it quite obvious that there is also a social and economic aspect of the poor-due without which its Islamic concept remains incomplete.
The other secondary objective of Zakat is the help and support of Islam. While giving the details of the beneficiaries of Zakat the Holy Qur’an says: “The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and for those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors and for the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers.” (9:60)
The words “the cause of Allah” denote the struggle waged for Islam, particularly for meeting the requirements of Jihad.
* If a person earns money from a fixed property but the whole amount is spent in the course of the year, then he does not become liable to pay Zakat. But if he has saved a portion of the income and if this saving reaches or exceeds the minimum Nisab limit, then he will be liable to pay Zakat, provided the amount in question remains in his possession for 12 months. (Lunar)
* If a person owns buildings other than those meant for his own or his dependants’ use, and he has rented them out to others, the he will have to pay Zakat on the net income from the rent, provided the income is above the minimum Nisab limit and remains in his possession for 12 months.
* The value of any vehicle used in the course of trade to earn a living is exempt from the obligation of Zakat. But the net income earned from its use, and which remains with the owner for one full year, will be subject to payment of Zakat.
* There is no Zakat on farmland owned by a person, irrespective of the amount of its value or its size, provided it is not bought for speculation.
* The capital involved in goods, properties and livestock owned for trade or commerce is subject to the payment of Zakat: that is, if a person began trading with a capital of Rs.50,000 and earned profits thereon, then he will have to pay Zakat on the total amount, and not just on the profits earned.
* Therefore, a person having a capital of Rs. 50,000 and earned Rs. 50,000 profits in due course will have to pay Zakat on Rs. 60,000 (capital plus profit), which will be the total amount reflected in the balance-sheet.
* The determination of the minimum Nisab on trade goods will be according to the value of the goods in cash which would purchase 7 1/2 tolas of gold (88 gram) or 52 1/2 tolas of silver (632 gram).
* When trading in partnership, each partner will be liable to pay Zakat on the proportion of the net share of profits coming to him which is added to his capital.
* Zakat on shares owned by one shall be determined annually on the cash realisable market value of the shares, which must be included in the capital and Zakat paid on the total as required by Islam.
* Persons who buy goods on credit for the purpose of trade must deduct the total amount of their debts and determine their net profits, and add these to their capital for calculating the payment of Zakat.
* Money saved for Haj is also liable for Zakat if it is kept for a year or more and is within the Nisab.
* If someone gives Zakat money to a person as a loan but makes niyyat (intention) of Zakat, then the obligation of paying Zakat will be discharged. He cannot thereafter collect the money given away as a loan.
* If a person deserving Zakat is thought to be embarrassed in accepting it, the Zakat money could be given to him as a gift or present on a suitable occasion; but the intention of the giver must be of Zakat at the time of giving the money. Similarly, to give Zakat money as a gift to the children of the poor is also permissible.
* If a person owes you money and is unable to repay it on account of poverty, you cannot pay yourself his debt with your own Zakat money and consider that the obligation of paying Zakat has been discharged. Zakat money must be handed to the debtor and payment asked for thereafter.
* The amount of Zakat given to any one person should not be less than what could satisfy his needs for atleast one day.
* If Zakat money is given to a person whom you thought deserved it but later found out that he does not, the obligation of paying Zakat will be discharged and you will not have to pay Zakat again.
* If a person is not entitled to Zakat and is given Zakat money, then he should refuse to accept it: or if given, he should return it to the giver immediately because it is forbidden for him to accept Zakat.
* The first claim on Zakat money is of deserving relatives, then the deserving poor of the village, town, city or country in which one lives. If the needs of the people of another area are more deserving and urgent, the Zakat could be sent to them too.
* If the giver is doubtful about the position of the person seeking Zakat, then he should not give his Zakat to him at all, because the giving of Zakat in such circumstances is not permitted.
* The subject of Zakat has been dealt with here in the light of Hanafi Fiqh (jurisprudence)
There are two conditions for Zakat to be obligatory on the wealth.
1. Being in possession of Nisab i.e. possessing property in excess of a minimum exemption limit.
2. On completion of one Lunar year on the wealth. According to Hanafi if a person possess wealth equal to or in surplus of Nisab in the beginning and at the end of the lunar year, (even though in between the year, the wealth was less than the Nisab), Zakat is obligatory, but if at the end of the lunar year if the wealth is less than the Nisab (though one had wealth equal to or in surplus during the year) zakat is not obligatory. According to Shafie the passage of one lunar year is a must on the wealth (Nisab) (in Hanbali almost a year). The zakat is calculated on the day on which a year is completed on that wealth (Nisab). Nisab: Zakat is paid on the surplus of wealth which is left over after the passage of a year(Lunar Year). It is thus a payment on the accumulated wealth, leaving our animal and agricultural yield. Zakat is pain at almost a uniform rate of 2 1/2%. The minimum standard of surplus of wealth over which Zakat is charged is known as Nisab. It differs with different kinds of property. In case of silver it is 52 1/2 Tolas (634 grams), in case of gold it is 7 1/2 Tolas (88 grams). The Nisab for cash is the same as that of gold and silver.
Zakat is obligatory of every Adult free Muslim man and woman provided the above two conditions are fulfilled. According to Imam Malik, Shafie and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Zakat is obligatory of the wealth of the Minor and insane person, and it has to be paid by the guardian. Where as according to Imam Abu Hanafi it is not obligatory. Since Zakat is an act of worship the intention is a must and hence it is not obligatory on the wealth of a minor and the insane person.
According to Imam Abu Hanafi and Imam Malik, the wife need not pay Zakat on the Mehr amount still due by her husband. However Zakat will have bo be paid on the amount she has claimed provided it is equivalent to or more than the Nisab and on which one year has been completed. According to Imam Shafie the wife has to pay the Zakat every year (though she herself is not claiming the Mehr, even though it can be claimed). According to Hanbali the Wife has to pay the Zakat for the entire number of years at the time when she gets it.
All types of goods for sale, whatever may be its form, whether hand made or machine products or fruits or books or jewellery or clothes or cattle or property brought with the intention of buying and selling etc., are liable for zakat. Provided it is in one’s possession for one complete lunar year and the rate of zakat applicable is 2 1/2% on its total value. The prescribed limit on goods is after conversion, in terms of its value, the total amount thus evaluated must be equivalent to the price of 634 grams of silver. If less, then zakat is not obligatory.
If any wealth or property is held jointly by two or more persons, then according to Imam Abu Hanafi and Imam Malik Zakat is not obligatory on any person until each individuals share is equal to the value of the Nisab. Zakat on Silver, Gold, Currency and Shares. The minimum prescribed limit on which Zakat becomes obligatory on silver is 52 1/2 Tolas (634 grams), and of gold 7 1/2 Tolas (88 grams) and is known as Nisab. Zakat on silver or gold items is one fortieth of its weight, i.e. 2 1/2%. Zakat on silver or gold is not calculated on its value but on its weight. However if one possesses some gold and some silver and neither of them is in the prescribed limit, then it their total cost is equal to the price of 634 grams of silver, Zakat becomes due on it.
Zakat is due on all the gold and silver ornaments, jewellery, and gold or silver lace woven into clothe, gold thread embroidered dresses for ladies, etc. Hadrat Umm Salmah says that she used to put on (gold) bracelets. When she asked the Holy Prophet whether it was Kanz (Hoarded wealth) he replied.
“ When a piece of property reaches upto the prescribed limit and Zakat is duly pain on it, it is not Kanz”. (Abu Dawood)
Imam Abu Hanafi, his disciples and some scholars hold the above opinion. According to Imam Malik, Shafie, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal and other scholars there is no Zakat on the woman’s ornaments. According to some other scholars the Zakat on ornaments is due only once in a lifetime. The difference of opinion among scholars is only on the ornaments in use by the woman, but there is a consensus among all the scholars that Zakat is liable on the excess of the ornaments held in possession as wealth.
Both these fall under the status of debt. According to Hanafi school of thought: Both of them are liable for Zakat for all the years and it has to be paid when out of it an amount equivalent to the value of 10 1/2 Tolas of silver or more is claimed. According to Hanbali school of thought also that Zakat is liable on both for all the years. It has to be paid when an amount equivalent to the Nisab or more is claimed.
According to Malliki school of thought the Zakat on Bank deposit is liable for all the years. And it has to paid when the amount is received. On the provident fund, since the person does not have any power to claim it, so Zakat is liable at the time when it is received and it has to be paid for one year only. According to Shafie school of thought the Zakat on the Bank Deposit has to be paid every year. The Zakat on provident fund has to be made for all the years and it has to be paid when he is entitled to receive it, though he may claim it or not in time.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: “On a land irrigated by rain water or by natural water channels or if the land is wet due to a near by water channel Ushr (i.e. one-tenth) is compulsory (as Zakat); and on the land irrigated by the well, half of an Ushr (i.e. one twentieth i.e. 5%) is compulsory (as Zakat on the yield of the land)”.
A basic principle has been laid down for the Sadaqa (Zakat) in the agricultural produce. If the land is irrigated by artificial methods, one twentieth part (5%) of the yield is to be paid is irrigated by rainfall, streams, rivers, fountains or by the inner moisture of the earth, i.e., by natural resources of water, then one tenth (Ushr) 10% is to be paid as Zakat. There is some difference of opinion whether Ushr is levied on all types of agricultural yield or on some particular types.
According to Imam Abu Hanafi, Zakat is to be paid on all types of agricultural yield, provided the aim of cultivation is to improve upon the land and make it more useful for growing of crops. Thus only fuel, bamboo, grass and trees which bear no fruits are exempted from Zakat. He considers Zakat to be compulsory even on vegetables and fruits, which according to some Hadith, are exempted from Zakat. The scholars have reconciled the two views saying that the exemption granted in case of vegetables implies that the proceeds of the Zakat are not to be sent to the Bait ul Mal, but the owner may himself distribute it among the poor.
Ushr is to be paid at the time of harvest. Whereas in the other types of Zakat one should be in possession of the wealth for one complete year.
Zakat is obligatory on goats, sheep, cows, buffalos and camels which graze on wild grass, plant leaves and on some feed now and then given by the owner, and on the above animals meant for sale.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: “By Allah in whose hand my life is, whoever had camels or cows or sheep and did not pay their Zakat, those animals will be brought on the Day of Resurrection far bigger and fatter then before and they will tread him under their hooves, and will butt him with their horns and (those animals will come in circle) when the last does its turn, the first will start again and this punishment will go on till Allah has finished the judgments amongst the people.” (Bukhari)
Zakat on Minerals and hidden wealth is one twentieth 5%. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, minerals are classified into three groups:
1. Gold, Silver, Brass, Bronze, Iron etc.
2. Crude Oil, etc.
3. Diamonds, precious stones etc.
Zakat on the first group only is Waajib (compulsory) and is to be paid at the time of acquiring. Here minimum period of one year in possession does not apply.
: By Sahabzadah Qari Abdul Ba'sith
Ans. Of the three plots, you have purchased, one is for the purpose of constructing a house to live in , on the price of that plot Zakat is exempted. You have to pay Zakat on the other two plots every year as per the market value each year. For example, if you have purchased the plot for Rs.50,000/= and now the market value of that plot is one lakh rupees, you have to pay Zakat on the amount equivalent to one lakh rupees only.
Ans. Zakat amount is meant for poor and needy, never should it reach the pockets of terrorists who indulge in killing and destruction. Shariat law has certain established standard as to whom the said amount should go. It should not be used for any purpose other than those described in the Shariat. The Zakat payer should be satisfied first that the amount he pays is for a good cause and for welfare activity. It may be paid to either individual or to a Jamaath who adheres to the Shariat Laws.
Ans. Zakat amount is to be paid after the expiry of one full year. There is no restriction as such that it should be paid in that particular month. After the expiry of a full year, a person has to make its payment.
Ans. It is not lawful to pay either Zakat or Sadaqa-e-Fitr to the direct descendents of the Prophet of Islam.
Ans. If the weight of gold ornaments exceeds 7 1/2 tolas ( 88 grms)of gold, it is obligatory on the part of that person to pay Zakat, whether it is utilised or remains unutilised. Your wife has to pay the Zakat on the entire gold ornaments she possesses, at the rate of 2 1/2% every year. ( Hanfi masalak)
Ans. The payment of Zakat shall be at the exact due date. That is the best way. It cannot be postponed. In case, you cannot find a deserving person that year or if it does not violate the norms of Shariat, it can be delayed. Better alternative will be to pay the amount stipulated, for both the years in advance.
Ans. On any of these domestic things that are of daily use or utilised occasionally for one’s own use, one need not pay the Zakat. Costly clothes, vehicles etc. T.V, VCR and tape recorders are also articles of daily use, hence Zakat need not be paid on them. It should be noted that these articles are not put to bad use. This may be sinful. So as a matter of principle, Zakat may not be paid on these items. Suppose there are certain things which are not used at all for, such items the owner has to assess their cost and pay Zakat on them.
Ans. Brother-in-law and sister may be helped with Zakat amount if they are deserving. If the relatives are really deserving, payment of Zakat amount to them is considered as superior. It is more beneficial as you are paying Zakat on one side, which is a virtuous act and you are sympathetic towards the welfare of your own relatives. For the relatives you help through Zakat amount, you get the benefit of Silah Rahmi. ......too. According to a Hadith, “Silah Rahmi’ leads to longer life span and also many blessings from Allah, the Almighty. But it should be noted that amongst the relatives Zakat cannot be paid to the parents, grand-fathers (both paternal and maternal), grand-mothers (both paternal and maternal), one’s own children, grand-sons and grand-daughters.
Ans. Those people who deserve Zakat amount are mentioned in Surah-e-Tauba. One cannot give Zakat amount to perform Hajj. But if by way of payment of Zakat, if one makes a deserving poor person the owner, he can utilise his wealth in any manner.
Ans. It is not illegal for a person to pay Zakat to the aunt. (mother’s sister) provided she deserves it.
Ans. The husband has to pay the Zakat on the ornaments the wife has.
Ans. Zakat is not obligatory on the person who got the loan amount, as it is not his own wealth. It is just a loan to be returned after he gets it. The lender of the money shall include even his loan amount every year along with types of wealth (leaving the exempted items like own house etc.) and has to pay the Zakat.
In case, there is no hope of getting back the loan amount because of various reasons like the debtor not being seen for a long time or he is not in a position to return the loan, Zakat need not be paid on loan amount.
1. What is the amount which must be given as Zakat Al-Fitr?
2. If our baby was born after maghrib on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, is Zakat Al-Fitr payable on her behalf?
1. The required amount of Zakat Al-Fitr is one sa’, which is roughly equal to three kilograms, of wheat, barley, raisins, dry cottage cheese, rice, corn, or similar items considered as basic foods.
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported; “We used to give on behalf of every child, old person, freeman and slave during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, one sa’ of dried cottage cheese, or one sa’ of barely, or one sa’ of dates, or one sa’ of raisins as Zakat al-fitr. We continued to do so until Mu’awiyyah came to us to perform pilgrimage or a minor pilgrimage. He then addressed the people from the pulpit and said to them. ‘I see that two mudds (one mudd is equal to two-thirds of a kilogram) of wheat of Syria equals one sa’ of dates’. The people accepted that. “I would continue to give as I used to give, namely, one sa’ as long as I live”.
2. Fitra is incumbent on every Muslim, male, female, adult or child. Ath-Thuri, Ahmad, Ishaq and ash-Shaf’i and Malik are of the opinion that it is due at the sunset of the night of breaking the fast, for this is when the fast of Ramadan ends. Abu Hanifah, al-Layth, Shafi in his original opinion, and the second report of Malik say that Zakat Al-Fitr is due at the start of Fajr (morning prayers) on the day of Eid.
These two different views acquire relevance if a baby is born after sunset but before dawn on the day of Eid; the question then is whether Zakat Al-Fitr is obligatory for the baby or not.
In accordance with the first view, it is not, since the birth took place after the prescribed time, while according to the second view, it’s due because the birth took place within the prescribed space of time.