Various Fatwas on Zakaat

Question:

Please explain the meanings of Sadqah, Zakaat, Nisaab and Lillaah.

Answer:

Sadqah refers to charity—any kind of charity given to gain the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and thawaab (reward). Sadqah is of two kinds: Sadqah Waajbah (Compulsory Sadqah) and Sadqah Naafilah (Optional Sadqah). Zakaat, Fitrah, Fidyah, Kaffaarah and Nathr are Compulsory forms of Sadqah. Such Sadqah may be given to only poor Muslims (Masaakeen and Fuqaraa).

Zakaat is the specific compulsory Sadqah which is paid on certain types of assets. This is paid annually. Lillaah simply means ‘For the Sake of Allah’. Generally, in the language of ordinary people, Lillaah refers to optional charity. Optional charity may be given to even non-Muslims. Nisaab is the minimum amount on which Zakaat becomes compulsory. The Nisaab of Zakaat is 612 grams silver or its price.

Question:

What is the Zakat Percentage? Question regarding someone who objects to the percentage due to it not being stated explicitly in the Qur’an.

Answer:

2.5% Zakaat payable on cash, gold, silver and stock-in-trade has been the law since the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The laws of the Shariah are not up for juggling, distortion and mutilation. The Shariah is not the product of the opinions of ignoramuses of this age. It was never claimed by any authority of Islam from the time of the Sahaabah that the Quraan is the only source of the Shariah. If the 2.5% Zakaat is not mentioned in the Quraan, then let the jaahil understand that even the five daily Fardh Salaat, the number of rakats and thousands of other masaa-il are also not mentioned in the Quraan. Such nonsensical doubts and stupidities should not be answered.

Question:

I operate a fleet of trucks for deriving income. Do I have to pay Zakaat on the trucks? If I have to, on what amount shall the Zakaat be calculated, the present value of the trucks or the price paid for them?

Answer:

Zakaat is not payable on trucks, implements, machinery, fixed property, etc. used to derive income. All these items are exempted from Zakaat. Zakaat will only be paid on these items if they are stock-in-trade, i.e. they were purchased with the intention of reselling.

Question:

I bought a property with the intention of hiring it out for gain. Is Zakaat payable on the property or only on the rental?

Answer:

Zakaat is not payable on either the property or the rental. At the end of your Zakaat year you have to pay Zakaat on all Zakaat taxable assets you own. Zakaat taxable assets are cash, savings wherever it may be, stock-in-trade, gold and silver in any form whatsoever and monies owed to you. If at the end of your Zakaat year you still have the rent or part of the rent, then Zakaat is payable on it. You do not pay Zakaat on that portion of the rent which you have used up during the course of the year.

Question:

Is Zakaat payable on computer equipment used for training purposes? The equipment is listed with specifications as for sale and is available for sale throughout the year while it is also used for training.

Answer:

Since the original intention when procuring the equipment is to sell it for profit, Zakaat is payable on it even if it is used for training purpose. It is an item of merchandise (stock-in-trade).

Question:

Q) If I buy a property with the intention of making profit by renting do i pay zakaat on it? if the answer is no to the above question, do i pay zakaat when i sell it? poor people if i give zakaat to directly, do they have to know its zakaat? is it recommended that you tell them it is zakaat?

Answer:

(1) If a property is purchased with the intention of gaining income by renting it out, then there is no Zakaat on the property itself. Only if the property is bought with the intention to sell it for profit, will it be Zakaatable. (2) Zakaat will not be payable on the property even if you will sell it at a later date. Zakaat will be payable on the money you obtain by selling the property. (3) It is not necessary to inform people that you are giving them Zakaat money. Your Zakaat will be discharged even if the poor persons are not told that the money is Zakaat.

Question:

Does Zakaat have to be paid on property bought for hiring out?

Answer:

Such property is exempt from Zakaat. Only if the intention when buying the property is to resell the property for profit, will Zakaat be payable on it.

Question:

I get a monthly grant from the government. I have saved from the monthly grants a sum which is more than the Zakaat Nisaab. Do I have to pay Zakaat on this money?

Answer:

Yes, Zakaat is obligatory on the money you have saved even if it was from the grant.

Question:

Is Zakaat compulsory on gold jewellery which a woman wears daily?

Answer:

Yes, Zakaat is Waajib on such jewellery even if she wears it daily.

Question:

Does Zakaat have to be paid on imitation jewellery?

Answer:

Zakaat is not payable on imitation jewellery if it is for use and not for sale.

Question:

What value should be taken when calculating Zakaat on stock-in-trade?

Answer:

The wholesale price. The price which will be paid by the trader if he has to purchase the stock on the day he calculates his Zakaat. One fortieth (2.5%) of the actual stock may also be given as Zakaat payment.

Question:

The one year rule applicable to Zakaat is confusing. Should one year pass on every Zakaat asset one acquires before Zakaat becomes compulsory on that asset? How is it possible to keep account for every new addition to one’s assets over the entire year?

Answer:

The one year rule applies from the day a person becomes the owner of the Zakaat Nisaab amount which presently is R970. If, for example, you became the owner of this Nisaab on 10th Muharram 1424, and on 10th Muharram 1425 (next year) your Zakaat assets are equal to or more than Nisaab value, then you pay Zakaat on the total amount you have on 10th Muharram 1425. Every asset will not be regarded as a new accrual with its own one year rule.

Thus, if you acquire any money or other Zakaat assets just one day before 10th Muharram 1425 (next year), you will pay Zakaat on it the next day when your Zakaat year ends. It will be said that one year has passed on this new accrual inspite of the fact that it was acquired yesterday. Every accrual during the course of the year will simply be added to the amount one has on the day one’s Zakaat year ends, provided it has not been spent already.

Question:

Is Zakaat paid every year on the salary earned for the year?

Answer:

If the salary was used/spent, then Zakaat is not paid on it. Zakaat is paid on the cash balance you have in Ramadhaan when you calculate your Zakaat. Thus, if for example your salary for the year was R30,000, but in Ramadhaan you have a cash balance of only R4,000, then you pay Zakaat on R4,000, NOT on the R26,000 which you have spent during the course of the year. Zakaat is paid on cash on hand, cash in the bank, gold and silver.

Question:

I became baaligh in the middle of Ramadhaan. When does Zakaat become waajib on me?

Answer:

If after twelve months, i.e. in the middle of next Ramadhaan, you have Zakaat assets equal to Nisaab or more, then you have to pay Zakaat. The Zakaat Nisaab is 612 grams silver or its value. Zakaat assets are cash, gold, silver and stock-in-trade. Deduct your debts from these assets and pay Zakaat on the balance.

Question:

Is Zakaat to be paid on money obtained by way of gambling?

Answer:

Money thus obtained or in any other unlawful manner has to be given to the poor if the owners of such monies cannot be located. In the Shariah unlawful wealth in one’s possession is termed “Waajibut Tasadduq” which means that it is compulsory to get rid of it hy donating it to the poor without making any Niyyat (intention) of Thawaab. Zakaat is not payable on unlawful wealth.

Question:

Should Zakaat be paid on the money of a na-baaligh (minor)?

Answer:

Zakaat is not Waajib on the money of a minor (i.e. one who has not attained puberty).

Question:

Is it permissible for a man to give his own Zakaat to his poor brother or sister?

Answer:

For assisting poor and needy relatives even with Zakaat, here is a double reward. One reward for paying one’s Zakaat, and another reward for aiding a family member. A person may give his own Zakaat to any relative besides his roots and branches, i.e. besides his parents, grandparents, children and grand children.

Question:

Our Islamic organization in our city has collected a large sum of money in Zakaat. Can we use these Zakaat funds in our Mosque building project?

Answer:

It is not permissible to use Zakaat monies in building Mosques. If Zakaat funds are directed to building Musjids the obligation of Zakaat will not be discharged from those who entrusted your organization with the sacred Trust of distributing their Zakaat according to the Law of the Qur`aan. The members of your organization will be committing a great crime and will be guilty of gross betrayal of the Shariah if they decide to channel the Zakaat into the Musjid construction.

Question:

Recently a radio station collected Zakaat monies to purchase worldspace (satellite) receivers for distribution to Muslims. Some Zakaat collecting organizations use Zakaat to grant bursaries for university education. Is it correct to use Zakaat for such purposes?

Answer:

It is not permissible to use Zakaat for these purposes. Buying satellite receivers with Zakaat is most despicable. It is a despicable act of khiyaanat (abuse) of Amaanat. Primarily, Zakaat is meant for the Masaakeen and Fuqara. It is definitely not permissible to use Zakaat funds for nafsaani purposes such as buying satellite receivers, and for education imparted at immoral universities which are cauldrons of vice, immorality and kufr.

Question:

Is it permissible to pay teachers of a Madressa from Zakaat money?

Answer:

It is not permissible. Whoever employs the teacher should make dignified arrangements for the payment of his salary. Zakaat is the Haqq or right of the poor. Utilizing Zakaat funds for purposes not sanctioned by the Shariah is gross abuse and misappropriation of the trust funds of Zakaat.

Question:

One of the avenues for Zakaat spending mentioned in the Holy Qur`aan is ”Fee Sabeelillah” (in the Path of Allah). Erection of Mosques is most certainly an expenditure “in the Path of Allah. So why do the Ulama say that Zakaat monies cannot be used in the building of Mosques?

Answer:

The expression “Fi Sabeelillah” appearing in the Qur`aanic verse pertaining to Zakaat does not have a general application. In the context of Zakaat, “Fi Sabeelillah” refers to “soldiers”stranded during times of War” and “Haajees stranded while on pilgrimage”. These are the official Islamic interpretations of the phrase “Fi Saheelillah”.

Question:

Instead of giving Zakaat in cash, could it be paid by means of groceries or clothing?

Answer:

Zakaat maybe paid to its lawful recipients in either cash or kind. You may therefore pay your Zakaat by purchasing groceries or clothing for the amount you are liable to pay as Zakaat and handing same to the lawful recipients of Zakaat.

Question:

Is it permissible to give Zakaat to a Muslim widow?

Answer:

If the widow is poor and does not own cash, gold and silver equal to Nisaab value, then Zakaat may be given to her. If she is poor and has no income, but owns gold or silver jewellery the equivelant of the Zakaat Nisaab (about R1200), then it will not be permissible to give her Zakaat.

Question:

I did not pay Zakaat on my gold for 20 years, from 1971 to 1991. How should I calculate my Zakaat for all these past years?

Answer:

Let us assume you had 400 grams of gold. Zakaat for 1971 will be 10 grams. Deduct this from the 400 grams. Zakaat for 1972 will be on 390 grams. THe Zakat on 390 grams will be 9.75 grams. Deduct this from 390 grams. Zakaat for 1973 will be on 380.25 grams, Continue calculating in this way. Zakaat is always one foutieth or 2 and a half percent of the amount. Then add all the grams of gold which had to be given in Zakaat for the past 20 years. Either give the total amount of grams in gold as Zakaat or its current price.

Question:

Inshallah, I am planning to go to Hajj and submit ed money already. My 2004, 2005 Zakat is due. I am planning to go to Bangladesh next year. I normally give Zakat by my own hand. I went to Bangladesh 2003 and paid Zakat. I can not trust my relatives with money. Should I go to Hajj without paying this due Zakat. Or, should I pay it before going to Hajj.

Answer:

It is necessary that you pay the Zakaat of 2004 and 2005 before you depart for Hajj. It is improper to delay payment of Zakaat when there are innumerable needy Zakaat cases. If you leave without discharging this Fardh obligation, the sin will remain on you even while you are in Hajj.

Question:

Who should pay the Zakaat of the wife?

Answer:

She has to pay her own Zakaat. If her husband wishes to pay her Zakaat, he may do so with her knowledge and consent.

Question:

I am a student at a Madrasah. Someone is sponsoring me with Zakaat money. I do not use all the money from the monthly allowance which my sponsor gives me. I save an amount from the Zakaat. After a couple of months the amount which I have saved is more than the Nisaab of Zakaat. Can I continue accepting the monthly Zakaat allowance seeing that a year has not passed on the Nisaab I have?

Answer:

It is haraam for you to accept Zakaat when you have the Nisaab amount irrespective of a year passing or not. Whenever you have the Nisaab, then it is your Waajib duty to inform your sponsor that you have sufficient funds and you are therefore not permitted to accept Zakaat. When the money decreases to less than Nisaab, you may inform your sponsor.

Question:

What is the meaning of one year passing before Zakaat becomes compulsory on one’s wealth? If a person has R5000 on a particular day and during the course of the year this amount decreases and then increases, but after a year he has say R3000, on what amount does he have to pay Zakaat?

Answer:

He will pay Zakaat on R3000. That is, the amount which he has after one year. The initial amount of R5000 and the increase during the course of the year will be ignored. If on 5th Muharram, for example, the person has an amount in either cash, gold, silver or stock-in-trade,which equals the Nisaab of Zakaat or more, then he is described as Maalik-e-Nisaab (the owner of the Nisaab). If 12 Islamic months later, i.e.on 5th Muharram the next year, he still has the Nisaab amount or more, then he pays Zakaat on the amount he has on the day his Zakaat year has expired. In this example it is 5th Muharram. 612 gm silver is the Nisaab value.

Question:

A widow cannot make ends meet. She is in considerable difficulty, but she has some gold jewellery the value of which is more than the Zakaat Nisaab. Is it permissible to give her Zakaat?

Answer:

As long as she has gold jewellery, the value of which equals the Zakaat Nisaab, it will not be permissible to give her Zakaat. She has to sell the jewellery and use the money for her needs. Thereafter Zakaat may be given to her.

Question:

I want to pay Zakaat for several past years.I had neglected this obligation. However, I have no records and I do not know on what amounts to pay Zakaat. What should I do?

Answer:

If you have no records for the past years, you should employ the Shar’i principle of Taharri, i.e. you should reflect and honestly reach a decision. Make an estimate of your past financial state as best as you can. Then calculate your Zakaat obligation.

Question:

Just prior to his death, a man set aside a sum of money to be given to the poor as his Zakaat. However, the money was not distributed while he was alive. Can the money be distributed now after his death?

Answer:

The money now belongs to his estate. It may not be distributed as Zakaat. Since he did express the desire for the money to be distributed as his Zakaat, it can be accepted as a wasiyyat which will operate in one third the value of his assets. If the amount he has set aside for Zakaat is not more than a third the estate value, it may then be distributed to the poor. If it is more than one third the estate, then the excess (the sum more than one third) cannot be distributed.

Question:

I received some cheques from the government. I gave the cheques to a friend to cash because I had no banking account. The friend swindled the money. Now after a number of years he has agreed to pay back the money. When I receive the money do I have to pay Zakaat for the past years as well?

Answer:

The money never came into your possession. The cheques are not money. Possession will be from the day you are given the money by your swindler friend. You do not have to pay Zakaat for the past years.

Question:

This past ramadan, i gave partial of zakaat $7500 to a madressa located to me, they have always asked from me and they have their humanitarin org in bangladesh helping the poor. etc. Their hifz program here in NY, they were very good taking in kids that could not pay or afford. Now they called a meeting with all the parents of children that goes there. they have been fighting many problems, overcrowding, long waiting lists, and shortage of funds, money for the teachers etc. They told one of my freinds whose 2 brothers went there before and now 1 is there completeing hifz, that before they used to pay $100 per month since thats all they could afford but the tuition is $300, if they cant pay the rest $200, then the funds will come from their madrassahs zakaat fund with the permission of my freind (legal guardian), they will sign a contract. My freind however is poor but not poor enough to qualify for zakaat so he decided he will send his brother to south africa just like the other 2 brothers. Is my zakaat money will be properly discharged in this type of scenario, or should i take any action from my end?

Answer:

Firstly, it is immoral to raise the fees for Hifz or Deeni studies from $100 to $300. If your friend does not qualify for being a Zakaat recipient, then the Zakaat will not be discharged if his child?s fees are paid with Zakaat monies. We are not aware of the system this madrasah operates. Fees should not be summarily taken from the Zakaat funds. However, if the Madrasah is in dire straits and it just does not have sufficient funds to operate and the community is unwilling to support it, then the fees of those students whose parents are allowed to accept Zakaat may be paid from the Zakaat fund. The Zakaat should be given to the parents or to someone appointed by the parents. After they (i.e. the parents) have accepted the Zakaat, they may use it to pay the fees or for whatever other need they have.

Q. Is Zakaat paid every year on the salary earned for the year?

A. If the salary was used/spent, then Zakaat is not paid on it. Zakaat is paid on the cash balance you have in Ramadhaan when you calculate your Zakaat. Thus, if for example your salary for the year was R30,000, but in Ramadhaan you have a cash balance of only R4,000, then you pay Zakaat on R4,000, NOT on the R26,000 which you have spent during the course of the year. Zakaat is paid on cash on hand, cash in the bank, gold and silver.

Q. My brother buys and fixes cars as a hobby. If someone is interested in the car or if he needs money, he sells it. Does he have to pay Zakaat on the these cars?

A. If at the time of buying the car the intention was to sell it, then the car will be stock-in-trade and Zakaat is payable on it. However, if at the time when he buys a car, his intention is not to resell it for profit, but to repair and keep it, Zakaat is not payable on the car. It is therefore necessary that he makes a proper intention at the time when he buys the vehicle. The ruling depends on his intention. Even though it may be his hobby, we are sure that he will not keep on buying cars, repair them and store them some where for his own use. The stronger probability is that he buys the cars to repair and sell at a profit although it could be called his hobby. When paying Zakaat on the car, the current market value of the car should be taken and Zakaat paid on that amount.

Q. Can Zakaat be paid with stock, e.g. jackets, shoes, linen, etc.?

A. Zakaat can be paid with any type of assets even jackets, groceries, clothing, etc. As long as the goods given are not useless, it may be given as Zakaat payment.

Q. I own a substantial amount of diamonds. Is Zakaat payable on diamonds?

A. There is no Zakaat payable on diamonds or any other precious stones. Only if the stones are procured for reselling, then the rule of stock-intrade will be applicable and Zakaat will be payable. But if the stones are for one’s use, Zakaat is not payable.

Q. I have saved up the dividends which my investment in an Islamic bank yielded. Is Zakaat payable on it?

A. What is the basis for your doubt? Zakaat is payable on cash, gold, silver and stock-in-trade. So what has prompted you to ask this question? Perhaps you do not know the answer. The answer is simply the following Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “Sin is that which agitates your conscience.” Be grateful to Allah Ta’ala for keeping your Imaan alive. The dividends acquired from these haraam capitalist banks called ‘Islamic’ banks’ are haraam. It is Waajib to get rid of such haraam money. Give it to the poor or pay your income tax, rates and similar other zulm taxes and fines with it. Zakaat is not payable on any haraam money.

Q. I have taken out my Zakaat and set aside the money with the intention of giving the poor and needy when they come. The amount is a considerable sum. By the end of the year, there was still a large amount left. Do I have to pay Zakaat on this separated sum of money?

A. As long as the money is in your possession it remains your property. At the end of your Zakaat year, Zakaat has to be paid on it. Should you die, the amount which you had set aside for Zakaat is part of your estate and is subject to inheritance.

Q. I have 77 gm gold, 110 gm silver and $300 in cash. None of these items equals the Zakaat Nisaab value. What is the position of Zakaat for me?

A. The Zakaat Nisaab of gold is 87.48 grams. The Zakaat Nisaab of silver is 612 grams. If the combined value of the gold, silver and cash equals Nisaab or more, then Zakaat is obligatory. Thus, even though your gold, silver and cash are individually less than Nisaab, their combined value is more than Nisaab, hence Zakaat is payable.

Q. A person owes me a sum of money. Can I waive this debt in lieu of my Zakaat?

A. No, you may not waive the debt in lieu of Zakaat. The Zakaat will not be paid in this manner.

Q. Is it permissible for a person who does not have the Zakaat Nisaab to ask for Zakaat which he will save for future use?

A. In Ahsanul Fataawa, Vol.4, Page 268 appears an excellent answer to this question. Hadhrat Mufti Rasheed Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh).  answering this questions states:

“It is haraam for a person who has food for one day or who is able to earn to ask (for Zakaat, etc.). It is also haraam to give Zakaat to such a person. The same rule will apply to his other needs such as clothes, etc. (i.e. If he does not have garments for his immediate needs, Zakaat may be given to him.). When he has sufficient for his needs, then begging is haraam……. The honourable Fuqaha have said that it is permissible for miskeen (poor) Students of Deeni Knowledge to ask (for assistance). However, that (permissibility) was in the early days when the masses did not have a detestation for Ilm of the Deen. In this era, in view of the aversion and contempt which people generally have for Students and Teachers of Deeni Knowledge, there is no longer permission for even Students to ask. By Students asking for aid, the Deen is brought into disrepute. Read my treatise, Siyaanatul Ulama anith –thalli Indal Aghniyaa’ (Protecting the Ulama from being Disgraced by the People of Wealth). The treatise explains the need for Istighnaa’ (independence) from the people of affluence, and barakaat (blessings) of Tawakkul on Allah Ta’ala. In Al-Alaaiyyah it appears: “It is not lawful for a person who has food for a day to ask for any food whatsoever nor is it permissible for a healthy person who is able to earn. The one who gives such a person commits a sin if he is aware of the man’s condition (i.e. he knows that he has food for a day) because (in giving him) he aids a haraam act (which is begging). Raddul Muhtaar”

Q. Is it permissible to give one’s Zakaat to one’s needy brothers and sisters?

A. It is permissible to give Zakaat to one’s brothers and sisters if they qualify to accept Zakaat.

Q. I have given loans to people. Is Zakaat payable on the loans?

A. Zakaat has to be paid on money loaned to others. However, the Zakaat is not due as long as the loan is outstanding. But when they repay the loan, then you will have to pay for the past years as well. For example, if they pay you after three years, then Zakaat will have to be paid for three years. It is therefore better to pay every year.

Q. Is Zakaat payable on a pension fund?

A. Zakaat will be due on the pension fund money only when it comes into the physical possession of the beneficiary, not before.

Q. Is Zakaat payable on savings in a medical scheme?

A. In a medical scheme a certain portion of the member’s contribution is set aside in a savings account. This saving belongs to the member. It is with his agreement that he is unable to withdraw it from the savings account. He will take possession of the savings only when he resigns and does not join another fund. This is with his voluntary approval. As such, he has to pay Zakaat on the amount in his savings account in the medical fund.

Q. Please could you summarize when and how Zakaat is applied to Gold.

ZAKAT ON GOLD

1) Zakaat of a female’s jewellery

Zakaat on the gold/silver jewellery which a woman has procured for her own use is on the current market value of the gold/silver content of the jewellery. By ‘current’ value is meant the price she would pay for the weight of gold/silver content of her jewellery. If for example, her gold jewellery together with the precious stones encrusted therein weighs 20 ounces, and the weight of the stones is 4 ounces, she has to pay Zakaat on 16 ounces of gold/silver. Her Zakaat is not calculated on the current value of the manufactured jewellery items. Zakaat is on the weight of the gold/silver.

2) Zakaat on the gold/silver stock-in-trade

A jeweller/trader has to pay Zakaat on the current wholesale price of the finished items, not only on the weight of the gold/silver. Since the jewellery for him is stock-in-trade, the same principle which regulates all his merchandise will govern his gold/silver jewellery. ‘Current’ price relative to the trader is the price that he will pay if he purchases the jewellery today from a wholesaler or it will be the final cost of the manufactured items if he himself designs and makes up the jewellery from gold/silver.

3) Zakaat on the retail price?

A trader does not have to pay Zakaat on his retail prices or the price he will be selling the articles. His ‘mark up’ is a fictitious, non-existent entity. It is not maal (stock/ tangible wealth) in his possession. The profit which he intends making pertains to the future. Currently it does not exist anywhere. He does not have possession of the phantom which is in fact future imaginary profit. For example, if he has a price tag of R100 on an item, and he changes the R100 and writes R200 or R1,000, he does not have to pay Zakaat on this huge written increase because it is simply not Zakaat taxable maal (tangible assets) in his possession. Zakaat becomes payable on the imaginary sum only after the fiction has been transformed into reality – into tangible Zakaat assets.

Q. Is it permissible to pay one’s Zakaat by giving the needy vouchers which they could redeem for foodstuff at designated shops?

A. It is permissible to distribute Zakaat in the form of food. You may give the poor vouchers which they can redeem with food.

Question:

Is it permissible to use interest money to pay a Muslim’s debts?

Answer:

If the Muslim qualifies to accept Zakaat, then he may be given the interest to pay his debts. Everyone who has debt is not necessarily permitted to accept Zakaat. His Zakaat assets may still amount to Nisaab or more after deduction of his debts. If so, then he may not be given interest.

Question:

What percentage of one’s salary should be paid as Sadqah?

Answer:

Nafl (Optional Sadqah) is left to the individual’s discretion. You may give any amount optional charity and at any time. It is not compulsory to take out Sadqah every month from your salary. You may give as and whenever you wish and whatever you can afford. Zakaat, however is compulsory once a year on all your Zakaat assets. Such assets are gold and silver in whatever form, cash, whether on hand or in the bank, and on stock-in-trade. If these assets equal the Nisaab value or more, then you have to pay 2.5% Zakaat. Your Zakaat year will end 12 Islamic months after you had become the owner of the Nisaab value. At the end of the twelve months, add up all your Zakaat assets; deduct your debts, and pay Zakaat on the balance.

Q. We are two partners in a business. At the end of the year I calculated the Zakaat payable on our joint assets. Since my partner was on a journey, I paid his Zakaat on his share of the assets as well. On his return he argued that his Zakaat was not discharged. He claims that I should reimburse him from my own money as he will have to pay his own Zakaat. Is he correct?

Yes, he is correct. You required his permission before paying his Zakaat. He has to incumbently pay his Zakaat. You have to reimburse him. Whatever you had given as ‘Zakaat’ on his behalf will be a Nafl Sadqah for you.

Q. I pay Zakaat every Ramadhaan. A month before Ramadhan this year I received a large sum of money for a property which I sold. Do I have to pay Zakaat on this amount also this Ramadhan or wait for 12 months to pass?

Since you were Maalik-e-Nisaab (the owner of the Zakaat Nisaab) at the time you received the money for the property, you have to pay Zakaat on it this Ramadhan irrespective of having received it only a month before.

Q. Some gold jewellery was stolen and recovered a few years later. On recovery, should Zakaat be paid for the time the jewellery had not been with one?

Zakaat is not payable for the time it was stolen and had not been in your possession.

Q. I have a large sum of money which I wish to contribute to the Maktab project which is undoubtedly a wonderful source of Thawaab-e-Jaariyyah. However, my husband is in debt. He insists that I give him the money to settle his debts. He believes that I will gain just as much thawaab as the Maktab. What advice can you give me? 

In your case, there is greater merit in paying your husband’s debts. Insha’Allah, you will gain the same thawaab or perhaps more thawaab, or perhaps the thawaab of both projects—the Maktab project and the payment of your husband’s debts. Allah Ta’ala rewards for even good intentions. Since your intention was initially the Maktab Project, you will, Insha’Allah, gain its thawaab as well.

Q. A person earns R2000 a month. Is it permissible for him to accept Zakaat at the point of receiving his salary, knowing that he is going to spend it all during the course of the month?

It is not permissible for him to accept Zakaat as long as he owns the Nisaab value which presently is about R850.

Q. I gave someone a loan of money. Will it be permissible for me to ask the borrower to pay the Zakaat of the amount he had borrowed?

Yes, it is permissible. The Zakaat he pays will be deducted from the loan amount. In otherwords, the amount of Zakaat he pays will be regarded as a payment on the loan you gave him.

Q. When does one pay Zakaat on a pension fund?

Zakaat is paid when the money comes physically into one’s possession.

Q. Can Zakaat money be given to a person to enable him to go for Umrah?

If the person is poor, i.e. he does not have the Zakaat Nisaab nor extra assets for the Nisaab amount, then he is entitled to accept Zakaat. He is allowed to utilize the Zakaat in any lawful expense he wishes. However, the one who pays Zakaat should understand the spirit underlying Zakaat payment. Zakaat is actually to alleviate the hardships of the Fuqara and Masaakeen. The world is full of such povertystricken Muslims. It is, therefore in conflict of the spirit of Zakaat to give such a large sum to a person to enable him to go for Umrah. A person who cannot afford to go for Umrah can acquire the thawaab of Hajj and Umrah daily by performing Ishraaq Salaat, and if he has parents, by looking at their faces with affection. After all, the purpose of Umrah is the obtainal of thawaab. The aim is never to go for a holiday.

Q. If one owns more than one property which are utilized to generate income, are the values of these properties subject to Zakaat?

There is no Zakaat on fixed property even if income is received from the properties. Zakaat is paid on the income if the cash is still in one’s possession when one’s Zakaat year ends. If the rent received from the properties have been spent, then there is no Zakaat on this depleted income. Zakaat will be incumbent on fixed property only if it was purchased with the intention of reselling it.

Q. I asked a friend to pay my Zakaat. He did so with his own money. After he paid my Zakaat, I forwarded the money to him. Is my Zakaat validly discharged?

Yes, your Zakaat is validly paid.

Q: A new form of Sadqah has been introduced by some Maulanas. In aid of some charity a banquet or a feast is organized. Only those who pay a sum, for example the R100 stipulated fee, are allowed to participate in the banquet. In exchange for the R100 a plate of food is given. The money collected in this way is for the charity for which the function has been organized. Men and women attend. Is this a form of Lillaah, and is this type of function permissible? 

To understand the stupidity and nafsaaniyat of this type of function should not be difficult. Sadqah is money given in the Path of Allah Ta’ala with no motive other than the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Sadqah is definitely not money given in exchange for a platter of food at a function of frivolity and nafsaaniyat. This type of function is accompanied by several haraam factors which render the whole act evil and haraam.

1) In the name of charity men and women are exhorted to attend a public function in kuffaar style. The function is in emulation of kuffaar ways and styles. Tashabbuh bil kuffaar (imitating the kuffaar) is haraam. The purported ‘separate’ facilities for men and women at these western style banquets are a sham and constitute a mockery of the Qur’aanic law of Hijaab.

2) The organizers of the satanic banquet invite and exhort women to emerge from their homes in diametric conflict with the Qur’aanic prohibition as well as in conflict with the numerous Ahaadith prohibitions. When it is not permissible for women to attend even the Musjid for Salaat, by what stretch of reasoning can it ever be permissible for them to participate in a kuffaar style public function in a public hall?

3) Women come dressed in their finery, perfumed and adorned to attract, entice and show off. Their sham ‘burqah’ and ‘jilbaabs’ are designed for attraction.

4) Many females will come audaciously driving cars thereby ensuring maximum exposure. Women in the front seat are signs of Qiyaamah according to the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

5) The intention of Sadqah which people make when buying their plate of food at the stupid banquet, is a mockery and a deceptive ruse which the organizers have implanted in the minds of the participants. Those who attend, paying R100 for a plate of food lack sincerity. If the intention is to contribute money as Sadqah in the Path of Allah Ta’ala, there is then no need for the allurement of a plate of food and participation in merrymaking in a mixed crowd of men and women. Sadqah, according to the exhortation of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is given with “the right hand in such a way that the left hand remains unaware”.

6) This type of westernized banquet is bereft of any Islamic fervour andis graced by many fussaaq and fujjaar.

7) Riya (show/ostentation), ujub (vanity) and takabbur (pride) are inherent characteristics of these kuffaar style banquets and functions.

People should at least be honest with themselves by refraining from self-deception. Sadqah is furthest from the mind when participating in banquets of merrymaking. Organizing, participation and buying food from these banquets, especially in the name of charity, are all haraam acts. Soiled garments cannot be cleansed and purified with urine.

NOT OBSOLETE:
Islam is not an obsolete way of life which requires constant transformation for adaptation and progress. Islam is the Final and Perfected Deen which Allah Ta’ala has sent to mankind. Islam has its own unique ways and methods of accomplishment. These are shining and glittering ways which the Ummah has inherited from the Salf-e-Saaliheen originating with the era of the Sahaabah. Westernized methods and merrymaking banquets at which participants have to purchase tickets and pay for a platter of food are not among the ways and means of this Nooraani Shariah. Modernist and deviated molvis and sheikhs have embarked on a mission of deviation to ruin the Shariah and its adherents. It is imperative to be on guard against these wolves in sheep’s skins or in the words of the Hadith: ‘Shayaateen in human bodies.”

Q. Is it allowed for a man to give his own Zakaat to his poor parents?

A. It is not permissible for a person to give his own Zakaat to his parents even if they are poor. It is Waajib for him to support them.

Q. Is it permissible to give my Zakaat to my poor aunt?

A. It is permissible to give your Zakaat to your poor aunt.

Q. My brother and sister are destitute and qualify to receive Zakaat, Is it permissible for me to give my own Zakaat to them?

A. It is permissible to give Zakaat to one’s brother or sister who qualifies to receive Zakaat. A person may give his/her Zakaat to all relatives who qualify except to parents / grandparents / and children / grandchildren.

Q. A husband is in debt. Can his wife give her own Zakaat to him to pay his debts?

A. A wife may not give her Zakaat to her husband. Her Zakaat is not discharged.

Q. I set aside a sum of money as my Zakaat payment. Before distributing this sum is it permissible for me to use it?

A. Setting aside the money does not eliminate your ownership. You still remain the owner. It is therefore permissible for you to use it.

Q. A man has saved money for Hajj. Does he have to pay Zakaat on this amount?

A. Yes, he has to pay Zakaat on this amount.

Q. A few days after I purchased an item, I discovered a defect in it. This defect cane with the item. It did not develop by me. When I returned with it to the seller, he asked me to keep the article and he would refund a few dollars to compensate for the defect. Is this permissible?

A. You may not insist on the owner to refund you a few dollars for the fault/damage in the article. You can however return the item and take back the full amount you had paid. However, if the seller of his own accord happily wishes to give you a few dollars for the damage as he is not keen to take back the item, then this will be permissible.

Q. The Qur’aan mentions ‘Al-Aamileen’ (Zakaat collectors) as one of the eight categories to whom Zakaat can be given. So why do you say that it is not permissible nowadays to pay Zakaat collectors from the Zakaat funds they collect? Also, Salafis say that Zakaat monies may be used to fund any kind of Da’wah movement, publications, etc. since all of this come within the scope of ‘Fisabeelillaah’ (in the path of Allah).

A. We are Muqallideen of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). We are not Mujtahids. We don’t deduct masaa -il of the Shariah from the Qur’aan and Hadith. That era of formulation of masaa-il from the Qur’aan and Hadith terminated with the ending of Khairul Quroon. We don’t have the ability to go directly to the Qur’aan and Hadith for masaa-il. Allah Ta’ala had arranged for the Deen to be fully expounded fourteen centuries ago. We do not follow the corrupt methodology of the Salafis of this age. Aamileen are the Zakaat collectors employed by the Islamic state. They are not self-appointed persons who have assumed the responsibility of collecting Zakaat. Nowadays, Zakaatcollecting has become a moneymaking racket. Modernist organizations are having a field day lining their pockets and stomachs with Zakaat monies. People should not entrust their Zakaat contributions to these modernist bodies who are  misappropriating the Zakaat funds in a variety of channels which are all excluded from the eight classes specified in the Qur’aan Majeed. Fi-Sabeelillah according to all the Fuqaha refers to specific categories. If Fi-Sabeelillaah had a literal and general meaning, the very specification into eight categories would be superfluous and meaningless.

Q. I have forwarded a large sum of money for some goods which have as yet not been despatched. Three years have passed. The money will be refunded to me soon. Am I liable to pay Zakaat currently on this amount?

A. As long as the money is not in your possession, you don’t have to pay Zakaat on it. However, once you receive the money, then you will have to pay Zakaat for the past years as well.

Q. I give Zakaat to the poor even before I have calculated by Zakaat obligation. Is this permissible? I keep account of all Zakaat payments. At the end of the year when I have calculated my Zakaat obligation, I deduct what I have paid during the course of the year.

A. If at the time of giving the money to the poor person, you make the intention of Zakaat, then you can deduct this amount from your Zakaat which you still have to calculate.

Q. Is it permissible to give interest money to destitute non-Muslims?

A. It is permissible to give needy/destitute non-Muslims interest money and even Lillaah money.

Q. A relative married a Christian girl who did not accept Islam. The marriage ended in divorce. They have one child. Half the time the child spends with his mother and half the time with his father. She does not mind that the father is bringing up the child as a Muslim. The father is fulfilling his maintenance responsibility as ordered by the court. When the child is by his mother, she struggles to maintain him due to lack of money. For the immediate needs of the child is it permissible for me to give part of my Zakaat to the mother to use for the child? Also, can I open a savings account and from my Zakaat save money for the future use of the child?

A. If the child’s father is a person who has the Zakaat Nisaab value which does not allow him to accept Zakaat, then Zakaat may not be given to his minor child. Maintaining the child is the responsibility of the father. However, if the father does not have the Nisaab value which is approximately R5,000, then Zakaat may be given to the child. In this case, the father has to take possession of the Zakaat on behalf of the child, then utilize it for the upkeep of the child. You may not give the Zakaat to the non-Muslim mother. If the father does not have the Zakaat Nisaab as mentioned above, then you may give Zakaat for the child for future use. However, in this case, you have to give the Zakaat to the father who has the right to keep the money for the child. If you do not give the Zakaat to the father for safekeeping, but deposit it directly into an savings account, then neither will your Zakaat be discharged nor will the money belong to the child. It will remain your property until you give it into the possession of the father to keep for the child or until the child reaches puberty then you hand it over to him/her. The father, after taking possession, may deposit the money in the savings account.

Q. Instead of giving the poor cash, is it permissible to purchase with the Zakaat money essential goods and give it to them?

A. Yes, it is permissible to pay Zakaat with goods. You may purchase good items and give it to the poor as your Zakaat payment. Paying Zakaat with redundant items is sinful.

Q. Is Zakaat payable on the wealth of a na-baaligh child?

A According to the Hanafi Math-hab Zakaat is not payable on the wealth of a minor (a child under 15 years or one who has not attained puberty). However, according to the Shaafi’ Mathahab, Zakaat is payable on the wealth of even minors.

Q. A husband owes his wife a substantial sum of money for Mehr. The husband has not paid the Mehr. Does the wife have to pay Zakaat on the Mehr which she has not yet received, but which is owing to her?

A. She has to pay Zakaat only when she receives the money.

Q. Is it permissible for a man to deduct from his Zakaat assets the amount of Mehr he owes his wife?

A. He may deduct the Mehr amount only if he has a genuine intention of paying her. In the absence of such an intention he may not deduct it from his Zakaat assets.

Q. A poor person is indebted to me for a sum of money. Could I offset the debt amount with my Zakaat obligation?

A. No, it is not permissible. Waiving the debt is not a Zakaat payment. Zakaat will not be discharged in this manner.

Q. Is it permissible to pay Zakaat with cooked food?

A. It is permissible.

Q. Can I purchase a sewing machine with my Zakaat and give the machine to a poor lady who could use it to earn a living?

A. It is permissible to purchase a sewing machine with Zakaat funds, then give the machine to the poor. The poor person must be made the owner of the machine.

Q. If a Sayyid’s debt is paid with Zakaat, will the obligation be discharged?

A. While the debt obligation will be discharged, the Zakaat will not be discharged.

Q. A person has a few trucks. He operates a transportation business. Should he pay Zakaat on the value of the trucks?

A. There is no Zakaat on the trucks. Zakaat is only on the cash he receives.

Question. Is Zakaat payable on the premiums which an insurance policy holder or a member of a medical scheme pays? In a booklet by the Darul Uloom of Springs, the following appears: “It is compulsory to discharge Zakah on conventional insurance premiums and medical aid policies. The person should calculate the premiums he had paid and pay Zakah every year on the full amount of his premiums. This is as if he deposited money for future in the event of any misfortune befalling him.” Please comment on this view.

ANSWER: Trade Insurance As far as trade insurance and the like, excluding medical insurance, is concerned, Zakaat is payable on the sum of the premiums paid to the insurance company. However, Zakaat is not Waajib on the premiums immediately. Once the money has been received from the company when the policy matures, only then will Zakaat be payable. But then Zakaat will have to be paid for the past years as well. It is therefore better to pay Zakaat on the premiums annually. Furthermore, it should be remembered that all forms of insurance are Haraam. Zakaat is not payable on these premiums immediately or annually because, despite ownership being retained, possession is eliminated. The owner does not have possession of the money nor is he able to take possession. Premiums in an insurance company are not like savings in a bank. The owner has the right and ability to utilize his bank savings whenever he wishes. This is not the case with insurance premiums. Possession is totally eliminated, and the owner is deprived of the utility and benefit of his money. He has effectively loaned the money to the insurance company who invests it on interest, and who will repay it either at death of the policy holder or whenever the policy matures. There is therefore no resemblance with bank savings. Medical Insurance Regarding the premiums of medical insurance, the situation is vastly different. The whole premium paid does not belong to the paying member of the medical insurance scheme. Almost two thirds of the premium is gobbled up by the medical insurance company. The medical scheme usurps about two thirds. Only one third (approximately) is retained for the member. This third is deposited into a ‘savings’ account called MSA which is not a normal or conventional savings account. The member has no access to the MSA. Money from this account is utilized by the medical insurance entity to pay for the member’s medical expenses. In the event of the death of the member or on termination of the medical insurance contract, whatever balance there may be in the MSA will be transferred to the member. The attributes of the MSA are: (1) It receives only about one third of the member’s contribution. He loses ownership of two thirds of his premium. (2) The member has no access to this ‘savings’ account. He cannot withdraw funds from it. (3) On death or termination, if there is a balance, it will be refunded. Thus Zakaat is not payable on the premiums paid by a member of a medical insurance scheme. He has to pay Zakaat on only the amount which will be refunded to him at the end when the contract expires. Of course, he will have to pay Zakaat on the balance for the past years as well. However, if the money is paid after his death, it becomes inheritance. Zakaat will be Waajib only if he had made wasiyyat to pay the Zakaat. If wasiyyat was not made, it will not be Waajib on the heirs to pay the Zakaat. The member thus heads into Barzakh with the burden of undischarged Zakaat. Medical insurance is also Haraam. The error of the Springs Darul Uloom is in their understanding of medical insurance. They have likened medical insurance contributions to the premiums of other kinds of insurance such as business insurance.

Q. How is Zakaat to be calculated on stock-in-trade? Which value should be adopted? Some say the selling price and others say the market value.

A. Zakaat has to be paid on the current value of the stock. That is, the price which the holder of the stock (retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer) will pay. The selling price is an imaginary entity. The added profit is in the ‘air’. It is something which has not been realized. Zakaat is not paid on imaginary ‘stock’ regardless of the certitude of its acquisition. Consider the following case: Zaid has R1,000 cash on which he has to pay Zakaat. He purchases stock for the R1,000. If he had paid Zakaat on the R1,000 a minute before purchasing the stock, he would have paid on R1,000. It will be incorrect to say that one minute after having purchased stock for R1,000 he has to pay Zakaat on R1,250, the extra R250 being anticipated profit. He has not taken physical possession of the expected profit which he may or may not realize. But he has in his possession R1,000 worth of stock. He has to pay Zakaat on only R1,000. The future profit is imaginary or fictitious as long as the tangible money has not reached his possession. Zakaat is paid on tangible Zakaat assets which are in one’s possession. Zakaat is not paid on imaginary entities.

Q. How should Zakaat be calculated on salary?

A. You don’t pay Zakaat on salary. When your Zakaat year ends, then you have to pay Zakaat on whatever cash, gold, silver and stock-in-trade you have. What you have used up from your salary is not taxable by Zakaat.

Q. How does one calculate Zakaat on salaries and investments? And how does the 12 month period apply? Does this period have to lapse on each amount received at different times of the year?

A. Many people are confused on this issue. We shall, Insha’Allah, explain in simple terms how Zakaat is to be calculated. Zakaat becomes obligatory when you have a minimum amount which is called the Zakaat Nisaab. This Nisaab presently is approximately R3,000 (approximately $375). If 12 months later, i.e. from the date you had R3,000, you still have R3,000 or more, then you have to pay 2.5% Zakaat on the amount that you have at the end of the twelfth month. The fluctuations in the amount during the course of the 12 months are of no consideration. In other words, you don’t have to worry about how much salary you received or how much increase and decrease there was during the course of the twelve months. The only requirement is the amount you have at the end of the 12th month. If that amount is R3,000 or more, you pay Zakaat. If the amount is less than R3,000, Zakaat is not incumbent even if you had earned a million rand during the course of the year, but had spent the money or bought a vehicle or a house to live in. Zakaat is paid on gold and silver, stock-in-trade, savings and cash. You are allowed to minus the debts you owe from the total sum of your Zakaat assets. Then pay Zakaat on the balance. The above is illustrated in the following example: On 5th Ramadhaan 1430 (i.e. last year) you had R4,000. This is more than the Nisaab, hence it will be said that you are the owner of Nisaab from 5th Ramadhaan 1430. During the course of the year, this amount increased and decreased. You acquired salaries and profits which you used, spent, and part of it you saved. At the end of the twelve months, that is, 5th Ramadhaan 1431 (the current year), your Zakaat asset position was as follows: Cash on Hand 6,000 Gold Jewellery 4,000 Cash invested in a business 10,000 Savings in the bank 2,000 R 22,000 Less debt owed by you 2,000 Zakaat payable on R 20,000 2.5% Zakaat on R20,000 is R500.

Q. How should Zakaat be calculated on earnings?

A. Zakaat is not paid on earnings. Zakaat is paid on Zakaat assets on the day when your Zakaat year ends. Zakaat assets are cash on hand, bank savings, gold, silver and stock-intrade. Zakaat is not paid on that amount of earnings which has already been used.

Q. A lady pays Zakaat. Three months before the ending of her 12 months, she acquired gold jewellery. Should she pay Zakaat on the gold even though 12 months have not lapsed?

A. Yes, she has to pay Zakaat on the gold jewellery as well even if she has owned it for only three months. Since she is the owner of the Nisaab amount, she will have to pay Zakaat on wealth which she acquires even one day before the expiry of her Zakaat year.

Q. I calculate my Zakaat every Ramadhaan. A few days before Ramadhaan I had only R10,000. Then I received R30,000. Do I have to pay Zakaat on the R30,000 as well?

A. You have to pay Zakaat on R40,000 even if you had the R30,000 for only a couple of days. Whatever you gain during the course of the year will be Zakaatable provided you have the money at the end of the 12 month period.

Q. I have several vehicles which I bought for my own use and for the business. I have put up these vehicles for sale as I intend buying other vehicles. Do I have to pay Zakaat on these vehicles? If yes, then on what value?

A. If at the time when you purchased the vehicles it was your intention to use it for your own needs, then there is no Zakaat payable on these vehicles. But, if it was your intention at the time when you bought them to resell the vehicles for a profit, then the vehicles will be stock-in-trade and will be Zakaatable. Since it was not your intention to sell the vehicles, Zakaat is not payable. After selling the vehicles and receiving the cash, Zakaat will be payable on the cash if you have it on the day when your Zakaat year expires.

Q. My Zakaat year ends on 10 Ramadhaan. On this day I calculate my Zakaat. What is the position of money which I obtain on 11 Ramadhaan?

A. The money you obtain on 11th Ramadhaan will be excluded from your Zakaat calculation because your Zakaat year ends on 10 Ramadhaan.

Q. A Muslim owns a mine. How should Zakaat be paid on mines?

A. One fifth of the mine’s yield must be given as Zakaat.

Q. Is it valid according to the Maaliki Math-hab to pay Sadqah Fitr during Ramadhaan? Can the Fitrah be discharged with rice?

A. According to the Maaliki Mathhab, Fitrah may be paid two days before Eid, but not before two days. One Saa’ ( 3.2 kg) rice may be given as Fitrah according to the Maaliki Math-hab.

Q. Is Zakaat paid on gold according to carats? What is the gold Zakaat nisaab?

A. Zakaat is paid on the weight of the gold which is determined by grams, not carats. Zakaat is paid on the current value of the weight of the gold. The Nisaab of Zakaat for gold is 87. 48 grams. If you have less than this weight of gold, then Zakaat is not payable. However, if besides the gold you have other Zakaat assets as well, e.g. silver and cash, then you have to add the value of the gold to the other items, and pay Zakaat on the total amount. Example: Your gold is less than the Nisab and is valued at R 5,000  Cash on hand R10,000 Silver R 3,000 R18,000 Less debts R 6,000 R12,000 Zakaat is payable on R12,000 in this example.

Q. I have 50 grams gold jewellery, and no other Zakaatable assets, no silver, no cash and no merchandise. Do I have to pay Zakaat on this gold?

A. The Nisaab of gold is 87.48 grams. In other words if the only Zakaat taxable assets are gold, there being no other Zakaat assets, and if the gold is less than the gold Nisaab, then strictly speaking Zakaat is not Waajib. In terms of this reasoning and view Zakaat is not Waajib on your 50 grams gold. However, there is a principle in the Shariah which states that the Nisaab which is best in the interests of the Fuqara (the poor) should be adopted. The silver Zakaat Nisaab is approximately R3,000. The value of your 50 grams gold is about R13,000. You should therefore pay Zakaat in terms of the aforementioned principle and obtain the considerable thawaab which you will most need on the Day of Qiyaamah.

Q. I have 20 grams gold and $100 in cash. Do I have to pay Zakaat?

A. Yes you have to pay Zakaat on the combined sum of the two items. You have 20 grams of gold and $100 in cash. The value of 20 grams of gold is about $700. Add the $100 cash to the $700 and pay Zakaat on $800.

Q. How should Zakaat be calculated on gold which is less than Nisaab, but one also has cash?

A. The Nisaab of gold is 20 Mithqaal or 87. 48 grams. If a person has this weight of gold, and no other Zakaat assets, then Zakaat must be paid. It could be paid either with one fortieth of the gold itself, or by obtaining the current price of gold, and paying 2.5% of it. If a person has gold as well as other Zakaat assets (cash, silver, stock-intrade), then he may add the price of the gold to the value of the other Zakaat assets and pay Zakaat on the whole amount. If a person has gold less than Nisaab (87.48), and no other Zakaat assets, then Zakaat is not Waajib even if the price of the gold equals the value of the Nisaab of silver. If a person has gold of less than Nisaab, but also has other Zakaat assets, and the combined total is equal to or more than Nisaab, then Zakaat is Waajib on the whole.

Q. My wife has gold equal to the Zakaat Nisaab. Although she has cash, it is less than Nisaab. Should she pay Zakaat on the cash as well?

A. Yes, your wife must pay Zakaat on her cash even if it is less than the Nisaab value. Since she has the Nisaab in gold, Zakaat becomes payable on all her Zakaat assets irrespective of the other assets individually being less than Nisaab.

Q. When calculating Zakaat on gold and silver what values should be considered? Should the international market price be taken? Our government levies an 85% tax on gold. Will this also be part of the value?

A. The value of the gold and silver for Zakaat purposes should be the price one would pay if one purchases it currently. It is obvious that in a country where the government imposes an 85% tax, the price of the gold/silver will not be the international price. Obtain the price of gold from an entity who sells gold to the public in your country. That price will be the value.

Q. A friend gave me his Zakaat to distribute in a certain town. Is it necessary that I distribute it in that town?

A. It is incumbent to distribute the Zakaat in the town instructed by the owner of the money. It is sinful to act in conflict with his instruction.

Q. An estate was not wound up for years. The heirs received their monies after five years. Do they have to pay Zakaat on their monies for the past 5 years?

A. Zakaat for the past five years is not incumbent. They have to pay Zakaat only after the money comes into their physical possession.

Q. I have bought land for investment. Do I have to pay Zakaat on it? If yes, on what value?

A. If by investment you mean that you had bought the land for reselling it at a profit, then you have to pay Zakaat on the value of the land. The value will be the price which you will pay for the land if you have to buy it today. In other words it is the current market value of the land. If by investment you mean that the land was bought to farm on it or to hire it out for rental income, then Zakaat is not payable on it.

Q. Please comment on Zakaat-collecting organisations using Zakaat money for operational costs and other so-called ‘charitable’ causes.

A. Individuals and organizations, especially these modernist Zakaat Funds, who misappropriate the Trust Funds, should take note of the warning in the Qur’aan: “Whoever deceives (misappropriates) will bring that which he had misappropriated on the Day of Qiyaamah. Then every person shall be compensated (punished) for the (misappropriation) which he had perpetrated, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.” (Aal-e-Imraan, aayat 161) The dishonesty and misappropriation which are perpetrated will not remain concealed under the carpet. The humiliation and punishment in Qiyaamah will most assuredly overtake and destroy those who abuse and misappropriate Amaanat (Trust) monies. Misappropriation of Amaanah is widespread. Imaams, committee members, trustees of Musjids and organizations, Zakaat-collecting organizations, etc., are all involved in misappropriating the trust funds. Those devoid of Taqwa are impervious in their brains and hearts, hence they are bereft of conscience. The Accountability of Qiyaamah appears as a joke to them, hence they abuse and steal the trust funds with impunity. Some Zakaat-collecting entities misappropriate Zakaat funds by using a substantial amount of the Zakaat to pay themselves and the collectors haraam ‘salaries’. They utilize Zakaat for even furnishing and decorating their offices. People should exercise care when entrusting their Zakaat and other funds to organizations. They should steer clear of modernist bodies. These organizations do not distribute Zakaat in accordance with the Shariah. Their eyes are dazzled by the large sums of money. For ignorant modernists and ‘scholars’ with loose morals, it is a simple exercise to procure corrupt ‘fatwas’ to legalize their haraam misappropriation. When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would accumulate the spoils of war from those who had taken possession thereof, he would instruct Hadhrat Bilaal (radhiyallahu anhu) to announce that whoever has any of the booty should hand it over. After all the booty was collected it was distributed in accordance with the Shariah. Once after the booty had been distributed, a man came with a rope and presented it to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He explained that it was part of the booty. He had taken it from the enemy during the battle. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked if he had heard the announcement of Hadhrat Bilaal (radhiyallahu anhu). When he replied in the affirmative, he was asked to explain why he had not come forth with the rope prior to the distribution. When he was unable to present a satisfactory explanation, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “You shall have to present this rope on the Day of Qiyamah. I shall never accept it from you.” This calamity had befallen the man over a mere rope. Misappropriators of tens of thousands of rands, and even millions of rands by some satanic ‘scholars’ should reflect! What punishment awaits them for their haraam digestion of huge sums of Trust funds?

A Zakaat-collector appointed by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) returned with the collected wealth. When handing over the wealth, he said to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “This is for you, and this was given to me as a gift.” Whilst collecting the Zakaat, some people had given him gifts. On hearing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) gave a bayaan (lecture). In his bayaan, he said: “I have appointed some persons to fulfil some of the duties which Allah has imposed on me. Now one of them comes to me saying: “This is for you and this is for me. It has been given to me as a gift.” Why does he not sit in his father’s or mother’s house and see if anyone comes with gifts to him? I take an oath by The Being in Whose Hands is my life! He who misappropriates any wealth which has been entrusted to him, shall carry it around his neck on the Day of Qiyaamah..” ‘Gifts’ received during the course of duty are bribes. It is not permissible to accept such ‘gifts’.

Q. Can the organization purchase food with the Zakaat funds and give the food to the poor?

A. The organization may purchase food with the Zakaat funds and give the food to the poor.

Q. Can salaries of the staff working for the organization be paid with Zakaat?

A. It is not permissible to pay the salaries of staff of the organization with Zakaat funds. The Zakaat will not be discharged.

Q. Please comment on those using stratagems with Zakaat funds in order to pay the salaries of Madrasah staff and building work.

A. The avenue for expending Zakaat funds is the Fuqara and Masaakeen (the poor and destitute). Some molvies resort to a heelah (stratagem) which they apply to Zakaat funds to enable them to utilize the Zakaat in buildings and for paying the salaries of the Ustaads. They effect the heelah by giving the money to a poor student with the condition that he should ‘donate’ it to the Madrasah. The Molvi Saahib feels very pleased with himself for having so ‘adroitly’ effected the stratagem. He believes that the Zakaat has also been discharged, and the funds could now be used for construction work and for salaries. Remember! that this heelah (stratagem) is pure drivel. While the people of knowledge (the Ulama) do not indulge in the sins committed by the masses, they commit sins under the guise of Knowledge. The sin of the molvi is also a sin. This type of heelah effected to Zakaat funds is totally nonsensical. Nothing is achieved by this stratagem. The funds remain Zakaat. This is not Tamleek. It is a concoction. What, do they intend to also deceive Allah Ta’ala? Allah Ta’ala is well aware of the condition of the hearts. Not an atom remains concealed from Him. As long as the one who receives the money does not genuinely believe that he has been made the owner (and that if he wishes, he may keep the funds for himself), Tamleek has not been effected. Some people utilize Zakaat funds unscrupulously as if they are the owners of the wealth. It is imperative to exercise great restraint in this regard. If they reflect in what they are perpetrating, they will realize their error. The Fuqaha have clarified that it is not permissible to adorn the Musjid with Waqf funds which may be used for solidifying the structure (and for essentials of the Musjid).

Q. On whom is Fitrah Waajib?

A. Fitrah is Waajib on those adults who have the Zakaat Nisaab amount on the Day of Eidul Fitr.

Q. On whom is Fitrah compulsory?

A. If on the Day of Eidul Fitr you have the Zakaat Nisaab which is presently about R4,500, then you have to pay Fitrah. The Fitrah amount is the price of 2 kg flour. The money must be given to only poor Muslims.

Q. I am a Hanafi while my wife is a Shaafi’. If I pay her Fitrah, shall it be according to the Hanafi or Shaafi’ calculation?

A. Fitrah is Waajib on your wife. Paying her Fitrah is not Waajib on you just as her Salaat is not Waajib on you. However, if you wish to pay her Fitrah you may do so with her knowledge and consent, and the amount must be the Shaafi’ amount.

Q. Why are there different amounts by organizations for Fitrah?

A. The discrepancy in the Fitrah amounts is due to the differences in the interpretation of the measure of the container in which wheat, etc. used to be measured in the early days. There are also other local factors which constrain this difference.

Q. A Maulana says that if the gold and silver jewellery owned by a woman is in normal use then Zakaat is Waajib and if not in use, then Zakaat is not Waajib. Is this correct?

A. It is incorrect. Zakaat is Waajib on gold and silver regardless of it being in use or not. The Maulana Sahib has incorrectly stated the Shaafi’ ruling. According to the Shaafi’ Mathhab, gold an silver jewellery in use is not Zakaatable.

Q. Should Zakaat be paid on the value of the gold jewellery or on the value of the gold content in the jewellery. Due to the design, the jewellery has greater value than the value of the gold in the jewellery.

A. Zakaat is not payable on the value which the design has created. Zakaat is paid on the weight of the gold in the jewellery.

Q. Do Maaliki women have to pay Zakaat on the jewellery which is in their use?

A. According to the Maaliki and Shaafi’ Math-habs, women don’t have to pay Zakaat on gold jewellery which is for their normal use. According to the Hanafi Math-hab, they have to pay Zakaat.

Q. I have bought fixed property for investment, that is, to gain rent income. Is such property a Zakaattaxable asset? If later I decide to sell this property will it be Zakaatable?

A. If a property is purchased with the intention of gaining income by renting it out, then there is no Zakaat on the property itself. Only if the property is bought with the intention to sell it for profit, will it be Zakaatable. Zakaat will not be payable on the property even if you will sell it at a later date. Zakaat will be payable on the money you obtain for the property.

Q. I have pawned my gold jewellery. Three years have passed and I have not redeemed it. What is the ruling regarding Zakaat on the jewellery?

A. There is no Zakaat on the jewellery for the duration it is pawned. After you take possession, Zakaat will become payable, but not for the past years when it was pawned.

Q. A ghair muqallid says that Zakaat on a specific sum has to be paid only once, e.g. if Zakaat is paid on R100,000, then the next year Zakaat is not paid on the same money according to the Maaliki Math-hab. Is this correct?

A. It is incorrect to claim that according to the Maaliki or any other Mathhab, Zakaat has to be paid only once. When Zakaat is Waajib, then it has to be paid every year according to all Math-habs.

Q. When giving someone Zakaat, is it necessary to inform them that the money/goods are Zakaat?

A. It is not necessary to inform people that you are giving them Zakaat money. Your Zakaat will be discharged even if the poor persons are not told that the money is Zakaat. At the time of making a Zakaat payment, it is necessary to have the niyyat (intention) of Zakaat.

Q. What value should be taken when calculating Zakaat on merchandise (stock-in-trade)?

A. When calculating your Zakaat on stock-in-trade, take into account the price which you will currently pay for the stock if you have to buy it.

Q. We intend setting up a clinic for very poor Muslims. Is it permissible to use Zakaat funds to run the clinic? Some of the patients will also be non-Muslims. Can we contribute Zakaat to such a clinic?

A. The fundamental requisite for the discharge of Zakaat is that a poor Muslim must be made the owner of the Zakaat. As long as the poor have not been made the owners, the Zakaat will remain undischarged. If Zakaat is given to a clinic and the medicines bought with Zakaat funds is used also for non-muslims, then the Zakaat obligation will not be discharged. If the Zakaat-medicine is used for such Muslims who are not entitled to accept Zakaat, then too, the Zakaat will not be discharged. As long as the medicine bought with Zakaat funds remains unused, the Zakaat will not be discharged. It is not permissible to pay wages with the Zakaat funds nor is it permissible to use any portion of the Zakaat for the running expenses of the clinic. The medicine purchased with Zakaat funds should be stored separately. Medicine acquired with Lillaah funds should be used for non-Muslims. Running expenses must be borne by the Lillaah fund. The system should be meticulous. If the clinic complies with all these Islamic rules, it will be permissible to give them Zakaat otherwise not.

Q. Is it permissible to use Zakaat money to buy groceries to give to the poor? Is it permissible to pay with Zakaat the rent of a poor person?

A. It is permissible to use Zakaat money to buy groceries, etc. for the poor. It is also permissible to pay the rent with Zakaat, but with the knowledge and consent of the poor person.

Q. A learned man says that Zakaat may be given to non-Muslims as well.

A. The view that Zakaat may be given to non-Muslims is incorrect. There is consensus of our Fuqaha on this prohibition.

Q. Humzah did not pay Zakaat this year on his usual Zakaat due date because he did not have the Zakaat Nisaab. However, the very next day he received money more than Nisaab. What should he do?

A. If he is sure regarding his Zakaat due date, that is the expiry of 12 months, then he is not liable to pay Zakaat the next day. Zakaat will be due 12 months hence. If he is not sure regarding the expiry of his 12 month period, then it is best that he pays Zakaat the next day when he became the owner of the Nisaab amount.

Q. I bought a gold coin at a discounted price. Should I pay Zakaat on the value of the coin or the lesser price that I paid?

A. On what amount would you have paid Zakaat if the coin was a free gift to you? You have to pay Zakaat on the current value of the coin.

Q. I was told that after paying Zakaat on a sum of money, e.g. R100,000, Zakaat will not be payable on this money again. Minus the Zakaat of R2,500, the balance of R97,500 is no more Zakaatable. Is this correct?

A. It is Fardh to pay Zakaat on all Zakaat assets every year, not only once. You have been grievously misinformed.

Q. A woman did not pay Zakaat for a number of years. She is unable to recall what her financial status was each year. How should she compensate for the past unpaid Zakaat?

A. The person who cannot determine her Zakaat position for the past years, should make Taharri (reflect) and seek a fatwa from the heart. Whatever her heart says, she should act accordingly. She should sincerely try to figure out whether she had to pay Zakaat or not.

Q. After money has been stolen, can one make niyyat of Sadqah/Zakaat/Lillah?

A. If the money has already been stolen, then niyyat of Sadqah will not be valid.

Q. I entrusted my Zakaat to a relative to distribute to the poor. Before he could distribute it, he died. When I asked his wife for the money, she denied having any knowledge of it. What is the position of my Zakaat?

A. If the money cannot be located, you have to pay your Zakaat again. Since your relative has not distributed the money, your Zakaat obligation remains.

Q. If after giving a man Zakaat, it transpired that he was a fraud and not deserving o Zakaat, what is the ruling?

A. The Zakaat will be discharged if the Zakaat-payer genuinely believed that the fraud was a deserving case.

Q. When is the last day for paying Sadqah Fitr?

A. Sadqah Fitr should be distributed before Eid, at the latest before Eid Salaat. However, if it was not distributed by this time, the obligation remains and it has to be paid at any time. It could be paid at any time during Ramadhaan.

Q.In Pakistan there is a Madrasah which accepts used things such as used wedding dresses, furniture, kitchen utensils, clothes and many other things. The management has these things repaired, and give them to poor and needy who get married. Some people, especially ladies, give there old an useless things which clutter their homes to this Madrasah. Then they give it a value and regard it as a payment of their Zakaat. Is their Zakaat discharged in this manner?

A. It is not permissible for people to deduct from their Zakaat obligation the type of redundant items you have described. After these items have been given to the Madrasah, it becomes the property of the Madrasah. The Madrasah in turn spends and repairs these items which they give away to the poor. It is indeed despicable and extremely miserly to behave in this manner. The Qur’aan specifically condemns this kind of attitude which induces people to give useless and redundant items in the Path of Allah. It displays the disrespect they have for the Path of Allah.

Q. A man opened a savings account for his aunt. However, she is unable to use any of the money. Only the man (her nephew) has the right to withdraw money and spend on her. Does she have to pay Zakaat on the savings?

A. Since the aunt has no access to the money, in terms of the Shariah she is not the owner. She becomes the owner of only that portion which is given into her physical possession. The money in the bank still belongs to the person who had deposited it for his aunt’s needs. He has to pay the Zakaat, not the aunt.

Q. Is Zakaat payable on the savings of a minor?

A. Buloogh (being an adult in terms of the Shariah) is a condition for the Wujoob of Zakaat. Zakaat is not Waajib on the wealth of one who is not baaligh.

Q. If a person applies to a Zakaat organization for Zakaat funds to pay for his studies, does the organization have to hand the money to the applicant or can it pay the fees directly to the institution. Can the organization stipulate how he should spend the money if they give the Zakaat to him?

A. With the consent of the poor student, the Zakaat payer may pay for any of the legitimate needs of the student. It is not permissible to use Zakaat to pay for university fees in view of these institutions being cauldrons of haraam and immorality. The Zakaat payer may not stipulate how the money should be spent by the Zakaat recipient. The Zakaat will not be discharged if a stipulation is imposed on the student.

Q. A man gave someone a sum of money with which to pay his Zakaat. However, before the wakeel could pay the Zakaat, the man died. May he still pay the Zakaat or return the money to the estate of the deceased?

A. The man’s instruction to pay his Zakaat will now be a wasiyyat (bequest). The Zakaat should therefore be paid from his assets, but not more than one third the value of his assets. If the Zakaat exceeds one third, then only one third of the assets may be appropriated to pay the Zakaat-Wasiyyat.

Q. The deceased had made a wasiyyat of R20,000 in favour of a person (who is not an heir). Before the winding up of the estate and distribution of the mayyit’s assets, the beneficiary of the wasiyyat died. What is the position of the wasiyyat?

A. The death of the beneficiary prior to his acceptance of the benefit does not invalidate the wasiyyat (bequest). The R20,000 should be paid to his heirs. If the beneficiary is alive at the time when the wasiyyat is made, it (the bequest) is valid. The money will be paid into the estate of the deceased beneficiary and will be divided according to the rules of Inheritance.

Q. A Zakaat-payer deposited R3,500 in my banking account. He has entrusted me with the task of distributing his Zakaat. The bank deducted R150 fees. Who has to pay the R150?

A. The Zakaat-payer who had deposited the R3,500 Zakaat into your account has to pay the R150 bank fee. If he does not, the Zakaat on R150 will remain unfulfilled. It is not your obligation to pay the R150.

Q. Please comment on the trend of using unwanted goods and useless possessions to give Zakaat and Sadaqah.

A. Once when Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) washing some dirhams (silver coins), he was surprised, and he said: “O Humaira! (This was Hadhrat Aisha’s name) What are you doing?” She responded: “Labbaika! Ya Rasulallah! I am washing these dirhams.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “What for?” Hadhrat Aishah: “I have heard you saying that when something is given in the Path of Allah, then before it reaches the hands of the recipient, it reaches the Hands of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, whenever I give money in Sadqah, I give the coins which I have washed, so that pure and clean coins reach the Hands of my Master (Allah Ta’ala).” The lesson for us in this attitude of Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) is to give in the Path of Allah Ta’ala happily and cheerfully. Sadqah should not be regarded a burden. Give from the wealth you love, and from halaal Tayyib wealth. Some people, feeling Zakaat to be a ‘fine’, seek to absolve them of this ‘onerous burden’ with such goods which have become useless for them. This is not the way which devotees of Allah Ta’ala adopt for gaining His Pleasure. Examine your niyyat and understand Who the Being is in Whose Path you are giving your Zakaat and Sadqah. Among the signs of Qiyaamah, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said is that people will regard payment of Zakaat to be a fine.

Q. If one has several types of Zakaat assets, does Zakaat have to be paid separately on each type of asset?

A. If one has several kinds of Zakaat taxable assets (gold, silver, cash and stock-in-trade), one may calculate the Zakaat separately on each category of assets or one may combine the values of all the assets and pay on the one amount.

Q. If one has several types of Zakaat assets, and one or two types do not equal Nisaab, is Zakaat payable on such assets?

A. If any one category of asset does not reach Nisaab, its value has to be compulsorily added to the other Zakaat asset categories and Zakaat be paid on the combined value.

Q. Please comment on gaining cure by giving Sadqah.

A. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Protect your wealth (by paying) Zakaat. Remedy your sick ones (by giving) Sadqah. Fortify (yourselves) against calamities by means of Dua.” Sadqah is an efficacious method of treating sickness. A man came to Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak (rahmatullah alayh) and complained: “I am suffering for seven years from this wound on my knee. I have resorted to every kind of remedy. I have consulted many physicians, but to no avail.” Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak said: “Go and search for a place where people are experiencing hardship because of lack of water. Have a well dug for them. I have hopes that with the gushing of water , your wound will be healed.” The man obeyed. He arranged for the construction of a well. After a short while he was completely healed. Imaam Baihqi narrated the following wonderful episode. “My Ustaadh Imaam Abu Abdullah Haakim’s face became covered with pimples. Every remedy failed to cure him. After a whole year passed in this condition, he went to Hadhrat Imaam Abu Uthmaan As-Saabuni and requested: “During your Jumuah majlis (gathering) do supplicate for my cure.” Imaam Saabuni that Friday made fervent dua and those present recited ‘Aameen’. The next Jumuah, a lady sent a letter to Imaam Saabuni in which she had written: ‘I too had made fervent dua at home that night for Imaam Abdullah Haakim. That very night Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) appeared in my dream and said: ‘Tell Abu Abdullah Haakim to make water available in abundance to the people.’ Imaam Baihqi said that he delivered the letter to Imaam Abu Abdullah Haakim. After reading the letter, he immediately arranged for the construction of a well to supply the people with water. Even before a week had passed, his face began to heal. Very soon there remained not a single people nor any blemish on his face. He was completely cured.

Q. I have made the intention to run the Birmingham Half – Marathon on October 24 (13 miles) for charity. Can I make Masjid-al Falaah as my charity. Funds are needed to complete our masjid. The masjid is charity registered and the organisers have said I can do so for a charity of my choice. If not, I will just run for another charity which is run by my uncle from Leicester to raise funds for our village people in India.

A. Allah’s House, The Musjid, is not in need of such haraam funds of riya and nafsaaniyat. It is not permissible to participate in events in emulation of the kuffaar. Running for ‘charity’ is not permissible. This is a kuffaar show of riya based on nafsaaniyat. Muslims give charity for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, and the best charity is that which is given in concealment. Charity is not advertised. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Aid (yourself) for fulfilment of your needs with concealed charity.” The Hadith teaches us to give charity in such a manner that whatever the right hand gives, not even the left hand should know about it. Ibaadat should not be made a show. It is not permissible to collect money for a Musjid in this manner devised by the kuffaar. What is the need to emulate kuffaar and project the ibaadat of charity in this despicable manner? Those who wish to donate for the Musjid should do so with sincerity, hoping to gain Allah’s Pleasure and thawaab in the Aakhirah. Charity should not be transformed into a fun display and an act of riya. Devote the time of running 13 miles to the performance of Salaat or Tilaawat or some other permissible act of either the Deen or the dunya instead of dishonouring himself with the futile and sinful methods of the kuffaar. Allah’s House (The Musjid) is not in need of such funds of riya acquired in emulation of kuffaar practices. People who donate funds in response to such stunts are insincere. They do not have the suffering Muslims nor the Deeni Projects at heart. If they are sincere they should contribute without the nafsaani attraction of these kuffaar stunts.