Zakat: Part 12 of Taleemul Haq (Hanafi Fiqh)

Taleemul Haq:A Compilation on the Five Fundamentals of Islam 

Part 12 - Zakaat


The importance of Zakaat

Zakaat is a monetary devotion and an Ibaadat that has been ordained in the Shariats of all the Ambiya. Zakaat is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Zakaat literally means to increase. Technically it means lo purify one's position of wealth by distributing a prescribed amount which has to be given to the poor as a fundamental Ibaadat. Zakaat is not a governmental tax, but its main purpose is to keep those who are wealthy clean monetarily from sins.
Zakaat was made compulsory at Makkah at the same time as Salaat. This can be seen in the Surahs of the Qur'aan where the laws of Zakaat are mentioned. The amount, distribution, etc. was defined at Madinah in the second year Hijri.

The virtues of Zakaat

Allah Ta'aala says in the Qur'aan, "Allah destroys wealth obtained from interest and will give increase for deed of charity." (Surah Baqarah:276)

1. Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him) has said, "The nation that does not give Zakaat, Allah will bring about a drought on them (i.e. necessities of life, will become scarce.)"
2. "The persons on whom Allah has bestowed wealth, and he does not give Zakaat, on the Day of Qiyaamah, his wealth will be turned into a venomous bald serpent which will wind around his neck and bite his jaws and say, "I am your wealth, I am your treasure." (Bukhari)

It is stated in the Hadith that by giving Zakaat the following benefits are derived:
1. Gaining of the pleasure of Allah;
2. Increase in wealth;
3. Protection from losses;
4. A cause thus established for Allah's forgiveness and blessings are obtained;
5. Safety from calamities;
6. Protection from the wrath of Allah and from a bad death;
7. The Zakaat will provide a shelter on the Day of Judgement;
8. Security from seventy misfortunes;
9. It will serve as a shield from the fires of Jahannam;
10. It contributes to Barkat in wealth;
11. It saves from fear and grief.

There are two major benefits of giving Zakaat:

1. It keeps one away from sin and saves the giver from moral ill arising from the love and greed for weatlh;
2. Through Zakaat the poorer class (those, who are not capable of providing for themselves) are being cared for, such as widows. orphans, the disabled, the poor and the destitute.

The punishment for not giving Zakaat

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

On whom Zakaat is Farz

Zakaat is Farz upon a person if: -

1. He is a Muslim;
2. He is an adult;
3. He is a sane person;
4. He is a free person;
5. He owns wealth intended for trading to the value of Nisaab.

Furthermore the wealth should be:

a. Fully owned by him;
b. In excess of his personal needs (clothing, household furniture, utensils and cars etc. are termed as articles of personal use),
c. It should be possessed by him for a complete lunar year;
d. Of a productive nature from which he can derive profit or benefit such as merchandise for business, gold, silver, livestock, etc.

There is no Zakaat on effects that are not of a productive nature even if these are in excess of one's needs, such as cars, utensils, furniture etc. If such items are not intended for trade.

Note:- Zakaat is Farz. Any person who denies it being Farz (compulsory) loses his Imaan. However if he recognizes Zakaat being Farz but neglects this duty he will be termed a Faasiq (Transgressor).

Types of wealth on which Zakaat is Farz

1. Zakaat is Farz on gold and silver, be it in the form of bullion, jewellery, cash, bank notes, utensils or any other form. The value of these should be equal to the amount which is shown under Nisaab rate.
2. If the gold possessed is not equal fo the value of 87,48 grams, or silver possessed is not equal to the value of 612,36 grams, but the value of both combined is equal to the value of either the Nisaab of gold or siiver, then Zakaat will be Farz.
3. In the event of an article not being of pure gold or pure silver, but containing a mixture of other metals and the gold or silver is more than the other metal, it will be regarded as gold or silver and Zakaat on this will be Farz. But in this case where the metal is of greater quantity than either the gold or silver, Zakaat will not be Farz on that article.
4. If a person has 620 grams of silver (which is more than the Nisaab) and before a whole year has elapsed he acquires 50 grams of gold (which is less than the Nisaab), then the value of this gold must be added to the value of the silver, and thereafter the Nisaab reckoned. The two must not be reckoned separately, as this will be a cause of avoiding Zakaat.
5. Zakaat is Farz on merchandise for business, equal to the value of Nisaab.
6. Zakaat is Farz on livestock.
7. Zakaat is Farz on the income of propertles if it is equal to the value of Nisaab.
8. Zakaat is Farz on the income derived from a hiring business, such as crockery, motor cars, vans, trucks etc.

Types of wealth on which Zakaat is not Farz

1. Zakaat is not Waajib on any other metal besides gold and silver.
2. Zakaat is not Waajib on fixtures and fittings of a shop, motor car, truck or any delivery vehicle etc, which is used in running a business.
3. There is no Zakaat on diamonds, pearls, other precious or semi-precious stones which are personal use. Zakaat is payable on the gold or silver used in making jewellery with diamonds, pearls etc. There is no Zakaat on imitation jewellery.
4. There is no Zakaat on any number of living quarters, household furniture, crockery, personal clothing, whether they are in use or not. However, Islam does not justify extravagance.
5. There is no Zakaat on a person whose liabilities exceed or equal his assets.
6. A person has R300-00, but owes R200-00. Zakaat is due on the remaining R100-00.

Animals on which Zakaat is Farz

1. It is compulsory to give Zakaat on camels cattle, water buffaloes, goats and sheep. (any such Halaal animal that can be slaughtered for Qurbani in terms of Shariat) when they

a.graze on the open field for the greater part of the year and are not stall fed;
b. are kept for milk, breeding or fattening. Such animals are termed 'Saa'imah'.

2. Zakaat on Saa'imah animals is calculated on number and not value therefore stud or throughbred animals and crossbred animals are treated alike for Zakaat purposes.
3. Where animals are kept for trade, Zakaat will be calculated and given as is done in commercial establishments.(i.e. on the monetary value of each animal) The Nisaab is the same as that of trading.
4. If one has a mixed flock of goats and sheep and the number of each kind individually makes Zakaat applicable then the Zakaat of each respective group will be given from its own kind.
5. When the number of each type of animal individually does not make Zakaat binding, but the total of both kinds does amount to the Nisaab then Zakaat will be given from the type of animal that is greater in number.
6. If both kinds are equal in number, one has the option of choosing the Zakaat animal from whichever kind he desires. It must be noted that the Zakaat animal should he of a good quality.

Animals on which Zakaat is not Farz

1. Animals that are stall fed for six months of the year and then left to graze on the field for the remainder of the year are not 'Saa'imah' and thus no Zakaat will be liable on their owner.
2. There is no Zakaat payable on animals which are reared for riding, or for drought purposes or for one's own use or consumption.
3. There is no Zakaat on wild game.
4. There is no Zakaat on horses, donkeys and mules if they are not for trade.
5. There is no Zakaat on a herd which consists of calves only i.e. until they reach a capable age of breeding. If such a herd has one animal that could be used for breeding, then Zakaat will have to be given on all of them. In this case that particular full grown animal will have to be given as Zakaat. If this animal which is capable of breeding dies, then Zakaat will still necessary uppn the rest of the herd calves.
6. Zakaat is not applicable on sheep that are less than twelve months old.

Nisaab and rate of Zakaat

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

The Nisaab of gold and silver fixed by Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him) is as follows

NisaabNisaabGramsTolasGramsTroy oz.
Gold20 Mithqaals37.487.513502.8125
Silver200 Dirhams612.3652.5945019.6875
The rate of Zakaat which was fixed by Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him) is 2.5% (1/40) i.e, 2.5 cents in a rand.

The time and Nisaab of Zakaat for livestock

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

Table of Zakaat for sheep and goats

The Nisaab (minimum number) when Zakaat becomes applicable is forty animals which are more than twelve months old. There is no Zakaat of the number is less than forty.

Number1 year old
40 - 1201 animal
121 - 2002 animals
201 - 3993 animals
4004 animals
Thereafter for each additional hundred, one sheep that is one year old must be given as Zakaat.

Table of Zakaat for cattle and water buffaloes

The Nisaab when Zakaat becomes applicable is thirty animals. There is no Zakaat if the number is less than thirty.

Number1 year old2 year old
30 - 391 animal 
40 - 59 1 animal
60 - 692 animals 
Thereafter, in every thirty animals, one 1 year old animal should be given and in every forty, a two year old animal should be given as Zakaat. Example: -
Number1 year old2 year old
701 animal1 animal
80 2 animals
903 animals 
1002 animals plus1 animal
1101 animal plus2 animals
1204 animals or3 animals


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