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Rulings of Zakaah | Ashab al-Hadith

Rulings of Zakaah

Praise be to Allah, Who has bestowed upon us the bounty of wealth and guided us to gain it through lawful means and prescribed the lawful means in which it should be expended. I testify that there is no god but Allah, Who has no partners and Who has bestowed countless favors and bounties upon us. I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger who was so ascetic in acquiring material goods, but was the most generous one in disbursing them in the cause of Islam. May Allah bless him, his family, his companions, and all those who follow them on the proper path until the Day of Judgment.


O people! Fear Allah and observe what Allah has prescribed upon the wealth that He has granted you as your provision. He brought you in this world helpless and without any kind of knowledge. Then He granted you your provision and bestowed upon you unexpected bounties. O Muslimscontinue thanking Him and observe what He has prescribed upon you to purify your wealth and avoid withholding what Allah has prescribed, because withholding leads to destruction and makes your property void of blessings. The best commandment of Allah is Zakaah, the third pillar of Islamit is closely related to Prayer. Both are usually mentioned together in the Holy Qur’an in which Allah warns those who refrain from paying it by saying which translates as: “And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them. Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection . . .” (Aal-'Imraan: 180)


And: “ . . . And there are those who hoard up gold and silver (Al-Kanz the money, the Zakaah of which has not been paid), and spend it not in the Way of Allah, -- announce unto them a painful torment”. On that day when that (Al-Kanz: money, gold and silver etc., the Zakaah of which has not been paid) will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs: (and it will be said unto them): - “This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard”. (At-Tauba: 34-35)


The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said commenting on this verse, “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakaah of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a baldheaded, poisonous, male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, 'I am your wealth, I am your treasure.'”


As for the second verse, he (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “No owner of a treasure who does not pay Zakaah will be spared, for his treasure will be heated in the Fires of Hell and then made into plates. His flanks and his forehead will be branded with them until Allah pronounces judgment on His servants during a day lasting fifty thousand years.”  Zakaah is the right due upon wealth. Gold and silver are not to be heated in a fire like that of our worldly life, rather in a fire whose heat is ninety-nine times hotter than ours. After being heated it will be a grievous chastisement not for a single part of the body; rather, it will touch every part and side of the body, from the top to the bottom, from the front to the back.


O Muslims! After branding every part of the body by the heated gold and silver, they will not be allowed to lose their heat; ratherthey will be heated again and again.


O servants of Allah! O you who believe in Allah and His Messenger! O you who believe in the holy Qur'an and Sunnah! What is the benefit of wealth if not purified by Zakaah? Surely, it will be a chastisement inflicted upon you and the benefit of which goes to others whom Allah wills. You cannot tolerate the flame of this worldly fire, so how could you tolerate the Hellfire? O servants of Allah! Fear Allah by paying Zakaah willingly. O Muslims! Zakaah is due upon gold and silver, be they coins, ingots or jewelry and whether they are used for wearing or selling or renting because there are explicit texts in the holy Qur'an and Sunnah that enjoin Zakaah on gold and silver, especially in the case of using them as jewelry.


Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with both) reported that a woman came to the Apostle of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Her daughter, who wore two heavy gold bangles on her arms, accompanied her. He said to her“Do you pay Zakaah on them?” She said: “No.” He then said: “Are you pleased that Allah may put two bangles of fire on your hands?” Thereupon she took them off and placed them before the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saying: “They are for Allah and His Apostle.”  Zakaah is due on gold and silver only when they reach the minimum amount (Nisab), which is equal to eleven and three sevenths (113/7) Saudi Riyals in weight, and noZakaah is levied if gold does not reach this amount unless used in trade. The minimum amount of silver is equal to fifty-six Saudi Riyals in weight. No Zakaah is due on silver if it is less than that amount. As to the amount due on gold and silverit is 2.5%.


Zakaah is due also on cash provided that it reaches the amount of fifty-six Riyals of silver in weight. the amount of Zakaah due on it is 2.5%.


Zakaah is due also on debts if they are gold, silver or cash if they reach the minimum amount (Nisab), whether this amount is reached by debts only or after adding them to the rest of his wealth, which he has by any other way of the same kind. If these debts are due on solvent, the owner is free to pay Zakaah every year or after he gets his debts back. But if the borrower is poor, Zakaah isn’t due until the lender gets back his debts then he should pay Zakaah due for one year because wealth in such case is regarded as wasted money.


Zakaah is due on merchandise if it reaches the minimum amount (Nisab) whether by itself or after adding it to other kinds of wealth like money. It includes all possessions that are used for trade purposes like holdings, furniture, cattle, cars, machines, food and others. The amount of Zakaah due in this case is the quarter of a tenth, provided that it remains in possession for a full Hijri year (Islamic lunar year based on the Hijrah of the Prophet, peace be upon him). After remaining in his possession for a full yearhe should collect and assess it and pay the amount of 2.5% of its final value, whether more, equal or less than the original price. Iffor example, he bought a commodity for one thousand Riyals and by the end of the year its value had reached two thousand Riyals, he should pay Zakaah on two thousand, but if its value reduced to five hundred Riyals, Zakaah is due on five hundreds only.


Zakaah is not due unless it remains in one’s possession for full Hijri year. If wealth is damaged before the end of the year or does not reach the minimum amount (Nisab),Zakaah is not due. And in the case of the death of the owner before the completion of the year, Zakaah is neither due upon him nor his heirs. Excluded from this condition is the income of trading as long as the capital remains in possession for a full year even if the income didn’t remain in possession for full year.  Merchandise is also excluded because its period is applied to its recompense. So if a man has an amount of money whose full year ends the month of Ramadan and he bought something with it for the purpose of trading in the month of Sha'aban, he should pay its due Zakaah in the month of Ramadan even if it did remain in his possession for a month only. It is not lawful to postpone payment until the next month of Sha'ban. Excluded from this also is rent where Zakaah is due at the time of taking the rent if a full year had passed after signing the lease.


As far as monthly salaries are concerned, they are not subject to Zakaah unless it remains in one’s possession for full Hijri year. But if a person finds it difficult to pay Zakaahevery month, he is allowed to pay what is due for all months in one month because there is no harm in paying Zakaah in advance in order to avoid the trouble of calculatingZakaah every month. No Zakaah is due on the house in which a man lives or on the car, which he uses or on any machines he uses for earning his living. In this regard, the Prophet (peace be upon him) says, "There is no Zakaah either on a horse or a slave belonging to a Muslim." But if he has a house and a car and machines, all of which are used for renting, Zakaah is not due on this wealth; rather on the income he gets from renting them.


O Muslims! Know for certain that Zakaah is not valid unless it is distributed in the ways in which Allah has assignedlike giving it to needy persons, the poor and the indebted people who are not able to pay back their debts.  However, the rich and anyone who is able to earn his living is not allowed to take any portion of Zakaah. If a person appeared to be entitled to receive Zakaah and then afterwards it was discovered that he was not entitled to it, the sin is only on the one who knowingly received it as he took what he did not deserve and what was not lawful to him. It is lawful to pay it to the needy among your relatives provided that you are not responsible for their expenses. You are also allowed to pay it to a person who needs to get marriage but do not have the money to do so. Zakaah should not be paid to recover debts due from a dead person or a surviving debtor who is not able to pay his debts, or to be paid in a way other than it is assigned to be paid.


May Allah guide me and you to observe what we are enjoined to observe with regard to rights due on wealth and other obligatory deeds in the way that might meet Allah’s pleasure, willingly and in full observance. I pray to Allah to grant us more of His blessings that help us to become nearer to Him and lift us to higher levels, surely, He is the Most Gracious. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions.



O people! Fear Allah and thank Him for the bounties He has bestowed upon you of wealth, sons, gardens and springs. He granted you palm-tree fruit to eat fresh or to store for the whole year. He is the Creator of such fruit and He is the One Who brought it up and sustained it for you and gave it to you as good and bad and shared it among you. Thank Him Who let you witness its harvest and thank Him as He explains to you the proper way to disburse it in order to meet His pleasure. Pay the due Zakaah, which Allah has enjoined on us to receive the recompense in this worldly life and the great reward and gifts in the Hereafter. “Say: "Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He will of His servants, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah's cause), He will replace it.  And He is the Best of Providers.” (Saba': 39)


O servants of Allah! Do you think that the sum of Zakaah that you pay is lost and you have nothing in return? No, By Him Who has created the grain, and initiated the air; all that you pay (as Zakaah) is, really, the permanent and preserved money for you.

“ . . .So recite as much of the Qur'an as may be easy, and offer the prayer perfectly and give Zakaah, and lend to Allah a goodly loan, and whatever you send for yourselves, you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward. . .” (Al-Muzzammil: 20


On the other hand, the wasted and lost money is that which is stored with you in this world; either it will be eaten in this world or left to your heirs who will take the advantage of your wealth whether they are close relatives of yours or not. This is the reality of the money you leave behind in this world and the reality of the money you store with the All-Knowing King. It was reported that the family of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) provided a sheep as a charity, all of which was given to the poor except the shoulder. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came, he asked, “What is left? A‘ishah replied that there was nothing left except the shoulder. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commented, " The whole sheep is ours except the shoulder.” The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) spoke the truth because all that was given, as charity is verily the part, which is preserved forever with Allah, except the part left for eating which is lost.


O servants of Allah! Souls are created with miserliness as an innate nature. The one who can trandscend this innate nature is the successful one. Satan desires that you withholdZakaah. He is always making promises, but Satan’s promises are nothing but deception. O Muslims! You should reckon your deeds in this world before the day on which you will stand for reckoning. The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) explained to his nation what should be paid on plants. He (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) stated that if plants are irrigated by rain, the sum of Zakaah due on it is a tenth, however, if they are irrigated by machine, the amount of Zakaah to be paid is a half of a tenth. This amount is set clear beyond any doubt and controversy. With the death of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), the concerned scholars shouldered the responsibility of conveying the Prophet’s clear message to other generations and their reckoning is left to Allah only. “Whether We show you (O Muhammad) part of what We have promised them or cause you to die, your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning.” (Ar-Ra'd: 40)


O Muslims! Evaluate your deeds and pay the particular amount assigned by Allah and His Messenger. Those who obey the Messenger, obey Allah. “He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins.  And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement” (Al-Ahzab: 71). You should pay a half of a tenth out of the fruits of your palm trees, considering the variety of the fruits that affect its value. Bear in mind that Zakaah is enjoined, in the first place, to complete your other acts of worship and as a purification of your wealth, so do not neglect paying it.


We are at a time when dates are available in various kinds. There is a kind of date that is sold for three Riyals while others are sold for half a Riyal or less. Some people are plagued with miserliness and pay the Zakaah that is due on the first kind with the Zakaah that is due on the second, thus falling short of the quarter of a tenth. If you had a share in a garden and the value of your share was a half of a tenth, would you accept taking your share from the kind of fruit whose value is half a Riyal instead of the kind whose value exceeds three Riyals? Undoubtedly, you would never accept such value. So how can you refuse it for yourself in this world and accept it for yourself and your Lord in the hereafter?


O Muslims! As the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) made it clear that the amount of Zakaah is a half of a tenth, the scholars stated that Zakaah should be paid on every kind; Zakaah on the good should be paid from the good and moderate from the moderate and bad from the bad. Some others hold that if this is difficult, he is allowed to pay the value of the amount of Zakaah due on the good from the moderate.


Imam Ahmad added that in case the fruits are sold, then he should pay Zakaah from that price, a tenth or a half of a tenth of the selling price.


O Muslims! I have talked about this issue not because I have a share in Zakaah or to take reward from you, but to convey Allah’s message to fulfill my responsibility and help you to fulfill your responsibility by paying what is due upon you.


You may ask; why did he not explain this matter before? The answer is simple: because of the wide difference among kinds of fruits that was apparent only two years ago. “O you who believe!  Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein.  And know that Allah is Rich and Worthy of all praise.  Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit sins; whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing.” (Al-Baqarah: 267-268)


May Allah confer upon you and me the blessing of the Holy Quran.


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