Zakaat in a Nutshell

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Establish Salăh and pay Zakăt, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship).” (Surah Baqarah).

DEFINITION OF ZAKĂT:

Literally it means to increase. In the Shar’iah it means to purify one’s possession by distributing 2˝ % which has to be distributed to the poor. It is not a tax but an Ibădat.

NISĂB:

The amount of wealth which makes one liable for Zakăt is called Nisăb.

Nisăb of gold is 87.48g and

               silver 612.36g.

RATE OF ZAKĂT:

The rate of Zakăt is 2˝ %.

CONDITIONS FOR ZAKĂT TO BECOME FARDH:

  • To be a Muslim;

  • Matured (not on minors nor on the guardians of such belongings of minors);

  • To be sane;

  • To be free (i.e. not a slave);

  • Wealth owned by one to the value of nisăb and to be in one’s possession for one lunar year (i.e. at the beginning and end of the year to have nisăb although in the interim it may decrease);

  • Such wealth must be Zakătable e.g. gold, money etc.

PRE-REQUISITES FOR ZAKĂT TO BE CORRECT:

  • At the time of giving Zakăt, Niyyah (intention) should be made or at the time of giving it to an agent for distribution;

  • If the agent does not make the intention, but the owner has, then this will suffice;

  • The poor person receiving the Zakăt should be made the owner and recipient, meaning that he should have full   control over it physically;

  • Zakăt can only be given to Muslims

CATEGORIES OF ZAKĂTABLE ITEMS:

  • Gold and silver;

  • Merchandise (i.e. items for resale);

  • Animals (e.g. stock farming);

  • Agricultural farming (e.g. orchards, fruit farms etc.) also known as Ushr.

  • Debtors, trade debts are treated as cash for the purpose of Zakăt.

ZAKĂT IS NOT FARDH ON:

  • Other metals besides gold and silver or imitation jewellery;

  • Fixtures and fittings of a shop, motor car, truck etc. which is used for the running of a business;

  • Diamonds, pearls, other precious or semi-precious stones which are for personal use;

  • Living quarters, household, furniture, crockery, personal clothing;

  • Books of a scholar or tools of a tradesman etc.

WHO MAY RECEIVE ZAKĂT:

  • Fuqară – The poor and those who own property in excess of basic necessities but below the value of nisăb;

  • Masăkeen – The destitute and extremely poor;

  • Al-Ămileen – Persons appointed by an Islămic head of state to collect Zakăt, who are paid from the Baitul Măl (public treasury) even though they may not be needy;

  • Mu’allafatul Quloob – Those poor and needy persons who are given Zakăt with the express intention of solidifying their hearts;

  • Ar-Riqăb – Slaves who use this money for their freedom;

  • Al-Ghărimeen – One in debt;

  • Fi-Sabeelillah – One in the path of Allah and is now in financial difficulty;

  • Ibnus-Sabeel – A traveller who, whilst wealthy at his residence, is stranded and in need of financial assistance.

 ZAKĂT WIL NOT BE GIVEN TO:

  • Zakăt may not be given to non Muslims;

  • A wealthy person (i.e. one who possesses wealth equal to or more than nisăb);

  • It is not payable to the family of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) i.e. the Banu Hashim, and the slaves freed by the Banu Hashim;

  • It cannot be given to ones parents, grandfather, children, grandchildren, spouse (ones husband or wife). (One may give Zakăt to brother, sister, nephew, niece, uncle, aunts, parents in law, provided they are not liable to give Zakăt).  

  • One may not pay the debts of a deceased nor buy a Kafn and pay the burial expenses with Zakăt.

Article taken (with Thanks) from I.T.A


 

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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .