Al-hamdu lil-lah was-salatu was-salamu ^ala Rasulil-lah wa ^ala Alihi wasahbihi wa sallam
190.Question: What is Zakah and on what items one is obligated to pay zakah?
Answer: Az-Zakah is the name for what one pays on particular possessions or body according to a specific rule. Az-Zakah is one of the most important matters of Islam. Allah said:
(وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ) النور 56
In this ayah Allah ordered to [Perform the Prayer and pay az-Zakah and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad]. The prophet, salla-l-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said: "One has to pay az-Zakah". (Sahih Muslim).
It is obligated to pay zakah on livestock: Camels, cows, bulls, sheep and goats. It is also obligated to pay zakah on dates, raisins and crops that are usually consumed in times of peace like wheat and barely. Moreover, one has to pay zakah on gold, silver, the golden and silver ores and treasures. One has also to pay zakah on trade articles. The zakah of al-Fitr is also an obligation which has to be fulfilled.Hence, the Zakah of Fitr is due on every Muslim who is alive part of Ramadan and part of Shawwal. The due Zakah for each is one "Saa^" or four mudd (four times the fill of two cupped, average-sized hands) of the most common staple food of that country like wheat, rice or the like. (Or to pay in money the value of the four Mudds). This zakah is obligated, if the Muslim has in his possession an excess which covers his debts and the expenses of one’s needs: Clothing, lodging and the sustenance on the day of the ^Id and the night afterwards. This includes also the expenses for covering these same needs for those whom one must support on the day of the ^Id and the night afterwards.
It is an obligation upon the Muslim to pay the due Zakah for himself and his Muslim dependents if on the day of the Feast of Fitr (^Id-ul-Fitr) and the night after it he has enough to meet his debts, clothing, lodging, and sustenance, and the sustenance of those whom he must support.
The man must pay for his wife, his non-pubescent children, his slaves, and his poor Muslim parents. He may not pay for his pubescent children or solvent parents without their permission. It is permissible to pay the Zakat of Fitr any time during Ramadan, even the first night, however, it is recommended to pay the Zakat during the day of the Feast, and before the prayer of the ^Id, because this mends the hearts of the poor people before the prayer. It is prohibited to prolong spending the Zakah of Fitr until after the sunset of the day of the Feast without an excuse.
191.Question: What are the conditions which if not satisfied zakah on livestock is not obligated?
Answer: These conditions are: The owner of the livestock has to be a Muslim, free and owns them in full, i.e., for example they are not lost or stolen or taken forcefully by someone else. These animals have to be owned by its owner for one full lunar year. Moreover, the owner or his delegate has to graze them in a mubah pasture, i.e., a pasture not owned by anyone. These animals have also to be non-working animals, i.e., they are not used, for example, in plowing. The number of animals available of each type must also be equated to a certain number of these types (nisab).
192.Question: What is the first nisab for each of the three types of livestock? What zakah is obligated on these animals?
Answer: The first nisab of camels is 5. One is obligated to give in as zakah a she-lamb or she-goat. The first nisab of cows and bulls is 30. One is obligated to give in as zakah a one-year old he-bull (tabi^). The first nisab of sheep and goats is 40. One is obligated to give in az zakah a lamb or a she-goat. The she-goat is a goat which has completed two years of age. The tabi^ is a bull which has completed one year of age. The lamb refers to either a she- or he-sheep which has completed one full lunar year and started the second, or that which has lost its baby teeth.
193.Question: What is the first nisab of dates, raisin and the crops that are eaten during the time of peace? What zakah is obligated on these items?
Answer: The first nisab for these items is 5 awsuq. 5 awsuq amounts to 300 sa^ of the sa^ of the prophet, salla-l-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam. This sa^ is 4 amdad. (This amounts to 715 kilograms of wheat.) One mudd is a one moderate two-handful. One has to give in zakah one-tenth (1/10th) of the harvest. This is when these items were not watered by one; otherwise, in this case, one has to give in as zakah one-twentieth (1/20th) of the harvest. The zakah on the amount exceeding nisab has to be calculated accordingly, but if one had less than the above nisab there is no obligated zakah.
194.Question: What is the judgment on the harvest of the same year?
Answer: The harvest of the same year is combined together. However, one type cannot be combined with another. Thus, wheat cannot be combined with barley, for example.
195.Question: What are the conditions for obligating zakah on dates, raisins and crops that are eaten during the time of peace?
Answer: These conditions are: The owner of these items has to be a Muslim, free and owns them in full, i.e., for example they are not lost or stolen or taken forcefully by someone else. The ripeness of the fruit has to become apparent. In the case of the seed, the seed has to harden.
196.Question: What is the nisab of gold and silver?
Answer: The nisab of gold is 20 mithqal. It is 84.875 grams of pure gold. The nisab of silver is 200 dirham and it is 594.125 grams of pure silver.
197.Question: What are the conditions required for obligating zakah on gold and silver? What does one have to give in as zakah on gold and silver?
Answer: The owner of gold and silver has to be a Muslim, free and have owned them in full for one complete lunar year (hawl). There are two exceptions for this condition of hawl. When one extracts gold or silver or finds a golden or silver treasure, it is not required that one lunar year has to pass so that zakah becomes due. In this case, zakah is due immediately. The amount which one has to give in as zakah on the nisab of gold and silver and what exceeds it is 1/4 of 1/10th of the total amount. That is, one gives in as zakah 2.5% of the total amount. On the treasure, however, one gives 1/5th of it, i.e., 20% of it.
198.Question: Speak about zakah on trade articles? When is it due? What is the obligation pertaining to zakah on these articles?
Answer: The zakah is due after the elapse of one lunar year, if the trade articles amount in value to a nisab of gold or silver. One has to give in as zakah 1/4 of 1/10 of the market value of these articles, i.e., 1/40th of the market value, i.e., 2.5% of the market value.
199.Question: When is zakatil-fitr an obligation? Who is obligated to pay this zakah?
Answer: Zakatul-fitr is obligated for one when one is alive a part of Ramadan and a part of Shawwal. The Muslim has to pay this zakah for himself and for those whom the person supports, if they were Muslims. The due zakah for each person is a sa^ of the common food of the town, like wheat, rice or the like. This zakah is obligated, if the Muslim has in his possession an excess which covers his debts and the expenses of one’s needs: Clothing, lodging and the sustenance on the day of the ^Id and the night afterwards. This includes also the expenses for covering these same needs for those whom one must support on the day of the ^Id and the night afterwards.
200.Question: Does zakatul Fitr have a specific time on which one must pay it?
Answer: This zakah has five different times. The first, is the time when it is permissible to pay it. This time is the month of Ramadan. The second, is the time when it is an obligation to pay it before that time sets in. This time is when al-Maghrib of the ^Id day sets in. The third, is the time of virtue. It is before the prayer of the ^Id takes place. The fourth, is a disliked time. It is after the prayer of the ^Id is over and before al-Maghrib of that day has sat in. The fifth, is the haram time, when one has still to pay it, but cannot postpone it without a valid excuse up to until this time has sat in. This time is after al-Maghrib of the ^Id day.
201.Question: When does one intend to pay zakah?
Answer: In all types of zakah, the person intends to pay zakah when one isolates the zakah aside from the rest of his other possessions.
202.Question: Who are the recipients of zakah?
Answer: Zakah has to be paid to the eight categories which Allah mentioned in al-Qur’an. Allah said:
قال الله تعالى:(إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ)
(At-Tawbah 60). The ayah means that zakah are given to al-fuqara’, al-masakin, al-^amilina ^alayha, al-mu’allafah qulubuhum, fi-r-riqab, al-gharimin, fi sabili-l-lah and ibni-s-sabil. It is not permissible and not valid to pay zakah to other than those 8 categories which Allah mentioned in al-Qur’an.
203.Question: What is the difference between the faqir and miskin?
Answer: Al-faqir is the one who is poor who cannot satisfy half of his basic needs. Al-miskin, on the other hand, is the needy person who can satisfy half of his basic needs but cannot satisfy all his basic needs.
204.Question: Who are al-^amiluna ^alayha?
Answer: Al-^amiluna ^alayha are the workers who are delegated by the caliph or his representative to gather the zakah. Also, the caliph or his representative did not assign for those workers a salary from the Muslim treasure. These workers are like the ones who collect the zakah, write the zakah, distribute the zakah and workers like them.
205.Question: Who are al-mu’allafah qulubuhum?
Answer: Al-mu’allafah qulubuhum are the new Muslims who embraced Islam within a recent time. Their hearts still feel farness from other Muslims, or they don’t feel at par with Muslims. These may also be from the notable individuals among their people and one hopes by giving them the zakah that other similar individuals will convert to Islam.
206.Question: What is the meaning of fi-r-riqab?
Answer: Fi-r-riqab refers to the slaves who agreed with their owners to pay them money in exchange of their freedom and the slaves are short in satisfying this agreement.
207.Question: Who are al-gharimun?
Answer: Al-gharimun are those who cannot afford to pay their debts.
208.Question: What is meant by Allah’s saying: Wa fi sabilil-lah?
Answer: Wa fi sabilil-lah refers to the fighters who are mujahidin and have volunteered for jihad for the blessings of Allah. It does not refer, however, to any good charitable deed for the path of Allah. Hence, it is not permissible to pay zakah to build a school, masjid, or hospital, for example. Such zakah is not valid, and person who paid it did not fulfill the obligation and will be questioned for not paying the zakah.
قال رسول الله : إنّ رجالا يتخوضون في مال الله بغير حق فلهم النار يوم القيامة
The prophet, salla-l-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said: Some men dispense unjustly the money to be paid in fulfillment of Allah’s orders, they will be in Fire on the Day of Judgment (al-Bukhariyy).
209.Question: Who is ibni-s-sabil?Answer: Ibnu-s-sabil is like the stranger who passes while being in travel by the place of zakah and does not have enough money to complete his travel. Such a person may be given from zakah money, even if he owns a wealth in his hometown.