Category Archives: Zakaat/Charity/Sadaqa

WHEN DOES ZAKAAT BECOME FARDH UPON A PERSON??

Q: UPON WHOM IS ZAKAAT FARDH AND WHEN DOES ZAKAAT BECOME FARDH UPON A PERSON??

Answer by Jamiatul Ulama, Northern Cape:

The conditions for Zakaat to be Fardh (Obligatory) upon a person are as follows:

➡A person has to be a Muslim. (Kuffaar do not have to give Zakaat)

➡A person has to be free. (Today slavery does not exist. When slavery existed, Zakaat was not Fardh upon slaves)

➡A person has to be sane. (Zakaat is not Fardh on insane people)

➡A person has to be Baaligh. (Zakaat is not Fardh on those that have not yet attained puberty – immature persons)

➡A person needs to be the owner of the Zakaat Nisaab. (Nisaab is the minimum amount which a person must have for Zakaat to be Fardh upon one’s self. One needs to contact the Ulama in order to find out what is the Nisaab amount. A person who has less than the Nisaab amount, does not have to pay Zakaat. The
Zakaat Nisaab is the value of 612 grams silver)

➡The Nisaab must be over and above one’s basic needs and debts. (If a person has the Nisaab amount after deducting his basic expenses, but he has a debt which if deducted, would make him/her have less than the Nisaab amount, then Zakaat is not Waajib upon such a person)

➡After owning the Nisaab amount, a year has to pass for Zakaat to be Fardh upon the owner of the Nisaab amount. (A person got the Nisaab amount, but he did not have it for a full year, for example he had on 1 Muharram the Nisaab amount, but at the end of the year 30 Zul Hijjah, he did not have the Nisaab amount, it is not Fardh upon such a person to discharge Zakaat. Always remember that one’s year begins when one has the amount of Nisaab.)

Further Reading: Guide to Zakah – Understanding & Calculation

Not Paying Zakaat ! Beware Of The Athaab !

THE FOLLOWING episode was narrated by Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh), and it happened in Thana bavan where Hadhrat was resident.

A Mullaji had horded a sum of money which he kept in an earthenware vessel underground. He would almost daily open up the jar and count the money. His extreme love for the money prevented him from paying the compulsory Zakaat. Some youngsters who were his students had observed the daily practice of the Mullaji. One day during the absence of the Mullaji, they stole the money. With some of the money they prepared a lavish meal, and also invited Mullaji. Whilst eating, the Mullaji enquired about the occasion for having prepared such a sumptuous feast. The youngsters said: “Hadhrat this is as a result of your blessings.”

However, the Mullaji asked several times for the reason of the feast. But the youngsters each time responded with the same comment. When one boy sarcastically laughed, the Mullaji became apprehensive. It occurred to him that there was something sinister about the feast. He became so much disturbed that he discontinued
eating and hastened to his room. When he opened the jar, he was so terribly shocked to discover that his money was missing that he suffered a heart attack and died on the spot. The youngsters who had played the prank were remorseful. They informed the people of what had transpired. A pious Aalim, Maulana Sa’duddeen of the town told the people that the money which was the cause for the death of the Mullaji was accursed and that they should bury it with him. Thus the remainder of the money was put in a bag and buried together with  Mullaji.

A robber being apprized of this episode thought the Aalim was a moron hence he advised that such a considerable sum of money be wasted. During the night time, the robber opened the grave to steal the money. When he opened the grave, to his surprise he saw all the silver coins neatly spread out on the kafan of Mullaji. The coins were all sparkling very brightly. As the robber touched a coin, he let out a terrible scream. The extreme heat of the coin was unbearable.

In fear the robber fled. The sizzling pain would not disappear. Nothing could cool his burning finger. He had to keep his finger immersed in a container of cold water permanently. This would give him some relief. Whenever he removed his hand to change the water, the sizzling pain would compel him to scream. The mayyit
(Mullaji) was being tormented with the silver he had horded and whose Zakaat he had not paid.

The Qur’an warns those who do not pay Zakaat that their faces and bodies will be branded with the heated coins which they used to horde on earth.

Related Article: Guide to Zakah – Understanding & Calculation

Zakaat and the Solar Year

[Majlisul Ulama]

Zakaat is an Islamic institution which is a Fardh lbadat of fundamental importance. It is one of the fundamentals of Islam. There is no distinguishing between the two fundamentals, viz Salat and Zakaat, in so far as importance is concerned. Islam has attached a host of laws to this institution of Zakat. Like Salat, it is a great and an independant lbadat which will be discharged only if the Shari rules relevant to it are fulfilled. Zakat being a strictly Islamic lbadat, cannot be hinged onto worldly considerations which interfere with the correct discharge of this obligation. It is not to be made a secondary institution merely because of inconveniences caused to us by the laws of finance and economics of the kuffar. Here we refer to the ‘Nisab Time’. Zakat becomes payable after twelve Islamic months have passed upon the attaining of the Nisab value. Regarding this time-period, we say that the solar calendar or the Christian calendar does not suffice. It is essential that the Islamic calendar – or twelve Islamic months – be counted regarding the time-period of the Nisab.

SUGGESTED

In certain quarters it has been suggested that the Christian calendar too will be valid providing that 4% is added to the stock-figure obtained from the stock-taking after twelve solar months. Stock-taking is usually effected at the end of the financial year (which is after twelve Christian months) for income tax purposes. Muslim businessmen, therefore, employ these figures in the calculation of their Zakat, the argument being that it is too difficult to have two stock-takings – one for income tax and one for Zakat. The suggested addition of 4% to the stock-figure, is, ostensibly, to ‘rectify’ the discrepency which occurs as a result of the 11 day longer Christian calendar. However, in actual fact, the discrepency is not rectified by adding 4%. In fact, a number of serious discrepencies will result if the Christian calendar is employed for Zakat purposes. Hereunder we explain a few such serious discrepencies.

The Shariah does not apply Zakat tax to a part of the year. Zakat is payable for only full-year units. Hence, if Zakat has not been paid for two years, for example. then the only way of discharging the obligation is to pay Zakat for two years. If after two years and one month (for example) one decides to pay the past Zakat, one will be liable for two years’ Zakat and not for two years and one month, part of the year not being considered.

The addition of 4% resembles a penalty for late payment. But, the Shariah levies no penalty for late payment of Zakat.

Assuming that stock is taken 18 months after having attained Nisab, it will mean that the stock-figure has to be inflated by 50% since 6 months is 50% of the year, but this is at the end of the Islamic twelve months Mr Zaid had stock, cash and other Zakat-taxable wealth for the sum of R 20,000, but as yet he did not effect stock-taking because the financial year for income tax purpose has not yet ended. Eleven days after the expiry of the Islamic year, Mr Zaid takes stock on the 28th February and finds that his stock and other Zakat­ taxable assets amount to R 30,000. Now according to the ‘4% increase’ theory, the amount of R30 000 will have to be increased by 4%, giving a total of R 31,200 on which Zakat have to be paid, i.e. according to the ‘4% increase’ theory. However, according to the Shariah, Zakat should be paid on only the amount owned at the end of the Islamic year, which in this example is R 20,000. The additional R 10,000 by which the R 20,000 was augmented in the succeeding 11 days are exempt from Zakat. Zakat will be payable on the additional R 10,000 only at the end of the next twelve Islamic months, and that too if at the end of that period this amount remains in the form of Zakat-taxable assets. If during the course of the year this amount was lost, utilized or converted into non-Zakat wealth, e.g. motor car, building, furniture, etc., then Zakat will not be payable on it.

At the end of the Islamic twelve months Mr Amr had Zakat taxable assets for the amount of R 2,000, but as yet he did not take stock. Eleven days after (i.e. at the end of the financial year) he takes stock and discovers that due to some misfortune his Zakat-taxable assets were reduced to below Nisab. In this case, Mr Amr will not be liable for Zakat according to those who accept the Christian calendar for Zakat calculating purpose. But, according to the Shariah he is liable for Zakat on R 2,000 because at the end of the Islamic twelve months he was the owner of Zakat wealth for the sum of R 2,000.

At the end of the Islamic year Mr Bakr had Zakat-taxable assets for the amount of R 10,000, but as yet he did not take stock. Eleven days thereafter he takes stock. Within the course of the succeeding eleven days he had incurred debts for Now. according to those who accept the Christian calendar as valid for Zakat purpose, Mr Bakr will have to pay Zakat on only R 6,000 since according to the Shariah debts are deductable from Zakat-taxable assets. But, in actual fact Mr Bakr must pay Zakat on R 10,000 because the debts were incurred only after his Zakat became due on the R 10,000, hence, the debt of R 4,000 cannot be employed to offset Zakat payment in that sum.At the end of the Islamic year Mr Ahman had Zakat­ taxable wealth for the amount of R 100 which is below Zakat. A week thereafter he obtains by way of inheritance R 20,000. At the end of the financial year which occurred eleven days after the Islamic year, Mr Ahmad’s Zakat-taxable assets amounted to R 20,100. According to the ‘4% increase theory, Mr Ahmad has to pay Zakat on R 20,100 plus 4%. However, according to the Shariah he does not have to pay even one cent Zakat. He is not at all liable for Zakat on the R 20,000 since he did not own it at the termination of the twelve Islamic months.

At the end of the Islamic year Mr Qasim had R 8,000 worth of Zakat-taxable wealth but as yet he did not effect stock-taking. At the end of the financial year (which occurred eleven days after the Islamic year) he takes stock and finalises his accounts. During the course of the eleven days following the Islamic year (i.e. prior to stock-taking) Mr Ahmad converts R 6,000 of his Zakat-taxable wealth into non-Zakat assets, e.g. he purchased a motor car. Now according to his final figures realised after stock-taking the sum of R 6,000 will no longer reflect as Zakat ­taxable assets which will be an amount decreased by R 6,000, plus the suggested 4% increase on the stock-figure. But, according to the Shariah he is liable to pay Zakat on the  R 6,000 as well despite it having been converted into a non-Zakat asset because the conversion was effected after the Zakat became due on the amount.

At the end of the first twelve Islamic months Mr Zaid in actual fact had R 25,000 stock, but his debts amounted to R 25,000. Mr Zaid never took stock after the twelve Islamic months nor did he do so at the end of the financial year. The true position according to the Shariah is that Mr Zaid is not liable for Zakat because his debt eliminates his Zakat-taxable At the end of the following financial year Mr Zaid takes stock and finds that his stock is R 20,000 and his debts R 5000. According to the ‘increase’ theory he is liable for Zakat on R 15,000 plus an increase of 100%, i.e. he has to pay Zakat on R 30,000 because now the stock has not been taken 11 days after the Islamic year, but one year after the Islamic year. However, in actual fact, according to the Shariah, he has to pay Zakat on only R 15,000 (if this was the position of his Zakat assets at the end of the second Islamic year).

The theory to be employed in the event of stock being taken according to the solar calendar posits a 4% addition to the Zakat-taxable assets as at the end of the financial year calculated in terms of twelve Christian months. This percentage according to the theory remains constant, i.e. at the end of each successive solar year 4% will be merely added to the figures and Zakat levied on the total sum. This presents an unreal situation, for the percentage remains constant whereas the Islamic year in relation to the Christian year recedes by approximately 11 days (or the approximate 4% posited in the theory). In terms of the theory, the logical conclusion should be a successive increase of approximately 4% (3.1% to be more exact) per solar year since at the end of the first Christian year, the Islamic year would have lapsed by 11 days; at the end of the second Christian year, the Islamic year would have lapsed by 22 days, hence in terms of the ‘increase’ theory, the stock-figure will be inflated by 8% (6.2% to be exact); at the end of the third Christian year, the Islamic year would have receded by 33 days, hence in terms of the theory, the Zakat-taxable figure will have to be inflated by 9.3%, and so on. The percentage increase with which the Zakat wealth has to be inflated will increase with each year. This will provide 100% increase in the Zakat-taxable wealth after about 34 years. But, in no way does this ‘increase’ whether of 4% or 100% solve the discrepencies created by calculating Zakat at the end of the solar year. The ‘increase’ theory has no bearing to reality. It remains a fictitious and a groundless supposition.

Utilizing the solar year for Zakat purposes will magnify the incidence of error with each successive year which produces a constant recession of the Islamic year in relation to the Christian year. In the first year there will be an eleven-day gap between the Islamic and the Christian year; in the second year a twenty-two day gap; in the third year a thirty-three day gap, and so on. The greater the gap, the greater the danger of increased discrepency since more transactions could be effected in the greater time period. Every transaction involving Zakat-taxable wealth effected in this time-gap will affect the Zakat position. Zakat-taxable wealth which had been converted into non-Zakat-taxable items during this time-gap will be exempt from Zakat if the calculation is done at the end of the Christian year. And, all increases in Zakat-taxable wealth during this time-gap will be subjected to Zakat if the calculation is based on the Christian calendar. But, in terms of the Shariah, whatever Zakat-taxable assets have been converted into non­ Zakat-taxable items during the time-gap will be subjected to Zakat and all increases in Zakat-taxable wealth during the time-gap will be exempted from Zakat. Such increases will only be taxed by Zakat at the end of the next Islamic year, if such wealth still remains in one’s possession.

If Zakat is calculated on the basis of the Christian calendar, then one whole year will be missed out after about 33 years, and this ‘escaping’ of a year’s Zakat cannot be rectified or compensated by means of the unrealistic ‘increase’ even if at the end of the 33rd year the increase is 100%. The ‘gap’ between the Islamic and the Chrisitan years after 33 years will be one year, and in one year all one’s wealth may be depleted or lost, this bringing about the total ‘escape’ from Zakat even if 100% increase in the figures is effecteu. At the end of the 33rd Christian year, one may have Zakat-taxable wealth less than the value of Nisab whereas a year before when the time was due for the Zakat calculation one could have possessed a considerable sum of Zakat-taxable wealth.

If, for example, stock is taken only after two years and the figure for the stock is R 5,000 at this stock-taking. But, the amount of stock at the end of the first year was R 2,000. According to the ‘4% addition’ theory, the amount of stock will have to be increased by 100% since the stock was taken after two years. It will follow that Zakat should be paid on R 10,000 whereas in actual fact Zakat will have to be paid on only R 7,000 (R 2,000 for the first year and R 5,000 for the second year).

Guide to Zakah – Understanding & Calculation

[By Dr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani & Bilal Ahmad Qazi]

Allah Ta’ala Commands His servants:

Establish regular prayer and give Zakah (Al-Qur’an 73:20)

What is Zakah? 

Lexically, the word Zakah covers two meanings. 

1. Purification 
2. Growth and increase 

In the terminology of the Qur’an and Sunnah, Zakah is the portion of asset that is made mandatory to be spent in the ways specified by Allah Ta’ala. 

Benefits of Zakah 

Zakah has two straightforward benefits.

Firstly, the payer himself gets purified from inner germs of the spiritual diseases.

Secondly, Zakah helps those who are not able to fulfill their needs independently. For e.g. orphans, widows, handicaps, poor people etc.  

Allah Ta’ala says in Surah Taubah:  

 Take sadaqah (obligatory alms) out of their wealth through which you may cleanse and purify them, and pray for them. Indeed, your prayer is a source of peace for them. And Allah is All-Hearing, All- Knowing. [At-Taubah 9:103]
 
This verse has explicitly mentioned the first benefit i.e. purification of inner self. The second benefit is not mentioned in this verse. It points to the fact that the real purpose and objective of paying Zakah is the purification of one’s own self, though the second benefit exists in its inference. (Ma’ariful Qur’an)  

Retribution for not giving Zakah 

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:  َ

As for those who accumulate gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, give them the ‘good’ news of a painful punishment On the day it (the wealth) will be heated up in the fire of jahannam, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it: “this is what you had accumulated for yourselves. So, taste what you have been accumulating.”               [At-Tawbah 9:34-35]  

The Holy prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:  Every nation that does not give Zakah, Allah Ta’ala will afflict them with a drought.  

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The person whom Allah has bestowed with wealth, yet does not give its Zakah, on the Day of Judgment, his wealth will be turned into venomous bald serpent with two black spots over the eyes (or two poisonous glands in its mouth) which will wind around his neck and bite his jaws and say: ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.’ “Then the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) recited the Holy Verse: “Let not those who covetously withhold….” (to the end of the Verse)._ [Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1315 and 4199]  

Payer of Zakah 

Zakah must be paid by the one who is:
1- Muslim
2- Major (Baligh
3- Sane
4- Sahib-un-nisaab (owner of wealth above the level of nisaab

Above-mentioned four conditions are described respectively in the following lines:

Zakah is not obligatory on a non-Muslim as Zakah is an  ibadah  (an act of pure worship) and a non-Muslim is not obliged to carry out the ibadah of Islam.
(Hashiah Ibn-e-Aabideen pg:  259 vol:2.)

⚫  A person must be major to qualify  as a Zakah payer. Minors are not under a  fard  obligation to perform acts of  ibadah  such as prayers (salaat) and fasting (saum) because they lack legal capacity. They are accordingly exempt from paying Zakah by reason of absence of  legal capacity.
(Badai’us-sanai,  Fatawa  Hashiah  Ibn-e-Aabideen  pg:  258 vol: 2)

⚫  The Zakah payer must  be sane.

In  this regard, two situations  must be distinguished:

      i. The child who at maturity is  insane. In this case, the insane person upon regaining his intellect is exempt from payment of Zakah for the duration of his insanity. Liability for Zakah attaches to him from the time he regains his sanity and accordingly his Zakah year is calculated from such date.

      ii. The person  although sane at the  time of maturity subsequently thereto becomes insane. In this case, if the insanity  lasts for a whole year,  the insane  person  is  exempt from Zakah for this period, and his  Zakah year is  therefore deemed to commence from the date of recovery of sanity. On the other hand, if the insanity remains for a part of the year, then he is liable for the Zakah of that year.
(Badai’us-sanai. Pg: 382, Vol:2)

⚫  Nisaab is described in the following lines.

Definition of Nisaab

Zakah on debts Nisaab  is the threshold or line, which separates those  who are duty bound to give Zakah  from those who are  not. In other words,  Nisaab  is the minimum amount of wealth whose owner is deemed  to be wealthy in the  conception  of Shari’ah and Zakah is obligatory  on him. (Ahkaam e zakaah  pg: 11)
For example, one who owns 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver or its equivalent amount of  cash  or trading assets etc. is called  Sahib-un-nisaab  and it  is obligatory on him to  pay Zakah (i.e. 2.5% of his total zakatable assets) to those who deserve Zakah. A detailed description of those that are eligible  to  receive  Zakah  is described  in the coming topic “Recipient of Zakah

Zakah on Debts

Debts can be classified into two types:

1. Receivables i.e. owed to oneself e.g. Loans given to somebody.

2. Payable to others e.g. Money borrowed from somebody.

Debts receivable from others

There are different types of debt receivables. The ruling of Zakah for each kind of debt receivable is different from the other. It is therefore pertinent to first understand all these types of debts receivable.

Types of Debts Receivable

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) has  classified debts into three categories, namely:

1. Trade  Debts
2. Non-Trade  Debts
3. Other Debts

1.  Trade Debts are called  dain  qawiyy in the terminology of Islamic Jurisprudence. These debts  are those that arise in respect of:

(a) Trading stock sold and delivered in the ordinary course of business;
(b) Moneys lent and advanced;
(c) The loan of gold and silver.

For example, a trader sells goods (on credit) to another for  purchase price of Rs.5,000/-; or A lends B Rs. 10,000/-. The ruling for  this class of debts is that the creditor, upon receiving the  amount owing to him, is obliged to pay Zakah for the entire preceding period of credit.

2.  Non-Trade Debts are called  dain mutawassit. These debts  are those that arise in respect of the sale  of goods  other than the  trading stock. For example, the purchase price of the sale of personal clothing, or motor vehicle or land. 

The preferable view, which is one of the two views narrated from Imam Abu Hanifah, in the case of such  debts (as mentioned in Imdadul fatawa pg: 46 vol:2) is that Zakah  is not payable for the preceding years but is  only payable for the Zakah year calculated from the time of repayment of the debt.

3.  Other  debts  are called  dain Zaeef . These debts are those that do not arise from the sale of goods or property. For example, debts receivables in respect of inheritance, dowry, rentals, wages, and provident fund payments.

The ruling for this class of debts is that Zakah is not payable unless full amount is paid and one Zakah year passes thereon after payment. No Zakah is payable for preceding years. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:392, Vol:2)

Debts payable to others

Zakah payer, in order to be  sahib-un-nisaab,  must  be  free  of  debts.  If  he is indebted to his creditors, then the  amount of his  debts  must be deducted from the total value  of those assets  on which Zakah is levied. The balance remaining will be subject to Zakah. If there is no balance remaining, no Zakah is obligatory. 

Note: It  should  be  kept  in  mind,  that  the ruling mentioned above regarding the treatment of debts payable is related  to the person who is not a corporate businessman. However, if some one has a  corporate business, then the ruling is that, only those debts  are to  be deducted  from zakatable assets  that have been utilized in purchasing fixed assets such as machinery etc. On the other hand, if debts of a corporate businessman are utilized in purchasing zakatable assets such as inventory etc., then  they  will not be deducted  from the  total value of the assets on which Zakah is levied. ( Islam Aur Jadeed Ma’ishat Aur Tijarat by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Pg: 64)

Recipients of Zakah

The Holy Qur’an has fixed eight categories of recipients in verse 60 of the  Surah Taubah. The verse is as follows:

The Sadaqat (prescribed alms) are (meant) only to be given to the poor, the needy, to those employed to collect them, to those whose hearts are to be won, in  the cause of the slaves and those encumbered with debt, in the way of Allah and to a wayfarer. This is an obligation prescribed  by Allah. Allah is All Knowing, Wise.” (At-Taubah:60)

There is a consensus  amongst the jurists  that the disbursement of Zakah is solely confined to these eight recipients. The Holy Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was once asked by a Companion to give the latter Zakah. The Holy Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam replied: 

Allah has not assigned the right to distribute Zakah to any Prophet or any body else. He Himself has ordered about it and has fixed eight categories  (of recipients). If you qualify as being from amongst these, I will give you your right.” (Abu Dawood)

In the following lines, each of these eight categories have been described briefly.

The eight categories of Recipients of Zakah

1, 2) The poors, the needy  (Fuqara and Masakeen) The  Fuqara  and  Masakeen (There is  a  difference  between  faqeer  and  miskeen.  The  description  given in  (a) in  the  following  lines is  the definition of  Miskeen  while (b) and  (c) are  defined as  fuqara.  However, the  difference in the definition of faqeer and Miskeen has no relevance to Zakah, as both faqeer and miskeen are eligible to receive Zakah.)  The description  of  the eight  categories that is  written  in  the following  lines is the  summary of a  very detailed elaboration   of  these  categories described in  Ma’ariful  Qur’an  by  Mufti  Muhammad Shafi’  Usmani (rahimahullah) under verse 60  of  Surah Taubah)  are extremely poor persons. The eligibility of receiving Zakah under  this  category is restricted to either of  the  following three kinds:

a. Those who do not own any property or assets at all, or
b. Those who  do not own any property or assets in excess of basic necessity (For e.g. House, furniture and effects, personal clothing, servant, tools of trade), or c. Those who own property in excess of basic necessity, but the excess is below the value of nisaab.

These three kinds of  people can receive Zakah and they are also not obliged to pay it. However, it  must  be kept  in mind that the above  mentioned three kinds are different from the following two classes:

a.  Those who own, in excess of basic necessity, property or assets on which Zakah is levied (such as  gold, silver, cash, inventory) whose value after deduction of debts, equals or exceeds the value of nisaab. They are obliged to pay Zakah, and cannot receive it.

b. Those who own, in excess of basic necessity, property or assets on which Zakah is not levied (such as diamonds, land which is not purchased for trade, etc) which equals or exceeds the value of nisaab.  They are not obliged to pay  Zakah but at the same  time, cannot receive it.

3) Collectors of Zakah (Al-‘Aamileen)

Al-‘Aamileen  are those persons who are appointed by the Islamic Ruling Areas, or Muslim ruler, for the purpose of collecting Zakah. Zakah can be given to them as the salary for their efforts in collecting Zakah, even when they are Sahibun Nisaab or rich.

In regard to the rest of the seven categories of recipients, need is defined as a requirement and a rich person cannot be a recipient of Zakah. This is not the case with  Al-‘Aamileen  because the head of the Islamic governing areas is responsible for the needs and welfare of the poor within his jurisdiction. He is therefore deemed to be their agent. 

The  Al-‘Aamileen, as employees of the head of state, are likewise agents of the poor and needy. It follows that the Zakah obligation is discharged as soon as the Zakah is paid by the Zakah payers to the  Al-‘Aamileen. And the salary  given  to  them  is  as  if,  given  by  the poors themselves. It is exactly like the case when a person, who is  eligible  to receive Zakah, hires  an attorney and pays his fee from the Zakah he received. 

4) Those whose  hearts are to be won  (Al-Mu’allafatu-Al Quloob)

This category of recipients refers  to the poor and needy Muslims (Fuqara and  Masakeen)  who are given Zakah for the express purpose of strengthening their hearts and making them more inclined towards the Islamic practices. Non-Muslims are excluded in accordance with the general principle that they do not qualify as recipients of Zakah

5) The cause of (freeing) the slaves (Ar-Riqaab) 

The word  Riqaab  is the plural of  Raqabah,  which literally means “neck”. In Arabic usage, it is taken as a whole person, therefore refers to a slave.

The majority  of  the jurists are of  the view that  the word  Raqabah mentioned in the verse is confined to the  Mokatab. Mokatab  is  that slave who enters  into a contract with his master in terms of which, the latter undertakes  to free him against payment of a fixed sum of money. The view of the majority of the jurists is for the reason that in paying Zakah, the recipient must be made owner of the Zakah property. In addition, Zakah cannot be paid as consideration for services rendered on the part of the recipient.

In  the  case  of  disbursing  Zakah  to  free a slave, the master becomes the owner of the Zakah in  return for the slave’s freedom. The slave himself cannot own property for want of legal personality.  On the other hand, payment of Zakah to the Mokatab makes the latter owner thereof. 

6) Debtors (Gharimeen)

The word  Gharimeen  is the singular of  Gharim.  It means debtor. The verse refers to a specific type of debtor, i.e.  the one who is poor. A  debtor can only  be  said  to  be  poor  and  thus  eligible  to  be  the  recipient  of  Zakah  if  his net assets  (the difference between his  assets and liabilities) is below nisaab.

7) The way of Allah (fi Sabilillah)

All interpretations narrated by  the  Sahabah and  Tabi’een, regarding the word  fi sabilillah, have expressively defined this  word as either for Mujahideen  or for pilgrims of  Hajj.  Imam  Ibn Jarir  and  Imam Ibn e Kathir, who restricted themselves to interpret  the verses of the Holy Qur’an in the light of  Ahadeeth,  have particularized the word  sabilillah  with those Mujahideen  and pilgrims of  Hajj  who do not have  enough resources to perform their respective deeds.

On the other hand, some  Muslim Jurists such as  Allama Kasani
(The  author  of  Badai-us-sanai)  have generalized the  interpretation and extended  the  meaning of  sabilillah  to all good acts  enjoined by the shariah. However, these Jurists have specifically described that the recipients must be  poor and needy persons. Therefore, the jurists  are unanimous on the point that Zakah cannot be spent on projects that would promote the interests of and be beneficial to the Muslim Community e.g. building of hospitals, roads, bridges and the like.

8) Wayfarer (Ibn-us-sabil)

This category refers to a traveler who,  despite being wealthy at his place of residence,  is  in  need  during  his  journey.  It  is  permissible  to  give  such traveler Zakah to the extent of his needs. It is not permissible for such traveler to take Zakah in an amount which exceeds his needs and requirements. It is preferable for such traveler to borrow funds if he is able to do so than to accept Zakah (Fathul Qadir pg: 269 Vol: 2)

Some Important rules relating to the recipients of Zakah 

⚫  If someone owns cash, trading assets, gold  and silver equivalent to the value of 612.36 grams of silver,  he/she is considered as wealthy in Shari’ah, hence not eligible  to receive Zakah. (Fatawa  Hindiyah Pg: 189,  vol:1 & Bahishti  Zewar pg:225)

⚫  If someone owns, in excess of basic necessity, an asset or property on which Zakah is not levied (such as diamond, vacant land – not for commerce) and the excess is equivalent or  above the value of 612.36 grams of silver, he is  also considered as  wealthy in Shari’ah. He cannot receive Zakah but at the same time,  is not obliged to  pay Zakah. (Bahishti  Zewar pg:  225)

⚫  If one has cloths or crockery that are not used for years but for once or twice, then these  cloths  or  crockery will be considered as an excess of basic necessity. Hence if its value is equivalent or above the value  of  nisaab, the owner cannot receive Zakah.( hashiah Ibn-e-Aabideen (Bab  Masraf-iz-Zakah  wal  ushr). Pg: 348, Vol: 2)

⚫  The house in which one lives,  the household furniture, servants, personal clothing and a motor vehicle, all are basic necessities. The owner of all these assets will not  be considered as wealthy, no matter how expensive the assets are. Rather he is entitled to receive Zakah, if he does not have any zakatable asset equivalent to the value of  nisaab.  ( hashiah Ibn-e-Aabideen (Bab  Masraf-iz-Zakah  wal  ushr) Pg: 348, Vol: 2)

⚫  If a person has given some of his houses on rent and he  does not have any assets on which Zakah is levied, he can receive Zakah. (Hashiah Ibn-e-Aabideen  (Bab  Masraf-iz-Zakah  wal  ushr).    Pg: 348, Vol: 2)

⚫  If a person has 20,000/- Rs. and he is indebted of 20,000/- Rs., he can receive Zakah. If, in the above case, he is indebted of less  than 20,000/- Rs., then if the balance is  equivalent or  above to the value of  nisaab, he cannot be given Zakah. And if the balance is less than the  nisaab, he can be given Zakah. (Hindiyah  pg:  188,  vol: 1)

⚫  Zakah cannot be  given to a minor  child of  a rich person  because such minor is deemed to be rich by virtue of the wealth of his father. If the child is  major and needy, Zakah  may be given to him irrespective of the financial standing of his parents (Hindiyah  pg:  189, vol:1).

⚫  Zakah can be given to a minor child  whose father is not rich, but his mother is rich and wealthy because,  a minor child is not considered rich by virtue of the wealth of his mother.  (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar (Bab Masraf-iz-Zakah wal ushr))

Zakah can be given to a poor woman whose husband is rich.
(Badai-us-sanai pg: 476, vol: 2) Similarly, it is permissible to give Zakah to a poor person whose child is rich.

⚫  There is consensus of the Muslim jurists that it is not permissible to give Zakah to non-Muslims (Badai-us-sanai pg: 480, vol: 2). Other forms of voluntary charity (sadaqah naafilah) may be given to them (Badai-us-sanai pg: 482, vol: 2).

Zakah cannot be given to the children of Banu Hashim. These are descendants of the Prophet’s family (i.e. the descendants of Hazrat Ali , Hazrat Ja’far, Hazrat Aqeel (radhiyallahu anhuma) and Hazrat Harith ibn Abd Ul Muttalib and are commonly known as Sayyids (Badai-us-sanai pg: 483, vol: 2) .

Zakatable Assets 

Allah Ta’ala has put the most minimum burden of monetary obligations on Muslims so that paying Zakah becomes convenient for every sahib-un-nisaab Muslim. 

Firstly, it is not obligatory to pay Zakah on every asset. Rather only those assets are the subject matter of Zakah that have the potential of growth or increase. These assets may be broadly classified as follows:

1- Trading assets.
2- Cash & Cash Equivalent (like prize bonds, Travelers Checks etc) 3- Gold and silver
4- Livestock (goats, sheep, cows and camels)  
5- Agricultural output. 

The principle governing the levy of Zakah is that only those assets are zakatable, which fall within the definition of money, like silver and gold. All other assets are not zakatable unless they are meant for trade and resale.  

Secondly, only the balanced value of these assets at the end of the year is the subject matter of Zakah. No Zakah is obligatory on the amount spent over the whole year.  

General conditions for all zakatable assets 

1- Ownership:- The subject matter of Zakah must be in the complete ownership of the
payer. If someone possesses an asset but does not own it, Zakah is not liable on it. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  389, vol:2)

2- Potential of growth:- The asset must have  the potential of growth as the  word Zakah itself means “Growth” or “Increase”. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  394, vol:2)

3- Asset must be in excess of basic necessity:- The subject matter of Zakah should be other than  the basic necessities of a person. So the assets included in the basic necessities e.g. crockery, furniture, car etc  are not the subject matter of Zakah provided that these assets are not purchased with the intention of sale.

4- One year  must elapse over the asset:- It is necessary that one year elapses over  the asset which is subject to Zakah

It means that possession of  nisaab  value should be both at the beginning and end of a lunar year. It  is not necessary that a complete year passes on every  single rupee. Rather, when a person is  sahib-un-nisaab  in the beginning and the end of  the year, then he will be considered  as  sahib-un-nisaab  and the fluctuating amount during the year will not be considered as the subject matter of Zakah

A detailed clarification of the highlighted portion is as follows:

If some one acquires a property before the completion of his Zakah year and he is the owner of the wealth above the value of  nisaab, then  one of the following situations may arise:

a) The addition during the year is not the same kind or category as the  existing property. For example, a person has gold or silver and thereafter during the  course of the year acquires sheep. 
b) The addition is of the same kind or category as that of the existing  property. This addition  may be derived from the existing property, for  example,  profit arising during the year from sale of trading stock; or  acquired from another source, for example, a person has cash and thereafter during the year acquires further cash by way of inheritance.

In case ‘a’, the year for the gold or silver and sheep will be calculated separately.  

However, in case ‘b’, the subsequent acquisition will be added or joined to the existing property for Zakah purposes and the Zakah for both will be paid together at the end of the Zakah year for the existing property. In other words, Zakah years will not be calculated separately for each subsequent acquisition in case ‘b’. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg: 399, vol: 2)

It should be kept in mind that if the subsequent acquisition is made after the expiry of the Zakah year, then a new year will be calculated. Similarly, if the existing property is below nisaab, the subsequent acquisition cannot be added to the existing property. (Hindiyah. Pg: 175, vol: 1)  

5- Asset must be equivalent to Nisaab:- Zakah is not levied on total assets if they are below the level of Nisaab. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg: 403, Vol: 2)   

Amount of Zakah 

The amount of Zakah payable is two and a half percent (2.5%), or 40th portion of: 

1. the value of gold and silver if it is equivalent to nisaab or above it.

2. trading stocks, or its value at the time of obligation of payment of Zakah, if the stock is equal to nisaab

3. cash on hand if equal to nisaab
Zakah on gold and silver 

⚫ Gold and silver are subject to Zakah regardless of whether they are owned for personal use or otherwise if the weight thereof equals the prescribed nisaab and one year elapses thereon. Gold and silver are also always liable to Zakah irrespective of the asset type (gold bar, jewellery, ingot, coin etc.) (Hindiyah Pg: 178, Vol:1)

⚫  Zakah is not payable on any other kind of jewels, gems or precious stones, such as diamonds, rubies etc. If these metals are, however, acquired for business, then Zakah will be payable thereon as they would then constitute trading stock. (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar Pg: 273, 2)

⚫ If gold or silver is not pure, and some other commodity (such as copper etc) is added to it, then if the major portion of the element is  of gold or silver, it is considered as gold or silver respectively  and Zakah will be obligatory  on it. And if gold and silver is in minor proportion, then  it is not considered as gold or silver and no Zakah will be obligatory provided that it is not purchased with the  intention of sale. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  408, Vol: 2)

⚫  If a person has some gold and silver and the independent amount of both of them does not reach  nisaab, then  if the combined value of gold  and silver reaches  nisaab  of silver, the accumulated worth will be the  subject matter of Zakah. And if  the combined value  of gold and silver does  not reach  nisaab  of silver, Zakah is not obligatory. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  411, Vol: 2) 

⚫  If gold and silver reaches  nisaab  independently, then valuation of the combined value is not needed. Rather, in this case, Zakah of gold and silver will be paid independently from the other. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  414, Vol: 2) 

⚫ Someone has a complete  nisaab  of silver. He got some more silver or gold before the year completed. Zakah of that additional silver or gold will  be obligatory alongwith the completion of the year  of the already owned silver and gold (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  399,  vol: 2)  i.e.  no  additional  or  a complete year is required for  Zakah being obligatory on that Zakah on cash additional gold and silver.

For example, the Zakah year of a person ends on 1st  Ramadhan.  On 25th  Shaban he has some gold and silver of the value of one hundred thousand rupees (Rs.  100,000/-). On 29th  Shaban, he purchased additional gold valued  two hundred thousand rupees (Rs. 200,000/-). Now on 1st  Ramadhan, the value of zakatable gold and silver of that  person would be three hundred thousand rupees (300,000/-). 

⚫  A person has cash equivalent to the  nisaab  of silver. Some amount of  more  cash  is  achieved  before  the completion of the year. Then the added amount  of  cash will  be  deemed as subject matter of Zakah after completion of the year of the previous amount. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  399,  vol:  2)

⚫  Cash is fully subjected to Zakah. It includes bonds, travelers’ cheque, and other cash equivalents. ( Ahkam-e-Zakah by Mufti Muhammd Rafi Uthmani pg:24)

⚫ If a person has cash equivalent  to 87.48 gm of gold or 612.36 gm of silver, Zakah is obligatory on him,  for  cash comes under the same ruling as gold and silver in terms of paying Zakah. ( The rules  of  Zakah (Written  by  Muhammad  Shoaib Omar)  Pg:  41)  

⚫ If a person has some amount of  cash, some gold, and some silver and neither of the three individually reaches  nisaab, then the value of gold and silver will be added to the amount of cash, and if the combined amount reaches  nisaab, Zakah is obligatory. If the combined amount does not reach  nisaab, no  Zakah is to be  paid.
(Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  411,  Vol:  2)

⚫  A person has cash equivalent to  nisaab. He  got some more cash a few days before completion of year. This more amount of cash will be subject to Zakah after completion of the year of previous amount of cash. ( Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  399,  vol:  2)
For example, the Zakah year of a person ends on 1st  of Ramadhan. He has Rs. 30,000/- on 28th  of Shaban. On 29th  Shaban, he receives Rs. 5000/- more. Now  the zakatable cash of that person on 1st  of Ramadan would become Rs. 35,000/-. 

Zakah on trading assets

Zakah is payable on trading stock if their market value is equal to or more than the value of nisaab.
(Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  415, vol:2)

Definition of trading assets

Trading assets are those, which are purchased with the intention of resale or capital gain. Consequently,  goods that have been  purchased for personal use and not for the purpose  of  trade are  not subject to Zakah, irrespective of their  value. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  395,  vol:2)
Similarly, goods (other  than gold  and silver) originally bought for  personal use are not subject to Zakah if the purchaser subsequently intends  to sell them  for trade and had not intended  it at the  time of purchase. Once sold, however, their sale price would be subject to Zakah (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  396, vol:2). 

Likewise, a person may purchase  goods for personal use with the intention that if he is  able to obtain  a profit thereon, he  would sell the goods in which event, no Zakah is payable on  such goods. On the other hand, if an asset is not purchased and is owned by some other  means e.g.  inheritance or gift, then the asset will not become the subject matter of Zakah. (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar)   

In short, trading assets are those that are:

(i) purchased  and
(ii) purchased with the intention of sale.

If any of these two conditions is missing, the asset will not be treated as a trading one and thus will not be subjected to Zakah.

Following are some situations relating to Zakah on trading assets:

⚫  Nisaab  of trading assets is same as that of cash i.e. if  the value of the assets reaches the value of 87.48 gm of gold or 612.36 gm of silver, then Zakah is obligatory  after the completion of year. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  415,  vol:  2)

⚫  If a person has a house that is leased, the value of the house will not be subject matter of Zakah, as leasing a property does not render it a trading asset. However, the rentals received will be the subject matter of Zakah. (Fatawa Qazi Khan (on  the border of  Hindiyah) Pg:  351,  Vol: 1.)

⚫  Since the machines in  the industries are not trading assets, therefore no Zakah is  obligatory  on them. However, if they are purchased with the  intention  of resale, then Zakah will be obligatory.   (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar. Pg: 265, Vol:2)

⚫ The products manufactured in an industry, as well as the raw material, are subject matter of Zakah. (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar. Pg: 265, Vol:2)

⚫  If a person has some trading assets that  do not reach  nisaab, and then if  he has some other zakatable assets such as gold, silver and cash, and the combined value of  all zakatable assets reaches the value of 612.36 gm  of silver, then Zakah is obligatory. (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar. Pg. 303,  Vol:  2) 

Zakah on Shares

⚫ It is permissible for the Zakah payer to estimate a bulk  price of the trading assets i.e. the market  value of the stock–in-trade if sold in bulk at the end of the Zakah year, for purposes of calculating Zakah. (The rules of Zakat (by Mohammad Shoaib Omar) Pg: 38).

If shares are purchased with the express intention for resale or capital gain, then the entire value of the shares is subject to Zakah

If, however, the shares are purchased with a view to holding them as an investment and receiving the dividend  income, then  the following must be borne in mind. 

Ownership of a company’s shares confers undivided  ownership in the underlying assets of the company. The holder is a proportionate owner of the business. All business assets can be classified into two types for the purpose of Zakah

1.  Fixed Assets e.g. Machinery, buildings, Furniture etc.
2. Current Assets e.g. cash, stock in trade, receivables etc.

Fixed assets are exempt from zakah whereas, current assets are subject to it. The owner of the shares can  deduct  from the  Zakatable value a proportion equivalent  to that  of  the  liabilities and the fixed assets of the company. In  other words, it is permissible for the owner of the shares in this case that he does not take  into account the liabilities and non-zakatable assets such as plant and machinery etc. The way to ascertain the proportion of zakatable assets to  non-zakatable assets of a  company is to consult the  balance sheet and profit and loss  account. These documents are available as part of the company’s annual report.

Zakah Payable (Z.P) =  [Total Assets (T.A)  MINUS  Fixed Assets (F.A)  MINUS  Total                 Liabilities  (L)]  DIVIDED BY  Total  No. of Shares outstanding (S.O)  MULTIPLIED  BY 2.5%. 

The above mentioned formulae is  for the one who has the ability and resources to ascertain the exact amount of zakatable assets represented by the shares. However, if the calculation gets  complicated for somebody, then he should consider the entire value of the shares as his zakatable asset and thus pay Zakah for it.
(Islam Aur Jadeed Ma’ishat Aur Tijarat by Mufti Taqi Uthmani Sb. Pg: 63)

SUMMARY: For a common person (one who is not involved in livestock or  agriculture) all that needs to be taken into account for Zakah calculation is the following:

The amount of cash owned (be it  on person, in the bank, or loaned out. This can be money earned or income from additional  house, properties etc.) as well as the value of any gold or silver jewelry owned, (necklaces, watches, etc. but not the gems or stones within them),  and also, if one is involved in trade, then the value of one’s stock/merchandise at that  time constitutes one’s accountable total.

Debts owed to others should be calculated too and then deducted from the total zakatable assets. 

Intention (Niyyah) of Zakah 

The intention to give Zakah is a prerequisite for the discharge of the Zakah obligation (as in the case of Salaat and Saum). In the absence of such intention (whether due to ignorance or forgetfulness), the Zakah obligation is not discharged (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar Pg: 268. Vol: 2) and the amount paid over to the recipient will deemed to be Nafl sadaqah.

The requirement of an intention to fulfill Zakah is necessary in order to distinguish payment of Zakah from other forms of compulsory and voluntary payments to poor and needy persons. 

Following are some situations relating to the intention of Zakah

⚫ The Zakah obligation is discharged if the intention is made at either of two points of time:

      (a) at the time of giving Zakah; or 
      (b) at the time of separating and setting aside the Zakah amount for distribution. In this case, the Zakah would only be discharged if the physical transfer to the needy recipient is made. (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar Pg: 269, Vol: 2)

⚫ If a person gives an amount of money or property to a poor and needy person who does not own nisaab, and fails to make any intention at the time of such payment, but thereafter makes an intention of Zakah, then:

(i) if such property or money is still in the hands of the poor and needy person, the Zakah obligation will be discharged;
(ii) if the property or money is no more in the hands of the poor and needy person, the intention so made does not suffice and the Zakah obligation is not discharged. ( Ad-durrul-Mukhtar Pg: 268. Vol: 2)

⚫ If the Zakah payer or owner pays the Zakah amount to an agent for distribution to the recipients entitled and makes the intention at the time of such payment to the agent, then the Zakah obligation will be discharged if the agent gives Zakah to the poor without any intention on his part. This is because the intention of only the Zakah payer, and not that of his agent, is relevant for purpose of payment of Zakah. (Hindiyah Pg: 171, Vol: 1)

⚫ A person pays the Zakah of another from the latter’s property and without his permission, and thereafter such owner sanctions the payment. In such a case, if the amount paid is still in the hands of the needy recipient, the Zakah obligation is discharged. If not, the Zakah obligation will not be fulfilled and the payment will be in lieu of  nafl sadaqah. (Badai-us-sanai. Pg:  460,  Vol:  2)

⚫  A person gives an agent an amount of  money for distribution as voluntary charity (nafl sadaqah). Prior to payment thereof by the agent to a poor and needy person (faqir), the owner makes an intention that the amount so given should represent Zakah in which event if such amount is thereafter  given  to the poor then  the  Zakah obligation would be discharged.
( Badai-us-sanai. Pg: 460,  Vol: 2)

The principles of At-Tamleek

At-Tamleek  means the transfer of ownership of Zakah from the Zakah payer to a poor and needy person. It is,  in the context of Zakah,  subject to the following conditions:

i)  The transferor must be the Zakah payer (or his agent).

ii) The transferee (or recipient) must be a natural person entitled to receive Zakah in terms of the eight categories of the recipient of Zakah.

iii) The transfer of Zakah must be unconditional.

iv) The transfer of Zakah must not be a consideration for services rendered by the recipient.

v) The transferee (or recipient) must acquire physical possession of Zakah and thereby becomes the owner thereof.

If these conditions are not met, as for the instance  where Zakah is paid  as salary or used for building a mosque, the Zakah obligation is not discharged. (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar  Pg:  256-258, Vol: 2)

There is consensus amongst all  the four  schools of thought that  Zakah cannot be used for public welfare projects. The position  is summarized by Imam Abu Ubayd Qasim Ibn Sallam (Imam  Abu  Ubayd  Qasim  Ibn  Sallam  (154H-224  H)  was regarded  as one  of the most learned  scholars  of his times. He was the author  of  many  works  including  his  well  known  book  on  ZakahKitab-ul-Amwaal”) , is as follows:

In relation  to paying the debts of  a deceased person, or paying his burial expenses, or building  a mosque, or digging a  stream, similar public welfare schemes- Hadrat Sufyaan Thuri, and all the Ulama of Iraq and other Ulama are unanimous on  the point that these works cannot be undertaken with  Zakah money because they are not included in the eight categories of recipients mentioned by the Qur’an. (Kitab-ul-Amwaal, p. 610).

Agency and Zakah

One is not obliged to distribute  the Zakah by himself to the entitled recipients. He may validly appoint an agent (whether  natural person or organization) to pay the Zakah on his behalf.  

In appointing such an agent, the Zakah  payer must bear in mind that the Zakah obligation is not discharged if the agent fails to distribute the  Zakah to the entitled recipients. At  the  same  time,  possession of the Zakah amount by  the agent will be deemed to be possessed by the principal (Zakah payer) as in the case of those organizations, who are guilty of serious maladministration by collecting Zakah and not distributing the same for a number of  years without valid reason.

It follows that the Zakah payer must exercise utmost care in appointing an agent who must be both  trustworthy and also conversant with the laws  of Zakah.(Ahkam-e-Zakah by  Mufti Muhammad Rafi  Uthmani pg.38)

The agent, unless instructed to the contrary, may validly give Zakah to his wife and children if the latter do not own  nisaab. On the other hand, the agent himself cannot take Zakah unless he has  the express authority to do so. For example, he may take Zakah if the Zakah payer gives him a mandate in  the following terms: “Pay Zakah to whomsoever you wish”. (Ad-durrul-Mukhtar Pg:  269,  Vol:  2)

Zakah on the employees’ provident fund

If the salary  of the employee is  deducted  at source, without giving this amount to the employee, Zakah is not payable  on the amount kept in the Employees’ Provident Fund, until the employee receives the same. When an employee receives it on his retirement, the amount  so received shall form part of his zakatable assets of that year only, and such part of it, that is not spent before the valuation date, shall be subject to Zakah, and Zakah will be payable on  the aggregate balance of  his assets (including the balance of the amount received from the Fund) on the valuation date.

If, on the other hand, the employee first  receives this amount and then with his own intention, puts this money in the provident fund, then this money will become the subject matter of Zakah. And Zakah will be obligatory for all the years in which the money is kept in the fund. (Contemporary Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Pg: 86(  

In other words, the amount received from  the Provident Fund must be held for one year before Zakah is payable thereon. If the recipient has existing zakatable assets equal to  nisaab, then the amount received from the Provident Fund will be added thereon and the whole amount, or the balance remaining (in case of expenditure) will be  subject to Zakah of the next  valuation date. For example, the Zakah payer’s valuation date is 1st  day of Ramadhan each year, and he receives the lump  sum from the Provident Fund two months before that  date. The lump sum will be added to  his existing  nisaab, and he will pay Zakah thereon on his valuation date next, namely, 1st day of Ramadhan. (Footnote on the Contemporary Fatawas Pg: 86)

Zakah to the charitable hospitals

If Zakah is paid to a charitable hospital, certain arrangements must be followed otherwise Zakah will be void. 

Every Zakah deserving patient should appoint the management of the hospital as his agent to receive Zakah and spend  it  on procurement of the medication and paying cash against other expenses incurred against his treatment. This can be done through filling a form before the treatment of the patient. 

If a charitable hospital follows  this  arrangement, Zakah can be given to it. Otherwise, in the case where no agency agreement is made, Zakah will  be void.

An example of calculation of Zakah

A person ‘X’ is a manufacturer of  clothing. He has the  following assets and liabilities at the end of the Zakah year.

Assets & Monetary Value       

1.  House = 2,000,000
2. Furniture & Household Effects = 25,000      
3.  Motor  Vehicle = 600,000
4.  Gold = 100,000  
5.  Diamonds = 50,000
6.  Cash = 1,500,000
7.  Stock-in-trades = 1,000,000
8.  Machinery = 500,000
9.  Receivable  from  others = 800,000
10.  Vacant  Land = 800,000

Liabilities

11.  Bank  overdraft = 50,000
12.  Trade  creditors = 500,000
13.  Loans = 700,000

Total  Liabilities = 1,250,000

Calculation of Zakah Assets subject to Zakah

1.  Gold = 100,000
2.  Cash = 1,500,000
3.  Stock-in-trades = 1,000,000
Total = 2,600,000
Less  Liabilities = 1,250,000
Balance = 1,350,000
Two and a half % of 1,350,000 is 33,750

Hence X is obliged to pay 33,750 as Zakah.
                                                            Notes                                                      
1, 2 and 3: the house, furniture and fittings and motor vehicle are not subject to Zakah unless they are purchased for trade. 

4: Gold is subject to Zakah whether for personal use or otherwise.                   

5: Diamonds, precious stones and metals  are not subject to Zakah unless acquired for trading purposes. The same  applies to all metals other than gold and silver.

6 and 7: Cash and stock in trades are subject to Zakah by consensus of  jurists, because they are assets capable of growth through commerce and economic activity.

8: Machinery is a means of production which depreciates in value over time and is not an asset capable of growth. Hence, they are not subject to Zakah.

9: Account Receivables from others are  subject to Zakah but the obligation to pay Zakah thereon only arises upon receiving of the debts in question in which event, the Zakah of preceding years must also be paid on such debts.

10: Zakah is not obligatory on land unless acquired for trade. Even if they are purchased for rent, Zakah is not obligatory. 

11, 12 and 13: These debts must  be deducted because the assets  of the debtors are correspondingly exposed to the claims  of creditors, according to Hanafi Law. However, if the mortgage  bond  or bank overdraft or other long term liability is of such a large amount so as to nullify the Zakah liability then such debts must not be taken into account according to Shafi law.

ZAKAH CALCULATOR

Below is a mathematical analysis of how Zakah can be Calculated:

Assets = Totals (for example) – Your own case

Cash in hand  =10,000   

Total amount deposited in Banks = 20,000   

Account Receivables =             10,000   

Rental income accrued = 5,000   

Net Asset value of Bonds =  25,000   

Total value of Saving certificates = 30,000   

Market value of Gold & Silver (total) = 40,000   

Present value of the property (that is purchased for the purpose of resale) = 100,000   

Inventory (Trading Goods) =50,000   

Raw material and work in progress = 20,000   

Finished Goods = 30,000   

Shares (that are purchased for trade)1             40,000   

Total Assets = 380,000              

Liabilities                     Totals   

Total Amount/Accounts/Notes payable = 100,000   

Unpaid Rentals = 10,000   

Unpaid Salaries = 20,000   

Any other Dues (For e.g. Unpaid tax, utility bills etc.) =10,000

Total Liabilities = 140,000  
            
Total Assets – Total Liabilities = Net Assets * 2.5% = Zakah Payable = 6,000      

Guidance Regarding Zakat & Sadaqaat

[By: Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Qasmi]

The  meaning  of  Zakat

Zakat  means  purification,  growth  and  abundance.  Allah the  exalted  says  “Take  Sadaqah  (alms)  from  their  wealth in  order  to  purify  them  and  sanctify  them  with  it,  and  invoke Allah  for  them.” In  the  terminology  of  Shari’ah,  it  is  a  specified  amount  of wealth  given  to  the  poor  and  needy,  according  to  the instructions of Allah, by making them owner of this amount. 

Ruling of Zakat

The  payment  of  Zakat  is  obligatory.  The  verses  of  the  Holy Qur’an  and  the  sayings  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  confirm  its obligatory  nature.  Whoever  denies  the  obligation  of  Zakat is a disbeliever.

When was Zakat made obligatory?  
The  Zakat  had  been  made  obligatory  in  the  initial  period  of Islam  in  Makkah,  as  the  eminent  commentator  of  Qur’an, Ibne  Katheer (rahimahullah) has deduced  from  the  verse  of  Surah al-Muzammil,  that  reads:  “And  perform  the  prayer  and  pay the  alms  (Zakat),”  because  it  is  among  the  Makkan chapters  (surahs)  of  the  Qur’an,  and  belongs  to  the  initial period  of  revelation.  However,  it  is  known  from  prophetic traditions  that  in  the  initial  period  of  Islam  no  specific  Nisab or  amount  was  set.  But  a  major  portion  of  whatever remained  in  possession  of  a  Muslim  after  fulfilling  his needs  was  spent  in  the  cause  of  Allah.  The  specification of  Nisab  and  the  determination  of  amount  of  Zakat  were done after emigration to Madinah.

Benefits  of  Zakat

Zakat  is  a  form  of  worship,  it  is  an  order  from  Allah. The goal  of  giving  Zakat  is  to  follow  Allah’s  order,  whether  or not  we  obtain  any  (worldly)  gain  or  benefit  by  paying  it. That  is  the  real  objective  of  Zakat.  However,  it  is  a  blessing from  Allah  that  whoever  pays  Zakat  is also  benefited  from its  worldly  advantages.  Among  these  advantages  is  that the  payment  of  Zakat  results  in  growth,  increment  and purification of the remaining wealth. Allah  says  in  the  Qur’an  “Allah  destroys  riba  and  nourishes charities” (al-Baqarah: 276).

In  a  prophetic  tradition  it  was  narrated  that  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said:  When  a  slave  of  Allah  pays  Zakat,  the Angels  of  Allah  pray  for  him  in  these  words:  “O  Allah!  Grant abundance to him who spends (in Your cause) and destroy one  who  does  not  spend  and  restricts  his  wealth  to himself.

The  prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “Charity  does  not  in  any  way decreases the wealth.” 

Upon  whom is Zakat  obligatory?

Zakat  is  obligatory  upon  every  Muslim  who  is  in  sound state  of  mind,  reaches  the  age  of  puberty  and  has  in  his possession  a  certain  amount  of  wealth  that  attracts  the obligation  of  Zakat  (called  Nisab),  this  amount  of  Nisab should  exceed  his basic  needs  and  be  free  from  debt  and remain in his possession for a complete lunar year.

Nisab  for Zakat  (minimum  amount  of net  or  wealth  that  warrants  the obligation  of Zakat):

The  owner  of  Nisab  is  one  who  possesses  52.5  Tola  of silver  (612.36  grams)  or  7.5  Tola  of  gold  (87.48  grams)  or its  equivalent  value  in  the  form  of  cash,  trade  articles  or jewellery  that  remain  in  his  possession  for  one  complete lunar year.

However,  there  is  a  difference  of  opinion  amongst  scholars over  exemption  of  women’s  personal  jewellery  that  is  worn regularly  from  Zakat.  But  due  to  the  gravity  of  warnings against  not  paying  Zakat  in  the  Qur’anic  verses  and prophetic  traditions,  Zakat  should  also  be  paid  on  such jewellery (to remain on the safer side). 

The  amount  of Zakat  to  be  paid

On  the  above  mentioned  Nisab,  Zakat  must  be  paid  at  the rate of 2.5%.

What is  included in  the  items  of trade??

It  includes  all  the  items  and  commodities  owned  for  the purpose  of  selling.  Thus,  those  who  purchase  plot  as  an investment  and  intend  (from  the  time  of  purchase  itself) to benefit  from  the  profit  of  its  sale,  whenever  handsome prices  are  offered  for  it,  then  Zakat  would  be  payable  on the  value  of  such  plot  also.

However,  if  someone  purchases  a  plot  without  any  fixed intention,  i.e.,  he  may  build  a  house  on  it,  rent  it,  or  sell  it, depending  on  the  circumstances  then  Zakat  is  not  payable on the value of such plot.

Which day’s  Market value  is  acceptable?

For the  payment  of  Zakat,  valuation  shall  be  based  on  the current  market  prices  of  the  day  in  which  you  are calculating your Zakat.

Passing a  complete year on  every  single  rupee  is  not necessary:

Passing  a  complete  year  over  the  assets  which  are subjected  to  Zakat  does  not  mean  that  a  complete  year should  pass  on  every  single  rupee.  For  example  last  year in  Ramadan  you  had  5  lakhs  of  rupees  and  after  passing a  complete  lunar  year  over  it  you  had  paid  its  Zakat,  now the  fluctuation  of  amount  during  the  course  of  this  year until  its  end  in  Ramadan  would  not  be  considerable  as  the subject  matter  of  Zakat,  now  you  should  see  how  much amount  you  have  in  this  Ramadan  at  the  end  of  the  year. For instance,  if  you  have  six  lakhs of  rupees,  at  the  end  of the  year  in  Ramadan,  which  exceeds  your  basic  needs, than pay Zakat on this amount at the rate of 2.5%. 

Who are  entitled to receive  Zakat?

In  Surah  Taubah,  verse  no.  60,  Allah,  the  exalted,  has mentioned  8  categories  of  people  who  are  entitled  to receive  Zakat:  

1.  A  poor  person  who  has  meagre  amount  of  wealth, which  does not  reach  to  the  level of  Nisab

2.  A needy  person,  who  has no  wealth

3.  A  person  who  has  been  assigned  the  job  of  collecting Zakat

4.  Those  whose  hearts are  to  be  reconciled

5.  A slave  whose  freedom  is desired

6.  The  one  who  is  burdened  with  debt,  and  does  not  have  money  free  from  the  debt  that  reaches  the  level of  Nisab

7.  The  one  who  strives in  the  way  of  Allah

8. A wayfarer who has run out of resources

Note: Even  though  the  word  “Sadaqa”  has  been  used  in this  verse,  which  implies  on  charity,  but  in  the  light  of    other verses  and  prophetic  traditions,  the  commentators  are  of the  view  that  Sadaqa  stands  here  for  Zakat  (which  is obligatory) not for charity (which is optional).

People  who  are  not  entitled  to  receive Zakat:

1.  A  person  having  enough  wealth  which  is  in  excess  of his basic  needs and  reaches  the  level of  Nisab.

2.  Syeds  and  Hashemites,  Hashemites  are  the descendants  of  Haris ibn  Abdulmuttalib,  J’afar, Aqeel, Abbas  and  Ali  (RA).

3.  It  is  not  permissible  to  give  Zakat  to  Father,  Mother, Grandfather, Grandmother,  Maternal  Grandfather  and Maternal Grandmother.

4.  Similarly,  it  is  not  permissible  to  give  Zakat  to  Son, Daughter, Paternal Grandson, Paternal Granddaughter,  Maternal  Grandson,  and  Maternal Granddaughter.

5.  Husband neither  can  give  Zakat  to  his  wife  nor  can  the wife give Zakat to her husband.

Note:  Paying  Zakat  to  brother,  sister,  nephew,  niece, maternal  nephew,   maternal  niece,  paternal  uncle, paternal  aunt,  maternal  aunt,  maternal  uncle,  mother  in law,  father  in  law,  son  in  law,  provided  they  are  needy,  has two  fold  reward,  one  of  paying  Zakat  and  other  of strengthening  the  ties  of  relations.  Zakat  may  also  be  given to them in form of a gift or present.

Warning  on  not  giving Zakat

Allah  the  Exalted  has  given  a  stern  warning  to  those  who do  not  pay  Zakat  on  their  wealth.  As  He  says  in  Surah  al Taubah:  Verse  No.  34),  “And  those  who  hoard  up  gold  and silver,  and  spend  it  not  in  the  Way  of  Allah,  announce  unto them  a  painful torment.”   And  then  in  next  verse  the  details  of  this  painful  torment has  been  described:

  “On  the  Day  when  that  (Al-Kanz: money,  gold  and  silver,  etc.,  the  Zakat  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.”  (al-Taubah:35).

May Allah save us all from this horrible end.

Some  rulings concerning Zakat

– It  is  not  mandatory  to  inform  the  recipient  of  Zakat  that (the  paid  amount)  belongs  to  Zakat,  rather  it can  be  given to  a  poor child  as  an  Eid  gift  or with  any  other  title.

–  It  is  permissible  to  give  Zakat  to  poor  students  pursuing education  in  Islamic Schools (Madarsas)

–  Zakat’s  money  cannot  be  spent  in  the  constructions  of mosques,  Islamic  schools,  hospitals,  orphanages  and inns.

–  If  a  wife  has  enough  wealth  that  reaches  the  level  of Nisab,  then  Zakat  is  obligatory  on  her  as  well.  However,  if the  husband  pays  Zakat  on  behalf  of  his  wife  from  his wealth, then Zakat would be acceptable.

Zakat on gold or silver jewellery

Omar Farooq,  Abdullah  Bin  Mas’ud,  Abdullah  Bin  Abbas, Abdullah  Bin  Amr  Bin  Al-A’as  (radhiyallahu anhum),  similarly  famous  and  renowned  Tabi’een,  Saeed  Bin Jubair,  Ata’a,  Mujahid,  Ibn  Sirin,  Imam  Zohari,  Imam  Sauri, Imam  Auzaie  and  the  great  Imam  Abu  Hanifah  (rahimahumullah)  are  well  convinced  being Zakat  obligatory  on  usable  gold  or  silver  jewellery,  whether ornaments  be  equal to  the  minimum  amount  of  gold  liable to  Zakat  or  more  and  one  full  year  passed  over  it,  the following  several  evidences  are  being  presented  in  this context:

(1) The  general  command  of  the  holy  Qur’an  and  Sunnah in  which  being  Zakat  obligatory  on  gold  or  silver  without any  condition  (whether  for  use  or  non-use) is  mentioned and  in  these  holy  verses  and  Ahadith,  harsh  and  severe warnings  for  negligence  in  non-payment  of  Zakat,  are mentioned.  This  generality  is  obviously  found  in  numerous Verses  and  Ahadith.  Due  to  brevity,  I  confine  this  subject to one verse and one Hadith only:

And  those  who  hoard  gold  and  silver  and  spend  it  not  in the  way  of  Allah  –  give  them  tidings  of  a  painful punishment.  The  Day  when  it  will  be  heated  in  the  fire of  Hell  and  seared  therewith  will  be  their  foreheads,  their flanks,  and  their  backs,  (it  will  be  said),  “This  is  what  you hoarded  for yourselves,  so  taste  what  you  used  to  hoard.” (35)  (Tauba  34  &  35).  The  Messenger  of  Allah  said  that the  wealth  whose  Zakat  is  paid,  does  not  enter  within  the category  of  (متزنك  stored)  (Abu  Daud,  Musnad  Ahmad). Thus,  the  gold  and  silver  whose  Zakat  is  not  being  paid, so,  on  the  day  of  resurrection,  that  gold  and  silver  will  be heated  in  the  fire  of  hell,  and  then  their  foreheads,  flanks and  backs  will  be  seared— May  Allah,  the  Exalted,  help  us to  pay  Zakat  of  all  wealth,  gold  and  silver  and  save  all  of us from painful torment! Aameen. 

Abu  Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu)  reported  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  as  saying:  If  any  owner  of  gold  or  silver  does not  pay  what  is  due  on  him,  when  the  Day  of  Resurrection would  come,  plates  of  fire  would  be  beaten  out  for  him; these  would  then  be  heated  in  the  fire  of  Hell  and  his  sides, his  forehead  and  his  back  would  be  cauterized  with  them. Whenever  these  cool  down,  (the  process  is)  repeated during  a  day  the  extent  of  which  would  be  fifty  thousand years,  until  judgment  is  pronounced  among  servants,  and he  sees  whether  his  path  is  to  take  him  to  Paradise  or  to Hell.

In  the  above  mentioned  Verse  and  Hadith,  a  painful punishment  is  reported  in  general,  due  to  non-payment  of zakat  on  gold  or  silver,  whether  they  are  ornaments  for  use or  gold  and  silver  for  trading.  It  is  therefore,  in  the  holy Qur’an,  no  exclusion  or  exemption  from  Zakat  of  usable ornaments is mentioned at any occasion. 

(2) Abdullah  bin  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu)  reported:  that  A  woman  came to  the  Messenger  of  Allah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  she  was accompanied  by  her  daughter  who  wore  two  heavy  gold bangles  in  her  hands.  He  said  to  her:  Do  you  pay  zakat  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  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  saying:  They  are  for  Allah  and  His Apostle.  (Sunan  Abi  Da’ud,  Chapter:  On  the  Meaning  of Kanz  (Treasure)  and  Zakat  on  Jewellery,  Musnad  Ahmad –  Tirmidhi  –  Darqutni)  Imam  Nawavi,  the  explainer  of Muslim  and Naseruddin  Albani  has  authenticated this Hadith. 

(3)  Ayesha  (radhiyallahu anha),  wife  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan)  said  that  the Apostle  of  Allah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  entered  upon  me  and  saw  two silver  rings  in  my  hand.  He  asked  what  this,  Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) said  I  have  made  two  ornaments  myself for  you,  Messenger  of Allah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  He  asked  do  you  pay  zakat  on  them.  I  said no  or  I  said  Whatever  Allah  willed.  He  said  this  is  sufficient for  you  (to  take  you)  to  the  Hell  fire  (Sunan  Abi Dawud 1/244 & Darqutni).

A  group  of  Muhaddiththin  has  authenticated  this  Hadith. Imam  Khattabi  has  mentioned  it  in  (Ma’alimussunan 3/176)  explaining  that  the  most  likely  this  ring  alone  does not  complete  the  course  of  Zakat,  this  clearly  means  that if  these  rings  are  included  in  other  ornaments  and completed  the  course,  then  their  Zakat  must  be  paid.  The same justification is stated by Imam Sufiyan Thawri (rahimahullah). 

(4)  Asma’a  Bint  Yazid  (radhiyallahu anha)  said:  I and  my  aunt  came  to  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  we  had worn  the  bracelets  of  gold.  He  said  to  us:  “Do  you  pay  their Zakat?  “We said:  No.  He,  said,  “Aren’t  you  afraid  that  Allah will  wear  you  the  bracelets  of  fire  tomorrow  on  the  Day  of resurrection?  (Due  to  non-payment  of  their  Zakat).  So,  you have  to  pay  their  zakat  (Musnad  Ahmad).  A  group  of Muhaddithin  has  authenticated  this Hadith.  

Being  Zakat  obligatory  on  jewellery  is  mentioned  in number  of  Ahadith.  We  mentioned  here  only  three  Ahadith avoiding prolongation.    

The  second  school  of  thought  of  Muslim  Ummah  who  is  of the  view  that  Zakat  is  not  obligatory  on  usable  ornaments, they generally present two arguments:

1-  Rational  Argument:  Allah  Almighty  made  Zakat obligatory  on  the  wealth  that  may  be  augmented  and grown,  whereas  there  is  no  growth  in  the  jewellery  of gold  and  silver—  Whatever  the  case  may  be,  in  fact there  is  a  growth  in  the  ornaments  too,  thus  by  the increase  in  the  value  of  gold  and  silver,  the  value  of ornaments  are  also  increased.  Nowadays,  the  profit margin  is  found  in  gold  more  than  other trade  deals.

2-  Few  Ahadith  and  Companions’  quotations:  They  are all  denied  and  weak  Hadiths,  as  Sheikh  Naseruddin Albani has written in his book named with evidences and arguments.

The  majority  of  Indian  Subcontinent’s  scholars  have written  that  if  the  usable  jewellery  reaches  the  course (minimum  amount  for  obligation  of  zakat),  then  it  is obligatory  to  pay  zakat.  In  the  light  of  Qur’an  and  Sunnah, the  same  opinion  is  of  the  former  Mufti  of  Kingdom  of Saudi  Arabia  Sheikh  Abdul  Aziz  Bin  Baaz   “that  Zakat  is  obligatory  on  usable ornaments.” 

Rule of thumb

On  the  subject  under  discussion,  the  Muslim  Ummah  is divided  into  two  schools of  thoughts  from  long  time.  Every school  of  thought  has  resorted  to  the  prophetic  Ahadith  for support  of  its  stance.  But  no  one  can  deny  the  fact  that wherever  in  the  holy  Qur’an,  severe  warnings  are  indicated on  non-payment  of  zakat  on  gold  and  silver,  at  none  of occasions/places,  any  difference  between  usable  and trading  gold  is  reported.  Moreover,  there  is  no  Hadith which  cannot  be  argued  or  criticized,  out  of  stock  of Ahadith  that  exclude  usable  jewellery  from  zakat.  To  the contrary,  some  of  authentic  Hadith  do  clearly  guide  being zakat  obligatory  on  usable  jewellery. Sheikh  Naseruddin  Albani  has  also  considered  some  of these  Ahadith  as  authentic.  Even  though,  if  there  is  no Hadith  for  being  zakat  obligatory  on  usable  ornaments, then  in  the  light  of  general  ruling  of  the  Holy  Qur’an,  we should  pay  zakat  on  every kinds  of  gold  and  silver,  whether usable  or  not,  so  that,  we  could  rescue  ourselves  from painful  torment  and  shame  and  humiliation  on  the  day  of resurrection.  Moreover,  in  declaring  zakat  obligatory  on usable  ornaments,  there  is  benefit  for  poor,  orphans  and widows,  so  that  the  wealth  would  not  confined  in  few houses/families,  but  by  extending  this  fund  as  help,  we  will do our best to make our society better.

Precaution

Those  Ahadith  mentioned  above  in  that,  the  prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  has  also  obligated  zakat  on  usable  ornaments,  a group  of  Mohaddesin  is  agreed  upon  being  these  Ahadith as  authentic,  however  some  Muhaddiththin  has  decided  that there is  a  weakness in  their  narration  source.  But  the  safe side  is  that  we  should  pay  the  zakat  for  usable  ornaments, so,  we  could  save  ourselves  from  stricter  threats  and warnings  mentioned  in  the  holy  Qur’an  and  Sunnah  for non-payment  of  zakat.  Moreover,  along  with  purification, the  growth  and  augmentation  could  be  possible  in  our wealth  only  on  the  condition  that  we  will  completely  pay zakat  of  our  wealth.  Because,  there  is  no  promise  of purification  and  growth  in  the  wealth  until  full  zakat  is  paid. Hence,  some  of  companions  and  Tabi’een  who  do  not  see zakat  in  usable  jewellery  and  we  well  know  after  being acquaint  with  their  life  conditions  that  they  against  their needs,  had  been  considering  success  of  their  world  and hereafter  in  fulfilling  of  other’s  needs,  and  they  had  been spending  a  great  part  of  their  wealth  for  Allah’s  sake.  The historical  books  are  filled  with  such  events  and  stories.  At such  a time  when a largest  segment  of  the  Muslim  Ummah is  not  ready  to  pay  Zakat,  much  less  they  will  help  their poor  brethren  with  charities  and  other  material  aids.  It  is therefore,  more  precaution  is  in  payment  of  zakat  for usable  jewellery,  so  that  we  can  save  ourselves  by extending  material  assistance  to  poor,  orphans  and widows  not  only  from  torment  on  Day  of  Resurrection,  but also we should be entitled of great reward. 

Some  Clarifications  

* If  jewellery  are  not  for  use,  but  they  are  kept  to  utilize in  case  of  a  trouble  in  future  (for  example  marriage  of daughter)  and  more  than  a  year  has  passed  over  them and  were  not  used,  then  in  this  event,  all  scholars  are agreed  upon  being  zakat  obligatory  on  these jewelleries,  e.g.  the  second  school  of  thought  is  also agreed upon it.  

* Upon payment  of  jewellery  zakat,  the  sale  value  of  old gold  will  be  taken  into  consideration.  For  instance,  the gold  which  is  possessed  by  you,  if  you  sell  it  in  the market,  then,  what  would  be  the  value  of  that,  the  same value  will  be  taken  into  consideration  upon  payment  of zakat.

* There  is  consensus  among  Muslim  Ummah  on  not being  zakat  obligatory  on  diamond,  because  Islamic Shari’ah  has  counted  it  as  valuable  stones.  However,  if they  are  kept  for  trading,  then  if  reach  the  course  of zakat, so their zakat will be obligatory.   

* If  someone  possesses  cash  or  bank  balance  beside gold  and  silver,  thus  he  has  to  pay  their  zakat,  however there  are two  basic conditions  for them:    

* They should  be  either equal to  the  course  or  more   

* One year has already passed over them.

‘Ushr’ (Tithe) On  Agricultural Produce 

One  of  the  majestic  favours  of  the  Creator  of  the  Universe is  the  creation  of  earth,  in  which  numerous  kinds  of  grains, fruits,  flowers,  vegetables,  and  plants  grow  by  Allah’s order,  without  which  the  survival  of  man  is  impossible.  It  is mercy  and  benevolence  of  Allah  that  He  made  this  earth for  man’s  consumption,  and  stored  a  huge  stock  of nutriment in it for all humans until the Day of Judgment.
Allah  made  the  soil  productive,  and  for  the  growth  and development  of  produce,  He  provided  with  water  in abundance by sending it  down  from  the  clouds  and  making the  streams  flow  from  the  mountains  and  placing  water reservoirs  within  earth.  Along  with  provision  of  air,  he made light  and  heat  available  to  enable  humans,  Jinns  and other creatures  to  make  the  best  use  of  land  produce  and spend their lives. 

Undoubtedly,  it  is  the  Creator  of  the  universe  Who  has  set such  a  mechanism  of  earth’s  productivity.  Allah,  the Exalted,  says  in  the  Holy  Qur’an:  “Have  you  seen  that (seed)  which  you  sow?  Is  it  you  who  makes  it  grow,  or  are We the  grower?”  (al-Waaqi’ah: 63),  it  means  that  your  job is  only  to  sow  the  seed  and  work hard  (in  order  to  grow  it). Was  it  within  your  reach  to  develop  it  until  it  turns  into  a
shoot  or  transform  it  into  a  tree  or  plant  and  make  it produce  grains  and  fruits  for  your  benefit??  Is  there  anyone besides  Allah  who  can  develop  this  seed  which  you  sowed to this stage??

No  doubt  each  and  every  grain  of  earth’s  produce  is  a great  blessing  of  Allah,  and  the  actual  Creator  is  Allah,  the Exalted.  Man  is  incapable  of  growing  even  a  straw  without the  immense  favours  of  Allah  like  making  the  soil productive  and  making  water,  air,  heat,  cold  and  light available.  Everyone  should  be  thankful  to  Allah  for  this majestic  blessing  that  He  facilitated  the  best  of  the  foods and  nutriments  for  us  from  the  earth.  The  Islamic  Shari’ah has  taught  the  way  to  express  thanks  (to  Allah)  by  paying one-tenth’  or  one-twentieth  out  of  the  produce  of  land  as Zakat to fulfil the needs of the poor and the needy.

Regarding  Zakat  on  produce  of  land  Allah  says  in  the  Holy Qur’an:  “And  it  is  He  Who  produces gardens  trellised  and untrellised,  and  date-palms,  and  crops  of  different  shape and  taste  (its  fruits  and  its  seeds)  and  olives,  and pomegranates,  similar  (in  kind)  and  different  (in  taste).  Eat of  their  fruit  when  they  ripen,  but  pay  the  due  thereof  on the  day  of  its  harvest,  and  waste  not  by  extravagance. Verily,  He  likes  not  Al-Musrifun  (those  who  waste  by extravagance),” (al-Anaam: 141)

Similarly,  Allah  the  Exalted  says:  “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 (Free  of  all  wants),  and  Worthy  of  all  praise.” (al-Baqarah: 267)

The first  and  the  foremost  commentator  of  the  Holy  Qur’an, The  Prophet  of  Allah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said:  “A  tenth  is  payable  on what  is  watered  by  rivers,  or  rains,  and  a  twentieth  on  what is  watered  by  camels”.  (Muslim,  Musnad  Ahmad,  Nasai and Abu Dawood)

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said:  “On  a  land  irrigated  by  rain water  or  by  natural  water  channels  or  if  the  land  is  wet  due to  a  nearby  water  channel,  half  of  an  Ushr  (i.e. one twentieth) is  compulsory  as Zakat  on  the  yield  of  the  land. (Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Abu Dawood and Ibne Majah)

In  the  light  of  the  Qur’anic  verses  and  Prophetic  Traditions (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  Muslim  scholars  agreed  that  it  is  obligatory  to  pay one-tenth’  or  one-twentieth  out  of  the  produce  as  Zakat  on the  yield  of  the  land,  however,  there  is  a  difference amongst  them  in  its  details. (Badai’us Sanai’)

In  his  book  al-Mughni,  Sheikh  Ibne  Qudamah  mentions that  there  is  no  difference  of  opinion  in  the  Ummah concerning  the  obligatory  nature  of  Zakat  on  the  produce of land. 

What  is Ushr??

Ushr  means  one-tenth’.  But  as  per  the  explanation  of Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  regarding  Zakat  on  the  yield  of  land  it  is divided  into  two  categories:

1-  If  the  land  is  irrigated  by  the  water  of  rain,  or  river,  or canal  available  free  of  cost  then  one-tenth’  out  of  the produce  of  land  would  be  obligatory  to  pay  as  Zakat  of agricultural produce.

2-  If  the  land  is  irrigated  by  tube  well  or any  other similar means  then  one-twentieth  out  of  the  produce  of  land would be obligatory to pay.

To  sum  up,  on  the  produce  of  land  irrigated  by  the  water that  is  available  free  of  charge,  only  one-tenth’  of  the produce  would  be  payable  otherwise,  one-twentieth  of  the produce  would  be  given.  If  the  land  was  irrigated  by  both rain  water  and  water  from  tube  well,  then  the  means  that had  had  a  greater  contribution  in  irrigation  shall  be  taken into  account  (for  calculation).  The  Zakat  levied  on  both kinds of means is termed as Ushr by Islamic jurists.

Nisab  for Ushr (minimum amount  of produce that  mandates the  payment of ushr)

Due  to  the  absence  of  any  specification  in  the  Qur’an  or Hadith  (regarding  Ushr)  no  exact  Nisab  was  set  forth  by Abu  Hanifah (rahimahullah).  Rather,  it  would  be  payable  on  every produce  of  land,  regardless  of  quantity  of  produce.  This means  that  there  is  no  fixed  Nisab  in  Ushr  like  Zakat, below  which  Ushr  may  be  waived.    According  to  Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah)  Ushr,  one-tenth’  or  one-twentieth  of  the produce  is  also  mandatory  on  fruits  and  vegetables.  But with  reference  to  the  Hadeeth  “Sadaqah  is  payable  on  less than  five  Wasaq”  Imam  Abu  Yusuf  and  Imam  Muhammad (rahimahumullah)  and  other  jurists  opined  that  if  the  produce  is  less than  five  Wasaq  which  is  equal to  1  Quintal  and  53  kg,  no Ushr  is  obligatory.  Meaning,  if  the  produce  of  wheat  is  less than  1  Quintal  and  53  kg  then,  Ushr  will  not  be  payable  on it. 

Difference  between Ushr and Zakat

In  case  of  Ushr,  if  the  produce  of  land  is obtained  multiple times  in  a  year, Ushr  (one-tenth’  or  one-twentieth)  of  each produce  would  be  payable  every  time.    For  Zakat  to  be obligatory  on  gold,  silver  and  money,  it  is  necessary  that such  a  wealth  should  exceed  the  basic  needs  and  reach the  level  of  Nisab  and  remain  in  possession  for  a  whole year.  However,  all  these  conditions  (for  Zakat)  are  not  a prerequisite  for  the  payment  of  Ushr.  On  cash,  gold  and silver  Zakat  is  payable  only  once  a  year,  however  on produce  of  land,  which  is  reaped  twice  a  year  the  Zakat will also be payable twice (a year). 

After  the  payment  of  Ushr  on  produce  of  land,  if  the  grains are  stored  for  future,  payment  of  Ushr  would  not  be obligatory  on  them  again.  But,  if  these  grains  are  sold, Zakat  will  be  obligatory  on  the  amount  obtained  from  this sale,  if  the  amount  reaches  to  the  level  of  Nisab,  and remains  in  possession  for  a  whole  year.  No  Zakat  is obligatory on agricultural lands regardless of their cost.

Ushr on the land given to the tenants on the  basis  of  produce sharing

It  is  mandatory  for  every  person  to  pay  Zakat  (one-tenth  or one-twentieth)  in  accordance  with  the  amount  of  produce obtained  from  his  share.  For  example,  if  the  landlord  and tenant  divided  the  land  produce  between  them  equally, both  of  them  should  pay  one-tenth’  or  one-twentieth  out  of what they received.

Ushr and the  expenses of  reaping

In  case  of  Ushr  of  agricultural  yield,  one-tenth’  or  onetwentieth  out  of  the  total  produce  will  be  paid,  and  the expenses  of  reaping,  etc.  should  not  be  deducted  from  it. For example  if  the  produce  of  wheat  is one  metric  ton,  out of  which  five  Quintals  were  paid  as  the  expense  of  reaping and ten  Quintals  were  given  as  the  price  of  threshing,  Ushr would  be  payable  on  one  metric  ton  of  produce  not  on  85 Quintals,  i.e.  after  deducting  15  Quintals  from  the  total produce.

Some  rulings  

* In case of Ushr on agricultural  produce, whatever  share is  mandatory  for  payment  on  produce  (say  one  Quintal wheat)  can  be  paid  in  form  cash,  i.e.  it  is  permissible  to pay  cash  equivalent  to  amount  of  a  Quintal  of  wheat rather than  wheat  itself.  (Shami)  

* If  a  fruit  tree  like  guava  is  planted  within  residential premises  or  some  crop  is  grown  at  a  small  level  around it,  no  Ushr (one-tenth’  or  one-twentieth)  of  the  produce would be payable on it. (Shami)

Lands  in  Subcontinent  generally  fall  under  the  category  on which  Ushr  of  the  produce  should  be  paid  to  those  who  are entitled  to  receive  it.  Maulana  Abdussamad  Rahmani classified  Indian  lands  into  thirteen  categories,  Ushr  being mandatory  on  ten  of  them  (as  per  the  rule)  and  other  three falls  under  the  category  of  land  on  which  Ushr  must  be paid  to  those  deserving  it,  to  remain  on  the  safer side. (Modern  Jurisprudial  Rulings,  Maulana  Khalid Saifullah Rahmani)

Some  scholars  differ  concerning  Ushr  on  agricultural produce  of  Indian  lands,  but  due  to  absence  of  any specification  in  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  regarding  Ushr, payment  of  one-tenth’  or  one-twentieth  of  the  produce should  be  done  to  those  who  are  entitled  to  receive  it,  to be on the safer side.

Eight  categories of  people entitled to receive Ushr, they  are also  the recipient of  Zakat

Allah  mentioned  eight  people  in  Surah  al-Taubah  verse no:  60;  who  are entitled  to  receive  Zakat:

1.  A  poor  person  who  has  meagre  amount  of  wealth, which  does not  reach  to  the  level of  Nisab.

2.  A needy  person,  who  has no  wealth.

3.  A  person  who  has been  assigned  the  job  of  collecting Zakat.

4.  Those  whose  hearts are to  be  reconciled.

5.  A slave  whose  freedom  is desired

6.  The  one  who  is  burdened  with  debt,  and  does  not   have  money  free  from  the  debt  that  reaches  the  level of  Nisab

7.  The  one  who  strives in  the  way  of  Allah.

8.  A wayfarer who has run out of resources.

Allah Demands From us  ‘a Goodly Loan’!

Despite  the  fact  that  Allah  is  the  Creator,  the  Owner  and the  Sustainer,  has  created  us  all  including  Jinns  and Human  Beings,  he  has  asked  us  repeatedly  in  the  Holy Qur’an,  that  we  should  pay  Him  qarazan  hasana,  a  goodly loan.  This  is  His  absolute  bounty  and  endowment  that  He has  bequeathed  us  all  the  means  to  earn  wealth  and thereupon,  He  demands from  us a  loan!

In  the  Holy  Qur’an,  Allah  has  referred  to  this  kind  of  loan twelve  times,  in  six  different  verses.  At  every  place  the  loan has  been  associated  with  the  expression  of  hasana,  the goodly  and  the  fair  loan.  In  these  verses,  Allah  has described  several  forms  of  compensation  for  this  kind  of ‘goodly  loan’  e.g.  the  best  reward  in  this  life,  the  best recompense  in  the  world  and  in  the  Hereafter,  a  great reward  in  the  Hereafter,  pardoning  of  the  sins  and admittance into the Paradise.

The  literal  meaning  of  the  Arabic  word  qard  is  ‘to  cut’.  In this  context,  such  a  loan  would  entail  that  a  person  cuts  off some  part  of  his  wealth  and  spends  it  in  the  name  of  Allah who  in  turn  promises  its  reparation  several  times  more than  the  original  sum.  By  helping  out  the  destitute,  no dearth  is  caused  in  a  person’s  wealth,  rather  the  fortune apportioned  for  the  poor  and  the  needy  is  divinely  returned
back  to  the  individual  with  a  manifold  increase.  This increase  sometimes  manifests  itself  through  both  the material  and  spiritual  abundance  within  this  lifetime  and  in the  Hereafter,  there  would  certainly  be  an  overwhelming blessing  in  this  loan  which  is  hasana,  the  better,  the beautiful, the good!

The  six  Qur’anic  Verses  about  this  kind  of  loan  are  as follows:    

Who is  the  one  who  would  give  Allah  a  good  loan  so that  Allah  multiplies  it  for  him  many  times?  Allah withholds  and  extends,  and  to  Him  you  are  to  be returned.  (Surah  Al  Baqara Verse  245)  

Behold!  I  shall  be  with  you!  If  you  are  constant  in prayer,  and  spend  in  charity,  and  believe  in  my apostles  and  aid  them,  and  offer  up  unto  Allah  a goodly  loan,  I  will  surely  efface  your  bad  deeds  and bring  you  into  gardens  through  which  running  waters flow.  (Surah  Al Ma’ida  Verse  12)  

Who  is  it  that  will  offer  up  unto  Allah  a  goodly  loan, which  he  will  amply  repay?  For  such  (as  who  do  so) shall  have  a  noble  reward.  (Surah  Al  Hadeed  Verse 11)  

Verily  as  for  the  men  and  women  who  accept  the  truth as  true  as  who  offer  up  unto  Allah  a  goodly  loan,  they will  be  amply  repaid  and  shall  have  a  noble  reward (in the  life  to  come). (Surah  Al Hadeed  Verse  18)  

If  you  offer  unto  Allah  a  goodly  loan,  He  will  amply repay  you  for  it,  and  will  forgive  your  sins:  for  Allah  is  ever  Responsive  to  gratitude  and  is  Forbearing. (Surah  Al-Taghabun  Verse  17)  

And spend in charity  and  thus  lend  unto  Allah  a  goodly loan:  for  whatever  good  deed  you  may  offer  up  in  your own  behalf,  you  shall  truly  find  it  with  Allah,  better  and richer in reward. (Surah Al-Muzammil Verse 20)

The  connotations of the goodly  loan

This  beautiful  expression  connotes  spending  in  charity  in the  name  of  Allah,  supporting  the  poor  and  the  needy, maintaining  the  orphans  and  the  helpless  widows,  paying the  debts  of  the  poverty-stricken  and  spending  on  one’s own  family.  In  short  all  the  forms  of  human  charity  are included  in  this  concept  of  ‘goodly  loan’  that  Allah challenges  the  mankind  with.  One  more  form  of  this  loan that  the  scholars  of  Islam  have  noted  is  to  lend  money  or resources  to  a  genuinely  needy  person  with  the  intention that  if  he  is  not  able  to  return  the  amount,  it  would  be forgiven in the name of Allah.

Why does  Allah  attribute  men’s spending for other human beings as a goodly  loan  unto Himself??

Allah  is  Eternal,  the  uncaused  cause  of  everything.  He  has no  needs  of  any  kind.  He  is  the  fulfiller  of  all  the  needs.  We all benefit  from  His  treasures  of  blessings  and benedictions  and  He  grants  with  a  magnanimous hand  so that  we  may  benefit  others  of  our  sort  and  be  means  of  goodness  to  the  servants  of  Allah.  He  has  sought  to arrange  this  special  succour  to  reach  his  servants  through us.  He  calls  it  a  goodly  loan’  which  He  has  promised  to amply compensate. We have several  examples  among the pious  of  the  Ummah  who  immediately  welcomed  the opportunity.  In  this  connection  we  have  the  famous  story of Abu Al Dahdah (radhiyallahu anhu) as follows:

Abdullah  bin  Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu anhu)  narrates  that  when  a  verse, related  with  qard-e-hasan,  the  fair  and  goodly  loan  was revealed,  a  Companion  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  from among  the  Ansaar  named  Abu  Al  Dahdah   presented himself  before  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  asked  if  it  was  true that  Allah  had  asked  for  a  goodly  loan.  When  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  replied  in  the  affirmative,  Abu  Al  Dahdah requested  the  pleasure  of  holding  the  Prophet’s  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) hand  to  pledge  his  orchard  of  600  date  palm  trees  as  the goodly  loan  to  Allah.  He  later  went  to  that  garden  and called  his  wife  Umm  Al  Dahdah  from  outside  its  walls  to come  out  with  her  household  belongings  as  it  had  been presented  to  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  to  fulfil  the  needs  of  the poor  Muslims  in  the  name  of  Allah.  In  Surah  Al  Hashr Verse  9,  Allah  has  appreciated  such  people  in  these words:  (Those  who)  give  the  others  preference  over themselves,  even  though  poverty  may  afflict  them.  And whosoever  is  saved  from  his  own  avarice,  such  are  they who are successful.
Virtues and  reward of  the  goodly  loan

Following  are  the  instances of  the  great  virtue  and  reward of the goodly loan, spending in the path of Allah:

The parable  of  those  who  spend  their  possessions  for the  sake  of  Allah  is  that  of  a  grain  out  of  which  grow seven  ears,  in  every  ear  a  hundred  grains:  for  Allah wants  manifold  increase  unto  whom  He  wills.  And Allah  is  Infinite,  All-knowing.  (Surah  Al  Baqara  Verse 261) 

And the parable  of  those  who  spend  their  possessions out  of  a  longing  to  please  Allah,  and  out  of  their  own inner  certainty,  is  that  of  a  garden  on  high  fertile ground:  a  rainstorm  smites  it  and  thereupon  it  brings forth  its  fruit  twofold;  and  if  no  rainstorm  smites  it,  then soft  rain  (falls  upon  it).  And  Allah  sees  all  that  you  do. (Surah Al Baqara Verse 265)

Whatever  sincerity  we  employ  while  we  spend  in  the  path of  Allah,  it  will  bring  a  corresponding  reward  and recompense.  There  are  traditions  that  affirm  that  even  one penny  that  is  spent  to  aid  a  destitute  with  sincerity  would bring  forth  a  reward  which  is  up  to  seven  hundred  times the  original act  and  even  more.

In  the  verse  No.  261  of  Surah  Al  Baqara  quoted  above, two  great  attributes  of  Allah  have  been  mentioned:  The Infinite  and  the  All-knowing  which  are  indicative  of  the great  bounty  and  plenteousness  of  His  endowments  and His  great  and  thorough  knowledge  that  encompass  everything  that  a  person  spends  as  well  as  the  intention with  which  it  is  spent.  Thus  both  the  spending  and  the objective  of  the  spending  are  both  of  crucial  importance.  In this  context,  the  following  traditions  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are important to remember:  

I  and  the  one  who  patronizes  an  orphan  would  be  like two  joined  fingers in  the  paradise.  (Bukhari)  

The one  who  supports  the  poor  and  the  widow  is  like the  one  who  goes out  to  fight  in  the  path  of  Allah.  

The one who  provides  clothes  to  a  fellow  Muslim  who is  in  need,  Allah  will  grant  him  green  dresses  of  the paradise  to  wear.  The  one  who  feeds  a  Muslim  in hunger,  Allah  will  bestow  him  the  heavenly  fruits  to  eat. The  one  who  quenches  the  thirst  of  a  Muslim,  Allah will  provide  for  him  sealed  wine  of  the  heaven.  (Abu Da’wud,  Tirmidhi)  

You  are  granted  sustenance  and  you  are  helped  in your  need  for  the  sake  of  those  who  are  weak  and vulnerable.  (Bukhari)  

The charity  does  not  cause  the  wealth  to  be  reduced. (Muslim)

Who should be  the recipient of  this charity  ‘the  beautiful loan’??
This  special  charity,  this  goodly  loan  can  be  extended  to the  poor  relatives,  orphans,  widows,  destitute  poor  people, debtors  who  are  unable  to  pay  back  their  loans  and  the travellers  who  lose  their  resources  during  their  journey.

Allah  has  said  in  Surah  Adh-Dhariyat  Verse  19:  And  in  all that  they  possess,  (there  is)  a  due  share  unto  such  as might ask (for help) and such as might suffer privation.

What  to spend  in charity  and in  the  way of  qard-e-hasana,  the  goodly  loan?

In  Surah  Al  Baqara  Verse  267,  Allah  enjoins:  O  you  who believe!  Spend  on  others  out  of  the  good  things  which  you may  have  acquired.

In  Surah  Aal-e-Imran  Verse  92,  it  is  ordained:  Never  shall you  attain  to  true  piety  unless  you  spend  on  others  out  of what  you  cherish  yourselves;  and  whatever  you  spend, verily, Allah has full knowledge thereof.

When  this  second  verse  was  revealed,  Abu  Talha  (radhiyallahu anhu) came  to  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  said,  “O  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  Allah  has  solicited  the  spending  out  of  the  most cherished  belongings  and  among all  my possessions  I  love my  orchard  (Bairha’)  the  most.  I  hand  it  out  for  the  sake  of Allah  and  I  expect  its  reward  and  recompense  from  Him.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  replied,  “O  Abu  Talha!  You  have traded it for a great advantage.

In  another  tradition  it  is  narrated  that  Abu  Talha (radhiyallahu anhu)  pleaded thus:  O  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  my  orchard amounting  to  this  big sum  is for  voluntary  charity  and  if  I  had  the  power  to  keep this charity a secret, I would have done that.

When  Umar  Farooq  (radhiyallahu anhu) heard  this verse  of  Surah  Aal-e-Imran  he  also  presented  himself  before  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  said,  “Among  all  my  possessions,  I  love  my share  of  the  land  in  Khyber  and  I  wish  to  give  it  away  in  the path  of  Allah.”  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “Make  a  trust  of it.  Hold  the  principle  entity  and  give  away  its  produce  in  the path of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Muhammad bin Munkadir  relates  that  when  this  verse  was revealed,  Zayed  bin  Haaritha  (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  a  very  beloved horse  among  his  belongings  and  he  brought  it  to  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  said,  “This  is  my  voluntary  charity.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  took  it  from  him  and  presented  it  to Zayd’s  son  Usama  (radhiyallahu anhu).  Zayd’s  face  exhibited  signs  of wonderment  and  awe,  to  this  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) responded,  “Allah  has  accepted  your  charity.  Now  I  may distribute  it  to  anyone,  be  it  your son,  any  of  your relatives or a stranger.

In  short,  the  revelation  of  this  one  verse  alone  stirred  an entire  audience  of  the  faithful  companions  (radhiyallahu anhum)  to  present their  most  cherished  and  prized  treasures  in  voluntary charity  and  these  were  distributed  among  the  needy  by  the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Elucidation

The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  himself  had  trained  the  great Companions  (radhiyallahu anhum) and  he  ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  perfected  their  faith and  trust  in  Allah  and  that  is  why,  they  had  a  ready willingness  to  devote  and  spend  each  and  every  article  of their  assets  in  the  path  of  Allah  merely  to  please  Him Almighty.  The  fabulous  charitable  donations  of  Abu  Bakr Siddique  (radhiyallahu anhu)  at  the  time  of  the  Khyber  expedition  and  the examples  of  the  frequent  and  generous  spending  ascribed to  Usman  Ghani  (radhiyallahu anhu)  are  but  two  instances  among thousands  of  others  that  bedeck  the  pages  of  Islamic history.  We  should  try  to  follow  these  great  examples  and the  least  we  should  do  is  to  spend  in  the  path  of  Allah,  give Him  the  goodly  loan  from  out  of  our  rightful  and  honest earnings.

The elements  that render this fair and goodly  loan  effective and  fruitful ineffective  and fruitless

These  include  show-off  and  ostentation,  the  desire  to  be known  as  a  charitable  and  magnanimous  person  and  to adopt  a  sarcastic  and  ironical  attitude  towards  those  whom one  gives charity.

Allah  has  so  beautifully  described  the  factors  that  spoil  or enhance  the  good  effects  of  qard-e-hasana  in  Surah  Al Baqara Verses  262-265:

They  who  spend  their  possessions  for  the  sake  of  Allah and  do  not  thereafter  mar  their  spending  by  stressing  their own  benevolence  and  hurting (the  feelings  of  the  needy) shall  have  their  reward  with  their  Sustainer,  and  they  need not have any fear, and neither shall they grieve. 

A kind  word  and  the  veiling  of  another’s  need is  better  than a  charitable  deed  followed  by  hurt;  and  Allah  is  Self Sufficient,  Forebearing.  

O  you  who  have  attained  to  faith!  Do  not  deprive  your charitable  deeds  of  all  worth  by  stressing  your  own benevolence  and  hurting  (the  feelings  of  the  needy),  as does  he  who  spends  his  wealth  only  to  be  seen  and praised  by  men,  and  believes  not  in  Allah  and  the  Last Day:  for  his  parable  is  that  of  a  smooth  rock  with  (a  little) earth  upon  it  and  then  a  rainstorm  smites  it  and  leaves  it hard  and  bare.  Such  as  these  shall  have  no  gain  whatever from  all  their  (good)  works:  for  Allah  does  not  guide  people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.

And  the  parable  of  those  who  spend  their  possessions  out of  a  longing  to  please  Allah,  and  out  of  their  own  inner certainty,  is  that  of  a  garden  on  high,  fertile  ground:  A rainstorm  smites  it,  and  thereupon  it  brings  forth  its  fruit twofold;  and  if  no  rainstorm  smites  it,  soft  rains  (falls  upon it). And Allah sees all that you do.’

Spending  in the  path of  Allah  even during  straitened and distressed circumstances

Allah  is  so  kind  and  benevolent  that  He  becomes  happy with  His  servants  even  when  they  spend  out  of  their meagre  resources  and  small  fortunes.  The  only  condition is  sincerity  and  good  intention.  We  should  be  ready  to  be charitable  even  in  the  times of  difficulty  and  austerity.

Allah  appreciates  His  servants  thus  in  Surah  Aal-e-Imran Verse  No.  134:   ‘Those  who  spend  in  time  of  plenty  and  in  time  of  hardship and  hold  in  check  their  anger,  and  pardon  their  fellow-men because Allah loves the doers of good.’

A  similar  accolade  has  been  stated  in  Surah  Al  Baqara Verse  No.  177:  ‘And  he  who  spends  his  affluence, however  much  he  may  cherish  it,  upon  his  near  of  kin,  and the  orphans,  and  the  needy  and  the  wayfarer,  and  the beggars,  and  for  the  freeing  of  the  human  beings  from bondage,  and  is  constant  in  prayer,  and  renders  the purifying dues to the poor.’

Once  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  asked  about  the  best  form of  charity  and  he  replied:  “Spending  in  the  condition  when you  are  healthy  and  full  of  life  and  while  you  are  afraid  of becoming  poor  and  have  desire  to  be  prosperous.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah  has  made  wealth  an  indispensable  means  of  human life  and  has taught  man  how  to  earn it  but  he  has kept  the end  of  all  his  efforts  in  His  own  hand.  He  can  expand  the material  resources  of  whomsoever  He  wills  and  he  can also  constrict  these.  He  has  formulated  an  entire  economic system  within  the  auspices  of  Islamic  Law  that  governs human  quest  for  material  sustenance.  This  system  has been  delegated  even  more  beautiful  and  enriching  by  introducing  voluntary  charity,  sadaqaat  as  well  as  fixed poor’s-due (zakat).

Allah  has  made  us  inter-dependent  and  He  is  consistently watching  our  actions  as  to  where  we  earn  from  and  where we  spend  our  earnings.  On  the  Day  of  Judgment, according  to  the  Prophetic  traditions,  we  shall  not  be  able to  move  an  inch  towards  absolution  unless  we  justify  the means  we  adopted  to  earn  money  and  the  ends  where  we utilized it. 

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