Zakah And knowing its importance
To whom Zakah can be given? (Masaarif)
The recipients of Zakah according to the Qur’aan are as follows
“Zakah (contributions of cash money, merchandise, animals etc.) are for the poor and the needy; and those who collect them; for those whose hearts are to be reconciled; and to free the captives and the debtors; and for the cause of Allah Ta’aala; and for the wayfarer; A duty ordained by Allah Ta’aala. Allah Ta’aala is Knowing, Wise.” (Surah Taubah:60)
FUQA’RAA – People who are poor and who possess more than their basic needs but do not possess wealth equal to Nisaab.
MASAAKEEN – People who are destitute and extremely needy to the extent that they are forced to beg for their daily food ration.
AL AAMILEEN – Those persons who are appointed by an Islamic Head of State or Government to collect Zakah. It is not necessary that this be a needy person.
MU ALLAFATUL QULOOB – Those persons that have recently accepted Islam and are in need of basic necessities who would benefit from encouragement by the Muslims which would help to strengthen their faith of Islam.
AR RIQAAB – Those slaves that are permitted to work for remuneration and have an agreement from their masters to purchase their freedom on payment of fixed amounts.
AL GHAARIMEEN – Those persons that have a debt and do not possess any other wealth or goods with which they could repay that which they owe. It is conditional that this debt was not created for any un-Islamic or sinful purpose.
FEE SABEELILLAH – Those persons that have to carry out a Fardh deed which has become obligatory on them and subsequently (due to loss of wealth) are unable to comptete that Fardh.
Important: A common misunderstanding about the term Fee Sabeelillah has misled many to believe that this includes all types of charitable deeds. The Commentaries of the Qur’aan and Ahaadith of Rasulullah do not support this view.
IBN US SABEEL – Those persons who are musaafirs (travellers in view of Shariat) and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakah in order to fulfill travel needs to return home.
IMPORTANT. All the above mentioned recipients excluding AI Aamileen must be those who do not possess the Nisaab.
1. It is not Jaa’iz (not permissible) in the Shariat to give Zakah to a person who owns merchandise or wealth in excess of his needs to the value of Nisaab nor is it Jaa’iz for such a person to accept Zakah.
2. A person that does not own an amount equal to the value of Nisaab is known as Faqir. This person could be given Zakah and it is permissible for him to accept Zakah.
3. A person owns wealth which in value exceeds the amount of Nisaab, but this wealth is not intended for business nor does he require it for his daily needs. Such a person is regarded as well to do and should not be given Zakah.
4. The books of a scholar or tools of a tradesman are among his necessities irrespective of their value. Besides these if he does not own wealth equal to Nisaab he could be given Zakah.
5. When giving Zakah, Sadaqah etc. one’s poor and needy relatives should be given preference. To avoid embarassing them it should be given to them without saying that it is Zakah or Sadaqah.
6. There is great sawaab in giving Zakah to poor persons who are striving in the way of the Deen or those who are engaged in religious knowledge, or to religious institutions where poor or needy students are being cared for. Care should be taken that only such institutions are given Zakah where it is used according to the Shariah.
7. A child of a wealthy father cannot be given Zakah. When such a child becomes mature in age and does not own wealth to the value of Nisaab, he may then be given Zakah.
8. Zakah CAN BE GIVEN TO :-
a brother, sister, nephew, neice (brothers and sisters children), uncle, aunt (both paternal and maternal), step-grandfather, step-grandmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law PROVIDED THEY DO NOT POSSESS NISAAB.
Zakat cannot be given to:
1. Banu Haashim. The Banu Hashim are all the children of Sayyadatina Faatima tuz zohra radiallaho anha and all members of Rasulullah sallalaho alayhe wassallams family and wives.
2. parents, grandfather etc. In the same manner one’s children and grandchildren cannot be given Zakah, a husband and wife cannot give Zakah to each other.
3. Zakah contributions cannot be given to such institutions or organisations who do not give the rightful recipients (Masaarif) possession of Zakah, but instead use Zakah funds for construction, investment or salaries.
4. Zakah cannot be given to non-Muslims. The same ruling applies to Waajib Sadaqah i.e. Sadaqatut Fit’r, Kaffaarah, Ush’r and Naz’r. Nafl Sadaqah could be given to non-Muslims.
5. If one cannot determine whether the recipient is needy or not, then it is better to make certain before giving him Zakah. If Zakah is given without inquiry and subsequently it is known that the recipient is wealthy the Zakah is not valid. It has to be given again.
6. Zakah will not be fulfilled by purchasing books for an institution, or land purchased for public utility and made Wakf.
7. Zakah cannot be used for the Kaf’n of a deceased person who has no heirs because at that time he/she cannot become the owner.
8. A dead person’s debt cannot be paid from Zakah.
When Zakah is Farz on a creditor
A person is obliged to give Zakah on money or valuable owing to him, whether it be a loan or a business debt. This applies only if the debtor acknowledges that he owes the amount or promises to pay it or if on the contrary he refutes the claim, and there are witnesses or documentary proof to support such claim which it could be recovered through a judiciary.
Loans are basically of three types:-
1. Qawi (secure loan)
a. If cash, gold or silver has been given as a loan or when merchandise has been sold on terms and the payment is received after a year or two; and the value of the amount owing is that of Nisaab, then this is called a Qawi loan, and therefore, Zakah for those years prior to payment wiil be Farz.
b. In the case where this loan is repaid in instalments, if the repayment received equals to one fifth (200) of the Nisaab, Zakah of this one fifth becomes Fardh. If several years have passed, then Zakah must be given for all the past years. Zakah of the past years has to be calculated annually in units, each unit being twenty percent of the Nisaab. Government bonds are of this category and Zakah has to be paid on recovery of this loan as described above.
c. If any such loan is not equal to Nisaab then Zakah witl not be Farz; but if this loan together with other excess wealth w hich is in ones possession when combined becomes equal to Nisaab, then Zakah will be Farz on the combined total of both amounts.
2. Mutawassit (insufficiently secure loan)
a. If a loan is not cash, gold, silver or merchandise (as mentioned in 1. (a) above) but is personal effects sold (old clothes, house-hold items etc.) or is a property which was sold and the value of it is that of Nisaab, then it is called a Mutawassit loan. Thus Zakah for those year prinr to payment will not be Farz.
b. If this loan is equal to or in excess of Nisaab and is fully recovered after several years then Zakah on that amount is not Farz for all the past years. However, if anyone in such an instance gave Zakah, then such an act is rewarded by Allah Ta’aala.
c. In a case where the repayment is made in instalments, then Zakah will only be Farz if the repayment is equal to Nisaab and is retained for a full Islamic year.
d. If the instalment received is less than Nisaab, but one is in possession of other wealth on which Zakah is due (i.e. Nisaab on which a year has elapsed), then this instalment must be added to the wealth, and Zakah must be given on the total. It is not necessary for a year to pass over this instalment that is received.
3. Dhaeef (Insecure loan)
a. If money owing to one is not in lieu of cash, gold, silver, merchandise or personal effects or property which is sold but is due to outstanding inheritance, bequests, Meh’r (dowry) salary etc. then it is called a Dha’eef loan.
b. Zakah will become Farz when these monies are received and they are equal to or in excess of Nisaab, and further, they are retained for a full Islamic year. There is no Zakah for the years that have passed before receiving these amounts.
c. There is no Zakah on Provident and Pension funds. Zakah must only be paid on these amounts after they are received from such funds provided the amount is equal to or in excess of the Nisaab and is retained for a full Islamic year.
NOTE: Some Ulama have categorized these funds as Qawi or Mutawassit loans, and thus Zakah becomes obligatory on the contributions for the past year as well. It is therefore advisable that as a precautionary measure Zakah should be paid for the past years on these as well.
Zakah on merchandise
1. Articles that are purchased for resale are referred to as merchandise. The Nisaab for Zakah on merchandise is the same as that for cash i.e. if the value of the articles is equivalent to the value of 87.48 grams of gold (7.5 tolas = 1350 grains = 2.8125 troy. ounces) or 612.36 grams of silver (52 5 tolas = 9450 grains = 19,6875 troy ounces) or more, that it will be Fardh to give Zakah at the rate of 2.% or one fortieth.
2. Zakah is Farz on the following items when drawing up a balance (calculating) sheet:-
a. Stock in trade;
b. Goods in transit; (which have been paid for)
c. Cash on hand;
d. Outstanding cash and loans; when repaid and if they are equal to Nisaab.
e. Cash at bank;
f. Savings account;
g. Fixed deposits;
h. Sundry outstanding; (when repaid and if they are equal to Nisaab)
i. Claims; (acknowledged)
j. Other savings – household balance; sundry cash.
3. All these must be added as one amount, and after subtracting the creditors amount and/or any other liabilities, the balance which is the profit must be added to the capital. Zakah must then be given on this combined figure.
4. Zakah should be g)ven on the capital that exists at the end of the lunar year, which includes the profit, e.g. at the beginning pf the year the capital is R2000-00. When the year ends a profit of R500-00 is shown. Zakah must be given on R2500-00.
5. If a bad debt is recovered and it is equal to or exceeds the Nisaab, then Zakah on all the past years must be given.
6. If one has various different types of merchandise then the total value of all the goods should be calculated. If it is equal or exceeds the value of Nisaab then it a be necessary to give Zakah.
7. If at the beginning of the year one has t full Nisaab and during the year the amount decreases and by the end of the year possession of the full Nisaab is regained then it will be Waajib to give Zakah on this amount.
8. If one mixes Halaal and Haraam merchandis and the amount is equal to or exceeds the Nisaab at the end of the year then it will be necessary to give Zakah.
9. It is customary to write the price paid for the merchandise at stock figures. Zakah should not be calculated on these stock figures. For Zakah purposes current purchase value of the merchandise should be calculated.
10. If a few persons are partners in a company and if any one share of the partners is equal to or exceeds Nisaab then it will be necessary for that partner to give Zakah.
11. Stock for Zakah purposes must be calculated according to the Islamic (lunar) year.
12. Zakah is Farz at the ruling price on shares held in a company at the end of every Islamic year. As machinery, land, fixtures and fittings, furniture, buildings etc. are exempt from Zakah, one is allowed to subtract these from the total assets. This could be obtained from the company’s annual report, for example, if one has shares worth R100-00 and the machinery, land etc. are worth 5% of the total assets of the company, then deduct R5-00 for machinery, land, fixtures and fittings, furniture and buildings (the exempted Zakah items) thereafter deduct the liabilities of the company proportionately to the percentage of shares held, and the Zakah must be calculated on the balance.
13. When Zakah is given on a capital amount once and thereafter if this same amount remains with the owner till the following year then Zakah will be due again. Zakah will be Farz repeatedly after every Islamic year has elapsed.
Decrease in wealth by the end of the Islamic year
1. If Zakah on wealth has not been given at the end of the Islamic year, and all that wealth either gets lost or stolen, then such wealth is exempted from Zakah. If one deliberately gives away or destroys his wealth then Zakah still remains Waajib.
2. If after a full Islamic year has elapsed, and incidentally without the niyyat of Zakah, one gives away all his wealth to charity, then that amount of wealth is exempted from Zakah. In a case where he only gives away; part of that wealth, then Zakah will be due on the remainder if it is equal to Nisaab.
NOTE: A person is obliged to pay Zakah on R10 000, namely the sum of R250. He sets aside this amount with a view to paying his Zakah. The sum of R250 is thereafter lost or stolen in which event the Zakah obligation is not discharged. If the Zakah payer dies after setting aside the sum of R250, it will constitute part of his estate to be transmissible to his heirs.