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Zakat & Sadaqa

Masail of Zakat and Charity (English Translation)

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is mandatory to pay zakat upon a Muslim who has certain conditions of it.z

Allah (عزوجل) states:

Those who gather gold and silver (wealth) and do not spend them in the path of Allah, give them tiding of painful punishment, when they will be heated in the hellfire, and with them their foreheads, sides and backs will be seared. (Quran 9/34,35)

The Sahabah (companions) (رضی اللہ تعالی عنھم) inquired about what is (کنز) gathering the wealth? The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) replied (Kazn)it is to gather wealth and not pay its due zakat (on it).

Hence, who ever has wealth and then pays the zakat which is due on it, then his wealth will not be considered to be (Kazn). Rather, by paying the due zakat, the remaining wealth turns pure. According to a Hadith (Sharif), Whatever wealth is destroyed on the earth it is all because of not paying its due zakat.

Allah has made Zakat obligatory upon wealthy muslims for the needy muslims, so that the poverty shall be erased. The details of conditions that obligate the zakat and its ahkam (commands) are necessary for a muslim to learn. Below we are mentioning necessary information related to zakat in easy words:


Question: upon whom zakat is obligatory?

Answer: Zakat is obligatory on every sane and mature (baligh) muslim, whose wealth has reached nisab (He is sahib e nisab).


Question: What are the conditions of Zakat?

Answer: The following are the conditions of Zakat: (1) Islam, (2) Sanity, (3) Maturity, (4) Ownership of wealth whose amount has reached Nisab, (5) The wealth should be growing in nature (Mal-e-Nami/مال ناممی) , (6) Passing of the entire year, (7) The wealth should be free of debt and (8) The Nisab wealth should be other than for basic need (i.e a house, clothes, stuff for housekeeping, car, machinery/tools for manufacturing or a profession, food storage for personal consumption, and etc, all these things do not have zakat due on them).

Summary of these conditions:Zakat will be due on a muslim after passing of a year if he is  is Sane, Mature (بالغ), possesses gold, silver or any currency in the amount of nisab and he/she does not have such amount of a debt on him/her that if he/she were to pay it off; Hence the amount of nisab (that he/she has) would decrease.


Question: On what type of wealth, Zakat is due (واجب)?

Answer: Zakat is wajib on three types of wealths:

(1) Silver or Gold. Currency, Cash/Money are included in this category.

(2) Inventory/merchandize for sale or trade (مال تجارت).

(3) those animals that feed through grazing.


Question: What is Nisab (the level/amount of wealth) on which zakat is due?

Answer: The modern day value of nisāb limit calculated by the Ulema is: 93.312 grams of gold, 653.184 grams of silver or money/merchandise equivalent to one of them.


Question: what is the amount of zakat that is to be paid?

Answer: The amount to be paid is 2.5% on the nisab. If the amount of wealth exceeds Nisab, then until the additional wealth to nisab crosses the amount resulted from the equation [⅕ x Nisab],  there is no zakat due on that additional wealth. Otherwise there is going to be zakat on it and 2.5% should be given on that entire wealth.


Question: What is the ruling on Inventory/merchandize for sale or trade (مال تجارت)?

Answer: If the price of the merchandize (according to the market value) reaches the nisab, then after the passing of the year zakat will be paid on that merchandize or on its price.


Question: If someone is not a trader but he is a manufacturer or a professional, is zakat due on him as well?

Answer: Whatever items are sold, there is Zakat on them. There is no Zakat on the furniture, machinery or tools of the factory/workshop. For example: if someone owns a factory which has machinery or he owns textile mill or whatever type of factory it may be, the machinery for manufacturing does not have zakat on it, because it is a tool of earning. The tools of earning are not such type of wealth which are growing by nature (مال نامی). Therefore, however much their value may be there is not zakat on them. Rather, whatever earnings are earned as a result of usage of these tools, there is definitely zakat on that wealth given that this wealth has reached the nisab amount and one whole year has passed by.


Question: What is passing of a year (Haulanul Haul/حولان الحول)?

Answer: Based on Hijri calendar, nisab wealth is owned by a person on particular date and then one complete year passes from that particular date. For example if on a particular year a person became owner of nisab wealth on 1st of muharram, then on the last day of zulhijjah of that year Zakat will be due on him.


Question: If in the beginning of the year, the wealth was less than the nisab amount but at the middle of the year or at the end of it the wealth increased, then what is the ruling?

Answer: If the wealth was less than nisab, then whenever the wealth reaches nisab from that point onwards the year of zakat will start. Then if during the year the wealth increases on that nisab and this newly acquired wealth is of the same genus of the base nisab wealth, then this acquired wealth will be added to nisab and zakat will be paid off the total.  for example: In the beginning of the year, a person owned 20,000 rupees, then in the middle of the year he acquired extra 10,000 rupees, and then at the end of the year he acquired additional 10,000 rupees. As a result at the end of the year, zakat will be paid off on the total of 40,000 rupees. And that is 1000 rupees. Gold, Silver, Currency/Cash are all counted as one genus. On the contrary the Inventory/Merchandize for sale is another genus and animals who feed on grazing are counted as another genus.


Question: If the year began with a person owning wealth in the amount of nisab, then in the middle his wealth decreases from the amount of nisab but  at the end of the year his wealth again reaches the nisab limit, then what is the ruling on this?

Answer: Even then Zakat shall be obligatory. That the year began with Nisab, and ended with Nisab. So there is no consideration of the mid-year in this case though if the wealth fell below nisab. One exception is: if wealth completely finishes during the mid year.


Question: Someone owns jewellery of gold or silver, but it is less than the nisab amount. He also owns some cash/currency and that too is less than the nisab amount. What is the ruling regarding zakat on this?

Answer: If only the person owns gold or silver which is less than the nisab amount, and he does not own cash/currency at all then there is no zakat due on him. But if he owns both gold with silver and in addition he also owns cash/currency, then if gold is to be converted into silver or in its price and then the wealth reaches the nisab amount then there is going to be the ruling of zakat. Example if someone owns jewelry of 3 tolas, and with that owns some silver or cash/currency, then now the price of 3 tolas worth of gold  is to be found, which definitely will reach the amount of nisab wealth attributed to silver. So now Zakat shall be due. Rather these days even 1 tola of gold is close to the amount of nisab wealth attributed to silver.


Question: Is there zakat on diamonds, pearls and precious stones?

Answer: There is no zakat on diamonds, pearls and precious stone. On the condition that they are not owned for trading.


Question: If someone is owner of nisab but he has a loan on him, such that if he pays the loan of then the amount of nisab wealth will no longer remain?

Answer: In such a case, there is no zakat on this person. It is his responsibility that he pays the loan off first.


Question: If someone deposited his money in a bank (in savings account or fixed deposit) and in this type of account he cannot take his money out until a specific time, so will zakat will be due on him?

Answer: What ever money he deposited, (based on shariah) he is still his owner. However the money deposited stands as if this person gave a loan to the bank. And if a money is given in loan its ruling is that if this wealth equals the amount of nisab, then every year zakat will be due on it. And the responsibility to pay of zakat on this wealth will be when all of the wealth comes in possession of the owner from the account or such an amount is possessed which equals [⅕ x nisab]. If he receives all of his wealth, then he shall pay zakat on all the wealth. Furthermore if the wealth in the account is in the amount of nisab, then however many years have passed, zakat shall be due of all those years. To avoid complications of calculation, one should pay off zakat each year attributed to the deposited money in the bank account.


Question: What is the ruling on depositing the money in LIC or post office?

Answer: The same mentioned ruling of depositing money in the bank will apply here. If it equals the amount of nisab wealth, then there is zakat on it.


Question: What is the ruling regarding money present in G.P.F?

Answer: Whatever money is cut off from the salary of employees and deposited in G.P.F are actually part of the salary of employees. Therefore the employee is the real owner of this wealth. Hence; if this wealth is in the amount of nisab, or becomes nisab with other money that he has, then zakat shall be paid on it. But the ruling applied to this is also like giving a loan. Zakat will be due every year, but will be payable after it is received.


Question: On all these accounts: Savings, fixed deposit, LIC and GPF, the government adds some extra money in the name of interest. What is the ruling on this extra money?

Answer: Such mentioned amount shall not be in the ownership of the account holder until he possess that money. And adding this amount in the ledger book does not establish ownership of the account holder. As a result, whenever this additional wealth will be possessed only then it will be counted in the ownership of the account holder. And the ruling will be revolving around this. Hence; whenever the money deposited in the account is received by the account holder and is reaching the amount of nisab, then this additional money will be attached to the original amount and zakat will be paid off for this additional amount as well. The zakat attributed to the original deposited amount shall be paid of all the previously passed years (ever since it reached nisab). But this additional money’s zakat will only be paid the year it is received. If the deposited money does not amount to the nisab, but if you add this additional money to it and it reaches nisab, then after passing of any year from now zakat shall be due.


Question: Is zakat due on arrear or bonus?

Answer: Arrear is actually part of the employee’s salary, Therefore on the date when the government establishes the order for arrear, on that day the employee becomes owner of the arrear. And this day will be associated with the rulings pertaining to zakat. However in (G.O), whatever months were included from before, they will not be included in the arrear, and nor they will be counted in terms of the ownership of the employee, to the point that the employee actually possesses it (money). After possession, the ownership will be established. Furthermore if other cash/money is amounting to nisab then that money will be attached to arrear and zakat will be paid off for the other cash/money as well. This additional money’s zakat will only be paid when it will be received. And if the deposited amount of money is less than nisab, but when other money/cash is added to it, the wealth reaches nisab, then after passing of one year zakat will be paid off.


Question: Zakat can be paid to whom?

Answer: The zakat can be paid to the following muslims:

  1. Poor (فقر/faqir): He has some wealth, but his wealth does not reach nisab.
  2. Destitute (مسکین/Miskin): He has nothing. He is even needy for food and clothes.
  3. Borrower (غارم/Gharim): The person who has a loan on himself. And the loan is such an amount that if he pays it off, he no longer has nisab.
  4. Traveler (ابن السبیل/Ibnu Sabil): Such a traveler who does currently have any wealth can receive the zakat. though he has wealth in his home.
  5. In the path of Allah/For the sake of Allah (فی سبیل اللہ/Fi Sabili-llah): To spend in the path of Allah. i.e if someone is a needy person and he wants to go for Hajj or anIslamic mission, while he does not have a ride or provision with him then zakat money can be given to him. Also if a student wants to learn islamic knowledge, then zakat can be paid to him as well.

Question: How is it to pay zakat to Sayyids (Those who are from the family tree of The Messenger of Allah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)?

Answer: It is impermissible to give zakat to Sayyids and all of Banu Hashim. And nor it is allowed for them to take the zakat. If one gives them zakat money, then zakat will not be paid this way. Furthermore all the obligatory charities (صدقات واجبہ/sadaqat e wajibah) fall in the same ruling.i.e charity of eidul fitr, oath, expiation, or recompense for fasting.


Question: Then if Sayyids are poor/destitute, then from where expense for them will come?

Answer: It is the moral responsibility of muslims to take care of Sayyids from their own wealth. Muslims shall gift it to them. Whatever wealth and honor muslims have attained, they have attained it through the House of Rasul Allah  (صل اللہ علیہ وسلم). It is very far from a muslim that he feeds himself stomach full, while a member of the family of The Nabi (Who the muslim is the follower and ummati of)  remains hungry. letting this happen is against the principles of loyalty and it goes against the requirement of love. However, if there is no other possible way, then one can pay off his zakat to a poor muslim then that poor muslim takes possession of it and brings it under his expenditure source, then that poor muslim gives some of this wealth to the sayyids as a gift. According to a Hadith: The Messenger of Allah (صل اللہ علیہ وسلم) came to the house of Hazrat Bareera, while in the pot meat was being boiled. The Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) told to offer this meat to him as well. She said Ya Rasul Allah, This is of Sadaqah (charity). The Messenger of Allah replied “لک صدقۃ ولنا ھدیۃ” meaning: for you is charity and for us is gift. That is: When you possessed it, it was sadaqah. Now when you will give it to us, then it will be gift from your side to us. Therefore The Messenger of Allah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) ate it.


Question:  Can Zakat money be spent in the masjid? or can it be spent in public welfare?

Answer:  Zakat money cannot be spent in the masjid, nor it can be spent in public welfare. in order for the zakat to be paid, making the deserving person as a owner of that zakat wealth is necessary. As long as zakat wealth is not given in the ownership of the deserving person, zakat will not be paid off. If someone arranged a water source, a shelter or he built a Masjid, Sufi Lodge or an Islamic School, then this way zakat will not be paid off. For these affairs zakat money shall be handed over to the deserving person with his complete ownership. Now if the receiver wants he may spend that money in all these places and purposes. For example for a marriage of a poor girl, the zakat wealth is given to her or her poor parents. Now if they spend it in the expenditure of marriage, then it is valid and zakat will be paid off.


Question: Will zakat be paid off by giving money to the welfare organizations which collect zakat funds?

Answer: Only those are eligible to receive zakat who were mentioned earlier. If money is given to someone else besides those people, then zakat will not be paid off. However if zakat money is given to a person or an organization, while the organization or a person is made a representative to transfer the zakat money to the deserving person, so in this case when the money will reach the deserving person zakat will be paid off. If any organization spends this wealth (of zakat) on poor people according to its own policies (Sawab deed) but does not make them owner of this money, then zakat will not be paid off this way. In this situation, intense care is needed.


Question: What the ruling regarding ‘a tenth’ (Ushr/عشر) ?

Answer: What ever grains, fruits, vegetables are grown from the land, to pay a tenth (Ushr/عشر) of them is wajib. In Ushr (Ushr/عشر) there is no condition or requirement of completion of the year. Rather any time the eatables are grown, every single time their tenth (Ushr/عشر) is to be paid. Likewise Nisab is also not a condition for it. Even if only 4 or 5 kilograms of food is grown, then its tenth (Ushr/عشر) is wajib to be paid. It is necessary to pay a tenth of the total growth. That means the responsible person cannot cutoff the expense of farming or salary of the farmer and then pay the tenth (Ushr/عشر) of the remaining.


Question: Amongst the relatives, who can be given the zakat? and who cannot be given?

Answer: Amongst the relative, one cannot pay zakat to his/her parents (or any ascendants), his/her children (or any descendants) and his/her husband or wife. For example one cannot pay zakat to his/her: mother, father, paternal grandfather/grandmother, maternal grandfather/grandmother, son/daughter, maternal grandson/grand daughter, paternal grandson/grand daughter and nephew/niece. Likewise a Husband cannot give zakat to his wife and nor a wife can give zakat to her husband. Except those mentioned people, one can pay zakat to his other relatives such as his/her: brother, sister, paternal uncle/aunt, maternal uncle/aunt, paternal first cousins (includes cousin brothers and sisters) and maternal first cousins (includes cousin brothers and sisters). In fact it is established through a Hadith that there is double reward in paying zakat to one’s relatives: one reward for paying zakat and second for kinship care (صلہ رحمی).


Question: Is it necessary to only  pay cash/currency for zakat or one can give food items, clothes and etc as well?

Answer: If one gives in exchange of zakat, in the value of his zakat money: food items or clothes to the needy with the intention of zakat, then his zakat will be paid off.


Question: If one cooks food and gives it to the need, will zakat be paid through this?

Answer: Even then zakat will be paid, but on the condition that one gives the food to the needy, and makes the needy complete owner of that food. If one calls the poor and destitute people to his house, cooks food and feeds them, then this way zakat will not be paid because in this scenario there is no ownership established for the the poor and needy. This is due to that the invitee eats this food in the ownership of the inviter and is not an owner himself. On the grounds of this reason guests are not permitted that they give the food to the poor, animals or take the leftover food home without the permission of the host. This is with an exception that if the owner cooks the food (of zakat) and sends it to the house of the deservers or he feeds the needy in his own house while before feeding he explicitly makes them the owner of this food, then in this scenario his zakat will be paid off. It is important to note that in the case of giving grains to the needy or feeding them cooked food, zakat will only be paid of that amount (in value) concerning the food that reached the needy amounts to. The cost of logistics, cooking, gas/electricity bill  will not be included. (Summarized from Fatawa Razawiyah 4/380)


Question: Before finishing of the year, one gave money in installments with the intention of zakat. So in this scenario, can a person account for these installments at the end of the year for zakat?

Answer: Yes he definitely can, but he cannot cut of the remaining balance from the due zakat amount. Whatever amount is remaining, he must pay it without delay. Because the obligation of paying zakat is immediate and to delay it results in transgression. (Fatawa Razawiyah 4/383)


Question: What is the ruling for sadaqatul fitr?

Answer: Sadqatul fitr is obligatory because of headcount and not wealth. It becomes obligatory on the day of Eid ul Fitr before the true dawn. This obligation is also upon every muslim person who owns wealth amounting to nisab. There is no condition for being Sane, Mature, and that nature of wealth to be growing (Mal-e-Nami/مال ناممی). A father shall pay Sadqatul fitr on behalf of his underage (na baligh/نا بالغ) daughter. A father can also pay sadqatul fitr on behalf of his wife and his mature children. Otherwise, their sadqatul fitr is wajib on themselves. If one is paying sadqatul fitr on behalf of his other relatives, then he can do so after telling them or taking their permission.


Question: What is the cost of Sadqatul Fitr?

Answer: A half of sa’ of wheat, or one sa’ of dates. Based on modern standards half a sa’  is  2 kg and 45 grams. According the research of Syedi Ala Hazrat, the weight of one sa’ is 351 rupee coin, and half of sa’ is half of 351 rupee coin, that is 178.5 rupee coin.

351 x 11.664= 4094/1000= 4.094 this approximately equals 2 kg and 45 grams. One should pay this amount of wheat or its price.


Meaning (That which Purifies) is alms giving to the one who deserves (Sharai Faqir), it is one of the five pillars of Islam and established from Qur’an and Sunnah as one of the Faraid (Mandatory requirements) for the one who meets its requirement.

Zakat is fard upon anyone who falls under all of these conditions:-

(1) Must be a muslim.
(2) Must be Baaligh (Mature person).
(3) Must be a sane person.
(4) Must be free person (not a slave).
(5) Wealth must reach the Nisab limit.
(6) The wealth reaching nisab must be owned and possessed by the person.
(7) Nisab in wealth must be free from debt.
(8) Nisab in wealth must be free from basic need.
(9) The wealth must be such in nature that it fluctuates over time in value.
(10) One complete islamic year must pass since the time of possession of the wealth.

Nisab: It is one of the requirements that a person must fall in order for payment of the zakat to be fard (mandatory) upon him. Nisāb is a term used for a specific value or amount of gold, silver, currency or merchandise (93.312 grams of gold, 653.184 grams of silver or money/merchandise equivalent to one of them) that if this amount is reached in a person’s wealth, then 2.5% of these things in value must be paid off as zakat either by money, gold, silver or stuff.

People who are eligible to receive the zakāt (Masarif):

(1) Faqir (Poor: Who has very little things).
(2) Miskin (destitute: who has nothing at all).
(3) The one who administers the collection of zakat (Aamil).
(4) The slaves who have struck a deal with their owners for their freedom in exchange of compensation.
(5) The one who is in debt.
(6) Those who are in the path of Allah (Sponsoring a Haji, Student or a Soldier). In order to pay off Zakat the giver must make the receiver complete owner of the wealth and cannot demand that the receiver shall spend this money in a particular way or purpose.

All of these conditions must be met in order for a person to be able to receive the zakāt

(1) Such a person whose wealth is below the Nisab limit.
(2) The receiver must be a muslim.
(3) The receiver must not be a Sayyid from the lineage.
(4) The receiver must not be a Qureshi from the lineage.
(5) The receiver must not be a Hashmi from the lineage.
(6) The receiver must be a baligh person.
(7) The receiver must be a sane person.

Zakat cannot be given to/spent for:

(1) Zakat cannot be given to a dhimmi (non-muslim in an Islamic country).
(2) Masjid cannot be built with zakat money.
(3) A deceased cannot be shrouded with Zakat money.
(4) A slave cannot be bought with zakat money to be set free.
(5) Zakat cannot be payed to a wealthy person who has Nisab.
(6) A person cannot pay zakat to his father, grandfather and etc (however high).
(7) A person cannot pay zakat to his mother, grandmother and etc (however high).
(8) The husband cannot pay zakat to his wife.
(9) The wife cannot pay zakat to her husband.