What is meant by zakaat?

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Q. What is meant by Zakaat?

R. It is the deduction of 2.5% from the wealth of a well-to-do person over a period of one lunar year with a view to allocating it to the poor in order to obtain Allah’s pleasure.  

 Q. On whom is zakaat compulsory?

 R. Zakaat is compulsory on every adult Muslim (after puberty) who possesses the nisaab or prescribed value and on which zakaat is leviable. The prophet of Allah (S.A.W) has stated: «There is no zakaat on 190 dirhams, but pay five dirhams out of 200 dirhams.» (Tirmizi). The dirham was a coin of silver metal at that time. The weight of 200 dirhams is 612.36 grams of silver. Which means that those who possess that value or more during one whole lunar year must absolutely pay zakaat at the rate of 2.5% of the net value. Hence, those whose wealth does not exceed that value are exempted from the payment of zakaat. The value of nisaab during Ramadan 1441A.H. (year 2020) is Rs 30,000(For Mauritius). 

  Q. Which items of wealth are zakatable? 

R. The following items are zakaatable: Liquid money or in bank in whatever currency, gold or silver in metal form or as jewels, stocks of goods for sale, money owed by debtors, shares or capital investment, cattle and harvest of crops.    

Q. Which items are non-zakatable? 

R. The following items are non-taxable: precious stones (diamonds, pearls and rubies) factory buildings, production tools, goodwill, cars, bad debts, house, furniture or electrical appliances for home use, land and working tools. It should be noted that the same items if transacted for commercial purposes (such as land, cars, precious stones,etc), then they will be taxable under the item: stocks. 

  Q: Do I have Zakaat on jewelleries that I use? 

A: Yes, there is zakaat on every jewellery be it kept in a safe or being used. It is reported by a sahih hadith of Abu Dawood:

   فَقَالَتْ دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَرَأَى فِي يَدَيَّ فَتَخَاتٍ مِنْ وَرِقٍ فَقَالَ مَا هَذَا يَا عَائِشَةُ فَقُلْتُ صَنَعْتُهُنَّ أَتَزَيَّنُ لَكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ أَتُؤَدِّينَ زَكَاتَهُنَّ قُلْتُ لَا أَوْ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ قَالَ هُوَ حَسْبُكِ مِنْ النَّارِ ابو داود

Hazrat Aisha r.a.-‘’I was wearing some silver jewellery to beautify myself for the prophet SAW. The beloved prophet SAW asked me about its Zakaat. I replied that I have not given Zakaat yet for that. The beloved prophet SAW warned me that this jewellery is sufficient to take me to Hell fire.’’(Abu Dawood)   

 Q. Who is entitled to zakaat as a priority?

 R. Near relatives who are poor  have the first right if they do not possess the value of nisaab. In a hadith reported by Tirmizi it has been stated that the best zakaat is that which accrues to near relatives. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has stated: «Charity to one’s family is doubly rewarded.» (Tirmizi). However, no zakaat is payable to one’s immediate ancestors (father, mother, grand father, etc) or descendants (son, grandson,etc). 

  Q: Can we give Zakaat to non muslims? 

R: No. Zakaat is exclusively for poor muslims. But one may give sadaqah to poor non muslims. 

  Q: Who can take Zakaat?

 A: The one who is poor and does not have nisaab. He does not have nisaab in money or a second car, a surplus plot of land besides his house or in terms of jewellery or stock. Hence a poor muslim having a house and a car may take zakaat if his budget is less than nisaab amount or he is in debt.   

 Q. What are the prophet’s (SAW) instructions about zakaat distribution?

R. The prophet (SAW) did recommend to Muaaz (RA) to distribute zakaat to the poor muslims of the country where he was going (Yemen). He stated: «Tell the people (of Yemen) that Allah has prescribed, on a compulsory basis, the payment of Zakaat on their wealth; it is taken from the well-to-do and allocated to the poor.» (Bukhari) Hence, as a rule, zakaat has to be distributed in the country where it is collected. That is why it is makruh (detestable), according to the ulema (Shami, Hidaya, Sharah Ibn Majah) to transfer zakaat money to other countries except in two circumstances:-  a. Family ties are in foreign land  b. The poor of those countries are more deserving than the local poor.  Hence, as a rule, our zakaat should be distributed locally. The exception will apply only in cases of valid exceptional criteria. We should have a special thought of muslim refugees around the globe that they are in need of our Zakaat. 

    An Example of Zakaat Calculation at the rate of 2.5% of total net value of assets.  

Current Assets Rs 

Stock in hand 20 000 Cash in hand 1 000

 Cash at bank 60 000 Dedtors 2 000 Gold and silver jewelry 15 000

 Total Assets 98 000 

 Current Liabilities Rs 

Creditors 20 000 

Loans 11 000 

Total Liabilities 31 000 

Net Assets 67 000 

Subtract liabilities from assets : 98 000 – 31 000 = 67 000 

 Thus Zakaat payable is 2.5% of Rs 67 000 = Rs.1675. 

 NOTE:- If the value of net current assets exceeds the nisaab, the owner is considered as well-to-do try the shariah and must therefore pay zakaat. Now, the zakaat has to be handed over to a person who does not possess the value of nisaab in any form whatsoever, in addition to his personal needs. Even if the value of jewelry does not exceed that of nisaab, it is considered as value added to taxable assets.    The ideal time to calculate zakaat is the 1st day of Ramadan.  So if last year 1st Ramadhaan you had nisaab, then this year 1st Ramadhaan account for your assets and liabilities as at 1st Ramadhaan to calculate Zakaat.   

 Q. How is zakaat calculated on investment capital (shares,etc)?

 R. For zakaat calculation, the shares are added and evaluated according to the representative fraction of shares on the overall assets and liabilities of the company. One must first determine the Net Current Assets of the Company as at 1st Ramadhaan or as last balance sheet. Then divide the NET CURRENT ASSETS by the share capital that one possesses in that company. However, if a person is the owner of shares for resale, he must then calculate the zakaat according to the share market price. In any case, if figures are made available, we may help to calculate that: +23057921333. 

  Q. Can payment of Government Tax or CSR be considered as zakaat payment?

 R. No. Zakaat is determined according to criteria established by the Shariah, solely for obtaining divine pleasure. It is not a fiscal measure.    

Q: Explain how should we evaluate the value of my jewellery?

 R: One should take the jewellery to the jeweller on 1st Ramadhaan and find the price that the jeweller would pay to buy my jewelleries. This is the qimah or realising value.  Mauritian gold value:18 Carats  Rs 1000/gram 21 Carats Rs 1300/gram White gold Rs 1400/gram Gold 24 carrats Rs 1600/gram

 Q: Some people say that we should take consideration the ‘value of work done on the gold’. Is this true? 

A: Not true. Had the jeweller accept to pay the jewellery on that price, we would have accounted that price also. But jewellers and gold shops are bound by the law to accept any gold jewellery only at the above prices. As such there is no other calculation that this one. Besides all books talk on ‘Qimah’ which means the realising value- the value that you would get had you been selling the jewellery on 1st Ramadhaan.  Yes, as far as, antiques gold utensils is concerned, they have a surplus value on their weight. Hence their selling value is higher than their weight. We would account the surplus value in the calculation of Zakaat. In fact these people have confused antiques to normal jewellery. Read if you want the wordings of Bahr:

    وَأَمَّا حُكْمُ الزَّكَاةِ فِي الْحُلِيِّ وَالْأَوَانِي يَخْتَلِفُ بَيْنَ أَدَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ مِنْ عَيْنِهَا وَبَيْنَ أَدَائِهَا مِنْ قِيمَتِهَا مَثَلًا لَهُ إنَاءُ فِضَّةٍ وَزْنُهُ مِائَتَانِ وَقِيمَتُهُ ثَلَاثُمِائَةٍ   

‘’..a jug of silver that its weight is 200 dirham, but its market value is 300 dirhams…’’(Bahrur Ra-iq)   

 Q: What Zakaat on farm animals?

 A: There is zakaat for farm animals also : 

  30 cattle  – 1 heifer  (1 year old) 

40 cattle  – 1 heifer (2 years old) 

60 cattle – 2 heifers (1 year) 

More than 60 cattle – 1 heifer (1 year old) on each 30 cattle. And one heifer (of 2 years) on each 40 cattle. 

  Zakaat on goat and sheep :  

40 sheep  – 1 sheep

 121 sheep – 2 sheep

 201 sheep – 3 sheep 

400 sheep – 4 sheep

 More than 400 sheep – 1 sheep on each 00  Note: The sheep given in Zakaat should be at least one year old.   

  Q : What there is for cultivation ? 

R : On each harvest, calculate 10% of the harvest value if 51% or more was irrigated by rain or without cost. But if irrigated mostly with cost, then only 5% of the harvest should be given.     

NOTE The team of web islam-qna.org makes available the software ZAKAAT CALCULATOR for the purpose of zakaat calculation.

Click on http://islam-qna.org/ZakaatCalculator.asp?I=C in order to obtain the zakaat calculator for your calculation. 

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