The person who has some wealth and still does not take out zakaat for it is regarded as a great sinner in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. He will be severely punished on the day of judgement. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The person who possesses gold and silver and does not give zakaat for it, then on the day of judgement, slabs of fire will be made for him. These slabs will be heated in the fire of jahannam and his sides, forehead and back will be branded with them. When these slabs become cool, they will be re-heated and the entire process will be repeated.” Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The person who has been given wealth by Allah Ta’ala and despite this does not give zakaat for it, then on the day of judgement this wealth of his will be turned into a huge poisonous snake which will encircle his neck. It will then tear the sides of his mouth apart and tell him: ‘I am your wealth and I am your treasures.'” We seek refuge in Allah Ta’ala. Who can bear such severe punishment? It is the height of foolishness and stupidity that we are prepared to pay such a great penalty for a little greed and selfishness on our part. It is extremely foolish and improper to refuse to spend in the path of Allah the wealth that Allah Himself has granted to us.
1. If a person possesses 612.35 grams of silver or 87.479 grams of gold or any currency that equals the value of this amount of gold or silver, and this wealth remains in his possession for a complete year, then on the expiry of this year it will be wajib on him to give zakaat for it. If his wealth is less than this, zakaat will not be wajib. If it is more than this, zakaat will still be wajib.
2. A person possessed the complete nisaab for about four to six months. Thereafter, this nisaab decreased, and after about three months he acquired some other wealth (and he once again possesses the complete nisaab, even in such a case zakaat will be wajib on him. In other words, if a person possesses the nisaab at the beginning and at the end of the year, zakaat will be wajib on him. By the nisaab decreasing during the course of the year, one is not absolved of giving one’s zakaat. However, if his entire wealth is lost and he finds it later, then the beginning of the year will be calculated from the time that he finds his wealth. (The period prior to that will not be calculated).
3. A person possessed the nisaab but prior to the expiry of one year all his wealth is lost and it was not in his possession for the complete year. In such a case zakaat will not be wajib.
4. A person possesses the full nisaab and also has debts which equal the nisaab. In such a case zakaat will not be wajib.
5. If his debts are such that if he were to fulfil his debts he will have a remainder of wealth which will equal the nisaab, then zakaat will be wajib on him.
6. Zakaat is wajib on jewellery, utensils, ornaments, and brocades that have been made with gold or silver. This is irrespective of whether these items are in use or not. In other words, zakaat is wajib on everything that is made of gold or silver. However, if they are less than the nisaab, zakaat will not be wajib.
7. If the gold or silver is not pure but has been mixed with another metal, then one will have to check as to which is more in content. If the gold or silver is more, then the rules which are applicable to both will apply here as well. That is, if they equal the nisaab, zakaat will be wajib. If the content of the other metal is more than that of the gold or silver, it will not be regarded as gold or silver. The rules that apply to brass, copper, steel, tin, etc. will also apply to this metal. These rules will be discussed later.
8. A person does not have the complete nisaab of gold nor of silver. Instead, he has a bit of gold and a bit of silver. If both are added together and their value equals the nisaab of gold or silver, zakaat will be wajib. But if they do not equal the nisaab of either gold or silver after adding them together, zakaat will not be wajib. If the nisaab of gold or silver is complete, there is no need to obtain their value.
9. Assuming that the price of 11.664 grams of gold is R25, and for R1 we can get 17.496 grams of silver and a person possesses double this amount of gold (i.e. 23.328 grams) plus R5 both of which is over and above his needs. Furthermore, he has this gold and cash in his possession for a full year. In such a case, zakaat will be wajib. This is because the 23.328 grams of gold equals R50, and for R50 one can purchase 874.8 grams of silver (50×17.496g). In addition to this, if the R5 were to be added together, this will result in a lot of wealth upon which zakaat will be wajib. However, if he only possesses the 23.328 grams of gold and does not have any cash or silver; zakaat will not be wajib.
10. Assuming that we get 23.328 grams of silver for R1 and a person only possesses R30. Zakaat will not be wajib and we will not calculate and say that R30 equals 699.84 grams of silver (i.e. 30 x 23.328 = 699.84) based on the fact that the rand is actually in place of the silver and when we only have gold or silver, then we will take the weight into consideration and not the value. (This rule will only apply when the coins used to be made of silver. These days, coins are made of copper and other cheap metals. We even receive them in return for currency notes. Now the ruling will be that the person who possesses coins or notes equal to the current value of the nisaab of gold or silver, zakaat on this will be wajib.)
11. A person had money equal to the nisaab which was over and above his needs. Prior to the expiry of the year, he received an additional amount. This additional amount will not be calculated separately. Instead, it will be added to the original amount and upon the expiry of the year, zakaat will be wajib on the entire amount and it will be regarded as if the original amount and the additional amount was in his possession for one full year.
12. A person had silver which was equal to the nisaab. Prior to the expiry of the year, he received an amount of gold (whether more or less than the amount of nisaab). This amount will not be calculated separately. Instead, it will be added to the original amount of silver and zakaat will be wajib on the total amount upon the expiry of that year.
13. With the exception of gold and silver, the rule regarding all other metals such as steel, copper, brass, etc., the utensils that are made of these metals, clothing, footwear, and all other such items is that if these items are for the purpose of trade, zakaat will be wajib on them if they reach the nisaab of either gold or silver and are in the possession of the person for a period of one year. However, if these items do not reach the nisaab, zakaat will not be wajib. If these items are not for the purpose of trade, zakaat will not be wajib irrespective of the amount one possesses. Even if the value of these items reaches thousands of rands, zakaat will not be wajib as long as they are not for the purpose of trade.
14. Zakaat is not wajib on household effects such as utensils, pots, big pots, trays, basins, crockery and glassware, the house in which one lives, the clothes which one wears, jewellery made of pearls, etc. This is irrespective of the amount and irrespective of whether they are being used daily or not. However, if they are kept for the purpose of trade, zakaat will be wajib on them as well. In short, zakaat is not wajib on all items apart from gold and silver if they are not for the purpose of trade. But if they are for trade, zakaat will be wajib on them as well.
15. A person owns several homes from which he collects rent. Zakaat is not wajib on these homes irrespective of their value. Similarly, if a person purchases some utensils and hires them out, zakaat will not be wajib on these utensils. In short, by hiring or renting something out, zakaat does not become wajib on that thing.
16. Zakaat is not wajib on clothes irrespective of how expensive they may be. However, if they are embroidered with gold or silver thread and if this thread were to be removed and weighed it will be equal to the nisaab, then in such a case zakaat will be wajib. But if it does not reach the nisaab, zakaat will not be wajib.
17. A person possesses some gold or silver, and some goods for trade as well. All these will have to be calculated together. If they reach the nisaab of either gold or silver, zakaat will be wajib. If they do not reach the nisaab, zakaat will not be wajib.
18. Goods for trade will only be regarded as such if they have been purchased with the intention of re-sale. If a person purchases some rice or any other item for his domestic needs or for a wedding, etc. and thereafter decides to sell this item, zakaat will not be wajib on this.
19. Zakaat is also wajib on the money that is owed to a person by his debtors. Debts are of three types:
The First Type: The person loaned some gold, silver or money, or sold some tradeable goods to another person. He is owing this money and only repays his debt after a year or two. If whatever he loaned is equal to or more than the nisaab, zakaat will be wajib for all the years that he had loaned the money.
He did not repay the debt at once, but in instalments. The moment he pays an amount equal to the value of 128.304 grams of silver, zakaat will become wajib on him. But if the person repays the value of 128.304 grams of silver in instalments as well, zakaat will only become wajib on the completion of this amount. Each time that this amount is paid, zakaat on it will have to be given. Whenever the person gives the zakaat, he will also have to pay for all the previous years in which the zakaat was not paid.
If the money owed is less than the nisaab, zakaat will not be wajib on the person. However, if the person has some other wealth upon which zakaat is necessary, then this wealth should be added to the money owed. If, after adding them together, they equal the nisaab, zakaat will be wajib on the total amount.
20. The Second Type: A person did not loan any cash nor did he give (on credit) any goods for trade. Instead, he sold something which was not originally purchased for re-sale, eg. he sold some of his personal clothing or some household goods, and the person is still owing him the money for these items. In addition to this, the amount that he is owing is equal to or more than the nisaab and he only repays this amount after several years. Zakaat will be wajib for all the years. If he does not repay this debt at once, but repays it in instalments, then as long as the paid up instalments do not reach the current nisaab of silver or gold, zakaat will not be wajib on the amount that he collected. The moment an instalment reaches the current nisaab, zakaat becomes wajib for all the years in which zakaat was not paid.
21. The Third Type: The husband owes his wife the mahr (dowry) which had been stipulated at the time of marriage. He only pays this mahr after several years. Zakaat will only be calculated from the day that she actually receives her mahr. Zakaat for the previous years will not be wajib. If the mahr remains with her for a period of one year after having received it, zakaat will become wajib on her upon the expiry of one year. But if she does not have the mahr (for example, if she spends it), zakaat will not be wajib.
22. A rich person upon whom zakaat is wajib gives his zakaat before the expiry of one year and does not wait until the end of the year. This is permissible and his zakaat will be considered to be fulfilled. But if the person is not rich and envisaged receiving some money in the near future, and therefore gave his zakaat before the expiry of the year, this zakaat of his will not be considered to be fulfilled. When he receives the money and thereafter a year passes, he will have to give his zakaat again.
23. It is permissible for a rich person to give zakaat for several years beforehand. But if his wealth increases in any given year, he will have to give zakaat for the extra wealth that he obtained.
24. A person has R1000 over and above his basic needs. He also envisages receiving another R1000 from somewhere. Before the expiry of the year, he gives zakaat for the total R2000. This is also permissible. However, if his money gets less than the nisaab at the end of that year, then zakaat will not be wajib on him and the zakaat which he had already given will be regarded as a voluntary charity (sadaqah-e-naafilah).
25. A person had some wealth for a full year but before he could give the zakaat, all his wealth was stolen or disappeared in some other way. He will be absolved from giving zakaat. But if the person gives his wealth away or causes it to be destroyed in some way or the other, then he will not be absolved from giving the zakaat. It will remain wajib upon him.
26. After the expiry of the year, a person gave all his wealth in charity. Zakaat will not be wajib on him.
27. A person had R2000. After the expiry of one year, R1000 was stolen or he gave it in charity. He will be absolved from giving the zakaat of R1000. He will now only have to give zakaat for R1000.
The Paying of Zakaat
1. Upon the expiry of the year, zakaat should be given immediately. It is not a good habit to delay in carrying out good deeds because it is possible that death may overcome a person and this duty will still remain on his shoulders. If the paying of zakaat is delayed to such an extent that the second year also expires, the person will be a sinner but he can still repent for this sin and pay the zakaat immediately. In other words, he should pay the zakaat that is incumbent upon him at some time or the other in his life and should not leave it out.
2. Zakaat is wajib on 1/40th of all the wealth which a person possesses. That is, R2-50 for every R100 or R1 for every R40.
3. At the time of giving the zakaat to a poor person, one must have the intention in his heart that he is giving this money as zakaat. If he merely gives it without making any intention, the zakaat will not be fulfilled. He will have to give the zakaat again, and he will be rewarded separately for the money that he had already given.
4. If the person did not make the intention of giving zakaat at the time of giving it to the poor person, then as long as that money is still in the possession of the poor person, he will be able to make the intention. By making the intention at this stage, his zakaat will be fulfilled. But if the poor person has already spent that money, then the intention that is made at this stage will not be considered. He will have to repeat the payment of his zakaat.
5. A person set aside R2 to be given as zakaat and decided that when he comes across a deserving person he will give it to him. However, when he gave it to the poor person he forgot to make the intention of zakaat. In this case, zakaat will be fulfilled. But if he did not make the intention of zakaat at the time of setting it aside, his zakaat will not be fulfilled.
6. A person has taken out his zakaat for distribution. He has the choice of giving all his zakaat to one person or distributing it among several persons. He also has the option of giving all the zakaat on one day or distributing it over several months.
7. It is better to give one poor person an amount which will be sufficient for him for that day so that he will not have to ask anyone else.
8. It is makruh to give one poor person an amount which makes the giving of zakaat wajib. However, if it is given, the zakaat will be fulfilled. It is permissible and not makruh to give an amount that is less than this.
9. A person comes to borrow some money and it is known that he is so poor and hard-pressed that he will be unable to fulfil this debt or that he is a very bad payer and never fulfils his debts. If the person gives him some zakaat money and also makes this intention in his heart that he is giving zakaat, then in such a case zakaat will be fulfilled despite the poor person regarding it as a debt.
10. If a poor person is given something as a gift, but in his heart the person has the intention of giving zakaat, even then zakaat will be fulfilled.
11. A poor person is owing you R10. You also have to pay zakaat for a sum of R10 or more. You forgave the poor person the R10 which he is owing you with the intention of it being zakaat. In such a case, zakaat will not be fulfilled. However, if you give him another R10 with the intention of zakaat, zakaat will be fulfilled. It will now be permissible to take this R10 from him as a fulfilment of his debt.
12. If a person has so much of silver in his possession that the zakaat on that silver amounts to 33 grams of silver and the market value of this 33 grams is two silver coins, then it is not permissible to give two silver coins in zakaat because these two coins do not weigh 33 grams. And if silver is paid in zakaat against silver goods, then the weight of the silver being paid is considered and not the price. However, in the aforementioned case, if gold, metal-base coins, clothing, etc. to the value of two silver coins is purchased and given as zakaat, or 33 grams of silver is paid as zakaat, then the zakaat will be fulfilled.
13. It is permissible for a person to appoint someone else to give the zakaat on his behalf. If the person to whom the money has been given does not make the intention of zakaat at the time of giving the money to a poor person, the zakaat will still be fulfilled.
14. You gave a person R2 to be given to another person as zakaat. However, this person did not give the very same R2 which you had given to him. Instead, he gave another R2 which was in his personal possession and thought in his mind that he will take the R2 that you had given him. Even in this case the zakaat will be be fulfilled. However, this is on the condition that your R2 is in his possession and he is now taking your R2 in place of his R2. But if he spends your R2 first and thereafter gives his own R2 to a poor person, zakaat will not be fulfilled. Alternatively, he has your R2 in his possession, but at the time of giving his R2 he did not make the intention of taking your R2 later. Even in this case, zakaat will not be fulfilled. He will now have to give R2 in zakaat again.
15. If you did not give him any money but merely asked him to give some zakaat on your behalf and he does this for you, the zakaat will be fulfilled. He should now take whatever amount he had paid from you.
16. If a person pays some zakaat on your behalf without your asking him to do so or without your permission, the zakaat will not be fulfilled. Now, even if you agree or accept his payment on your behalf, it will not be permissible. He does not even have the right to collect or ask you for that money.
17. You have given a person R2 to be given on your behalf as zakaat. This person has the choice of giving it to a poor person himself or asking a third person to give it on his behalf. When giving it to this third person he does not have to mention your name that this zakaat must be given on behalf of so and so person. If that person gives the money to a relative of his, or to his parents if he finds them in need, this is also permissible. However, if the person who was asked to distribute the zakaat is poor himself; he cannot take this money for his personal use. But, at the time of giving the money to him, if you told him to do whatever he likes with the money and that he could give it to whomsoever he wishes, it will be permissible for him to keep it for his personal use.
Zakaat on Produce of the Land
1. A particular place was in the control of the kuffaar. These kuffaar used to live there and lead their normal lives in that place. Thereafter, the Muslims invaded that place, waged war with the inhabitants, captured the place and propagated Islam therein. The Muslim ruler confiscated all the land of that place and distributed it among the Muslims. In the Shariah, such land is referred to as “ushri” land. If all the inhabitants of that place accepted Islam willingly and there was no need to wage a war against them, all the land of that place will still be regarded as ushri land. All Arab lands are also ushri lands.
2. If a person owns an ushri land which has come down to him from his forefathers or purchases it from a Muslim who inherited it from his forefathers, zakaat will be wajib on whatever produce that comes out of this land. The method of paying zakaat for such a land is that the person will have to see how the land was irrigated. If it was irrigated entirely by rain water or if the crops were planted on the banks of a river or stream and these crops grew without having to irrigate them, then one tenth of the total produce of such a plantation will have to be given as zakaat. However, if the plantation was irrigated through any other mechanical means, one twentieth of the total produce will have to be given as zakaat. The same rule applies to an orchard which is on such a land. This is irrespective of the amount of produce, i.e. zakaat will be wajib irrespective of whether the produce is of a considerable amount or very little.
3. The same rule applies to corn, vegetables, esculent vegetables, fruit, flowers, etc.
4. If honey is obtained from an ushri land, from the jungle or a mountain, zakaat on this honey will also be wajib.
5. A person planted a tree in his yard or planted vegetables or some other seed and later it bore some fruit. Zakaat on such produce is not wajib.
6. An ushri land does not remain ushri when it is purchased by a kaafir. Later, if a Muslim repurchases it or obtains it in some other way, it will not become an ushri land.
7. This one tenth and one twentieth which we have mentioned, is it wajib on the person who owns the land or on the person who owns the produce of the land? There is a difference of opinion among the ulama in this regard. In order to facilitate matters, we generally say that it is wajib on the person who owns the produce of the land. If the land is given out on lease, zakaat will be wajib on the person who owns the produce. This is irrespective of whether he pays the rent in cash or gives some produce of the land as a form of payment. But if the seeds were provided by the land owner, zakaat will be wajib on both the land owner and the person who owns the produce according to their respective shares.
Zakaat on Livestock
1. The passing of one full year is a prerequisite for zakaat on all livestock.
2. Zakaat is fard on livestock. Livestock refers to the animal in which the following factors are found:
(a) It must graze freely for a major portion of the year. It must not be fed in its stable. If it spends half the year grazing freely and half the year in it’s stable; it will not be regarded as livestock. Similarly, if hay or straw is brought to its stable and it feeds on that hay or straw, it will not be regarded as livestock irrespective of whether this hay or straw was purchased or not.
(b) It must be kept for its milk, for the purpose of pro-creation, or in order to fatten it. If it is not kept for any of these purposes, and instead, is kept for its meat or as a means of transportation, it will not be regarded as livestock.
3. The prerequisite for zakaat on livestock is that it must be a camel, bull, buffalo, goat, or sheep. The female of each is also included. Zakaat is not wajib on wild animals such as buck. However, if these wild animals are kept for the purpose of trade, then the zakaat of tradeable goods will be wajib on them as well. The animal that is born through copulation between a domestic animal and a wild animal will fall under the classification of its mother. That is, if the mother was a domestic animal, it will also be regarded as a domestic animal. But if the mother was a wild animal, it will also be regarded as such, e.g. if an animal is born from a buck and female goat, the animal will be classified as a goat. If an animal is born from a white antelope and a cow, the animal will be classified as a cow.
4. An animal which was from among one’s livestock was sold during the course of the year with the intention of trade. Zakaat will not have to be given on that animal for that year. The year for that animal will be calculated from the time that the person intended to use it for the purpose of trade.
5. There is no zakaat on young animals which are alone. However, if one is in possession of older animals together with younger animals, zakaat will be obligatory on both young and old animals. Furthermore, the zakaat itself will be paid with the older and not the younger animals. However, if the older animals die after the expiry of one year, zakaat will be waived.
6. There is no zakaat on animals which have been made waqf for the sake of Allah.
7. Zakaat is wajib on horses which graze if both the male and the female of the species are together. One dinar per horse will have to be given. Alternatively, the value of all the horses should be calculated and one fortieth of the total be given as zakaat.
8. Zakaat is not wajib on donkeys and mules if they are not for trade.
The Nisaab for Camels
It should be remembered that zakaat becomes fard on five camels. If a person possesses less than five camels, zakaat will not be fard. In order to understand the zakaat on camels easily, the following table should be consulted:
1. If the number of camels is more than 200, the same method of calculation as has been followed from 150 onwards should be continued.
2. If a person possesses camels and gives a camel as zakaat, then this camel which he is giving as zakaat will have to be a female camel. However, if a male camel is of the same value as that of a female camel, it will be permissible to give a male camel.
The Nisaab for Cattle
Bulls and buffaloes fall under the category of cattle. The nisaab for both is also the same. If the nisaab of cattle can be completed by adding both together, then both will have to be added and zakaat given accordingly. For example, if there are 20 bulls and 10 buffaloes, both will be added together thereby completing the nisaab of 30. However, when paying the zakaat, the animal that is more in number will have to be given. In other words, if there are more bulls, then bulls will have to be given. If there are more buffaloes, buffaloes will have to be given as zakaat. But if the buffaloes and bulls are equal in number, then the cheap animal of the category which is regarded as more valuable should be given or the expensive animal of the category which is regarded as less valuable should be given. The following table may be consulted for zakaat on cattle:
The Nisaab for Sheep and Goats
As regards zakaat for sheep and goats, the nisaab for both is the same. If the number of goats and the number of sheep reaches the nisaab individually, the zakaat of both will be given together and the number of sheep and goats will be added together and zakaat given of the total number. If the number of each does not reach the nisaab, even then both will be added together in order to complete the nisaab. The animal that is more in number will be given as zakaat. But if both are equal in number, one has the choice of giving whichever one wishes. The following table may be consulted for zakaat on sheep and goats:
Who is Entitled to Receive Zakaat
1. The person who possesses the nisaab of either gold or silver, or trade goods which equal the nisaab of either gold or silver is regarded as a rich person in the Shariah. It is not permissible to give zakaat money to him. Nor is it permissible for him to accept or consume zakaat money. Similarly, the person who has belongings which are not for the purposes of trade but are over and above his basic needs, is also considered to be a rich person. It is not permissible to give zakaat money to such a person as well. Furthermore, although he is regarded as a rich person, zakaat is not wajib on him.
2. The person who has very little wealth or has no wealth at all to the extent that he does not have sufficient food for one day is regarded as a poor person. It is permissible to give zakaat to such a person. It is also permissible for him to accept zakaat money.
3. Large utensils, expensive carpets, etc. which are very occasionally used in weddings and other functions are not regarded as necessary items.
4. The following things are regarded as necessities of life: a house to stay in, clothes that are worn, slaves for domestic purposes, and furniture that is in use. If a person possesses these things, he will not be regarded as a rich person irrespective of the value of these items. It is therefore permissible to give zakaat to such a person. In the same way, the books and other essentials of a learned person are also included among the necessities of life.
5. A person owns several properties from which he receives rent. The income of these properties is used to run his own home. Alternatively, a person possesses a few cows from which he receives a certain amount of income. Despite this, he has a very large number of dependents whereby he cannot live a comfortable life and always finds himself in difficulties. Nor does he have any wealth upon which zakaat could be wajib. It is therefore permissible to give zakaat to such a person as well.
6. A person has R1000 in cash with him. However, he is also in debt for an amount of over a thousand rands. It is permissible to give him zakaat as well. However, if his debt is less than R1000, then this amount that he is owing will be subtracted from the cash that he possesses. Thereafter we will have to see whether the balance that he has is more than the nisaab of zakaat or less than it. If the balance is more than the nisaab, zakaat cannot be given to him. But if it is less, then zakaat can be given to him.
7. A person may be a very rich person at home. However, while on a journey, all his money got stolen or exhausted in some other way to such an extent that he does not even have sufficient funds to reach his eventual destination. It will be permissible to give zakaat to such a person. Similarly, a person who is travelling for hajj and who may be a rich person can also be given zakaat money if all his money gets spent.
8. Zakaat cannot be given to a kaafir. It will have to be given to a Muslim. All forms of charity can be given to a kaafir except the following: zakaat, ushr, sadaqatul fitr, nazr, and kaffarah.
9. Zakaat funds cannot be used for the building of a musjid, for the shrouding and burial of a deceased person, for the payment of debts on behalf of a deceased person, or for any other noble purpose. As long as zakaat is not given to the rightful person, it will not be considered to be fulfilled.
10. Zakaat cannot be given to one’s ascendents. That is, to one’s parents, maternal and paternal grand-parents and even great grand-parents. In the same way, zakaat cannot be given to one’s descendants. That is, to one’s children, grand-children, great grand-children, etc. In the same way, the husband and wife cannot give zakaat to each other.
11. Apart from the above mentioned, it is permissible to give zakaat to all other relatives such as one’s brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, maternal and paternal uncles and aunts, step father or step mother, step grandfather, father-in-law, mother-in-law, etc.
12. It is not permissible to give zakaat to immature children if their father is rich. If the children are mature and poor, but their father is rich, it will be permissible to give zakaat to them.
13. If the father of an immature child is not rich but the mother is, it will be permissible to give zakaat to that child.
14. It is not permissible to give zakaat to the progeny of Hadrat Faatimah radiallahu anha, the progeny of Hadrat Ali radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Abbas radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Ja’far radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Aqeel radiallahu anhu, Hadrat Haarith bin Abdul Muttalib radiallahu anhu. Similarly, the charities which have been made wajib by the Shariah cannot be given to the progeny of the above Sahabah. Such charities are, nazr, kaffarah, ushr, sadaqatul fitr. Apart from these, all other charities can be given to them.
15. It is permissible to give zakaat to one’s Muslim servants, workers, employees, etc. However, this zakaat should not be included in their wages or salaries. Instead, it should be given separately as a gift. At the time of giving this gift to them, one should have the intention in his heart that he is giving zakaat.
16. It is permissible to give zakaat to one’s foster mother and foster children.
17. The mahr of a woman was fixed at R1000. However, the husband cannot fulfil this due to poverty. It will be permissible to give zakaat to such a woman. It will also be permissible to give zakaat to her if her husband is rich but refuses to give, or if she has absolved him from giving the mahr. If the woman knows that if she had to ask her husband for her mahr, he will give it to her without hesitation, it will not be permissible to give zakaat to her.
18. A person gave zakaat to another person thinking that he is poor. Later, he learnt that this person was rich or he was a sayyid. Alternatively, he gave it to someone on a dark night and later realized that the person to whom he had given the zakaat was actually his mother or daughter, or any other relative to whom zakaat is not permissible. In all these cases, zakaat will be considered to be fulfilled and there will be no need to repeat the payment of zakaat. However, if the person to whom the zakaat was given learns that this was actually zakaat money and that he is not eligible to receive zakaat, he should return the zakaat money. If the person who gave the zakaat learns that the person to whom he had given the zakaat was actually a kaafir, he will have to give zakaat again.
19. A person has a doubt as to whether a certain person is rich or poor. Zakaat should not be given to him until it has been ascertained whether he is eligible to receive zakaat or not. If zakaat is given to him without ascertaining his financial position, the person should check with his heart and see to which side his heart is more inclined. If his heart tells him that the person is poor, zakaat will be fulfilled. If his heart tells him that the person is rich, zakaat will not be fulfilled and will therefore have to be repeated. But if he establishes the fact that he is indeed a poor person after having given the zakaat to him, then he does not have to give the zakaat again.
20. At the time of giving zakaat and all other forms of charity, one should first take one’s relatives into consideration. However, when giving them this zakaat, they should not be told that it is zakaat so that they do not feel offended. It is mentioned in the Hadith that by giving charity to one’s relatives one receives a double reward – one reward for giving charity, and one for showing kindness to one’s relatives. After giving the relatives, if there is any remainder, it should be given to outsiders.
21. It is makruh to send the zakaat of one place to another place. However, it will not be makruh to do so in the following instances: (1) if one’s poor relatives live at another place, (2) the inhabitants of that place are more deserving than the inhabitants of this place, (3) the inhabitants of that place are more involved in deeni activities. There is great reward in sending zakaat to students of deen and pious ulama.
Miscellaneous Masa’il on Zakaat
1. If a person mixes his halaal wealth with haraam money, zakaat will have to be given on the total amount.
2. If a person passes away without paying the zakaat which was wajib on him, zakaat will not be taken from his wealth. But if he makes a bequest that his zakaat must be paid from his wealth, then this zakaat will be taken from one third of his wealth irrespective of whether this one third will be sufficient for the payment of his zakaat or not. If his inheritors agree to give from the balance of his wealth (i.e. more than the one third), it will be permissible to take from this balance according to the amount that the inheritors specify.
3. If the creditor forgives his debtor from paying his debt after the expiry of one year, the creditor will not have to pay zakaat on this money for that year. However, if the debtor is a rich person, the creditor’s forgiving him will be regarded as if he is destroying his wealth. The creditor will therefore have to give zakaat on this wealth. This is because the destroying of zakaatable wealth does not absolve one from paying zakaat.
4. The giving of optional charities is only mustahab when one’s wealth is over and above one’s necessities and the necessities of one’s family members. If it is not so, it will be makruh to give optional charities. Similarly, it is also makruh to give all one’s wealth to charity. However, if the person has full conviction on his trust in Allah Ta’ala and on his ability to exercise patience and there is no possibility of any harm befalling his family, it will not be makruh to do so. Instead, it will be better to give all his wealth in charity.
Explanation of Islamic Terms
Arsh: The throne of Allah Ta’ala.
Banu Isra’eel: Literally means the children of Isra’eel. It refers to the progeny of Hadrat Ya’qub alayhis salaam.
Barakah: Literally means “blessings”. It refers to the experiencing of abundance in things which are apparently insignificant or little, both in value and amount.
Burqah: A head covering worn by women.
Dua: Invocation to Allah, supplication, prayer, request, plea.
Durood: The sending of salutations upon Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
Eid ul-Ad’haa: The 10th of Zil Hijjah. Literally means “the festival of sacrifice”. It is referred to as ad’haa because it is on this day that animals are sacrificed in the name of Allah and for His pleasure alone.
Eid ul-Fitr: The first day of Shawwaal. Literally means “feast of breaking the Ramadaan fast”. It is referred to as fitr because it is on this day that the month-long Ramadaan fast comes to an end.
Fard: Literally means “compulsory”. In Islam it refers to those acts and things which are compulsory on a Muslim. Abandoning or abstaining from a fard act is a major sin. Rejecting a fard act amounts to kufr.
Ghayr mahram: Refers to all those people with whom marriage is permissible. Based on this, it is also incumbent to observe purdah with all ghayr mahrams.
Haid: Monthly periods or menstruation experienced by a woman.
Hoor: Large-eyed women of paradise promised to the believers.
Ibaadah: Literally means “worship”. In Islam it refers to all those acts with which one renders worship to Allah Ta’ala.
Iddah: In Islamic law it refers to the period of waiting during which a woman may not remarry after being widowed or divorced.
Iftaar: The time of opening one’s fast. This time commences immediately after sunset.
Ihraam: Two pieces of unstitched cloth which are donned by the person performing hajj or umrah.
Jumu’ah musjid: Refers to the musjid in which jumu’ah salaat is offered. It is also referred to as a jaame musjid. It is generally the main musjid in a town or city.
Kaafir: Literally means a “disbeliever”. In Islam it refers to one who rejects Allah and does not believe in Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam as the final messenger of Allah.
Kaffarah: Literally means “penance, atonement, expiation”. In Islamic law it refers to redemption from the omission of certain religious duties by a material donation or a ritual act.
Kalaam-e-majeed: Refers to the Holy Quran.
Kalimah: Refers to the basic tenet of Islam, i.e. bearing witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
Kuffaar: Plural of kaafir.
Kufr: Refers to the state of disbelief.
Kurta: An Urdu word meaning “shirt”. However, due to constant usage, it refers to the long flowing robe worn by Muslim men and which has come to be regarded as an Islamic dress.
Lungi: A loin cloth worn by men especially in eastern countries. A lungi is wrapped around the waist and extends up to the ankles.
Mahram: Refers to the person with whom marriage is not permissible and with whom strict purdah is not incumbent.
Makruh: That which is disliked or detestable but not forbidden.
Meelad: Literally means “birth, birthday”. In this context it refers to the birthday celebrations held in respect for Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. In most cases these celebrations are innovations which are accompanied by many other evils.
Miswaak: A thin stick or twig which is used to clean the teeth.
Mt. Uhud: Name of a mountain outside Madinah.
Muharram: The first month of the Islamic calendar.
Mustahab: That which is preferable or desirable.
Nafl: That which is optional.
Nifaas: Refers to the flowing of blood after child-birth.
Purdah: An Urdu word meaning “seclusion”. It is an equivalent of the Arabic word “hijaab”. Refers to the seclusion of women from strangers. There are different stages of purdah, the highest of which is that the woman should not come out of her home except for a valid Islamic reason.
Qada: Literally means “carrying out or fulfilling”. In Islamic jurisprudence it refers to fulfilling or completing those duties that one may have missed due to some reason or the other.
Qiblah: The direction in which one faces when offering salaat.
Qiyaamah: The day of resurrection.
Qurbaani: Literally means “sacrifice”. In Islam it refers to the sacrificing of animals solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala on the day of eid ul-ad’haa and the two days following it.
Rajab: The seventh month of the Islamic calendar.
Rakaat: Literally means “bending of the torso from an upright position”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to one unit of salaat which comprises of the standing, bowing, and prostrating postures.
Ramadaan: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
Sadaqah: Literally means “charity”. This word is also used as an equivalent of zakaat.
Sadaqatul fitr: Refers to the charity that is given on or prior to the day of eid ul-fitr. For further details, refer to the chapter on sadaqatul fitr.
Sajdah: The act of prostrating.
Salaam: Literally means “peace”. In salaat it refers to the saying of “as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah” which denotes the end of the salaat. It is also a way of greeting among Muslims.
Satr: An Urdu word derived from the Arabic “sitr”, which means “cover, shield”. In the Urdu context it refers to that area of the body which has to be covered. It is also referred to as the “aurah”.
Sehri: Refers to the meal partaken before dawn by the person who intends fasting. For further details refer to the chapter on sehri and iftaar.
Sha’baan: The tenth month of the Islamic calendar.
Shirk: Polytheism or ascribing partners to Allah Ta’ala.
Subah saadiq: Literally means “true dawn”. It refers to the time when whiteness (brightness) can be noticed on the breadth of the horizon. It is at this time that the time of fajr salaat commences.
Sub’haanallah: Means “glory to Allah”.
Sufis: A term used to refer to mystics or saints. Such persons are also known as the auliyaa of Allah, i.e. the close friends of Allah. These are the persons who have dedicated their entire lives in the ibaadah of Allah Ta’ala.
Surmah: Antimony. A black powdery substance that is applied to the eyes. It is sunnah to apply surmah.
Tasbeeh: Saying “sub’haanallah”. A rosary that is used to glorify Allah Ta’ala is also called a tasbeeh.
Umrah: Commonly referred to as the lesser pilgrimage. It is similar to hajj with the exception that many of the rites of hajj are left out and that it could be performed throughout the year.
Wajib: Literally means “obligatory’. In Islamic jurisprudence it refers to that act which has not been established by an absolute proof. Leaving out a wajib without any valid reason makes one a faasiq and entails punishment.
Zikr: The remembrance of Allah Ta’ala.
Zil Hijjah: The last month of the Islamic calendar.
Zil Qa’dah: The eleventh month of the Islamic calendar.