Q. What is Zakaah?
A. Zakaah is the part of
wealth which is given away for the possession and use of poor people, according
to Allâh’s order. Just as prayers and fasting are bodily worship, Zakaah
is worship through one’s property.
Q. Is zakaah a fard
A. It is fard. The
verses of the Holy Qur’aan and the ahaadeeth of the Holy Prophet ()
are full of evidences of zakaah’s being fard. One who
denies the zakaah as being fard is a kaafir.
Q. What are the conditions for zakaah
A. One should be a Muslim, free,
sane, adult, and owner of sufficient amount of property (called the nisaab).
This nisaab should be free from debts and one’s personal
requirements. One year at least should have elapsed on the ownership of the nisaab.
Thus, zakaah is not fard on the property of a kaafir,
slave, an insane person, or a minor child. If someone has property less than
that which is liable for zakaah, or if it is enough for zakaah but
there is debt on it, or the nisaab has not been in ownership for
one year, zakaah will not be fard in all these conditions.
Q. On what kind of belongings is
A. On silver, gold, and all types
of merchandise (trading goods).
Q. Does “silver and gold”
include silver and gold coins, or something else?
A. Zakaah on all things of
silver and gold, gold coins, silver currency, jewelry, utensils, gold and silver
laces, etc. is fard.
Q. Is zakaah fard
on jewels and gems?
A. If the jewels and gems are
meant for trade, zakaah is fard, otherwise not, whatever
their value may be. In the same way, if a person has copper utensils of more
value than the nisaab, or a shop or a house of more value, and the
owner gets its rent also, or he has other valuables than those of gold and
silver, but none of those are for trade, zakaah will not be fard.
Q. What is the ruling if one has
currency notes of the amount of nisaab?
A. Zakaah is fard
Q. If one has some silver and
some gold, but not the amount of nisaab of each, is zakaah
due on that fard?
A. In that case, both should be
valued in terms of silver or gold and their value added together. If it comes to
the order of nisaab of silver or gold either, zakaah
according to that will be given, otherwise zakaah will not be fard.
Q. If one has a little quantity
of gold and its value is equal to or more than the nisaab for
silver, but he has no silver, neither money nor jewelry, is zakaah fard
on him or her?
A. No, in this condition zakaah
will not be fard.
Q. What is meant by merchandise?
A. Goods which are for sale or for
making profits are merchandise- whatever they may be: food, cloth, sugar, shoes,
Q. What is the nisaab?
A. Shari’ah has fixed a certain
quantity or standard of valuables, on possession of which zakaah becomes fard.
Zakaah becomes fard when one owns valuables of that
quantity. This quantity or standard is called Nisaab.
Q. What is the nisaab
A. The nisaab of
silver is 200 dirham (pure silver coins), or about 612 grams of silver.
Q. What will be the zakaah
of 612 grams of silver?
A. Giving 1/40th (2˝
percent) of a thing as zakaah is fard. Thus, for 612 grams,
zakaah will be about 15˝ grams.
Q. What is the nisaab
A. The nisaab of
gold is 20 deenaar (gold coins), or about 88 grams, and its zakaah
is again 1/40th of the amount.
Q. What is the nisaab
A. Calculate the value of the
merchandise according to either silver or gold. Then give away the zakaah
to the order of the nisaab of gold or silver.
Q. What is the right method of
A. Give the zakaah which
has become compulsory on you to a deserving person in the name of Allâh and
make him or her its owner and master. It is not right to give zakaah for
any work or service done. (The man who is in charge of collecting zakaah
can, however, be paid from the zakaah money.) It is also allowed to buy
things with the zakaah money and distribute them to the poor people.
Q. When should zakaah be
A. Zakaah should be given
without delay as soon as one year passes on the valuables of the amount of nisaab.
(A “year” means a lunar calendar year.)
Q. Is it allowed to give away zakaah
before the completion of one year?
A. For a person who owns
valuables, it is allowed to give zakaah according to the nisaab
before the completion of one year.
Q. Is the niyyah
necessary when giving zakaah?
A. Yes. The niyyah should
be there when giving zakaah or at least when one is separating the
required portion from the property. Zakaah will not be fulfilled if one
gives the money with no intention but afterwards accounts it as zakaah.
Q. Is it necessary to tell the
person to whom zakaah is being given that what is given to him is of zakaah?
A. It is not necessary. Zakaah
will be paid even if it is given as a present or ‘Eid gift to poor children, etc.
Q. What is the ruling when the
whole property is destroyed after the completion of one year although no zakaah
had yet been paid on it?
A. The responsibility of zakaah
will also be gone.
Q. What if the whole property is
given away in the name of Allâh after the completion of one year?
A. Its zakaah will also be
Q. What if a portion of the
property is destroyed or given away as charity?
A. For the portion that has been
destroyed or given away as charity, zakaah will lapse. For the remaining
portion zakaah must be paid.
Q. If zakaah for silver
is given away in silver, how should it be assessed, by its value or weight?
A. Its weight should be
Q. If zakaah becomes due
on silver, can anything else be given in its place as zakaah?
A. Yes, by the price of the
quantity of silver that becomes due as zakaah, something else, like cloth
or food, may also be purchased and given.
Q. What is meant by Masaarif
A. The people to whom zakaah
is allowed to be given are called masaarif. Masaarif
is the plural of Masraf. The masaarif of zakaah
are those people to whom zakaah may be given.
Q. What are the masaarif
A. In these days, masaarif
of zakaah are: (1) Faqeer,
a person having little belongings but not to the amount of nisaab.
(2) Miskeen, the person who himself owns nothing. (3) Debtor, or a person
who is in debt of others and whose debt exceeds his belongings to the amount of nisaab.
(4) A traveller who has run short of money while in journey may also be given zakaah
according to his need.
Q. Is it permitted to give zakaah
to the Islamic schools?
A. Yes, it is permitted to give zakaah
to the students and to the managers of the schools for spending on students.
There is no harm in it.
Q. To whom is it not allowed to
A. The persons to whom the giving
of zakaah is forbidden are:
(1) A wealthy person- a person on whom zakaah
is fard, or he has some property over and above his personal
necessity to the amount of nisaab. For example, he has some copper
utensils other than those required by him for daily use, valued to the amount of
nisaab. It is not halaal for such a person to accept
(2) A Sayyid and Banu Haashim. Banu
Haashim means the descendents of Hazrat Ja’far, Hazrat ‘Aqeel, Hazrat ‘Abbaas, and
Hazrat ‘Ali (may Allâh be
pleased with them all).
(3) To one’s father, mother, maternal or
paternal grandfathers and grandmothers, and to those above them in the lineage.
(4) To one’s son, daughter, paternal or
maternal grandson and granddaughter, and to those in the lineage below that.
(5) The husband to his wife and the wife to her
husband can not give zakaah.
(6) To a kaafir.
(7) To a minor child to a wealthy person.
It is not allowed to give zakaah to any of these people.
Q. On what things can the zakaah
not be spent?
A. On those things which do not
make the deserving person the owner and master of the zakaah. It is not
allowed to spend zakaah on such things like the funeral of the dead,
paying off the debt of a dead person, or in the repair or construction of a
mosque or water supply.
Q. Is it permissible to give zakaah
to a person who owns a house worth plenty of money and he lives in it or makes
his living by its rent, but he has no other property than that and has run out
A. It is allowed, because the
house is included in his necessary requirements. But if he has some property
other than his necessary requirements, to the amount of nisaab,
then he is not allowed to accept zakaah.
Q. Will zakaah be
considered as paid if one gives to a person, thinking that he is deserving, but
later on it is found out that he was a Sayyid or a wealthy person, or his
own father or mother or one of his own descendents?
A. It is considered as paid. It is
not necessary to pay it again.
Q. What are the people to whom
giving of zakaah is the best?
A. First to one’s own relatives,
such as brother, sister, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, in-laws, etc.
There is great blessing in paying zakaah to those amongst the above
mentioned who are needy and deserving. After them comes the neighbors or others
residing in one’s city. It is best to give it to the ones amongst those who
are deserving and needy. Then comes the turn of those to whom, if zakaah
is given, it becomes beneficial for the religion, such as students of the
Q. What is Sadaqat-ul-Fitr?
A. Fitr means to
break the fast, or not to keep fast. Allâh has fixed a sadaqah
(charity) over His servants: After the completion of Ramadaan and on the
rejoicing of breaking the fast, this charity should be paid as a mark of
gratitude. This is called Sadaqat-ul-fitr. The ‘Eid that
comes after the Ramadaan is called ‘Eid-ul-Fitr, as it is the
day of rejoicing over the completion of the fast.
Q. On what persons is sadaqat-ul-fitr
is waajib on every free Muslim when he or she owns property to the amount
Q. Is that the same nisaab
as that of zakaah or something else?
A. The nisaab of zakaah
and nisaab of sadaqat-ul-fitr are the same.
But there is a difference between the nisaab of zakaah and
that of sadaqat-ul-fitr. For zakaah, it becomes fard
when a person owns a certain quantity of silver, gold, or merchandise only. But
for sadaqat-ul-fitr to be waajib, all one’s
possessions are counted and all sorts of things are taken into account. It is
necessary for both the nisaabs that one should be free from all
sorts of burdens of debts and have property in excess of one’s necessary
So, if a person has extra clothes, other than those clothes used by him, or
has some extra utensils of copper, brass, china, clay, etc., or has an
occupied house, or some other property or goods exceeding his necessary and
personal requirements, and the value of these things equals or exceeds the
amount of nisaab, no zakaah is (necessarily) fard
on that, but sadaqat-ul-fitr will be waajib. The
condition of the passing of one year is also not necessary over the nisaab
of sadaqat-ul-fitr. The payment of sadaqat-ul-fitr
becomes waajib even if one becomes possessor of the nisaab
the same day.
Q. On whose behalf is the
payment of sadaqat-ul-fitr waajib?
A. The payment of sadaqat-ul-fitr
is waajib on every person who holds nisaab. He should pay
it for himself and on behalf of his minor children. But if the minors have their
own property, it should be paid from that.
Q. It is generally said that sadaqat-ul-fitr
is not waajib on a person who did not keep fast. Is this correct or
A. It is wrong. It is waajib
on every individual who holds nisaab whether they kept the fast or
Q. What is the time of sadaqat-ul-fitr
A. The sadaqah
becomes waajib on ‘Eid day, just after the subh saadiq.
So if a person dies before subh saadiq, no sadaqat-ul-fitr
will be paid from his property. If a child is born before then, it shall be paid
on behalf of the child.
Q. Is it allowed to pay sadaqat-ul-fitr
before the ‘Eid, during Ramadaan?
A. It is allowed.
Q. What is the best time for
A. It is better to pay on ‘Eid
day before going to the ‘Eid prayers. It is also allowed to pay after the
prayers. It will remain due in one’s name until one pays, no matter how much
Q. What things and what
quantities must be paid for the sadaqat-ul-fitr?
A. All kinds of foodgrains or
their equivalent price may be paid as sadaqat-ul-fitr. It
is detailed like this: if wheat, or its flour, is given it should be 3 ˝ lbs.
per person. And if barley, or its flour, is given it should be 7 lbs. per
person. If any other foodgrains – rice, millet, etc. – in place of
wheat and barley is given, then that grain should be equal to the price of
either 3 ˝ lbs. of wheat, or of 7 lbs. of barley. If it is given in cash it
should be equal to the price of 3 ˝ lbs. of wheat or 7 lbs. of barley.
Q. Is it allowed to give sadaqat-ul-fitr
of one person to many poor people, in little quantities to each, or should it be
given to only one poor person?
A. It is allowed to give to many
poor people. In the same way, sadaqat-ul-fitr of many
people can be given to only one person.
Q. To whom should sadaqat-ul-fitr
is allowed to be given to those persons to whom zakaah is allowed to be
given. It is not allowed to give sadaqat-ul-fitr to those
people to whom zakaah cannot be given.
Q. Can those people on whom sadaqat-ul-fitr
is waajib take the zakaah or sadaqat-ul-fitr?
A. They cannot. The persons who
themselves are in possession of the nisaab are not allowed to take
any fard or waajib sadaqah.
THE END OF PART IV
 The Qur’aan actually
mentions 8 fixed categories- only 4 are listed here.