Fiqh 3.1: Zakah, definition
Zakah or alms tax can be defined as that portion of a man's wealth which is designated for the poor. The term is derived from the Arabic verbal root meaning "to increase." "to purify," and "to bless." It find its origin in Allah's command to: "Take sadaqah (charity) from their property in order to purify and sanctify them" [at-Taubah 103]. That is why this kind of sadaqah is called zakah, for by paying it, one is aspiring to attain blessing, purification, and the cultivation of good deeds.
Taking into account its very nature, it is no wonder that zakah constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam. It is associated with prayer (salah) in eighty-two Qur'anic verses. Allah, the Exalted One, prescribed it in His Book (The Qur'an), His Messenger corroborated it by his (sunnah), and the community (ummah) by consensus upheld it. Ibn 'Abbas reported that when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, sent Mu'azh ibn Jabal to Yemen (as its governor), he said to him: "You are going to a people who are People of the Scripture. Invite them to accept the shahadah: that there is no god but Allah and I am His Messenger. If they accept and affirm this, tell them that Allah, the Glorious One, has enjoined five prayers upon them during the day and night. If they accept that, tell them also that He has enjoined sadaqah upon their assets which will be taken from the rich of the (Muslim) community and distributed to the poor. If they accept that, refrain from laying hands upon the best of their goods and fear the cry of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between Allah and it."
At-Tabarani relates in al-'Awsat and as-Saghir, on the authority of 'Ali, that the Prophet said: "Allah has enjoined upon rich Muslims a due to be taken from their properties corresponding to the needs of the poor among them. The poor will never suffer from starvation or lack of clothes unless the rich neglect their due. If they do, Allah will surely hold them accountable and punish them severely." According to at-Tabarani: "It was reported only by Thabit ibn Muhammad az-Zahid." Of Thabit's credibility, al-Hafiz in turn says: "Thabit was an honest and trustworthy person. AlBukhari and others related from him, and the rest of the narrators in the chain are considered as accepted authorities."
In the early days of Islam at Makkah, no limit or restriction was placed on the amount to be donated, for that decision was left to the individual Muslim's conscience and generosity. In the second year of hijrah, according to the widely known authorities, both the type and the quantity of zakah revenues were determined, and detailed illustrations were provided.
Fiqh 3.2: Exhortation to Give Zakah in the Qur'an
At-Taubah 103 authorizes the Prophet, upon whom be peace, to take either a stipulated amount of alms from the believers' holdings in the form of the obligatory zakah, or a voluntary, unstipulated amount (zakah of tatawwul). In this 'ayah, "purify" means to purify them from stinginess, greed, and meanness, and a lack of remorse toward the poor and the wretched. To sanctify them is to raise them in esteem through good deeds and blessings so that they will be worthy of happiness both now and in the afterlife.
In reference to the life hereafter, Allah reveals: "Lo! Those who keep from evil will dwell amid gardens and watersprings, taking that which their Lord gives them. For they were before doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night, and in the hours of the early dawn they prayed for forgiveness.... In their wealth, the beggar and the outcast had due share" [azh-Zhariyat 15-19]. Allah views beneficence and righteousness as exclusive qualities of the pious. It is because of their beneficence that they pray at night and ask Allah's forgiveness at dawn as a way of worshipping and approaching Him. Their beneficence is likewise in their giving to the needy their share of mercy and sympathy.
Allah further confirms: "And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, they perform prayer and pay the zakah, and they obey Allah and His Messenger. Upon them, Allah will have mercy" [at-Taubah 71].
Such are the people blessed by Allah and given His mercy-- those who believe in Him, who take care of each other through support and love, who exhort fairness and restrain lewd behavior, who have strong ties with Allah through prayer, and who strengthen their mutual relations through zakah.
Finally, these people, as reflected in al-Hajj 41, are: "Those who, if we give them power in the land, perform prayers and pay zakah, and enjoin kindness and forbid inequity." Giving zakah is, therefore, one of the reasons for which the righteous are given authority on earth.
Fiqh 3.3: Exhortation to Give Zakah in the Hadith
At-Tirmizhi relates from Abu Kabshah alAnmari that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "I swear upon three (things) and ask you to memorize my words: Sadaqah taken from a property never decreases it; a man who suffers injustice and is patient with it, Allah will grant him strength; a man who starts begging, Allah will cause him to be poor."
Ahmad and at-Tirmizhi relate (and the latter graded it sahih) from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "Allah receives charity by His right hand, and then He causes it to grow for each of you. Just as you raise a horse, colt, foal, or young weaned camel, so that morsel becomes as large as the Mount of 'Uhud."
Of this hadith's content, Waki' says: "This is sanctioned by the Qur'an: 'Do they not know that it is Allah alone who can accept the repentance of His servants and is the (true) recipient of whatever is offered for His sake - and that Allah alone is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace?' [at-Taubah 104]. 'Allah deprives usurious gains of all blessing, whereas He blesses charitable deeds with manifold increase.' [al Baqarah 276]."
Again, Ahmad relates, with a sound chain of narrators, that Anas said: "A man from the tribe of Tameem came to the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and said: 'O Messenger of Allah! I have plenty of property, a large family, a great deal of money, and I am a gracious host to my guests. Tell me how to conduct my life and how to spend.' The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, replied: 'Pay zakah out of your property, for truly it is a purifier which purifies you, and be kind to your relatives, and acknowledge the rights of the poor, neighbors, and beggars'."
It was reported from 'Aishah that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "I swear upon three things: Allah does not equate one who has a portion in Islam with one who does not. The portions of Islam are three: prayer, fasting, and zakah. If Allah takes care of a man in this world, He will take care of him on the Day of Judgment. If a man likes a group of people, Allah will certainly include him among them. As for the fourth, if I swear on it, I hope I will not commit a sin: that if Allah conceals a man's sin in this world, He will certainly not expose him on the Day of Judgment."
At-Tabarani relates in al-'Awsat, that Jabir reported: "A man said: 'O Messenger of Allah! What will be the gains for a man who pays zakah on his assets?' The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: 'For one who pays zakah on his asssets, he will be removed from the evil in them'."
On the same subject, al-Bukhari and Muslim relate that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah reported: "I gave my allegience to the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, that I will establish salah (prayers) and zakah, and I will give advice to every Muslim."
Fiqh 3.4: Punishment in the Qur'an for the Delinquents of Zakah
Allah says: "O you who believe! Most surely many of the doctors of law and the monks eat away the property of men falsely and turn them from Allah's way; and as for those who hoard treasures of gold and silver and do not spend them for the sake of Allah--warn them of grievous sufferings [in the life to come]. On the Day when that [hoarded wealth] shall be heated in the Fires of Hell and their foreheads and their sides and their backs branded with it, [it will be said to them:] 'These are the treasures which you have hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to accumulate!' [at-Taubah 34-35]." He also says: "And they should not think--they who avariously cling to all that Allah has granted them out of His bounty--that this is good for them. No, it is bad for them, for that which they hoard will be hung about their necks on the Day of Judgment" [al-'Imran 180].
Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim relate from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "No owner of a treasure who does not pay zakah will be spared, for his treasure will be heated in the Fires of Hell and then made into plates. His flanks and his forehead will be branded with them until Allah pronounces judgment on His servants during a day lasting fifty thousand years.
[The individual] will be shown his path, leading him either to Paradise or to Hell. A camel owner who does not pay zakah will not be spared (either). He will lay flat on a sandy, soft plain and they will run over him heavily one after another until Allah pronounces judgment on His servants during a day lasting fifty thousands years. [The individual in question] will then be shown his path, leading him either to Paradise or to Hell. Equally, no owner of goats who does not pay zakah (will be spared). He will lay flat for them on a sandy plain, and the goats will run over him as heavy as they will come and they will trample him with their hoofs and gore him with their horns--with twisted horns or with no horns--one after another until Allah pronounces judgment on His servants, during a day lasting fifty thousand years, and [the individual in question] will be shown the path, leading him either to Paradise or to Hell. They [the Companions] asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, what about the horses?' He said: 'Horses have goodness in their foreheads (or he said 'Goodness lies in the foreheads of the horses') until the Day of Judgment. Horses are of three kinds: they are a source of reward for the owner, they are a cover, or they are a burden to a person. As to those [horses] that bring rewards, one who raises and trains them for the sake of Allah will get a reward from Him as well as all that they consume will be considered a reward for him from Allah. For every stalk of grass in the meadow that one lets them graze, there is a reward for him. For every drop of water that one lets them drink from the creek, there is a reward.' He went on describing until a reward was mentioned even for their urine and their feces.
'And for every step that they prance on elevated ground, there is a reward. As for the one to whom they will provide cover [in the life hereafter], he is the one who raises them for honor and dignity and remembers the right of their backs and stomachs in plenty and adversity. As for the one to whom they are a burden, he is the one who raises them for glory and showing off to people.' They asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, what about donkeys?' He said: 'Allah has not revealed to me anything in regard to them except this one comprehensive verse: 'He who does an atom's weight of good will see it, and he who does an atom's weight of evil will see it' [az-Zalzalah 7]."
Al-Bukhari and Muslim relate from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay zakah on his wealth, on the Day of Judgment it will become a bald-headed, poisonous, male snake with two black spots over his eyes. The snake, on the Day of Judgment, will encircle his neck, and bite his cheeks and say: 'I am your treasure, I am your wealth.' " Then he [the Prophet] recited this 'ayah: " 'And let not those who hoard up that which Allah has bestowed upon them of his bounty...' [al'Imran 180]."
Ibn Majah, al-Bazzar, and al-Baihaqi relate from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "O Muhajirun, beware of five traits: if ever immorality spreads in a community and there is no sense of shame on its occurrence or mentioning it [and people talk about it as if nothing bad has taken place], diseases which were not present in the time of their predecessors will spread among them. If they decrease the measure and weight (of sold grains or food), they will be overcome by poverty, their provisions will decrease and their ruler will be unjust. If they refrain from paying the zakah due on their properties, they will be deprived of rain, unless they get it only for the sake of their cattle. If they renounce their commitment to Allah and His Messenger, they will be governed by an enemy who is a stranger to them and who will take away some of what they possess. If their rulers do not rule according to Allah's Book, they will be afflicted by civil war. Allah forbid that these should happen to you."
Al-Bukhari and Muslim relate from al-Ahnaf ibn Qays that he said: "I was in the company of some men of Quraish, when a man (Abu Zharr al-Ghafari, a companion of the Prophet) came with coarse hair, clothes, and appearance. He stood up, greeted them and said: 'Inform those who hoard property that a stone will be heated in the Fires of Hell and then placed on the nipples of their breasts until it comes out from the top of their shoulders. It will then be placed on the top of their shoulders until it comes out again from the nipple of their breasts, and they will be shaken.' Then he left. I followed him and sat near him, not knowing who he was. I said: 'These people disliked what you said to them.' He observed: 'They do not understand anything that my friend said to me.' I asked: 'Who is your friend?' He replied: 'The Prophet, upon whom be peace. [One day he asked me]: 'Do you see the Mount of Uhud?' I looked at the sun to see how much of the day was left, as I thought that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, wanted to send me on an errand for him. I said: 'Yes.' Upon this he said: 'Nothing would delight me more than having gold equal to the bulk of Uhud and spending all of it (in Allah's way) except three dinars.'
'Indeed, these people do not understand and go on accumulating riches. By Allah! I neither ask them for this world, nor do I ask them anything about religion until I meet Allah, The Exalted One.' "
Fiqh 3.7: Judgment on the Zakah Refrainer
As an obligation upon Muslims, zakah is one of the essential requirements of Islam. If somebody disputed its obligation, he would be outside of Islam, and could legally be killed for his unbelief unless he was a new Muslim and could be excused for his ignorance.
As for the one who refrains from paying it without denying its obligation, he would be guilty of committing a sin. Yet, this act does not place him outside of Islam. It is the ruler's duty to take zakah from the defaulter by force and rebuke him, provided he does not collect more than the stipulated amount. However, in the views of Ahmad and ash-Shaf'i (in his earlier opinion) the ruler could take half of the defaulter's money, in addition to the calculated amount of zakah, as a punishment. This view is based on what Ahmad, anNasa'i, Abu Dawud, al-Hakim, and al-Baihaqi have recorded from Bahz ibn Hakim all the way back to his grandfather who said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, say: 'Whether the camels of the zakah payer are grown or baby camels, it makes no difference in his reward if he gave them willingly. (However,) if someone refrains from paying it, it will be taken from him along with half his property, for it is a right of our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, not a right of the house of Muhammad.'"
Asked about its chain, Ahmad ruled it good (hassan). Of Bahz, al-Hakim says: "His traditions are authentic." Ash-Shaf'i, as alBaihaqi says, did not include it for fiqhi consideration because . . . "this hadith is not confirmed by the scholars of hadith."
If some people refrain from paying zakah knowing that it is due and that they can afford to pay, they should be fought until they yield and pay. Al-Bukhari and Muslim report that Ibn 'Umar heard the Prophet say: "I have been ordered to fight people until they say that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger, and they uphold the prayers, and pay the zakah. If they do this, their lives and properties will be safe, except for what is due to Islam, and their accounts are with Allah."
Abu Hurairah is reported to have said: "When Allah's Messenger, upon whom be peace, died and Abu Bakr succeeded him as caliph, some Arabs apostatized, causing Abu Bakr to declare war upon them. 'Umar said to him: 'Why must you fight these men?', especially when there is a ruling of the Prophet, upon whom be peace: 'I have been called to fight men until they say that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and whoever said it has saved his life and property from me except when a right is due in them, and his account will be with Allah.' Abu Bakr replied: 'By Allah! I will fight those who differentiate between salah and zakah because zakah is the due on property. By Allah! If they withheld even a young she-goat ( 'anaq) that they used to pay at the time of Allah's Messenger, upon whom be peace, I would fight them.' Then 'Umar said: 'By Allah! It was He who gave Abu Bakr the true knowledge to fight, and later I came to know that he was right.' "
The same hadith narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, and atTirmizhi has the following variant: "If they witheld the 'iqal, the rope of the camel," instead of "'anaq, young she-goat."
Fiqh 3.8: Who is Obliged to Pay Zakah
Zakah must be paid by every Muslim who has a nisab, which is the minimum of one's holdings liable to zakah. The nisab is conditioned by the following:
-1- Zakah should be paid on any amount of money remaining after meeting the expenses for such necessities as food, clothes, housing, vehicles and craft machines.
-2- A complete year of Islamic calendar should pass, starting from the very day of the nisab's possession, without any decrease during the year. In case of its decrease (being less than nisab), the year count (hawl;) starts from the day of the nisab completion.
Commenting on the issue, an-Nawawi said: "In our view and the views of Malik, Ahmad, and the majority of scholars, the amount of property liable for payment of zakah, such as gold, silver, or cattle, is tied to the completion of nisab through the turn of a whole year. If the nisab decreases in any time of the year, [the counting of] the year discontinues. Later, if the nisab is completed, the year count is resumed from the time of its completion."
On the same subject, Abu Hanifah holds: "What matters isthe availability of nisab at the beginning and end of the year. Its decrease at any time in between does not matter, even though the zakah payer had two hundred dirhams and he lost all but one dirham during the year, or if he had forty sheep, all of which died except for one during the year. If, at the end of the year, he had two hundred dirhams, or forty sheep, then he must pay zakah on all of that. This condition is not applicable to the zakah of plantations and fruits, for their zakah should be paid on the harvest day. Allah, the Exalted One, says: 'And pay the due thereof upon the harvest day' [alA'raf 142]."
Al-'Abdari elaborated that: "The holdings subject to zakah are of two kinds. The first kind grows by itself: crops and fruits. The second kind is used for growing and production: money, merchandise, and cattle. In the former case, zakah should be paid at the time of harvest. In the latter case, it should be paid at the end of the haul. This was the opinion of all jurists as reported in anNawawi's al-Majrnu'."
Fiqh 3.9: Zakah on the Holdings of Infants and Mentally Retarded People
The guardian of a child or of a mentally retarded person must pay zakah on his behalf from his property if it constitutes a nisab.
'Amr ibn Shu'aib reported from his father backed up by a chain of sources going back to 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "One who becomes the guardian of an orphan with property must trade on his behalf and not leave it passive in order to avoid depletion of the property by sadaqah."
However, this hadith has a weak link. Still, al-Hafiz affirms that: "There is a similar hadith of the mursal type in the compilation of ash-Shaf'i, who confirmed that it is considered a sound one. 'Aishah used to set aside zakah for the orphans who were under her protection."
At-Tirmizhi concludes that: "Jurists differ on this issue. More than one companion of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said that zakah may be taken from an orphan's property. Among these are: 'Umar, 'Ali, 'Aishah, and Ibn 'Umar. This view is also supported by Malik, ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, and Ishaq. Another group, including Sufyan and Ibn al-Mubarak, hold that: 'Zakah should not be taken out of an orphan's property.' "
Whoever has property must pay its proper zakah. If the property is indebted, he may first pay off his debt, then in case the remainder is enough to constitute a nisab, he must pay zakah. If he does not hold the nisab, he does not have to pay it since he is poor. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "Only the wealthy are required to give charity." This hadith is related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari. The latter records it in mu'allaq form. The Prophet also said: "Zakah is levied on the rich and paid to the poor." It is all the same, whether he is indebted to Allah or to man, because one hadith states: "Allah's debt is more deserving of fulfillment."
Fiqh 3.10: Zakah Owed by a Deceased Person
If a person dies before he pays zakah, then it must be taken from his estate.
According to ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, Ishaq, and Abu Thaur, it is obligatory that zakah be paid from the property of the deceased, and this payment receives preference over debt, legacy, and inheritance for Allah says: "... after payment of legacies and debts is what you leave ..." [an-Nisa' 12]. Zakah is a debt payable to Allah.
A man came to the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and said: "My mother died while she still had to make up one month of fasting. Shall I make it up for her?" The Prophet replied: "If there was any debt upon your mother, would you pay it off for her?" The man answered: "Yes." The Prophet then observed: "A debt to Allah is more deserving to be paid off." This is related by alBukhari and Muslim.
Since the payment of zakah is an act of worship, its validity depends upon the expression of one's intention. That is, the zakah payer should pay it for the sake of Allah; he should make up his mind, with all of his heart, that zakah is an obligation to be discharged. Allah says: "And they are commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, sincere in their faith in Him alone" [al-Bayyinah 5].
It is related in al-Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "The value of [one's] deeds is determined by [one's] intentions; and thus for each shall be according to his intentions." Malik and ash-Shaf'i say that the intention is to be made at the time of rendering zakah. Abu Hanifah holds that the intention must be present at the time of payment or when zakah is being set aside from one's assets. Ahmad's view is that it is permissible to express the niyyah a little earlier before payment.
Fiqh 3.11: Payment of Zakah in Due Time
Zakah must be paid immediately at its due time. Deferring payment of zakah is prohibited, unless the payer for some valid reason cannot pay it on time. In such a case, he may wait until he is able to pay it. It is related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari that 'Uqbah ibn al-Harith said: "Once I performed the 'asr prayer with the Prophet, upon whom be peace. When he concluded the prayer, he hurriedly went to his house and retumed immediately. Noticing the amazed faces, he said: 'I left at home a piece of gold which was meant for sadaqah, and I did not want to let it remain a night in my house, so I ordered it to be distributed.'"
Ash-Shaf'i and al-Bukhari (the latter in his Tarikh) relate from 'Aishah that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whenever sadaqah which is payable is mixed with a property, it will destroy that property." The same hadith is related by al-Humaydi with this addition: "If you have to pay sadaqah which is payable, then it must be set aside, or the unlawful [property] will destroy the lawful one."
It is permissible for zakah to be paid for even two years in advance. Al-Zuhri did not see any problem in paying his zakah before the hawl. Al-Hasan was once asked if a man who had paid his zakah for three years in advance fulfilled his obligation. Al-Hasan answered in the affirmative. Of this view, ash-Shaukani said: "This was the view of ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, and Abu Hanifah. It was supported by al-Hadi and al-Qasim." Al-Mu'ayyad-billah also subscribes to this opinion as being better, but he says that Malik, Rabi'ah, Sufyan ath-Thauri, Dawud, Abu 'Ubayd ibn al-Harith, and an-Nasir (who comes from the Prophet's family) held that one's obligation is not discharged if the zakah is paid before the expiration of the year. They formulated their stance on the Prophet's hadith, already mentioned, which makes the zakah mandatory for the payer only when he has his possessions for a year. However, this does not invalidate the view of those who maintain that paying zakah in advance is lawful, for undeniably the obligation of zakah is associated with the expiry of one full year. The difference is only on the point of whether one's obligation is discharged if the zakah is paid before the year has expired." Ibn Rushd sums up the subject: "The controversy arises from the question whether it is an act of worship or an obligation owed to the poor. The group which considers it an act of worship, like salah (prayers), does not agree that it should be paid before its time. On the other hand, the group which views it as similar to the case of deferred obligatory dues approves its voluntary payment in advance." In support of his view, ashShaf'i relates a hadith from 'Ali that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, asked for al-'Abbas' sadaqah before its due date.
Fiqh 3.12: Invoking Blessing for the Zakah Payer
It is desirable that the recipient invoke blessing for the zakah payer at the time of its payment, for Allah says: "Take alms of their property that you may purify and sanctify them and pray for them. Verily, your prayers are a comfort for them" [at-Taubah 103]. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn Abu Awfa that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, on receiving sadaqah would say: "O Allah, bless the family of Abu Aufa." This is related by Ahmad and others.
Wa'il ibn Hajr reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prayed for a man who had offered a fine she-camel in his zakah payment: "May Allah bless him and make his camels beneficial to him." This is related by an-Nasa'i.
Ash-Shaf'i says: "According to this hadith, the leader may pray for the almsgiver upon receiving his payment by saying: 'May Allah reward you in turn of what you have offered, and may Allah bless what you still possess.' "
Fiqh 3.13: Holdings subject to zakah
Islam enjoined zakah on crops, fruit, livestock, merchandise, minerals, gold, silver, and treasures.
Says Allah concerning zakah on gold and silver: "... As for those who hoard treasures of gold and silver and do not spend them for the sake of Allah--warn them of grievous suffering [in the life to come]" [at-Taubah 34]. Thus, zakah is prescribed for gold and silver--whether they are in the form of coins, ingots, or dust--as long as the amount owned constitutes a nisab, a period of a year has passed, debts are settled, and/or basic needs satisfied from it.
The minimum of nisab for gold is twenty dinars owned for one year. Its due is a quarter of a tenth, that is, half a dinar. For any amount over twenty dinars, a quarter of a tenth is levied upon it. 'Ali reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "There is nothing upon you in gold, until it reaches twenty dinars. Thus, if you have twenty dinars at the end of the year, then there is half a dinar levied on it [as zakah]. Any additional amount will be calculated in this manner. There is no zakah on property until it has been owned for one year." This hadith is related by Ahamd, Abu Dawud, and al-Baihaqi. Al-Bukhari grades it authentic and alHafizh verified it.
Zuraiq, the Fazarah clan's protege, reported that 'Umar ibn 'Abdulaziz wrote to him after he became caliph: "Take what passes by you of the commerce of the Muslims--those who trade with their properties--a dinar for each forty dinars. From that which is less than forty, calculate on the lesser amount until it reaches twenty dinars. If you have to take one-third of a dinar, disregard it and do not take anything on it. Afterwards, give them a written release of what you have levied from them until the year expires." This is related by Ibn Abu Shaibah.
Malik says in his al-Muwatta': "The uncontroversial tradition that we have is that the zakah due on twenty dinars is like the zakah due on two hundred dirhams." Twenty dinars are equal to twenty-eight Egyptian dirhams in weight.
Fiqh 3.14: The Nisab of Silver and its Due
There is no zakah on silver until the amount exceeds two hundred dirhams. The amount payable is a quarter of a tenth for any amount. There is no zakah exemption on (silver) coins if they attain a nisab.
'Ali reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "I exempt you from paying zakah on horses and slaves. Pay, then, zakah on silver, one dirham for each forty dirhams. Zakah is not due on ninety or one hundred dirhams of silver. If it reaches two hundred dirhams, five dirhams are to be paid." This was related by the authors of as-Sunnan (The Traditions). At-Tirmizhi relates: "I asked al-Bukhari if he confirms this hadith. He said: 'It is authentic.' " At-Tirmizhi also says: "Jurists recognize that sadaqah should be taken out of any amount less than five ounces (awaq). One ounce (uqiyyah) equals forty dirhams. Five awaq equal 200 dirhams. Two hundred dirhams equal twenty-seven riyals equal 555 1/2 Egyptian piasters."
If a person owns gold and silver, but neither of them on its own constitutes a nisab, he should not combine the two in order to obtain a nisab. This is because they are not of the same kind. The basic rule is that no category can be combined with another. It is the same for cows and sheep. For example, if someone has 199 dirhams and nineteen dinars, he is not supposed to pay zakah on them.
Fiqh 3.15: Zakah on Debt
Debts are of two kinds:
-1- A debt which is acknowledged by the debtor with the willingness to pay it off, and
-2- A debt which is not acknowledged either because the borrower is insolvent or its payment is deferred.
In the first case, scholars have formed the following views:: The first view:
'Ali, ath-Thauri, Abu Thaur, the Hanafiyyah, and the Hanbaliyyah hold that the creditor should pay zakah on the debt, provided he has received it from the debtor, in that zakah will be payable retroactively.: The Second view:
'Uthman, Ibn 'Umar, Jabir, Tawus, anNakha'i, al-Hasan, az-Zuhri, Qatadah, and ash-Shaf'i hold that the creditor should pay zakah on the value of a debt owed on time, even though he did not receive it yet, since he is eventually going to receive it and use it. It is similar to the zakah of any deposited amount.: The third view:
'Ikrimah, 'Aishah, and Ibn 'Umar hold that no zakah is due on debt since it does not grow. It is similar to the case of acquired assets.: The fourth view:
Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab and 'Ata ibn Abu Rabah hold that zakah should be paid for one year if the debt is returned to the creditors.
-2- For the second case, Qatadah, Ishaq ibn Abu Thaur, and the Hanifiyyah hold that its zakah is not compulsory on this type of debt, since the creditor cannot benefit from it. Ath-Thauri and Abu 'Ubayd hold that on receipt (of it) the creditor should pay its zakah retroactively since it his and he may use it at his own free will, like the zakah on the debt of a rich person. The last two views are attributed to ash-Shaf'i. 'Umar ibn 'Abdulaziz, alHasan, al-Layth, al-Auza'i and Malik agree that he should pay zakah on it for only one year when he receives it.
Fiqh 3.16: Zakah on Banknotes and bonds
Since they are documents with guaranteed credits, banknotes and bonds are subject to zakah once they attain the minimum of nisab--that is, a person may change them into currency immediately. The minimum of nisab is twenty-seven Egyptian riyals.
Scholars agree that no zakah has to be paid on diamonds, pearls, sapphires, rubies, corals, chrysolite, or any kind of precious stones unless they are used for trade. There is, however, disagreement over whether women's gold or silver jewelry is exempt. Abu Hanifah and Ibn Hazm hold that zakah is compulsory on gold and silver jewelry provided they constitute a nisab. Their view is based on the report of 'Amr ibn Shu'aib from his father from his grandfather: "Two women with gold bracelets on their wrists came to the Prophet, upon whom be peace. The Prophet said: 'Do you want Allah to make you wear bracelets of fire on the Day of Judgment?' They answered: 'No.' He said: 'Then pay the zakah which is due on what you wear on your wrists.' "
In the same way, Asma' bint Yazid reported: "My aunt and I, while wearing gold bracelets, went to the Prophet, upon whom be peace. He asked: 'Did you pay their zakah?' She related that they had not. The Prophet said: 'Do you not fear that Allah will make you wear a bracelet of fire? Pay its zakah.' " Al-Haythami confirms that it was narrated by Ahmad, and its chain is good.
'Aishah narrated: "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, came to me and saw me wearing silver rings. Thereupon, he asked: 'What is this, 'Aishah?' I replied: 'I made them to adorn myself for you, O Messenger of Allah.' He said: 'Did you pay their zakah?' I said: 'No, or what Allah wishes.' Then he said: 'Their punishment in Hell is enough for you.' " This is related by Abu Dawud, ad-Daraqutni, and al-Baihaqi.
Malik, ash-Shaf'i, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal hold that there is no zakah on women's jewelry regardless of its value. Al-Baihaqi relates that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah was once asked if jewelry was subject to zakah. He replied that it was not, even if its value exceeded one thousand dinars.
Al-Baihaqi also narrates the case of Asma': "Asma' bint Abu Bakr used to adorn her daughters with gold. Although its value was around fifty thousand dinars, she did not pay zakah on it."
It is related in al-Muwatta' from 'Abdurrahman ibn al-Qasim from his father that 'Aishah used to take care of her nieces, who were orphans under her protection, and adorned them with jewelry without paying its zakah. Also in al-Muwatta' it is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar used to adorn his daughters and slave girls with gold without paying zakah.
Summing up the subject, al-Khattabi concludes: "What appears in the Qur'an supports the view of those who hold that zakah is obligatory on gold and silver, and the traditions also support this. Those who did not consider it obligatory based their view on speculation and some of the traditions. However, to be on the safe side, it is better to pay." These different views deal with allowable gold or silver adornment. As for other adornments which are prohibited-- that is, a woman wearing a man's adornment--their zakah should be paid. The same rule is applied to gold or silver utensils.
Fiqh 3.17: Zakah on a Woman's Dowry
Abu Hanifah is of the opinion that there is no zakah on the dowry of a woman until she comes to possess it. At the same time, the dowry must constitute the nisab at the end of the year. The position, however, will be different if the woman has accumulated a nisab other than the dowry. In such a case, any amount she receives should be added to the nisab, and zakah should be paid at the end of a year of possession. Ash-Shaf'i holds that a woman must pay zakah on her dowry at the end of one year, even if it is before the wedding. The probability of its restitution because of nullification, or its fifty percent refund because of divorce, does not exempt her from paying it. The Hanbaliyyah are of the opinion that dowry is a credit for women and that it is similar to debts. If the recipient of a dowry is rich, the payment of its zakah is obligatory. If the recipient is insolvent, or does not acknowledge it, then, according to al-Khiraqiyy, the zakah is obligatory regardless of the consumation of marriage. If a woman receives half of her dowry (in the case of her divorce before consumation), she should pay zakah only on the received half. However, if all of the dowry is cancelled before she receives it (in the case of nullifying the marriage on her behalf), she is under no obligation to pay its zakah.
Abu Hanifah and Malik maintain that the rent is not payable to the landlord at the time of the contract but at the expiry of the renting period. Thus, the landlord who rents out a house should pay the zakah on his house rent, provided the fixed amount meets the following conditions: receiving of the money and completion of nisab at the end of the year. The Hanbaliyyah think that once the contract is concluded, the landlord is entitled to have rent. Thus, if someone leases his house, the zakah is due upon its fixed rate reaching a nisab at the end of the year. This is so because the landlord has the right to spend the rent the way he wants to. The possibility of cancelling the lease does not invalidate the obligation to pay zakah. This case is similar to the case of dowry before the consumation of a marriage. If the rent is an arrear rent, then it should be treated as a debt either as paid or postponed. In al-Majmu', an-Nawawi says: "If somebody leased a house and was paid in advance, he should pay its zakah on receiving it. This is uncontroversial."
Fiqh 3.18: Zakah on Trade
The majority of scholars among the companions, the followers, the generation after them, and the jurists who came subsequently held that zakah on merchandise is compulsory. Abu Dawud and alBaihaqi relate that Samurah ibn Jundub reported: "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, used to command us to pay sadaqah from [the goods] we had for sale." Ad-Daraqutni and al-Baihaqi relate that Abu Zharr reported the Prophet, upon whom be peace, saying: "There is sadaqah on camels, sheep, cows, and house furniture." Ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, Abu 'Ubaid, ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi, and 'Abd ur-Razzaq relate that Abu 'Amr ibn Hammas reported from his father that he said: "I used to sell leather and containers. Once, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab passed by me and said: 'Pay the sadaqah due on your property.' I said: 'O Commander of the Faithful, it is just leather.' He replied: 'Evaluate it and then pay its due sadaqah.' "
Commenting on its credentials, Ibn Quadmah says in alMughni that this is a kind of story which is well-known and indisputable. This might be a consensus of opinion.
On the other hand, the Zahiriyyah maintain that merchandise is not subject to zakah. They differ, says Ibn Rushd, because of their use of analogical reasoning to the obligation of zakah and because of their disagreement on the authenticity of Samurah's and Abu Zharr's reports.
However, the majority of jurists view merchandise as a property which increases in value. Hence, by analogy, it is similar to the three categories upon which zakah must be paid: plantations, cattle, and gold and silver.
It is stated in al-Mandr: "Most scholars agree that zakah is obligatory on merchandise even though there is no clear-cut ruling in the Qur'an or the sunnah on this issue. However, there are a number of reports that corroborate each other with regard to the evidence provided by [their] texts. Their rationale is that since merchandise is a form of cash, there is no difference between it and dinars or dirhams in terms of which it is valued. This means that the form of the nisab can alternate between value in the form of cash and that which is valued in the form of merchandise. If zakah had not been obligatory on merchandise, the rich--or most of them --would have converted their cash into merchandise for trading purposes, making sure that the nisab of gold and silver is never possessed by them for a year."
The main consideration here is that by levying zakah on the rich, Allah the Exalted wants to help the poor and to promote the welfare of the people in general. For the rich, its benefit lies in cleansing their persons of stinginess--both in money and feelings. For the poor, its benefit lies in easing their circumstances. Zakah thus eliminates the causes of corruption which results from the increase of money in a few hands. It is this wisdom which the Qur'an refers to when it deals with the distribution of booty: "... that it becomes not a commodity between the rich among you" (al Hashr 7). Therefore, it is not reasonable to exempt businessmen from their societal obligations when they possess most of the nation's wealth.
Fiqh 3.19: When Goods can be Judged as Trading Goods
The author of al-Mughm states that: "Merchandise can only be considered as trading goods for two reasons:
-1- The actual possession of merchandise is acquired by an act such as a commercial transaction, marriage, divorce demanded by the wife (khul'), acceptance of a gift, bequest, booty, and other lawful acquisition. This is because that which is not subject to zakah cannot be considered as so subsequent to its possession on the basis of niyyah (intention) only, as, for example, in the case of fasting. It does not make any difference whether a person came to possess such items by buying them or not because his possession is by an act similar to inheritance.
-2- The goods are intended, at the time of possession, for trade. These are considered as non-trade goods even though the person intends to use them later for trade.
However, if he possesses these goods through inheritance and intends them for trade, they are not considered as trade goods because the determining factor in such cases is the status of acquisition, not the temporary state of trade. Mere intention will not provide a valid reason to change its status. For example, if a person intends to travel without embarking upon it, then the mere expression of his intention will not constitute the act of traveling. Likewise, if a person bought merchandise for trade and then intended it for possession, it would be considered as such and zakah will not be paid on it.
Fiqh 3.20: How is Zakah on Trade Money to be Paid
One who possesses merchandise with a nisab for a year should pay zakah on it, the amount of which is a quarter of a tenth of its value. This should be done by a businessman every year. However, the period of a year does not come into effect unless his inventory constitutes a nisab.
Assuming a businessman possesses merchandise short of a nisab and part of a year has passed, his inventory subsequently increases through an unusual rise in value (because of supply and demand or through price fluctuation) so that it constitutes a nisab; or he sold merchandise for the price of a nisab; or during the course of the year he comes to possess other merchandise which, together with his previous amount, completes a nisab; then, the hawl (for the purpose of zakah) starts at that time, and the time elapsed is not taken into consideration. This is the view of the Hanafiyyah, ath-Thauri, ashShaf'i, Ishaq, Abu 'Ubaid, Abu Thaur, and Ibn al-Munzhir.
According to Abu Hanifah, if the merchandise in possession constitutes a nisab at the beginning of the year and also at the end, zakah will still be applicable even though the nisab might have decreased within that time. The reason is that it is difficult to ascertain its completeness in the intervening period.
The Hanbaliyyah hold that if the merchandise decreases during the course of the year and increases again until it constitutes a nisab, the (requisite) period of a year starts all over again because it has been interrupted in its course by the decrease.
Fiqh 3.21: Zakah on plants and fruit
Allah has made zakah obligatory on plants and fruit, for He says: "O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth" [alBaqarah 267]. Zakah is called expenditure (nafaqah). Giving the justification for paying zakah on produce, Allah says: "He it is who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and the date palm and the crops of diverse flavors, and the olive, and the pomegranate, like and unlike. Eat of the fruit thereof when it produces fruit, and pay its due upon the harvest day" [alAn'am 141]. In his explanation of the word haqq (due) in the preceding 'ayah, Ibn 'Abbas says that by haqq is meant both the obligatory zakah and the 'ushr (tithe) and the half-tithe.
During the time of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, zakah was levied on wheat, barley, dates, and raisins.
Abu Burdah related from Abu Musa and Mu'azh that when the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, sent the (latter two) to Yemen to teach its inhabitants Islam, he commanded them to levy sadaqah only on wheat, barley, dates, and raisins. This hadith is related by ad-Daraqutni, al-Hakim, at-Tabarani, and al-Baihaqi.
Commenting on the status of the report, al-Baihaqi says that its chain is muttasil (uninterrupted) and its narrators are credible.
Whether sadaqah on such items should be considered zakah or not, Ibn al-Munzhir and ibn 'Abd al-Barr say: "The scholars are of the opinion that sadaqah is obligatory on wheat, barley, dates, and raisins." This opinion has its roots in a saying by Ibn Majah that the Messenger, upon whom be peace, regulated the payment of zakah on wheat, barley, dates, raisins and corn. Muhammad ibn 'Ubaidullah al-'Arzumi, a narrator in its chain, however, is of questionable status in the eyes of the scholars, and as such, his report is not credible.
Fiqh 3.22: Plants and Fruits Which Were Not Subject to Zakah
Zakah was not levied on vegetables or fruit, with the exception of grapes and fresh dates (rutab). 'Ata ibn as-Sa'ib reported that 'Abdullah ibn al-Mughirah wanted to levy sadaqah on Musa ibn Talha's vegetables. The latter objected, saying: "You have no right to do that. The Messenger of Allah used to say: 'There is no sadaqah on this [vegetables].' " This is related by ad-Daraqutni, alHakim, and al-Athram in his Sunan. This hadith is mursal.
Musa ibn Talhah says: "Five things [which were subject to zakah] were mentioned by the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace: barley, wheat, sult [a kind of barley having no husk], raisins, and dates. Whatever else the land produces is not subject to the 'ushr. It is also reported that Mu'azh did not levy sadaqah on vegetables."
Commenting on the status of these reports, al-Baihaqi says: "All of these hadith are of the mursal kind but were reported from different authorities. Nevertheless, they confirm each other." The hadith on this subject include the sayings of 'Umar, 'Ali, and 'Aishah.
Al-Athram narrated that one of Caliph 'Umar's governors wrote to him conceming grape plantations, including peaches and pomegranates which produced twice as much harvest as the grapes. He wrote back: "There is no 'ushr (tithe) on them. They pertain to 'udah--items that cannot be distributed in inheritance."
At-Tirmizhi agrees with the preceding and says: "The practice [based upon this] among most jurists is not to levy sadaqah on vegetables." Al-Qurtubi also supports this: "Zakah is to be levied on the muqtat [land products used as stable food] and not on vegetables." In at-Ta'if, they used to grow pomegranates, peaches, and citrus, but there is no confirmation that the Prophet and his successors levied zakah on them.
Ibn al-Qayyim contends: "It was not his [the Prophet's] practice to levy zakah on horses, slaves, mules, donkeys, and vegetables, melons, cucumbers, and fruits, which cannot be stored or measured by capacity. The only exceptions were grapes and fresh dates. On the latter two kinds, zakah was levied as a whole, without differentiation whether or not they were dry."
Fiqh 3.23: The Opinion of Jurists
There is no difference of opinion among jurists concerning the obligatory nature of zakah on plants and fruits. They do, however, differ on the kinds of plants and fruits which should be subject to zakah. Here is the broad spectrum of opinions on the subject:
Al-Hasan al-Basri and ash-Shu'abi hold that zakah is only on the specified items (in the Qur'an and sunnah)--that is corn, dates, and raisins--since other kinds are not mentioned. Ash-Shaukani upholds this view.
Abu Hanifah maintains that zakah is due on every type of produce of the land including vegetables, but excluding what is not intentionally planted and cultivated such as firewood, bamboo, grass, and those trees which bear no fruit. His opinion is based upon the general meaning of the Prophet's saying: "From what the heavens irrigate, a tithe [is due]." The meaning is general and encompasses all types of arable products, which are planted to make the land grow, and therefore refers to any agricultural practices similar to the growing of grains (habb).
Abu Yusuf and Muhammad hold that zakah is payable on every product of the land, provided it lasts the whole year without too much care or treatment. This includes produce measured by capacity, such as grains, or by mass, such as cotton and sugar. If the produce does not last a whole year, such as the two kinds of cucumber (quththa' and khiyar), watermelons and others of their kind, there is no zakah on them.
Malik holds that zakah is payable on that which is produced on the land and which stays, becomes dry, and is planted by human beings. This includes land produce used as nonperishable food (muqtat), such as safflower and sesame seeds. According to him, there is no zakah on vegetables and fruits such as figs, pomegranates and apples. Ash-Shaf'i maintains that zakah is payable on any produce, provided the resulting crop is used as regular food which can be stored and planted by human beings, such as grains and barley.
An-Nawawi says: "Our opinion is that there is no zakah on any trees other than palm and grapevines. There is also no zakah on grains other than the one which is or can be stored, and no zakah on vegetables." Ahmad is of the opinion that there is zakah on everything that Allah causes the land to produce, such as grains and fruits, that can be dried, preserved, measured and planted by human beings, whether they be considered nonperishable foods, such as wheat and qutniyyat (including peas, beans, lentils and such other grains), or spices and herbs (ahariz), such as coriander, caraway seeds, or seeds such as linseed of the fluz plant (kittan seeds), the seeds of the two kinds of cucumber (quththa' and khiyar), or safflower and sesame seeds.
According to Ahmad, zakah is also payable on dry fruits such as dates, raisins, apricots, figs, almonds, hazel nuts, and pistachio nuts if the preceding specifications apply to them. There is no zakah on fresh fruit such as peaches, pears, apples, apricots, and figs. In the same way, it is not due on vegetables such as the two kinds of cucumber, watermelons, eggplants, turnips, and carrots.
Fiqh 3.24: Zakah on Olives
An-Nawawi says: "As for olives, our [Shaf'iyyah] view is that there is no zakah on them." This is also the opinion of Hasan ibn Salih, Ibn Abu Layla, and Abu 'Ubaid.
Scholars such as as-Zuhri, al-Auza'i, al-Layth, Malik, athThauri, Abu Hanifah, and Abu Thaur maintain that there is zakah on olives. Az-Zuhri, al-Layth, and al-Auza'i hold: "Determine its quantity by conjecture (yukharras), and then take its zakah in the form of olive oil," while Malik says: "There is no need to compute its quantity by conjecture (yukharras). Take a tithe subsequent to the olives being pressed and attain the weight of five awsuq."
Of their differences on the payment of zakah pertaining to plants and fruits, Ibn Rushd informs us: "The difference of opinion lies in the fact that some jurists confine paying of zakah to only those items of consumption which are generally agreed upon, while others go beyond those items and include dried fruits in them too. [The crux of the issue is]: What qualifies the four edible items [wheat, barley, dates, and dried grapes] for zakah? Are they subject to zakah because of their being delineated as such or because of their special import to the subsistence of life? Those who subscribe to the first view restrict payment of zakah to the four edibles, and those who subscribe to the second view extend the obligation to all land produce except for grass, firewood, and bamboo. There is a consensus on the latter being excluded from zakah. However, when it comes to the use of analogy based on a general statement, both groups rest on shaky ground."
The saying of the Prophet, which uses the expression allazhi yaqtazhi, reads: "From what the heavens water, a tithe [is due], and from what is watered by irrigation [nazh] a half a tithe." The relative pronoun ma is used to mean al-lazhi, which is a general expression. Allah, the Exalted, also says: "It is He who has brought into being gardens--both the cultivated ones and those growing wild--and the date palm, and fields bearing multiform produce, and the olive trees, and the pomegranate: all resembling one another and yet so different. Eat of their fruit when it comes to fruition, and give unto the poor their due on the harvest day ..." [al-An'am 141].
Analogically speaking, zakah aims at counteracting poverty and this cannot be done through zakah on land produce which is edible and sustains life.
Restricting a general statement with this kind of analogical reasoning vitiates zakah on all land produce except ones which sustain life. Those who follow the general import of the Prophet's saying add some more to the generally acknowledged four items. Excluded of course are the ones on which there is consensus.
Again, those who agree upon land produce of a subsistance kind often differ over whether it can be considered as being subsistent. Can analogical reasoning be the basis of what they agree upon or not? An example of such a disagreement is that of Malik and ash-Shaf'i regarding olives. Malik holds that zakah on olives is obligatory, while ash-Shaf'i is against it, according to a latter view expressed in Egypt. The reason for his disagreement is whether olives could be considered as food vital for life or not.
Fiqh 3.26: Nisab of Plants and Fruits
Most scholars say that there is no zakah on plants or fruits until they attain the amount of five awsuq. Furthermore, this becomes applicable only after the chaff, straw, and husk are removed. If it is not cleansed of husk, then the amount of zakah would be ten awsuq.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "There is no sadaqah (zakah) on that which is less than five awsuq." It is also narrated by Ahmad and al-Baihaqi with a good chain.
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "There is no sadaqah on any amount of dates or grains less than five awsuq." A wusuq by consensus of opinion is sixty sa'as (a cubic measure of varying magnitude). This hadith is said to be munqati that is--a hadith with an interrupted chain.
Both Abu Hanifah and Mujahid hold that zakah is due on any amount, little or big, in accordance with the generic nature of the Prophet's saying: "From what the heavens water, a tithe [is due] ..." This is because land produce is perishable and cannot be preserved for a whole year. In that case, such produce does not attain a nisab within a one-year period.
Ibn al-Qayyim's discussion of the subject is that the authentic and explicit sunnah for a tithe's nisab is the hadith: "From what the heavens water, a tithe [is due], and from what is watered by irrigation (gharb-vessel) a half a tithe." This is applicable to both small and large quantities as opposed to the specific amount mentioned in other hadith. In its application, a generic statement is as important as a specific one. Should there be a conflict between the two, then the most comprehensive will be applicable. This is the rule.
It has been said that both of the preceding hadith ought to be followed. In their essence, they do not contradict each other, nor does one of them have to cancel the other. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, has to be obeyed in this matter, for he said: "From what the heavens water, a tithe [is due] . . ." This saying seeks to distinguish between the two (categories): one on which a tithe is due, and the other on which only half of the tithe is due. He therefore distinguished between the two categories only in respect to the amount due. There is no mention of any amount of nisab in this hadith. However, he mentioned it explicitly in another hadith which cannot be ignored as something that is general or is intended to be so and not otherwise. It is similar to other statements of general import which have been explained in the texts.
Ibn Qudamah concludes: "The saying of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, that 'there is no sadaqah [zakah] on anything less than five awsuq' is agreed upon. This hadith is specific, and for this reason takes precedence and clarifies his previous statement of general import. This is similar to his saying that 'zakah is due on all freely grazing camels,' which becomes explicit by his other saying on the same subject: 'There is no sadaqah on less than five camels.' Likewise his saying: 'Sadaqah on silver is a fourth of the tithe,' becomes specific by a latter utterance: 'There is no sadaqah on any amount less than five ounces.' Thus, it is possible to have holdings which qualify for sadaqah per se, but on which it is not levied."
When it comes to land produce, possession of a property for a year cannot be used as criterion, because their maturity or growth is completed by the time of harvest, and not by their continuity extended beyond a year. However, possession is considered for goods other than land produce since it is generally assumed that by the end of the year they must have completed their growth. The principle of attaining a nisab on any property is based on the understanding that a nisab is an amount large enough to be subjected to zakah. This may be explained by recalling that sadaqah is obligatory for the rich, which presupposes the existence of nisab generated by their holdings. For produce which cannot be measured but qualifies for zakah, a sa'a is used. One sa'a is a measure equal to one and one-third cups (gadah). Thus, a nisab is fifty kaylah (kaylah is a dry measure of weight, in Egypt it is equal to 16.72 L). As to the produce which cannot be measured, Ibn Quadamah says: "The nisab of saffron, cotton and such items is to be weighed at 1,600 Iraqi pounds (ratl, an Iraqi ratl equals approximately 130 dirhams). Thus, its weight is estimated."
Abu Yusuf says that if the produce cannot be measured, then zakah can only be levied on it when its value attains the nisab of articles subject to the lowest standard of measurement. Thus, zakah will not be levied on cotton until its value reaches five awsuq of an article to the lowest value so measured, such as barley and the like. This is because it is impossible to measure the article in itself except by the lower price of two nisabs. According to Muhammad ibn al-Hasan: "For zakah, a product has to reach five times the greatest value of its kind. Thus, zakah is not payable on cotton when it reaches five qintars, because evaluation by means of wusuq is based on the consideration that its value is higher than what is valued in kind."
Fiqh 3.28: The Rate of Zakah
The rate of zakah differs according to the method of irrigation. If it is watered naturally without the use of artificial means, then the zakah payable is a tithe (one-tenth) of the produce. However, if it is irrigated by a mechanical device or with purchased water, then the zakah payable is half a tithe.
Mu'azh reports that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "On that which is watered by the heavens, or by an adjacent water channel, a tithe is due. As for what is irrigated through a well or a stream, its zakah is half a tithe." This hadith is narrated by alBaihaqi and al-Hakim, and is graded sahih.
Ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "On that which is watered by the heavens or springs or its own roots, a tithe is due, and on that watered by a well or a stream, half a tithe." This hadith is narrated by al-Bukhari and others.
In case the land is watered equally by artificial as well as natural means, then zakah payable will be three-fourths of a tithe.
Ibn Qudamah stated that he did not know of any difference of opinion on the preceding hadith. If one method of watering is used more than the other, then for calculating zakah, this would be the determining factor. This is the view of Abu Hanifah, Ahmad, athThauri, and ash-Shaf'i (one of his two opinions).
All of the costs involved in harvesting, transportation, threshing, cleaning, storing, and others are to be borne by the owner from his property and should not be accounted for against the zakah to be paid.
Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn 'Umar hold that whatever is borrowed for the purpose of tilling, planting, and harvesting should first be taken out.
This is evident from their following statements reported by Jabir ibn Zaid that Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn 'Umar said that a man who borrows in order to spend it either on cultivation (of his land) or on his family must first pay off his debt, then pay zakah on the rest. Ibn 'Abbas said: "First he must pay off what he spent on cultivation, and then pay zakah on the rest." Yahya ibn Adam related this in al-Kharaj.
Ibn Hazm relates from 'Ata that all expenses are to be deducted first. If zakah is applicable to the remaining amount, only then will it be paid.
Fiqh 3.29: Zakah on Kharajiyyah Land
Land subject to tax is divided into two categories:
-1- 'ushriyyah land (tithe land): land owned by people who accepted Islam willingly or who were conquered by force and had their land divided among the conquerors, or land revived and cultivated by Muslims; and
-2- kharajiyyah land (taxable land), land conquered by force and left to its original owners on the condition that they pay the required land tax.
Just as zakah is payable on 'ushriyyah, so it is paid on kharajiyyah when the inhabitants of the latter accept Islam or when a Muslim buys it. In that case, both the tithe and the kharaj become due, and neither of them will negate the application of the other.
Ibn al-Munzhir witnesses: "This is the view of most of the scholars, including 'Umar ibn 'Abdulaziz, Rabi'ah, az-Zuhri, Yahya al-Ansari, Malik, al-Awzai, ath-Thauri, al-Hasan ibn Salih, Ibn Abu Layla, al-Layth, Ibn al-Mubarak, Ahmad, Ishaq, Abu 'Ubaid, and Dawud." Their opinion is derived from the Qur'an, the sunnah, and the exercise of their intellect--that is, by means of analogical reasoning or qiyas.
The Qur'anic verse referred to is: "O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned and of that which We produce from the earth for you" [al-Baqarah 267]. Sharing the produce of ones land with the poor is obligatory, whether the land is kharajiyyah or 'ushriyyah. The sunnah referred to is: "From what the heavens water, a tithe [is due]." This hadith encompasses in its general meaning both the kharaj and the 'ushriyyah land.
As to the analogical reasoning (qiyas), both zakah and kharaj are a kind of obligations (hagq), each based on a different reason, and one does not nullify the other. It is similar to the case when a person who is in the state of ihram kills privately owned game (for eating). Since the tithe is payable by the force of the text, it cannot be negated by kharaj, which becomes payable by the force of ijtihad. Abu Hanifah holds that there is no tithe on kharaj land. Kharaj, he says, is due only when the land is conquered, (whereas) one of the conditions governing the obligatory nature of the tithe is that the land should not be kharajiyyah.: The Validity of Abu Hanifah's View
Imam Abu Hanifah provides the following evidence for his view: According to Ibn Mas'ud, the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Neither kharaj nor tithe ['ushr] are payable simultaneously on the land of a Muslim."
The preceding hadith is by consensus held to be weak (da'if). Yahya ibn 'Anbasah reported it on the authority of Abu Hanifah from Hammad from Ibrahim an-Nakha'i from 'Alqamah, from Ibn Mas'ud from the Prophet, upon whom be peace.
Al-Baihaqi probes its chain and says in al-Ma'rifah as-Sunan wa al-Athar: "The preceding hadith is narrated by Abu Hanifah from Hammad from Ibrahim on his own authority. Thus, Yahya reported in suspended (marfu') form." Yahya ibn 'Anbasah is well-known for interpolating unauthentic sayings and attributing them to established authorities. This was related by Abu Ahmad ibn 'Adiyy al-Hafiz as we were informed by Abu Sa'id al-Malini about him."
Likewise, al-Kamal Ibn al-Humam, a leading Hanafiyyah, considers the hadith weak.
Ahmad, Muslirn, and Abu Dawud relate from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Iraq would refrain from paying its qafiz' and dirham, Syria its mudd and dinar, and Egypt its ardab and dinar. Thus, you would come back from where you had started." He said this three times. Abu Hurairah heard this in person.
This hadith does not provide evidence to the effect that zakah should not be taken from kharaj land. The scholars interpret it to mean that the conversion of these countries to Islam would eliminate land tax. It may also have alluded to dissensions which could prevail at the end of time and which would lead to neglecting or fulfilling the obligation of zakah, jizyah and other such dues by them.
An-Nawawi says: "If this hadith means what they [the Hanafiyyah] claim, then it means that zakah could not be enjoined on dirhams, dinars, and merchandise. If this is so, then nobody subscribes to it."
It was reported that when the dahqan (grandee) of Bahr al-Mulk embraced Islam, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said: "Give him the land and collect the land tax from him." This is a clear statement on the matter of taking kharaj without demanding payment of the tithe.
This incident indicates that kharaj is not cancelled for any person after he embraces Islam, nor does it lead to the cancellation of tithe. He mentioned kharaj here as a way of stating that it will not be cancelled by embracing Islam, like jizyah. As for the tithe, it is well known that it is binding on a free Muslim, so there is no need to mention it. He also did not mention the levy of zakah on cattle. This holds for the payment of zakah on silver and gold and other valuables. Perhaps the dahqan (grandee) did not possess anything which required the levy of a tithe on it.
It is said that the practice of the rulers and imams was not to combine the 'ushr and kharaj. Ibn al-Munzhir disapproves of such a practice because 'Umar ibn 'Abdulaziz did combine the two.
It is also said that kharaj is the opposite of 'ushr. This means that kharaj is a consequence of conquest, whereas 'ushr is an act of worship. Therefore, the two cannot be combined (at one time) and obtained simultaneously from the same person. This held true in the beginning (when lands were conquered), but it is not tenable in the long run. Nevertheless, not all forms of kharaj are based on force and conquest since some of its forms are instituted without force as, for example, in the case of lands adjoining a kharaj land or in the case of acquired and revived land watered with streams.
It is also said that the reason behind the imposition of kharaj and 'ushr is one--that is, an actually or potentially yielding land. This can be explained by recalling that if it is marsh land of no benefit (sabkhah), there is no kharaj or 'ushr on it. That is, one cause cannot demand two dues of the same kind. This is similar to the case of an individual who for a year possesses free-grazing camels (sa'imah) intended for sale, for such a person is not required to pay two kinds of zakah--that is, one for possession and one for trade.
This is not the case because the 'ushr (tithe) is payable on the land's produce and the kharaj on the land itself, regardless of whether it is planted or not. As to the admissibility of the unity of cause, alKamal ibn al-Humam explains there is nothing to prevent two obligations from being connected to one cause, such as land.
Most scholars are of the opinion that anyone who rents a piece of land and cultivates it must pay the zakah, not the true owner of that land. To this Abu Hanifah replies: "Zakah is due on the land owner." Ibn Rushd holds: "Their difference lies in whether the 'ushr is payable on the land itself or its produce." Obviously, zakah, as their views suggest, is payable on either of them. The difference is only of priority, considering that both the produce and the land belong to the same owner. Most scholars say that zakah is due on seeds (habb). Abu Hanifah holds that the essence of obligation rests with the land. Ibn Qudamah inclines toward the majority's view and says: "The obligation lies on the produce and is payable by its owner, as in the case of zakah on the value [of a property] intended for trade. Also, it is similar to the tithe payable on the produce of the land owned." Their (the Hanafiyyah) view is not authentic, for if zakah were to be levied on the value of the land, then it would have been obligatory even if the land was not cultivated, as is the case with the land tax, and even nonMuslirns would not be excluded from its application. Be that the case, kharaj would have to be estimated on the land itself, not on the value of produce--that is, it would be considered part of the expenditure of fay', not the expenditure of zakah.
Fiqh 3.32: The Estimation of Nisab on Palm Trees and Grapevines Through Khars, Not by Measure (Kayl)
As soon as palm trees and grapevines ripen and their produce is ready to be picked, an estimation of their nisab is made without their actual weighing. The process is carried out by a knowledgeable and trustworthy person who estimates the amount of fresh grapes and dates still on the trees for zakah as if they were dry dates and raisins. The arnount of zakah is, however, payable when the fruit becomes dry.
Abu Humayd as-Sa'idi related: "We went on the expedition of Tabuk with the Prophet, upon whom be peace. When we arrived at Wadi al-Qura, we saw a woman in her orchard. The Prophet said: 'Let us estimate [her zakah].' Then the Messenger, upon whom be peace, estimated ten awsuq and told her: '[The amount of zakah] has been calculated on your [orchard's] produce.' " This is narrated by alBukhari.
This is the practice of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and his companions and the scholars observed it.
The Hanafiyyah have different views because they consider conjecture to be uncertain, and therefore, of no use in determining the amount owed. Still, the tradition of the Messenger of Allah is a better guide ('azha) because conjecture is not guessing; it is a diligent attempt to estimate the amount of the produce. It is the same as estimating the amount of the produce lost (because of its being rotten or moth-ridden). The basis for conjecture rests on the custom that people eat fresh fruits, and as such, there is no need for calculating the amount of zakah before it is eaten or plucked. In this way, the owners are allowed to do what they want and, at the same time, to determine the amount of zakah. The appraiser should ignore a third or a fourth of the produce as a reprieve for the property owners since they, their guests, and their neighbors need to eat some of it. Also, the produce is exposed to such perils as birds feeding, passers-by plucking, and wind blowing. Any appraisal of the amount of zakah on all of the produce without excluding a third or a fourth of it (for the preceding reasons) would have militated against the genuine interests of the owners.
Sahl ibn Abu Hathamah related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whenever you conjecture, estimate the [zakah] and ignore one-third. If you do not, then leave [at least] one-fourth." This is narrated by Ahmad and the authors of Sunan, except for Ibn Majah. It was also reported by al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban, and they both authenticated it. Commenting on the status of the report, atTirmizhi says: "The hadith reported by Sahl is the one enacted or followed by most scholars." Bashir ibn Yassar said: "When 'Umar ibn al-Khattab appointed Abu Hathamah al-Ansari to estimate the property of Muslims, he told him: 'Whenever you see that the people have left some dates unplucked for autumn, leave them for the people to eat, and do not estimate the zakah on them.' "
Makhul said: "Whenever the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, assigned someone to estimate, he would say: 'Be easy on the people, for some of their property [trees] could be barren, some low, and some for [their] eating.' " It was narrated by Abu 'Ubaid, who added: "The low palm tree is called as-sabilah and allows its fruit to be plucked by passers-by. The eating tree (al-akilah) is a palm tree especially designated as an eating tree for the owner's family or for whoever is attached to them."
Fiqh 3.34: Eating of the Grains
It is permissible for the owner to eat from the grain, and whatever he consumes will not be included in the quantity subject to zakah, for this is a long-standing custom. In any case, only a small amount is actually eaten. It is the same as an owner of a fruitbearing tree eating some of its produce. Therefore, the zakah will be estimated on the actual amount after he harvests the crop and husks the seeds. Ahmad was asked about the eating of farik (rubbed green wheat) by the owner, and he answered that there is no harm if the owner eats what he needs. This is also the opinion of ash-Shaf'i, al-Layth and Ibn Hazm. However, Malik and Abu Hanifah hold that the owner will have to account for what he eats.
Scholars agree that various kinds of fruit can be combined even if their quality is different--that is, excellent or bad in quality. Different kinds of raisins may also be combined together, and so can the various kinds of wheat and cereals.
They also agree that merchandise and its cash value received can be combined. Ash-Shaf'i allows combining goods and cash only when purchased because the nisab is calculated upon that. Scholars also do not allow the combination of certain categories with others in order to attain a nisab, with the exception of grains and fruits. That is why one category of animals cannot be combined with another. For example, camels cannot be added to cattle to complete a nisab, nor can fruit be combined with raisins.
Scholars have different points of view in regard to combining various types of grains with one another. The best and the most correct opinion is that no two things can be combined to calculate a nisab. The nisab must be considered on every category by itself. This is because there are various categories and many kinds. Therefore, barley cannot be added to wheat, nor can the latter be added to the former, which is also true of dates and raisins, and chickpeas and lentils. This is the opinion of Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaf'i, and Ahmad, according to one of the reports. Most of the early scholars hold this opinion.
Ibn al-Munzhir says that most scholars concur that camels cannot be combined with cattle or sheep, or cattle with sheep, nor dates with raisins. Thus, there can be no combining of different kinds of produce or animals. Those who allow such a practice do it without any authentic proof.
Fiqh 3.35: When Zakah is Due on Plants and Fruits
Zakah is due on plants when the grains mature and are ready to be rubbed off and on the fruit when it is ripened. In the case of dates, for example, the indication will be their brightness or red color, and with grapes their sweetness. Zakah becomes due only after grains are husked or the fruit becomes dried. If the farmer sold his grain after it had matured, and the fruit after it had ripened, then its zakah will be paid by him and not the buyer. This is because the obligation to pay zakah became due when the produce was still in the owner's possession.
Allah, the Exalted One, commanded those paying zakah to set it aside from the good portion of their property and forbade paying it from the bad portion. He says: "O you who believe! Spend of the good things you have earned and from that which We bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad [with intent] to spend thereof [in charity] when you would not take it for yourselves save with disdain. And know that Allah is free of all wants and worthy of all praise" [alBaqarah 267].
Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i and others reported from Sahl ibn Hanif from his father that: "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, forbade paying zakah with two kinds of dates called ju'rur and habiq. People used to set aside the worst of their fruit for sadaqah but were later on forbidden to do this by Allah: 'And seek not the bad [with intent] to spend thereof [in charity]' [al-Baqarah 267]."
While mentioning this verse, al-Bara' said: "This was revealed in relation to us [al-Ansar--the Helpers], because we were owners of palm trees. A man may bring from his palm trees [dates] depending on how much he had, a cluster or two, and hang it at the mosque, and the people of the Saffah who had no food would come to the cluster and beat it with their rod. The green and unripe dates would fall off and they would eat them. There were people who did not seek good. Someone would bring a cluster of bad or inferior quality dates [shis and hashaf] or an already-broken cluster [before it had ripened] and hang it at the mosque. At this time, Allah revealed the 'ayah: 'And seek not the bad [with intent] to spend thereof [in charity] when you would not take it for yourselves save with disdain' [al-Baqarah 267]." Al-Bara' continued: "If one of you receives as a gift something similar to what he gives away, he would not accept it except out of feigned pleasure." Said al-Bara': "As a result of that, each one of us used to offer the good part of what he had." It was narrated by at-Tirmizhi who said: "It is good and sound."
In his summation of the subject, ash-Shaukani says: "This [the preceding hadith] means that the owner is not allowed to set aside the bad from the good on which zakah is due, especially in regard to dates as well as, by analogy, the various other categories on which zakah is due. Furthermore, the collector of zakah is not allowed to take it.
Fiqh 3.36: Zakah on Honey
Most scholars say that there is no zakah on honey. AlBukhari, for one, states: "There is no authentic tradition concerning zakah on honey." Ash-Shaf'i explains: "In my view, no zakah is levied on it because there is no evidence in the traditions (sunan and 'athar) for doing so. Thus, it was exempted." Ibn al-Munzhir affirms: "There is no tradition (khabar) which states that zakah must be paid on honey, nor is there a consensus. Therefore, there is no zakah on honey. This is the opinion of most scholars."
The Hanafiyyah and Ahmad are of the opinion that honey is subject to zakah, even though there is no evidence for this view in any tradition, except for some traditions ('athar) which support each other. Their reason is that since it is produced from blossoms, trees, and flowers and weighed and stored like other types of produce, zakah is due on it. They also say it is subject to zakah because the cost of producing it is less than the cost of growing fruits and plants. Abu Hanifah made it a condition that when zakah is due on honey, it should only be collected on honey produced on tithe land. However, he did not stipulate any nisab for it. If this is so, then reason dictates that it should be a tithe due on any amount. Imam Ahmad, on the contrary, stipulated that it should attain a nisab equal to ten 'afraq. One faraq equals sixteen Iraqi pounds. It makes no difference whether it is produced on kharaj or 'ushr land. Abu Yusuf contends: "Its nisab is ten pounds but Muhammad maintains: "It is five 'afraq." One faraq equals thirty-six pounds.
Fiqh 3.39: Zakah on Animals
There are authentic ahadith explicitly indicating that camels, cattle, and sheep are subject to zakah. This enjoys the consensus. There are, however, some conditions to be met:
-1- The animals concerned must attain a nisab.
-2- They have to be in possession for one year.
-3- They should have pastured by themselves -- that is, grazing most of the year in the available pasture.
Most scholars agree with these conditions. Malik and al-Layth, however, say that livestock is subject to zakah whether it be grazing or fodder-fed, used for carrying loads or not. Nevertheless, the ahadiths mentioned are unequivocal in restricting zakah to freely grazing livestock. This suggests that there is no zakah on fodder-fed livestock. It is always safe to base an opinion on evidence rather than on general implications to avoid possible misunderstanding of the Prophet's intent.
Ibn 'Abdul-Barr protests: "I do not know of any jurist in the provinces who followed Malik or al-Layth in this regard."
There is no zakah on camels unless there are five of them, they have been grazing freely and they have been in one's possession for a year. When the camels are five, their zakah is one sheep (shah).
When they are ten, their zakah is two sheep. Thus, every time they increase by five, the zakah due on them is one more sheep. However, when they reach twenty-five, the due zakah is a she-camel (bint makhad or bint labun) which is a year old and starting the second, or a young male camel which is two years and already starting the third year. When they reach thirty-six, the zakah due on them is a young she-camel (bint labun). When they reach forty-six, the due zakah is a she-camel (huqqah) which is already three years old and starting the fourth. When they reach sixty-one, the due zakah is a four year old camel already starting its fifth year (jazh'ah). When they reach seventy-six, two young she-camels (bint labun) are due. When they are in the range of ninety-one to 120, the zakah is two young camels (huqqatan). When the number of camels is above 120, on every forty young she-camels, one bint labun is due. And on every fifty above 120, a young she-camel (huqqah) is due.
When the ages of camels offered for zakah differ, the owner should pay jazh'ah. If he does not have it, he may pay huqqah and may add two sheep or twenty dirhams provided he can afford to. The person who has to pay huqqah as zakah but does not have it only has to pay jazh'ah. The zakah collector, then, will pay him the difference, which is twenty dirhams or two female sheep. The one who has to pay huqqah and does not possess it can pay just the bint labun if he has it, along with two sheep if they are available. If not, he may pay twenty dirhams. If he has to pay the zakah of bint labun and does not have it, he can pay a huqqah and will receive from the zakah collector twenty dirhams or two sheep. If he has to pay the zakah of bint labun but has only bint makhad, it will be accepted from him along with two sheep if they are available, or twenty dirhams. If he is liable for the zakah of bint makhad and does not possess it, a ibn labun will be accepted from him without any additional things. If he has only four camels, he is not supposed to pay anything unless he wants to.
These are the rules concerning zakah on camels which were applied by Caliph Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, and none of the companions differed with him in this matter.
Az-Zuhri reported, on the authority of Salim from his father: "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, had the rules of sadaqah written down but could not send them to his govemors. Then, after his death, Abu Bakr dispatched them and applied them, a practice which Caliph 'Umar also followed and wanted others to follow, as indicated in his will."
Fiqh 3.41: Zakah on Cattle
Cattle are subject to zakah provided they are a freely grazing herd and number thirty at the completion of the hawl. At that point, the zakah due is a young bull or a young cow (tabi' or tabi'ah). When they reach forty, the zakah is a young cow two years old (musinnah); when sixty, two young cows or two one-year-olds (tabi'ahs); when seventy, the zakah due is one musinnah and one tabi'; when eighty, two musinnahs; when ninety, three tabi's; when one hundred, one musinnah and two tabi's; when 110, two musinnahs and two tabi's; and when 120, three musinnahs or four tabi's. This system is followed on all additional cattle--one tabi', and on every forty, one musinnah.
Sheep are subject to zakah when their number reaches forty. When the herd counts forty freely grazing heads at the end of the year, its zakah is one sheep. This is applicable until the number reaches 120, at which point, up until 200, the zakah is two sheep. From 201 to 300, their zakah is three sheep. When the number is above 300, one additional sheep is added for each increment of one hundred. Young sheep (jazh') are levied in the case of sheep and young goats (thany) in the case of goats. It is permissible, say scholars without exception, to levy rams as a form of zakah if all of the nisab of sheep are male. If the sheep are ewes, or a grouping of males and females, the Hanafiyyah holds it is optional to levy a zakah rams, whereas others specify ewes.
Definition of Awqas: Awqas is a plural form of waqs. A waqs is any amount or number that lies between the regulation of the lower ordinance and that of a higher one. Scholars agree that such a waqs is exempt from zakah. It has been confirmed in the sayings of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, concerning the sadaqah of camels that he said: "When the number of camels reaches twenty-five, a young she-camel one year old and already starting the second (ibn makhad); when they reach thirty-six to forty-five, then the zakah due on them is a young she-camel two years old and already starting the third (bint labun)." Concerning the sadaqah of cattle, he said: "When cattle number between thirty and forty, the zakah is a young calf of one year old (tabi') or a bull or cow of one year and already starting the second (jazh' or jazh'ah); when they reach forty, a young cow of two years old and already starting the third (rnusinnah)." Concerning sadaqah on sheep, he said: "When the number of freely grazing sheep is between forty-two and 120, their zakah is one ewe." Thus, what lies between twenty-five and thirty-six camels is considered waqs--that is, there is no zakah on them. Likewise, what lies between thirty and forty cattle is considered waqs. This is also applies to sheep.
Fiqh 3.42: What Should Not Be Included in Zakah
The rights of property owners must be considered when their properties are subjected to zakah. The best items are not to be taken as zakah unless the owners freely permit it. Likewise, the rights of the poor should be considered. A defective animal should not be taken as zakah unless all of the other animals are defective. In such a case, zakah is due on the average of that property. Some proofs for this view are:
-1- In the letter of Abu Bakr: "Neither an old or a defective animal nor a billy goat may be taken as zakah."
-2- Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah ath-Thaqafi reported: "Umar forbade the zakah collector to levy zakah on the following: barren ewes (al-'akulah), a sheep kept at home for milk (ar-rahy), a pregnant ewe (al-rnakhid), or a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam)."
-3- 'Abdullah ibn Mu'awiyyah al-Ghadiri reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever performs these three acts will have had (savored) a taste of belief ('irnan): He who worships Allah alone, and [believes] that there is no god but Him; he who good-heartedly offers the zakah on his property which will repay him every year; and he who does not offer a very old sheep, a mangy sheep, a sick sheep, a mean and low sheep, or a ewe which produces only a small amount of milk. You should offer one from the average. Verily, Allah asks you to offer neither the best nor the worst." It was related by Abu Dawud and at-Tabarani with a good transmission.
Zakah is not applicable to animals other than cattle. Thus, there is no zakah on horses, mules, or donkeys unless they are used for the purpose of trade. On the authority of 'Ali, it is related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "I have exempted you from paying sadaqah on horses." It was narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawud with a good chain. On the authority of Abu Hurairah, it is related that the Messenger, upon whom be peace, was asked if there is zakah on donkeys. He replied: "Nothing was ever mentioned [in revelation] except in the following excellent Qur'anic verse: 'And whosoever does evil equal to an atom's weight will see it' [azZalzalah 7-8]." It was narrated by Ahmad and its details have already been mentioned.
Harithah ibn Madrab reported that he performed pilgrimage (hajj) with Caliph 'Umar, and the notables of Syria came to him and said: "O Commander of the Faithful, we have acquired some animals, so take from our property a sadaqah that purifies us." He answered them: "My two predecessors [the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and Caliph Abu Bakr] did not do this before. But wait and let me ask the Muslims about this." This was narrated by alHaythami, who said that it was narrated by Ahmad and atTabarani in the book entitled al-Kabir. The narrators of this hadith are considered trustworthy.
Az-Zuhri reported from Salman ibn Yassar that the people of Syria said to Abu 'Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: "Take from our horses . . . a sadaqah." He refused. Then he wrote to 'Umar, who also refused. They spoke to him again, and he wrote to 'Umar once again. 'Umar wrote back: "If they desire that, take it from them and give it back to them [their poor] and to their slaves." This was narrated by Malik and al-Baihaqi.
Fiqh 3.43: Young Camels, Calves, and Lambs
When a person has a nisab of camels, cattle, and lambs, and they give birth during the same year, zakah is due on both the original number and their offsprings at the end of the year. Their zakah is considered a lump-sum zakah according to the majority of scholars. On the authority of Malik and ash-Shaf'i, from Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah ath-Thaqafi, it is related that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said: "The new-born sheep (as-sakhlah) carried by the shepherd are not to be taken as zakah. Likewise, a barren sheep (al-'akulah), a ewe kept for milk (ar-raby), a pregnant ewe (al-makhid) and a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam) are not to be taken as zakah. Take as zakah the jazh'ah and the thaniyyah. Zakah is levied on the average quality of the property."
Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaf'i, and Abu Thaur are of the opinion that the young offspring are not to be calculated in the zakah payment unless the mature animals make a nisab. Also, Abu Hanifah stated that the young sheep can be added to fulfill a nisab whether they are born from the same livestock or not. They will be subject to zakah at the end of the year. Ash-Shaf'i lays down the condition that young animals have to be born prior to the completion of the nisab. There is no zakah on young animals according to Abu Hanifah, Muhammad, Dawud, ash-Shu'abi, and Ahmad.
Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, ad-Daraqutni and al-Baihaqi, relate that Suwaid ibn Ghaflah said: "The zakah collector of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, came to us and I heard him say: 'In my term of office, a suckling animal was not subject to zakah . . .' " In its chain of narrators is Hilal ibn Hubab, whom several have declared trustworthy, but some did not. It was authenticated by more than one person but was a point of contention to others.
According to the opinion of Malik and a report from Ahmad, young animals as well as mature ones are subject to zakah, because if the former could be considered with others (for purposes of zakah), then they could also be considered on their own. Ash-Shaf'i and Abu Yusuf hold that at least one young (animal) is obligatory (as zakah) from the young animals.
Fiqh 3.44: On Combining Young and Old (Animals) or Separating Them
-1- Suwaid ibn Ghaflah said: "The zakah collector of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, came to us and I heard him say: 'We do not collect zakah on suckling animals, nor do we separate between them [young and old], nor combine them together.' A man came with a great humped camel (kawma), but he did not accept it as zakah." It was reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and anNasa'i.
-2- Anas reported that Abu Bakr wrote to him: "These are the sadaqah stipulations which the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, made obligatory to the Muslims. [And of it] do not combine. There is no need to gather [young and old] animals nor to separate them to obtain the correct sadaqah amount. What happens to a mixture of young and old? When zakah is assessed on two associates, then they have to figure it out equally among them." AlBukhari relates this.
Malik, in alMuwatta', says: "There are, for example, three partners, each having forty sheep on which zakah is payable. If they add their sheep together, their zakah will be only one sheep. Or, another example: two partners have 201 sheep. Their zakah will be three sheep. If they divide the flock among them, their zakah will be one sheep each."
Ash-Shaf'i holds that this statement is addressed to both the owner and the zakah collector. Each is ordered not to add or separate his possessions to obtain a lower or higher sadaqah. Since the owner would naturally prefer a low sadaqah on his property, he would combine or separate his possessions accordingly. The same would also be true of the zakah collector, who might like to collect as much sadaqah as possible. By using the phrase khashyat assadaqah (for fear of sadagah), the Prophet meant that it may become more or less since both alternatives were possible. This shows that he did not prefer one choice over the other. Therefore, he made both alternatives possible. According to the Hanafiyyah: "This is, in a sense, a prohibition on the zakah collector's separating the property of a person so that his sadaqah is not increased. For example: a man possesses 120 sheep. If they are divided into three lots of forty each, the zakah would amount to three sheep. Another example: if they combine the property of one man with the property of another, the sadaqah would increase. Thus, if a person owns 101 sheep and another owns an equal number, then the zakah collector, if he combines the two lots, would secure three sheep as payment toward zakah, while the actual amount due is only two sheep."
Fiqh 3.45: Does Combining (Animals) Have any Effect?
The Hanafiyyah hold that as far as the determination of zakah is concemed, combining (animals) has no effect. Whether such a combination is between partners or has ensued because of contiguity does not matter. There will be no zakah on the joint ownership of partners unless each of them attains a nisab. The consensus is that zakah has to be detemlined on the basis of sole ownership.
The Malikiyyah maintain that ownership of cattle is considered as one for the purpose of zakah. The combination becomes valid only for zakah when the co-owners in their own right possess a nisab. In addition to this, they should have a common herdsman, a common breed, a common pen, and the expressed intention of having joint ownership. If the herd of one of them is distinguished from the other, they will be considered two separate entities. In that case, each individual becomes liable for zakah. The combination affects livestock. What is taken as zakah from the herd will be distributed among the partners in accordance with each one's share. If the property of one of the associates is separate, then all of it is considered combined.
According to the Shaf'iyyah, every share of the combination affects the zakah and the zakah on two or more associates' separate properties becomes due. This may affect the amount of zakah due; for example, if two men, each possessing twenty sheep, combine their sheep, the zakah due is one, but if they do not combine them, then there is no zakah on either one. On the other hand, a combination of 101 sheep with the same number results in a zakah of one and one-half sheep. However, if the flocks of sheep are considered separately, then the zakah due on each lot is only one sheep. As for the case of three associates, each of them having forty sheep, if they combine them, the zakah due is one sheep--that is, the zakah due for each partner is one-third of a sheep. However, if treated separately, each should pay one sheep. In addition to this, the Shaf'iyyah moreover stipulate the following:
-1- The partners should qualify financially to pay zakah.
-2- The combined property must attain a nisab.
-3- Its zakah is due at the end of the year.
-4- None of the properties is singled out from the others as regards resting pen, grazing area, watering, herdsmen, and milking sheds.
-5- Flocks of the same kind are bred by the same ram.
Ahmad agrees with the Shaf'iyyah, except that he limited the effect of combination to cattle and does not take into consideration any other properties.
Fiqh 3.47: Zakah on Buried Treasure and Precious Minerals
The term rikaz is etymologically derived from rakaza, the perfect tense of the verb yarkuzu (the imperfect root). It means 'to be hidden.' Allah, the Exalted One, says: "Or hear from them the slightest sound" [Maryam 98]--that is, rikz means a slight sound.
In the present context, this refers to what was buried at the time of jahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic period). Malik and many other scholars are of the opinion that rikaz means objects buried before the Arabs embraced Islam and which were dug up without any expensive effort or money. If these conditions cannot be met, then it is not considered rikaz. Abu Hanifah holds that it is a name of an entity hidden either by the Creator or by the created one (man).
The term ma'din (minerals) is derived from the verb 'adana (to reside), as in the phrase "'adana fi almakan," which means 'someone resided in some place.' Allah, the Exalted One, says: "Allah has promised to the believing men and believing women gardens of Eden" [at-Taubah 72] since it is an abode for eternity.
Scholars differ about minerals (ma'din) which are subject to zakah. Ahmad holds that everything dug from the ground, whether created in it or buried by man, and which has a value (such as gold, silver, iron, copper, lead, sapphires, chrysolite, emeralds, turquoise, crystal, agate, kohl (antimony sulfide), arsenic, tar, petroleum, sulphur, zaj) are subject to zakah. He, however, made it a condition that the extracted mineral should attain a nisab either by itself or by its value. Abu Hanifah is of the opinion that zakah is payable on any mineral that can receive an imprint or melt by fire, such as gold, silver, iron, or copper. As for liquids such as tar, or a solid mineral which cannot be melted by fire such as rubies, there is no zakah on them. In the former case, the admissibility of nisab is not a prior condition. Whether large or small in amount, a fifth will be taken as zakah.
Malik and ash-Shaf'i hold that both gold and silver qualify for zakah. Like Ahmad, they insist that the gold should weigh at least twenty mithqal (a weight equal to 4.68 g.) and the silver at least 200 dirhams. They agree (with the Hanafiyyah) that these metals do not require completion of a year to be subjected to zakah, which becomes due anytime it is available. According to the preceding scholars, the amount should be one-fortieth, and its distribution should be like that of the regular zakah. For Abu Hanifah, its distribution is similar to booty (fay').
Fiqh 3.48: The Legitimacy of Zakah on Rikaz and Ma'din
That zakah of rikaz and ma'din is obligatory is shown by a statement attributed to Abu Hurairah: "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: 'There is no compensation for one killed or wounded by an animal, falling in a well, or because of working in mines; but, one-fifth (khums) is compulsory on rikaz.' " Ibn al-Munzhir confesses that he does not know anyone who contradicted this hadith except al-Hasan, who differentiates between what exists in the land of war and the Islamic land. The latter holds that if rikaz is found in the land of war, one-fifth (khums) is due, but if it is found in the Islamic land, it will be subject to the regular zakah.
Explaining it, Ibn al-Qayyim says that there are two interpretations of this statement:
The first interpretation is that whenever someone hires someone else to dig a mine for him and then he falls into it and is killed, there is no compensation for him. This view is supported by the Prophet's saying: "There is no compensation for one who falls into a well or who is killed by an animal--(al-bi'r jubar, wa al-'ajma' jubar)."
The second interpretation is that there is no zakah on minerals. This view is supported by the Prophet's saying: "... but one-fifth is compuslory on treasure--(wa fi az-zakah al-khums)." Thus, he differentiated between mineral (ma'din) and treasure (rikaz). He made zakah on rikaz compulsory because it is a wealth obtained without any cost or effort. He exempted minerals (ma'din) from zakah because they require both cost and effort for their mining.
Fiqh 3.49: Rikaz Upon Which Zakah is Paid
The rikaz are all those substances upon which one-fifth (khums) is payable, such as gold, silver, iron, lead, brass, and the like. This is the opinion of the Hanafiyyah, the Hanbaliyyah, Ishaq, and Ibn al-Munzhir. A report from Malik and one of the two opinions of ash-Shaf'i also corroborate it. Ash-Shaf'i also holds that only gold and silver are subject to khums.
Rikaz might be found in the following places:
-1- In a barren land, a land of unknown ownership, or in an intractible road, or ruined village. In that case, khums has to be paid, and the one who found it may keep the other four-fifths for himself. This is based on a report from an-Nasa'i on the authority of 'Amr ibn Shu'aib from his father and from his grandfather, who said that when the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, was asked about a lucky find (al-luqatah), he responded: "For anything along a tractable road or in an inhabited village, its ownership is determined by established custom. If the owner claims it, it is his. However, when an item is found in an intractable road or in an uninhabited village, then on it and the rest of the find, one-fifth (khums) is payable."
-2- If the rikaz is found by someone in a land transferred to him, then it is his, as it is lodged in the land. Nevertheless, his ownership does not come from his possession of the land--it comes from the fact that it became known to him. Analogically, this kind of find falls into the category of grass, firewood, and game which are found on land which is not his. He can claim it if the one who transferred the land does not ask for it. In that case, it will be his because the land originally belonged to him. This is the view of Abu Yusuf, and the Hanbaliyyah uphold it as sound. Ash-Shaf'i says it belongs to the owner who transferred the land (if he claims it) before him, and so on until it is claimed by the first original owner.
Whenever land is transferred through inheritance, it is considered an inheritance by itself. If, however, the inhabitants agree that it did not belong to the one from whom they inherited it, then it belongs to the original owner. If he is unknown, then it is considered the lost property of an unknown owner. Abu Hanifah and Muhammad say that it belongs to the original owner of the land or to his inheritors if they are known; if they are not, it is to be placed in the public treasury.
-3- If it is found in the land of a Muslim or a free non-Muslim subject (zhimmi), then it belongs to the owner of the land, according to Abu Hanifah, Muhammad, and Ahmad. It is also reported from Ahmad that it belongs to the one who found it (rikaz). Al-Hasan ibn Salih, Abu Thaur, and Abu Yusuf also preferred this opinion. This view is based on the belief that rikaz is not necessarily owned by the owner of the land, except when it is claimed by the owner. In such a case, his word will be the final one because he has the right over the land. If he does not claim it, it belongs to the one who finds it. AshShaf'i holds that it belongs to the one who claims it. Otherwise, it belongs to the original owner.
Fiqh 3.50: The Amount Payable on Rikaz
The amount payable on rikdz is one-fifth, regardless of a nisab, according to Abu Hanifah, Ahmad, and one of the two correct reports of Malik and ash-Shaf'i. As for the completion of a year (haws), all scholars agree that it has not been stipulated as a conditon.
Most scholars are of the opinion that khums is due on anyone who finds a treasure, whether he happens to be a Muslim, a free non-Muslim subject (zhimmi), old, young, sane, or insane. However, the guardians of the young and insane must pay it on their behalf. Ibn al-Munzhir comments that all learned persons agree that a zhimmi who finds rikaz has to pay its khums. This is also the opinion of Malik, the scholars of Madinah, ath-Thauri, al-Auza'i, the scholars of Iraq, those who use analogy (ashab ar-ra'y), and others. Ash-Shaf'i stated that khums is only due upon those who must pay zakah.
Fiqh 3.51: Distribution of Khums
According to ash-Shaf'i, the distribution of khums is similar to the distribution of zakah. Ahmad and al-Baihaqi narrate from Bishr al-Khath'ami that a man from his tribe said: "While I was in Kufah, I received a jar from an old monastery at the zakah district (jibayah) of Bishr. There were 4,000 dirhams in it. I took it to 'Ali, who told me to divide it into five parts, which I did. Then, 'Ali took one-fifth and gave me four-fifths. When I departed, he called me and asked if there were some needy people living near me. I replied that there were, and he asked me to divide the one-fifth among them." Abu Hanifah, Malik, and Ahmad are of the opinion that its distribution is similar to the distribution of booty (fay').
Ash-Shu'bi narrates that a man, while he was out of Madinah, found 1,000 dinars in the ground. He brought them to 'Umar ibn alKhattab, who took the khums of 200 dinars and gave the man the rest. 'Umar started to distribute the 200 dinars among the Muslims who were present. Since a little bit was left over, he then asked: "Where is the owner of the dinars?" When the man responded, 'Umar said to him: "Take these dinars, for they are yours." In alMughni, it says that if it were like zakah, he would have alloted it to those who deserved it and would not have returned it to its finder. Furthermore, rikaz can be given to the zhimmi, whereas zakah is not.
Fiqh 3.53: Zakah on Wealth Extracted from the Sea
Most scholars stipulate that zakah is not payable on anything extracted from the sea, such as pearls, corals, chrysalite, cachalot's ambergris, fish, and so on. There is, however, a report from Ahmad that if the amount extracted reaches a nisab, then zakah is due on it. Abu Yusuf agrees with him in the case of pearls and cachalot's ambergris. Ibn 'Abbas holds that there is no zakah of cachalot, beacause it is an object thrown out by the sea. Jabir said that there is no zakah on cachalot, but that it is a free spoil for anyone who finds it.
When a person acquires property and it stays in his possession for a year and constitutes a nisab, and he has no other property or he has similar property which has not reached a nisab except when the acquired property has been added to it, then the year hawl of zakah becomes applicable to it from the time of its acquisition. The zakah will be payable at the completion of the hawl. In such a case, the acquired property may be classified in any of the following categories:
-1- The acquired holdings increase in value either by profits from trade or by an increase in animal production. These kinds of holdings qualify themselves for the application of the hawl and zakah. For the individual whose merchandise or animals constitute a nisab and whose business also makes a profit or whose animals reproduce during the course of the hawl, he should count the original and additional property as one for the purpose of zakah. There is no dispute about this among scholars.
-2- As for the acquired property which falls under the same category as the attained nisab but is not derived or generated from it--that is, it was acquired through purchase, gift, or inheritance-- Abu Hanifah holds that this may be combined with the nisab in order to become a part of it with regard to the hawl and payment of zakah. Thus, the principal property and the profits are collectively taxable.
Ash-Shaf'i and Ahmad suggest that newly acquired property be combined with the original one for the purpose of attaining a nisab and that a new hawl has to be assumed for it--whether the original consists of cash or animals. For example, if someone has 200 dirhams and manages to acquire another 200 dirhams during the year, he should pay zakah on both at the completion of the hawl which will begin to roll at the acquisition of new property. Malik's opinion is like that of Abu Hanifah's concerning animals but like Ahmad's in regard to gold and silver.
-3- The acquired holdings are not of the same kind that one already possesses. As such, they cannot be combined with the original either for the nisab or for the year count (hawl). If, however, the acquired holdings by themselves reach a nisab, their year count will be calculated independently, and the owner will pay their zakah at the completion of the hawl. In the absence of these conditions, nothing is applicable to these holdings. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars.
Fiqh 3.54: Zakah ie the Responsibility of the Owner, Not the Holdings Themselves
The Hanafiyyah, the Malikiyyah, and a report from ash-Shaf'i and Ahmad propose that it is the property which owes zakah. The second opinion attributed to ash-Shaf'i and Ahmad is that zakah is the responsibility of the owner, not the property. The difference between the two opinions is obvious:
For example, someone had 200 dirhams and did not pay zakah on the sum for two years. The opinion which says that zakah is due on the property itself means that the amount due is for one year only since it decreased by five dirhams, which was the amount due for zakah at the end of the first year. The second opinion, that zakah is the responsibility of the owner, means that he should pay zakah twice, one for each year, as zakah is the responsibility of the owner and is not affected by the decrease of the nisab.
Ibn Hazm favors the view that it is the owner's responsibility. There has been no difference of opinion, he says, among the Muslims since the time of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, down to his time as to the applicability of zakah on wheat, barley, dates, silver, gold, camels, cattle, and sheep. Concerning payment of zakah from a different lot of wheat, barley, dates, gold, silver, camels, cattle, and sheep, he says it does not matter whether one pays it from the same lot, from a different one in one's possession, or from a lot that may be bought, granted as a gift, or borrowed.
The conviction that the payment of zakah is the owner's responsibility and is not necessarily that of the property itself is a sound principle, for if it becomes due on the property itself, the owner will not be permitted to make payment from a different lot. It is similar to the case of one partner being prevented from giving his money to his copartner from a source other than the one involved in their partnership--unless the partners approve of it and it does not violate the conditions of the transaction between them. Furthermore, if zakah has to be applied to the property itself, only two situations can arise. First, zakah is payable on all parts of that property and is applicable to any individual amount of it, without individual specification. Second, if it is applicable to every part of it, it is impermissible to sell from any herd or grain since zakah collectors in this case would become partners. Thus, the proprietor is not allowed to take anything from it. This is void without any dispute. Furthermore, it would become obligatory upon him to specify exactly the price of the sheep which he desires to take out, just as is done in partnerships. If zakah is due on any part of it other than the property itself, it becomes void. This holds true in such a case since he does not know what he might sell or whether he is taking what is due for the sadaqah collectors. This, in turn, backs up the above.