Fri, 26th Feb, 2021 / 13 Rajab, 1442
الخميس ٢٥ , فبراير , ٢٠٢١ / 13 رَجَب , 1442
Fri, 26th Feb, 2021 /
13 Rajab, 1442
الخميس ٢٥ , فبراير , ٢٠٢١ / 13 رَجَب , 1442

Chapters 20-26 from the ‘the Explanation of the Summary of ^Abdullah Al-Harariy, Ensuring the Personal Obligatory Knowledge’.

Items Subject to Zakah

It is obligatory for one to pay Zakah for having:
1. Camels, cattle, sheep and goats
2. Dates, raisins, and staple crops consumed by choice
3. Gold, silver, golden and silver ores, and golden and silver treasure-troves (rikaz)
4. Trade articles
5. Fitr.

 

Explanation:

This chapter deals with the rules of Zakah. Zakah is one of the most important matters in Islam. It was mentioned in the hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that Zakah is one of the five matters on which Islam is based. Ibn Hibban narrated from the Prophet, sallallahu^alayhi wa sallam,

((لعن الله ءاكل الربا وموكله ومانع الزكاة))

It means: ”Allah damns the one who consumes the usurious gains (riba), the one who gives them, and the one who does not pay Zakah.”

The one who abstains from paying the obligatory Zakah commits an enormous sin. Zakah is obligatory only in the matters mentioned in the text. All other owned items are not subject to Zakah. Hence, there is no Zakah on the house rented out or owned land or cars kept for other than trading. Similarly, fruits and vegetables, like apples, pears, tomatoes, and zucchini are excluded. Animals, such as horses and poultry are not subject to Zakah. Factory machinery used to produce certain products are excluded from Zakah. There is no Zakah on employee wages, doctor fees, or earnings from other than trading. According to the schools of lmam ash-Shafi^iyy and lmam Malik, may Allah raise their ranks, paper money is excluded from Zakah if it is not of trading. However, according to Abu Hanifah, paper and metallic money (coins) which are used as currency are subject to Zakah. In this matter, following the school of Abu Hanifah puts one the safer side.

However, whoever does not is not blameworthy in the Hereafter. Camels are subject to Zakah, including all kinds of cows and water buffalos (jamus). Finally, sheep and goats are also subject to Zakah. Dates are subject to Zakah. The owner of the palm trees waits until the dates are dry before paying Zakah. Similarly, the owner of grape vines waits until the grapes turn into raisins before paying the due Zakah. As to the rest of the fruits, there is no Zakah on them in their own right. Additionally, staple crops are subject to Zakah. These include grains that provide sustenance to the body, like wheat, barley, corn, rice, lentils, and chickpeas. Crops used for the sustenance of the body at times of necessity such as famine, but which are not used for sustenance at other times are not subject to Zakah. An example is the bitter crop of colocynth. People do not choose to eat this crop in normal situations. Although consumed for sustenance in the case of necessity, no Zakah is due on it.

Gold and silver in all forms are subject to Zakah, including currency, jewellery, ores, or treasure troves. However, permissible gold and silver jewellery worn by females are not subject to Zakah, according to some scholars. In this regard, Imam ash-Shafi^iyy held two opinions: one: Zakah is due on them, and the other: it is not.

Trade articles are also subject to Zakah. Trade articles are articles purchased to be sold for profit, with the purpose of purchasing other articles, to be sold for profit, and so on. The aforementioned items are the ones subject to Zakah; all other items are not. Moreover, there is one kind of Zakah which is paid per person, but is not due on what one owns: Zakah of Fitr.

Zakah on Animals

The first quotum (nisab) of camels is five (5).

Explanation:
lf one owns less than five (5) camels, no Zakah is due on them. Once one owns five camels, the quotum is satisfied, and such camels are subject to Zakah. The nisabs for camels are the following amounts: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 36, 46, 61, 76, 91, 121. Beyond these, the value of due Zakah is contingent upon the sum of multiples of forty and fifty that comprises the number of owned camels. Hence, one does not pay any additional amount as Zakah until the subsequent quotum is reached.

The first quotum of cattle is thirty (30).

Explanation:
The first nisab is thirty (30). One’s cattle are not subject to Zakah when one owns less than thirty cows. The next nisab is forty. After that, one pays Zakah depending on how many thirties and forties one has.

The first quotum of sheep and goats is forty: (40).

Explanation:
There is no Zakah on sheep and goats that are less than 40. The subsequent quotas are 121, 201, and 400. Then, one pays for each hundred. Hence, the due Zakah on 800 sheep/goats is eight (8) sheep/goats.

No Zakah is due before having that first quotum. Once the quotum is established, a lunar year must lapse on it.

Explanation:
lf one’s camels, cattle, sheep, or goats do not reach their respective first quotum, they are not subject to Zakah. Then for one’s animals to be subject to Zakah, a full lunar year (hawl) must have passed on owning that respective quotum. Hence, if one sells the flock, even one day before the lapse of one lunar year, one does not have to pay Zakah.

The animals must have been grazed by the owner or any person authorized by him in a pasture not owned by anyone.

Explanation:
lf the flock is out grazing on its own without the owner or someone authorized by him grazing it, those animals are not subject to Zakah, even if they are thousands. Similarly, if the owner buys the feed for the flock, the flock is not subject to Zakah. The sole purchase of water for the flock does not exempt it from Zakah and they must not be working animals.

Animals which are put to work, like plowing animals, are not subject to Zakah.

Explanation:
No Zakah is due on working animals. Hence, a camel used to transport goods or water is not subject to Zakah because it is a working animal. Similarly, bulls put to work in plowing one’s own fields or hired out to other people for a certain sum of money, and water buffalos used to get water out of the well are not subject to Zakah because they are working animals.

The obligatory Zakah for the first quotum of camels is a female sheep which lost its baby teeth.

Explanation:
The Zakah for the first quotum of camels {i.e., 5 camels} is a female sheep that has dropped its two upper front baby teeth, or one which has attained one lunar year of age. One can pay instead a two-year old goat. The due Zakah in this case must be either sheep or goats, whether male or female. Paying Zakah in other than these two kinds of animals is invalid. Although more valuable, paying in cows or camels is invalid. Similarly, paying the monetary value of these animals rather than the animals themselves is invalid.

The obligatory Zakah for the first quotum of sheep or goats is a female sheep which lost its baby teeth or a two-year old female goat.

Explanation:
The due Zakah for the first quotum of sheep (40 sheep or goats) is the same as that of camels, namely one female sheep or one female goat, of the same aforementioned criteria. Male sheep or goats are valid only if females were not found. The second quotum is 121 sheep or goats. The due Zakah is two (2) sheep or goats. The third quotum is 201 and the due Zakah is three (3) sheep or goats. The fourth quotum is 400 and the due Zakah is four (4) sheep or goats. After that, for each additional hundred the due Zakah is one sheep or goat.

The obligatory Zakah for the first quotum of cattle is a one-year old bull.

Explanation:
The obligatory Zakah for the first quotum of cattle (30) is to pay a one-year old bullock (or female cow). The second quotum is forty (40) cows. The due Zakah is a two-year old cow. After that, for each additional 30 cows, a one-year old bullock is due, and in each additional 40, a two-year old cow is due.

lf one’s animals exceed that first quotum, then more Zakah is due. It is one’s obligation to learn the amount of Zakah which Allah has ordained one to pay on these animals.

Explanation:
lf one’s animals exceed the first quotum, one is obligated to learn about the amount of Zakah that Allah made obligatory on one to pay, and to act accordingly, i.e., to pay the due Zakah. Hence, when one’s camels become ten (10), the due Zakah is two (2) female sheep having the same aforementioned criteria. When they become fifteen (15), three female sheep are due. When they become twenty (20), four (4) female sheep are due. When they become 25, a one-year old female camel is due. No additional Zakah is due until they become thirty six (36), when the Zakah due is a two-year old female camel. For forty six (46) camels, a three-year old female camel is due. When they become sixty one (61), a four-year old female camel is due. When they become 76, two (2) two-year old female camels are due. When they become 91, two (2) three-year old female camels are due. When they become 121, three (3) two-year old female camels are due. lf the number of camels exceeds 121, then one (1) two-year old female camel is due in each forty (40) and one (1) three-year old female camel is due in each fifty (50). Please see the following chart:

Zakah Table for Animals

Camels

5-24 For every 5 camels: (a) A one-year old (male or female) sheep or one which has lost its front teeth, or
(b) A two-year old female goat.
25-35 (a) A one-year old female camel, or if unavailable),
(b) A two-year old male camel
36-45 A two-year old female camel
46-60 A three-year old female camel
61-75 A four-year old female camel
76-90 Two two-year old female camels
91-120 Two three-year old female camels
121-129 Tree two-year old female camels
130-139 A three-year old female camel and Two two-year old female camels
140 or more For every 40 camels, a two-year old female camel.
For every 50 camels, a three-year old female camel.
Example: 180 camels = (2 x 40 + 2 x 50) camels

 

Cattle

Every 30 (a) A one-year bullock, or
(b) A one-year old cow
Every 40 (a) A two-year old cow, or
(b) Two one-year old bullocks

 

Sheep and Goats

40-120 (a) A one-year old (female) sheep or one which has lost its front teeth, or
(b) A two-year old female goat.
121-200 Two of either (a) or (b)
201-399 Three of either (a) or (b)
400 Four of either (a) or (b)
500 or more For every 100, one more animal of (a) or (b)

 

Zakah on Dates, Raisins, and Staple Crops

The first quotum of dates, raisins, and staple crops is five (5) wasqs which are equivalent to three-hundred (300) sa^s, according to the sa^ of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, sallallahu^alayhi wa sallam, the measure of which is kept in al-Hijaz.

Explanation:
Sa^ in Arabic means a certain container used as a measurement tool. To determine the sa^ meant by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in calculating the due Zakah, Imams Malik and ash-Shafi^iyy depended on the particular volume considered to be one sa^ by the people of Madinah at their time, because they took it from their parents who learned it from their parents who were the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and who in turn learned it from the Prophet. One sa^ equals four mudds, and the mudd is the fill of a joined pair of average-sized, cupped hands. On the other hand, a wasq is a known volume measurement which equals 60 sa^s. The first quotum (5 wasqs) is equal to 300 sa^s (1200 mudds). The one who has less than 5 wasqs of dates, raisins, or staple crops does not have to pay Zakah on them.

Crops of the same type harvested in the same year are to be combined to check if a quotum is reached.

Explanation:
It is obligatory to combine the harvest of the same kind of crops in the same year to determine whether or not the quotum is reached. For example, if one plants two types of wheat which mature at different times during the same year, one must combine the harvest of both in determining the yield. lf each type harvested separately measures less than the quotum, but by combining them the quotum is reached, then Zakah is due. Similarly, if one owns two kinds of palm trees, and one of them ripens before the other in a way that the latter produces its pollen before harvesting the first, then if the two types are harvested in the same year, the two harvested amounts must be added together to check whether or not Zakah is due on them.

Crops of different types are not required to be combined, like barley with wheat.

Explanation:
lf one harvests in one year two different types of crops, like barley and wheat, and each one was less than a quotum, but when combined together they form a quotum, then Zakah is not due on either one of them. This is so because the quotum of each of the different types is considered on its own.

Zakah is due upon:
1. The ripeness of the fruits, i.e., when they are ready to be eaten, hence, no Zakah is due on unripe grapes or dates; and
2. The hardening of the seeds of the crops.

Explanation:
Zakah is not due on one’s fruits (dates/grapes) before they reach the stage at which they are usually sought for consumption or on the grain before the seeds harden. Hence, if one harvests the dates before they reach the rutab stage, or grapes before they ripen, no Zakah is due on them. Similarly, if one harvests wheat or other staple crops before the seeds harden, no Zakah is due on them.
Zakah becomes due on all one’s harvest as soon as one grape/date reaches the edible stage, when people usually seek to eat the grapes/dates. At this stage, one holds off selling the grapes/dates or giving them away until all are dry to the point at which they are normally preserved. Hence, when one grape/date ripens, one waits until all the grapes/dates ripen, and turn into raisins/rutab, then one calculates and pays the due Zakah. N.B. Although the due Zakah is calculated based on the dry dates/raisins produced, if the field owner wishes to sell the harvest prior to reaching this stage, he can get an expert to project the amount of the dry harvest of the existing fruits, then pay the respective Zakah.

The due Zakah is one-tenth of the harvest if one did not irrigate at an expense, and half of that if one irrigated at an expense. Proportionate Zakah is due upon what exceeds quotom.

Explanation:
The proportion of one’s harvest subject to Zakah depends on how one irrigated the crops. If the fruits or grains were irrigated without an expense to the owner, for example, by rain, flood waters, or via canals, the due Zakah is one-tenth (1/10) of the yield. lf the crops were irrigated at an expense to the owner, like buying water, or using animals to transport the water to the crops, then the due Zakah is one-twentieth (1/20) of the yield. Judge Ibn Kajj said: Had the owner bought the water, he would have payed 1/20 of the yield. The usurper has to pay the owner the value of the water that he took unrightfully from him. Hence, the due Zakah on crops irrigated with usurped water is one-twentieth (1/20) of the yield.
The same proportion of the harvest (1/10 or 1/20) is due as Zakah on whatever exceeds the (first) quotum.

No Zakah is due on what is less than a quotum. However, one can volunteer to pay on what is less than a quotum.

Explanation:
There is no Zakah due on one’s harvest if it is less than the quotum (less than 300 sa^s). One may give part of the crops in charity, but not with the intention of paying the obligatory Zakah. However, according to the school of lmam Abu Hanifah, one must pay Zakah on the crops even if they were less than a quotum.

Zakah on Gold and Silver, Golden and Silver Ores, and Golden and Silver Treasure-Troves (Rikaz).

The quotum of gold is twenty (20) Dinars and the quotum of silver is two-hundred (200) Dirhams.

Explanation:
The quotum of gold is twenty (20) lslamic mithqals, i.e., twenty dinars. No Zakah is due on what is less than twenty dinars of pure gold. A mithqal is a unit of weight measure. It is equivalent to the weight of seventy-two (72) average-sized, unpeeled barley grains, with their stalks cut off. The particular kind of barley used to determine the weight is the type of barley which was grown in the area of Hijaz at the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and known to the people there.

Twenty (20) dinars of pure gold (1440 barley grains) are (84.875 grams) about 85 grams of pure (24-karat) gold, 97 grams of 21-karat gold, and 114 grams of 18-karat gold. The quotum of silver is two hundred dirhams. No Zakah is due on one’s silver if it totals to less than 200 dirhams of pure silver. One dirham is the unit of weight measure equivalent to the weight of fifty and two-fifths (50 2/5) average-sized, unpeeled barley grains (of the same type as above) after their husks have been cut off. Two hundred dirhams (10080 barley grains) of silver are (594.124 grams) approximately 594 grams of pure silver.

After a lunar year has passed on the gold and silver, the due zakah is one-fortieth of those amounts, and proportionate zakah is due upon what exceeds the quotum.

Explanation:
The zakah due on the quotum of gold or silver is one fortieth (1/40) of the amount. Whatever exceeds the quotum is also subject to the same zakah. Zakah becomes obligatory on the quotum of gold and silver once the person has owned them for one lunar year.

When gold and silver are extracted from the place where they were originally formed, one-fortieth is the due zakah. When gold or silver is found as a treasure-trove (rikaz), one-fifth is due. In these two cases, zakah must be paid immediately.

Explanation:
The due zakah on the quotum of gold and silver which are mined is one fortieth (1/40) of the total amount. One does not wait until one has owned them for one year. Rather, one pays the due zakah immediately after cleaning them from the soil and other impurities.

lf the mined gold/silver does not constitute a quotum alone but if added to what one owns it reaches this quotum, zakah is due on them. Similarly, if one owns trade items that are valued with the respective (gold or silver) metal and the sum (with the mined metals) reaches the quotum, then the zakah is due. Note: if one rents a piece of land and finds gold or silver buried in it, one is not allowed to take it for oneself because one does not own this land. The due zakah on the gold and silver found as a treasure-trove which becomes under one’s ownership is 1/5 of the total amount. The treasure-trove becomes under one’s ownership if one finds it in a land unowned by a particular person and it was buried before the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم received the Revelation.

However, if it was found in a land owned by another person or it was buried during or after the time of the Prophet peace be upon him. It does not become under one’s ownership. Its judgment is the same as the luqatah (the lost and found article), and no zakah is due. In this case, one must advertise about it for an entire year. If its owner is still not known after the year passes, one may hold it until its owner is known, or spend from it with the intention of paying its value to the owner once he appears.

Verses 34 and 35 of Suratut-Tawbah state:

والذين يكنزون الذهب والفضة ولا ينفقونها في سبيل الله فبشرهم بعذاب اليم 34 يوم يحمى عليها فى نار جهنم فتكوى بها جباههم وجنوبهم وظهورهم 35

They mean: <<Those who hoard up gold and silver and do not pay their zakah (after it is due) give them (O Muhammad) tidings of a painful doom in the Hereafter. On that day, those items are heated, then their foreheads, sides, and backs are burned with those items>>.

It is mentioned in the hadith that on the day of Judgement, the gold or silver upon which zakah was not paid will be turned into a large snake that will eat up the hand of the owner. Al-Bukhariyy narrated from the route of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

عن ابى هريرة رضى الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من ءاتاه الله مالا فلم يؤد زكاته مثل له ماله يوم القيامة شجاعا اقرع له زبيبتان , يطوقه يوم القيامة ثم يأخذ بلهزمتيه يعني بشدقسه ثم يقول انا مالك انا كنزك .ثم تلا (ولا يحسبن الذين يبخلون بما ءاتاهم الله من فضله هو خيرا لهم بل هو شرا لهم سيطوقون ما بخلوا به يوم القيامة) الاية

It means: <Anyone whom Allah has given wealth and does not pay its due Zakah, on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a baldheaded poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes (or poisonous glands in its mouth). The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your money from which you abstained to pay the due zakah>.’

Then the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم recited verse 180 of Surat AI ^Imran.

Zakah on Trade Articles

The quotum of trade articles is the quotum of the gold or silver with which they were bought, and zakah is due at the end of the lunar year. The due zakah is one-fortieth of the market value of these trade articles.

Explanation:
Trade articles are those articles one purchases with the intent of trading with them, that is those articles which one purchases with the intent of selling to generate money, then to purchases other articles to sell in turn to generate money, and so on. If, for example, one buys articles for trade at the beginning of Muharram, and continues trading until the following Muharram, one needs to assess whether or not zakah is due. To do so, one assesses the value of one’s stock of trade articles (in gold or silver) in addition to the money that was generated from trading during that year and which one still intends to use for trade. If the sum equals the quotum, then Zakah is due.

lf one’s intention of trading changes before the lapse of the lunar year, i.e., if one no more has the intention to trade with those articles, then no zakah is due on them. Later, if one starts trading again, a new year is established without any regard to the previous period of trading. Similarly, if one sells all the trade articles during the year for less than the quotum, the year is interrupted and no zakah is due until then. If one buys again with that golden or silver currency articles to trade with them, a new trading year is established from that time on.

If one begins trading by buying the trade articles with silver, then one evaluates whether or not they reached the quotum of silver (200 dirhams). If one begins trading by buying them with gold, then one evaluates whether or not they reached the quotum of gold (20 dinars). If one buys the trade articles with other than gold or silver, then one evaluates them according to whichever of gold or silver is the most common circulated currency in the region. If the region no more uses gold or silver currency, then one evaluates with the lastly used gold or silver currency. The trade articles are evaluated according to the price that would be given if they were sold all at once. If it reaches the quotum, one pays Zakah 1/40 of the sum.

The due Zakah paid on the trade articles evaluated in gold must be paid in gold, and the zakah paid on the trade evaluated in silver must be paid in silver. Regarding the quotum and the due zakah when the conditions of mixing have been satisfied, the mixed money of two or more persons is the same as that of one person.

Explanation:
Those whose livestock, crops, or trade articles are mixed (i.e., they satisfy the religious conditions of mixing), pay Zakah as if the livestock, crops, or trade articles belong to one person. For example, the cattle of the two parties must drink from one place, be gathered in one place before they are taken to the grazing area, go to the pasture on the same route, graze in one place, drink from the same water, be sheltered at night in one place, and be milked in one place. Similarly, in the case of the mixed plants, the people in charge of plowing the soil, transferring the pollen, harvesting, and carrying and protecting the harvest need to be the same people for both parties. Moreover, the two yields must be stored in the same place. In the case of mixing the plants, it is a condition that the mixing remains until the fruits and the crops ripen, and, in the case of the golden or silver currency or livestock, that it remains for one lunar year. Those two people who have such a mixing pay zakah as if their mixed belongings are owned by one person.

Zakah of fitr

The zakah of fitr is due on every Muslim who is alive for a part of Ramadan and a part of Shawwal.

Explanation:
Zakah-ul-fitr is due for every Muslim who is living before the sunset of the last day of Ramadan and is still alive after the sun sets completely on that day. The due zakah for each is a sa^ of the most common staple food of that region.

It is an obligation upon the Muslim to pay the due zakah for oneself and one’s Muslim dependants on the Day of the Feast of Fitr (^Id-ul-Fitr) if one has enough money to meet one’s debts, clothing, lodging, and sustenance, and the sustenance of those whom one must support the Day of the Feast of Fitr and the night after it.

Explanation:
The zakah of Fitr due on one Muslim is one sa^, that is, four mudds of the most common staple crops of that region. The Muslim must pay it for oneself and for every Muslim whom one is obligated to support. For example, the man pays for his non-pubescent children, wife, Muslim slave, and poor parents. The unmarried pubescent woman pays it for herself and her Muslim slave. The wife pays it for her Muslim slave whom the husband is not obligated to provide for her. Among the pubescent dependants are one’s handicapped or insane children who are unable to support themselves. Moreover, for the Zakah of Fitr to be due on one, it is a condition that one has what exceeds one’s debt-even if it is not due yet- and what is enough to provide for one’s self and dependants the proper clothing, lodging, and sustenance for the Day of ^Id and the night after it. Consequently, if one does not have what exceeds the aforementioned matters, one is not obligated to pay the zakah of Fitr. If one’s baby is born or one gets married after the sunset of the last day of Ramadan, then no zakah of fitr is due this baby or wife that year. Similarly, no Zakah of Fitr is due if one becomes solvent or embraces Islam after that sunset. Moreover, one’s pubescent children, whether male or female, are not among those whom one is obligated to support. Thus, one is not obligated to pay the Zakah of Fitr for them. However, lf they authorize one to pay it on their behalf, one may do so.

One must pay the zakah of fitr before the sun sets on the Day of ^Idul-fitr. It is best to pay it on the Day of Fitr before the ^Id prayer. It is permissible to pay it at any time during Ramadan.

Note that there are five times to pay the fitr Zakah:
1. Time when it is permissible: The whole month of Ramadan.
2. Time when it is obligatory: After the sunset of the last day of Ramadan until before the sunset of the Day of ^Id.
3. The best time: Before the ^Id prayer, except if one delays paying it to wait for a deserving relative.
4. Time when it is disliked: After the ^Id prayer until the sun sets.
5. Time when it is prohibited: After the sunset of the Day of ^Id.

In general, it is prohibited to delay paying any type of Zakah until after its due time if one can reach one’s money, the deserving people are present, the palm fruits are dried, the grains are separated from the hay, the mined gold or silver is separated from the impurities, and there is no important religious or worldly matter that delays the owner from paying Zakah. Therefore, it is sinful to delay paying Zakah after its due time while one is able and has no excuse. One must pay the due amount of Zakah, even if one’s money was lost due to fire, robbery, or otherwise. When one delegates another to pay one’s own Zakah, it is one’s own responsibility to ensure that the delegate is trustworthy and knowledgeable of distributing Zakah.

Recipients of Zakah

For all types of Zakah, the intention is obligatory upon setting one’s Zakah aside.

Explanation:
To pay Zakah in a valid manner, one must establish the intention in the heart that the money, which one is setting aside, is the Zakah due on one. The intention is also valid at the time of giving Zakah to its deserving recipients. An example of such an intention is: ”This is the Zakah due on my money”, or ”this is the Zakah of Fitr of myself”. If part of this money is given as charity to a poor person it cannot be considered a part of the obligatory Zakah, since the intention of paying the obligatory Zakah, was not established in the heart at that point in time.

Zakah must be paid to eight categories of Muslims deserving of zakah, who are in the town where the money is present. They are:
1. The poor who earn less than half of their basic needs (al-fuqara’)
2. The poor who earn half or more, but not all of their basic needs (al-masakin)
3. The Zakah workers who are assigned by the caliph (al-^amiluna^alayha)
4. The new converts to Islam whose hearts are to be reconciled (al-mu’allafatu qulubuhum)
5. The slaves who are short in satisfying their contract for purchasing their freedom from their owners (ar-riqab)
6. Those that are unable to pay their debts (al-gharimun)
7. The volunteer fighters (fi sabilillah). This does not include any other charitable project.
8. The travellers who do not have enough to enable them to reach their destination (ibn-us-sabil).

Explanation:
Zakah can be paid only to the eight (8) categories of people specified in the Qur’an in ayah 60 of Suratut-Tawbah, known as ayatus-sadaqat.
Allah said:

انما الصدقات للفقراء والمساكين والعاملين عليها والمؤلفة قلوبهم وفى الرقاب والغرمين وفى سبيل الله وابن السبيل

The eight categories are:

Al-Fuqara’: The poor people who earn less than half of their own basic needs and those of their dependants. They themselves have no one obligated to support them. Basic needs include essential food, clothing, and shelter.

Al-Masakin: The poor people who earn at least half but less than all their basic needs.

Al ^Amiluna ^alayha: The Zakah workers whom the caliph assigns to collect Zakah without a paid salary. Included are Zakah collectors, bookkeepers, distributers, guards, and talliers. Those people are paid from Zakah even if they are rich. If Zakah is paid directly to those who deserve it without the need for the Zakah workers, the latter do not deserve a share from Zakah.

Al-Mu’allafatu qulubuhum: The new converts to Islam, who need help in integrating into the Muslim community, because they are still not used to the Muslims. These people are given from Zakah even if they are rich. This type also includes those who embrace Islam and have a high social status among their people. If such people are given from Zakah, other people with similar status are encouraged to embrace Islam. Included are Muslims who inhabit the areas bordering the land of enemies and help in fighting them. Similarly, Zakah is paid to those who, upon the orders of the caliph, fight the ones who abstain from paying Zakah.

Ar-Riqab: The slaves who agreed with their owners to work and pay a certain amount of money to purchase their own freedom. If they fall short in paying that money to their owners, they are given from the money of Zakah to help them purchase their freedom.

Al-Gharimun: Those who are unable to pay their debts. Similarly included are those who borrow money, whether rich or poor, to prevent a tribulation. lf a tribulation between two parties is about to occur as a result of not knowing the killer of a person, then an individual borrows money and gives it to the relatives of the killed person to prevent this tribulation, in this case if this individual does not pay this debt back, he is helped to pay it back from the Zakah money. Similarly, Zakah is paid to those who borrow money to build a mosque, provide for a guest, liberate a Muslim prisoner, or similar purposes that have general benefits for the society. This is true when they do not have enough currency to pay the due debt. Consequently, they are helped for that purpose even if they are not poor and own holdings other than currency that exceed the value of the debt.

Fi sabilillah: The volunteer fighters who are fighting for the sake of Allah and who are not given salaries for their service. Even if they are rich, those volunteer fighters are given from the Zakah money to assist their preparation for fighting. This is the meaning of fi sabilillah in the verse (by consensus, as related by Ibn Hazm and others). It does not refer to any charitable project, because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

<وليس فيها حق لغنى ولا لقوى مكتسب>

It means: <There is no right in Zakah for the one who is rich or for the one who is healthy and able to find a job>. This hadith was related by Abu Dawud and al-Bayhaqiyy. Hence, it is not permissible to give Zakah to the solvent or sane who is able to work. Not a single mujtahid said that it is permissible to pay Zakah for any charitable matter. Moreover, Ibn Hazm cited the consensus that it is not permissible to pay Zakah directly to build mosques, for example. Had it been permissible to pay Zakah for any good act, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would not have said:

<تؤخذ من اغنيائهم وترد على فقرائهم>

It means: <Zakah is taken from the solvent Muslims to be spent on their poor> (al-Bukhariyy). Good acts may be done to the wealthy and poor. However, Zakah can be paid only to the poor.

lbn-us-sabil: The traveller who does not have enough money to enable him to reach his final destination. For example, if the traveller loses his money, he is given enough from the money of Zakah to help him reach his destination and return to his hometown. This is the judgment, even if he has enough money in his hometown. Additionally, for one to deserve Zakah, one has to be a Muslim and free.

One has to pay Zakah to at least three of each of these eight categories. However, in the case of Zakah workers, it is valid to give Zakah to one or two of them when there are no other workers. Some scholars said it is sufficient to pay one’s whole Zakah to one of them. If one does not find all the eight types in one’s town, then one pays Zakah to any of the types one finds therein. The famous saying is that it is not permissible to pay Zakah in other than the town where the money is present. However, Imam al-Bukhariyy was among the mujtahids who said that it is permissible to transfer Zakah to other regions.

Note: lf a brilliant person is involved in his Islamic studies to the extent that he is unable to support himself, and moreover, if it is expected of this person to attain the level of mufti by knowing the different judgements for all the cases according to the school that he is studying, the scholars said that if working to earn a living prevents him from reaching this level of knowledge, then it is permissible to give him from Zakah to enable him to reach that level of knowledge.

It is not permissible to pay Zakah to any member of the Hashim or al-Muttalib clan, or to their freed slaves. Thus, it is forbidden for those slaves to take Zakah just as it is for the original members of the Hashim and al-Muttalib clans. Hashim and al-Muttalib were brothers, the sons of ^Abdu Manaf. lt is forbidden for the one who is among their offspring to take Zakah. The offspring of the other brothers of Hashim, i.e., ^Abdu Shams and Nawfal do not have the same judgment as the offspring of al-Muttalib in the issue of Zakah because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

<ءانما بنو المطلب وبنو هاشم شىء واحد>

It means: <We (Hashim’s clan) and the Muttalib clan are like one clan> (al-Bukhariyy).

It is neither permissible nor valid to pay Zakah to other than those eight types of people specifically mentioned.

Explanation:
It is invalid to pay Zakah to other than the aforementioned eight categories. If one pays one’s money as Zakah to build a mosque, a hospital, a wall around a cemetery, or an Islamic school, this payment is not considered a valid Zakah. The one who pays such an invalid Zakah is still accountable in the Hereafter for not having paid Zakah in a valid manner. Moreover, he is sinful for doing an invalid act of worship. His act is invalid just like the act of the person who prays without Wudu’. One needs to be very careful where to spend one’s Zakah money.

A Parable:
In one of the villages of Harar in Ethiopia, a group of poor people came to take grains of Zakah from the farmers of that area. The farmers said: ”Today, we will harvest and clean the grains, then tomorrow we will give you of it.” In their hearts, they had no intention of giving any of their grain. Before the break of the following day, the earth opened up and swallowed all the grains. Had they been sincere in giving Zakah, such adversity would not have befallen them. Allah blesses the money of those who pay Zakah. This is certified by the hadith narrated by Muslim:

عن ابى هريرة عن النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم قال

بينا رجل بفلاة من الارض، فسمع صوتا في سحابة: اسق حديقة فلان. فتنحى ذلك السحاب. فأفرغ ماءه فى حرة. فاذا شرجة من تلك الشراج قد استوعبت ذلك الماء بمسحاته. فقال له: يا عبد الله ما اسمك؟ قال : فلان، للاسم الذى سمع في السحابة. فقال له: يا عبد الله لم تسألنى عن اسمى؟ فقال: انى سمعت صوتا في السحاب الذى هذا ماؤه يقول: اسق حديقة فلان, لاسمك . فما تصنع فيها؟ قال : أما إذ قلت هذا, فإنى أنظر الى ما يخرج منها فأتصدق بثلثه, وءاكل أنا وعيالى ثلثا , وأرد فيها ثلثه

It tells about a man who paid one third of his harvest as charity, one third to his family, and one third to maintain his land. Then a man saw a cloud and heard (an angel’s) voice saying: ”Irrigate the land of so and so.” The cloud dropped rain on the land of that man but not on any other land around it.

 

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