Fiqh of Zakah


[ Fiqh of Zakaah notes are a part of Fiqh of Ramadan course by “Learn Islam(Short Courses)” since most of the Muslims around the World give out their Zakaah in Ramadan.]

Source:Learn Islam(Short Courses)


Introdution to Fiqh of Zakah

(Obligatory Charity)

Zakat is a certain fixed portion of the wealth and property that a Muslim is obliged to pay yearly for the benefit of the poor in the Muslim community. The payment of Zakat is obligatory, as it is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is the major economic means for establishing social justice and leading the Muslim society towards prosperity and security.

Every Muslim who owns a fixed, minimum amount of wealth (called Nisab), and who satisfies certain other conditions, must pay Zakat. The Qur’an mentions Zakat in many places. For example, Allah (S.W.T) says:

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Take Sadaqah (obligatory charity) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (9:103)

Zakat has also been mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) in many Ahadith (recorded statements and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

“Islam was built on five (pillars): testifying that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), is the Messenger of Allah; establishing the prayer (perfectly and on time); paying Zakat; performing pilgrimage to the House (the Ka ‘bah); and fasting Ramadhan”

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Furthermore, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said in his advice to his Companion Mu’ath (May Allah (S.W.T) be pleased with him) when he sent him to Yemen:

“You are going to a People of the (Divine) Book.” Then he (Peace be upon Him) continued… “Allah (S.W.T) has enjoined on them Zakat that is to be taken from the rich amongst them and given to the poor. If they obey you in that, take Zakat from them, yet avoid (don’t take) the best property of the people as Zakat. “

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Zakat has been made obligatory on Muslims for an honorable wisdom and to \ bring about many noble benefits. Zakat purifies one’s property and earnings, increases them and saves them from destructive impurities. Zakat fills one’s wealth with the blessings of obedience to Allah ~ and honoring His Commandments. It cleanses the human soul from the ills of greed, miserly conduct, covetousness and selfishness. It extends help to the poor, the needy and the deprived. It unites the hearts upon Iman (Faith) and Islam (submission to Allah). It rids the hearts of the darkness of weak faith and evil doubts, and brings them to the clarity of strong faith and certainty. The Qur’anic Verses and the Prophetic Ahadith strongly encourage giving Zakat while affirming its great reward and tremendous bounties. It is a means to enter Paradise, and a deed that allows one to taste the sweetness of Iman (Faith). Giving this obligatory charity does not decrease a person’s wealth, as some stingy people may think.

Whoever refuses to pay Zakat, while rejecting its necessity in Islam, is a disbeliever. On the other hand, whoever refuses to pay the required Zakat on his wealth due to stinginess or laziness, while he still believes that it is a necessary act in Islam, is a sinner, The Qur’anic Verses and the Ahadith have used the strongest terms to warn against refusing to pay Zakat, promising ultimate failure and the severest punishment and torment for such an offense, Allah (S.W.T) said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ {34}

يَوْمَ يُحْمَىٰ عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَىٰ بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنُوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ ۖ هَٰذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا مَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ

“And those who hoard up gold and silver (i.e, the money, the Zakat of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment. On the Day when that (wealth) will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them:) ‘This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard,'” (9:34-35)

Also, Allah (S.W.T) said:

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ ۖ بَلْ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَهُمْ ۖ سَيُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بَخِلُوا بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ مِيرَاثُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

“And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed ,on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakat). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection.” (3:180)


Those who satisfy the following conditions are required to pay the Zakat:

  • Muslims who own a minimum amount of extra wealth (referred to as Nisab) beyond the necessities of life, such as food, clothing, places of residence, means of transportation and the tools necessary for work.
  • A full year has passed (hawl) since one had possession of the minimum amount of wealth liable for payment of the Zakat. However, fruits and vegetables are not included in this ruling.
  • The Nisab is free from debts and thus is not owed to debtors.


Continuing with Zakaah, As this is our last class this is a little long but InshaAllah beneficial as these are the things one must know.


  • Gold and Silver

This is based on Allah’s Statement in the Noble Qur’an:

وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ 

“And those who hoard up gold and silver (i.e. the money, the Zakat of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment,” (9:34)

Also, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him), said: “There is no charity on what is less than five Uqiyyah (of silver),” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

(Note: Five Uqiyyahis equal to 595 grams.)

  •  Women’s Jewelry That is made of Gold or Silver and is Used for Beautification Purposes

There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars concerning Zakat on gold and silver jewelry that is kept for beautification and not sold for business purposes, The correct view is that there is Zakat due on it if it reaches the Nisab amount, The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said: “Anyone who owns gold or silver and does not pay Zakat on them, on the Day of Resurrection they will be made into plates of fire and they will then bum his sides, forehead and back.” (Muslim)

The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) also asked a woman whose daughter was wearing two gold bracelets, if she had paid the Zakat on them. When the woman replied that she had not, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said: “Would you be pleased to have Allah make two bracelets of fire from them on the Day of Judgement?” (Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i and graded as good)

The Nisab amount for gold is twenty Mithqals, or 85 grams. The Nisab for silver is one hundred and forty Mithqals, or 595 grams. If the amount of gold and silver jewelry that a woman owns is less than these amounts, there is no Zakat due upon her jewelry.

  • Rikaz (Buried Precious Metals or Minerals)

These are any precious metals, stones or minerals that are buried in the earth (such as buried treasures or mines) When they are found, 1/5th (20%) Zakat is due upon the find.

The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said: “There is no compensation for one killed or wounded by an animal, or by falling in a well, or due to working in mines: and one-fifth (Zakat) is compulsory on Rikaz,” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Livestock Animals: Camels, Cows, and Sheep

Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: “Whoever had camels or cows or sheep, and did not pay their Zakat those animals will be brought on the Day of Resurrection far bigger and fatter than before, They will trample him with their hooves and butt him with their horns, When the last has its turn, the first will start again, and this punishment will go on until Allah has finished the judgements amongst the people,” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Food Grains and Fruit

Certain crops and grains that could be kept or stored require Zakat to be paid on them. The grains that require Zakat are barley and wheat. The fruits that require Zakat to be paid are dates (fresh and dried) and raisins, However, this does not include the fruit and grains that one intends to feed oneself and one’s family with, This ruling applies to a person like a farmer who harvests and sells fruit and grains that he does not intend to use for his own needs and the needs of his family, Allah (S.W.T) said interpretation of the meaning in english: –

but pay the due thereof on the day of its harvest… (6: 141)

Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: “On a land irrigated by rain water or by natural water channels or land that is wet due to a nearby water channel. One-tenth (10%) is compulsory (as Zakat); on the land irrigated by a well. half of a tenth (5%) is compulsory (as Zakat on the yield of the land).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He (Peace be upon Him) also said: “There is no Zakat due on what is less than five Wasqs (of grains or vegetation).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

(Note: Five Wasqs are approximately 618 kg; One Wasq = 60 Sa’ of measured grain.)


  • Fruits, Vegetables and Grains Other Than Dates, Raisins, wheat and Barley

There is no evidence that other produce requires Zakat. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) never levied Zakat on any produce or grain other than these four items. Yet, it is preferred to give away some of this produce to the poor and neighbors. Allah (S.W.T) said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْفِقُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ 

“O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you…” (2:267)

  • Servants, Horses, Mules and Donkeys

Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: “There is no charity required from the Muslim regarding his horse or servant.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Further, it has not been reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) ever collected charity on mules or donkeys.

  • The Money that does not Reach the Amount of Nisab

Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: “There is no Zakat on less than five Wasqs (approximately 618 kilograms of grain). There is no Zakat on less than five Uqiyyah of silver (595 grams). And there is no Zakat on less than five camels (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  • The Property That is not Used for Commercial Purposes

These include rugs, homes, cars, furniture, precious stones, pearls, and diamonds that are not used for commercial purposes. These personal items do not require payment of Zakat.

  • Women’s Jewelry That is used for Beautification Purposes

This applies to any precious stones, such as pearls, diamonds and so forth. There is no Zakat due on them Therefore, any necklaces, bracelets broaches or rings that are made a materials other than gold and silver do not require payment of Zakat.


  • Gold

The amount of gold that requires Zakat is around 85 grams, when this amount or more has remained unchanged in one’s possession for one full year. The required Zakat in this case is one-fourth of a tenth (2.5%).

  • Silver

Silver requires Zakat to be paid when it reaches 595 grams or more and when this amount remains unchanged in one’s possession for a full year. The amount of Zakat required in this case is also one-fourth of a tenth (2.5%)

  • Cash at One’s Disposal

When it is worth the amount of gold or silver that requires Zakat and when this amount remains above the Nisab value for a full year. Zakat in this case is also one-fourth of a tenth, or 2.5%.

  • Items Used for Business Transactions and Commercial Purposes

This requires a fourth of a tenth (2.5%) Zakat to be paid on them, when they remain a full year without decreasing below the Nisab amount. The minimum amount of the value of business merchandise that requires Zakat to be paid is the same as gold and silver, and the merchant could use either standard to estimate how much Zakat he should pay.

  • Treasures

When the Muslim finds any treasures hidden in his land, he is required to give a fifth (20%) of that treasure in charity as Zakat.

  • Mines

Mines, such as gold and silver mines, require Zakat to be paid on them whenever the minerals are discovered and extracted, just as the case with produce. Mines for extracting precious metals and minerals fall under the ruling of Rikaz and thus 1/5th (20%) Zakat is due upon them just as with buried treasure.

  • Returns on Investments

If the investment is merchandizing transactions or animal products, then the Zakat for these returns on investment should be paid in addition to, and at the same time when the Zakat is paid on the principal, even if these profits did not remain for a full year. For instance, if the animal gives birth when the Zakat on the animals is due, then the owner should add all of these animals together and pay the Zakat due on all of them, and such is the case with monetary investments. When one earns money from inheritance or gifts, the Zakat becomes due if such inheritance reaches the minimum amount that requires Zakat and remains for a full year in one’s possession without decreasing below the Nisab amount.

  • Livestock

Grazing camels, grazing cows and grazing sheep and goats are eligible for Zakat payment. Each category of the above mentioned livestock animals has a set Nisab amount based upon the number of animals owned. These figures can be researched from the appropriate books of Islamic Jurisprudence.

  • Fruits and Grains

When the produce is ready for harvest and the fruits become ripe, then the Zakat on them is due. Allah (S.W.T)says interpretation of the meaning in English is: –

“…but pay the due thereof (their Zakat) on the day of their harvest…” (6:141)

As for fruit, every type of fruit has its own standard as to when it is ripe and ready to eat. For instance, dates are ripe when they become red or yellow, while grapes are ripe when they become sweet.

The amounts of fruits and grains that require Zakat is five Wasqs, each of which is sixty Sa’, and a Sa’ is slightly less than three kilograms. Hence, the minimum Nisab that requires Zakat on dates. raisins, wheat and barley is three hundred Sa’ (or approximately 618 kg). If the crop is watered without much effort, such as by spring water or by rain, it requires one-tenth (10%) as Zakat payment. This means that half of a Wasq is due for every five Wasqs. If such produce is watered with effort. such as from wells or irrigation channels, it requires a half of a tenth (5%) as Zakat payment. This means for every five Wasqs, there is a quarter of a Wasq due for Zakat.

Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: On a land irrigated by rain water, or by natural water channels, or if the land is wet due to a nearby water channel, one-tenth is compulsory (as Zakat). On the land irrigated by a well. half of one tenth is compulsory (as Zakat on the yield of the land),” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


Zakat is spent on eight groups of people, as mentioned in the Qur’an:

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۖ فَرِيضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

“As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) is only for the Fuqara ‘(poor), and Al Masakin (the needy who do not beg) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s cause (i.e., for Mujahidun -those fighting in a battle for the cause of Islam), and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” (9:60)


We have discussed who must pay Zakat, how much is to be paid and who are its recipients. Now, the issue remains as to how the Zakat is to be paid. In an Islamic state, the Muslim leader (Khalifah, Ameer, etc.) is responsible for the collection of Zakat. His duty is to make sure that those Muslims who possess the minimum amount of wealth (Nisab) pay their Zakat in a timely manner. The ruler will deputize certain trustworthy men to go about amongst the Muslims and collect the Zakat from those upon whom it is due. He is also responsible for making sure that the Zakat is distributed amongst those who are worthy of receiving it.

In a situation where the Muslim lives in a land (i.e. country. state, province. etc.) where there is no Muslim ruler, and the governing authorities are non-Muslims, then it is left to the individual to pay his Zakat as he sees fit. The person must keep up with his own earnings and savings, and determine for himself, based upon the previously mentioned conditions, when Zakat is due upon his wealth. Likewise, he must decide who is most deserving of receiving his Zakat. He may either distribute it amongst those whom he knows to be qualified recipients or he may give it to a local mosque to be distributed amongst those who are needy.

In a non-Muslim society, no Muslim (individual or group) has the right to demand Zakat from others by force, violence or any such threats. This is a right that is specifically for the Muslim rulers in the lands of the Muslims.


One thought on “Fiqh of Zakah

  1. […] Of Fasting Fiqh of Zakah Fiqh of Eid [ COMING SOON!!! – scheduled to be published on Aug 1, 2013 […]

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