The Chapter of Zakat and Hajj are generally found tough to learn and memorize by the people. Why? Because it is done once a year, and at times not many are even eligible to do it. Also, even if they apply to us, only some parts of it may apply to us. In today’s time many will not find use of knowing about Zakat on cattle and agricultural lands etc. This knowledge can be forgotten easily, unless it is being constantly being revised.
Zakat is one of the most important pillar of the pillars of Islam, being second only to Salah. Its mention is always made in the Quran along-with Salah in multiple places. Ex:
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow (in worship and obedience). [Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah 43]
Narrated Abu Huraira: When Allah’s Messenger ﷺ died and Abu Bakr became the caliph some Arabs renegade (reverted to disbelief) (Abu Bakr decided to declare war against them),
Umar, said to Abu Bakr, “How can you fight with these people although Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people till they say:
أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَقُولُوا لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ. فَمَنْ قَالَهَا فَقَدْ عَصَمَ مِنِّي مَالَهُ وَنَفْسَهُ إِلاَّ بِحَقِّهِ، وَحِسَابُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ
“None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and whoever said it then he will save his life and property from me except on trespassing the law (rights and conditions for which he will be punished justly), and his accounts will be with Allah.’ ”
Abu Bakr said, “By Allah! I will fight those who differentiate between the Prayer and the Zakat as Zakat is the compulsory right to be taken from the property (according to Allah’s orders) By Allah! If they refuse to pay me even a she-kid which they used to pay at the time of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ . I would fight with them for withholding it”
Then `Umar said, “By Allah, it was nothing, but Allah opened Abu Bakr’s chest towards the decision (to fight) and I came to know that his decision was right.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
:تَجِبُ فِي خَمْسَةِ أَشْيَاءَ
بَهِيمَةِ اَلْأَنْعَام ِ وَنَقْد
وَخَارِجٍ مِنْ اَلْأَرْضِ وَثِمَارٍ
بِشَرْطِ إِسْلَامٍ, وَحُرِّيَّةٍ, وَمِلْكِ نِصَابٍ, وَاسْتِقْرَارِه ِ وَسَلَامَةٍ مِنْ دَيْنٍ يُنْقِصُ اَلنِّصَابَ
وَمُضِيِّ حَوْلٍ إِلَّا فِي مُعَشَّر ٍ وَنِتَاج ِ سَائِمَةٍ
وَرِبْحِ تِجَارَة ٍ وَإِنْ نَقَصَ فِي [بَعْضِ ] اَلْحَوْلِ بِبَيْعٍ أَوْ غَيْرِهِ لَا فِرَارًا
وَإِذَا قَبَضَ اَلدَّيْنَ زَكَّاهُ لِمَا مَضَ ى وَشُرِطَ لَهَا فِي بَهِيمَةِ اَلْأَنْعَامِ سَوْمٌ أَيْضًا
Zakat is obligatory upon 5 things:
- Livestock (Camels, Cows, Sheep and Goats)
- Currency (Gold and Silver)
- Trade Goods/Commodities
- Anything Extracted from the Earth
Only certain items are Zakatable. Other things can fall under the above mentioned 5 categories.
In modern times, cash and money takes the same ruling as gold and silver. Trading goods includes those things which a person has with the intention to trade. Ex: There is no Zakat on a book, but if a person buys books to sell then Zakat comes into the equation as it becomes a trade.
Some scholars considered ثِمَار to be a part of خَارِجٍ مِنْ اَلْأَرْضِ which includes fruits, grains etc. According to the Hanabila, honey is another item that is Zakatable. If it meets the nisab which is 61 kilograms, Zakat becomes due upon it.
The conditions for paying Zakat include:
- The person being Muslim,
- A slave does not give Zakat as his money and all that he owns is considered to be the property of his master.
- Owning the minimum threshold of Nisab,
- A certain minimum amount of wealth has to be reached for Zakat becomes compulsory.
- Its ownership being established (Istiqrarihi)
- Zakat is on that wealth which is under your complete ownership and control. It does not include the debts you owe or money that you have lent to another person.
- By being free of debts which bring the amount below the required threshold
- Ex: The nisab for the current year is 2500. A person has 3000 on which a lunar year has passed. He also has a debt of 2000 pounds which he has to pay back. So does this person pay Zakat based on what he has on hand or that which remains with him after clearing his debt? The person doesn’t pay Zakat as the money in reality is not his and after returning it he falls below the nisab.
- What’s important to note is the nature of the debt before this ruling is applied on to it. If the loan or debt doesn’t affect a person such that they face difficulties (Ex: student loans, mortgage to buy a car or a house), then they should pay the Zakat due.
- The passing of a lunar year on the wealth; except in things from which tenths are owed (honey, treasure etc), offspring of grazing livestock, and profit from the trade.
- A whole year has to pass on the wealth while it is under the control of the person for it to be Zakatable. Ex: On 1 Muharram a person gets paid 10,000. Over the year this money is spent on various things. By the end of the year, the person has fallen below 2500 of nisab (example). The new calculation of the person starts from when they have met the nisab of 2500 again and maintained it. Zakat becomes due when a full year has passed, since the person has met the nisab.
- The condition for the passing of a lunar year is an exception on items where the moment they meet the nisab, or the fruits ripen, Zakat becomes due. Allah mentions in the Quran:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَ جَنَّاتٍ مَّعْرُوشَاتٍ وَغَيْرَ مَعْرُوشَاتٍ وَالنَّخْلَ وَالزَّرْعَ مُخْتَلِفًا أُكُلُهُ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ كُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَآتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
And He it is who causes gardens to grow, (both) trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different (kinds of) food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of (each of) its fruit when it yields and give its due (zakat) on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess. [Surah al-An’am, Ayah 141]
- The moment a person has 61kg of honey, they have to pay its Zakat instead of waiting for a year.
- The offspring of cattle or livestock. Ex: On 1 Ramadan a person has 5 camels. Over the year, each of these camels give birth. In Rajab, there are now 10 camels. Is Zakat paid on the initial 5 or on all 10? Zakat is to be paid on all 10 as the offspring are given the same ruling of the parents that fall under the nisab. Getting new camels is a different thing.
- Profit made from trade doesn’t require a full hawl. A person has 5000 on which the hawl has passed. In the meantime, he keeps making profit in business such that when the time of Zakat comes, his total wealth is 20,000. Does he give Zakat on the 5000 or the total of 20,000? On the total, as the profit is considered to be part of the asl (original or root) which is the 5000.
If the duration (hawl) is interrupted, if the minimum amount falls short during part of the year via a valid sale or something else like exchanging a minimum amount of something from which alms are owed for something of another category, like cows or camels for something else, but without intending to avoid paying the Zakat in the first place. If this is done, then a person is still obligated to pay Zakat. This is something the Jews were cursed by Allah for. They might have gotten away on the eyes of the public, but they still stand guilty of not paying Zakat in the eyes of Allah.
But it is not interrupted if an item is exchanged for another of the same category (jinisihi). Ex: Exchanging or selling a black sheep for a white sheep. As physical items, they are different but in terms of type they are the same thing and the hawl is not interrupted.
If one takes possession of a debt, one pays Zakat for what has passed.
Ex: If a person owes me 10,000 but the wealth in my hand is 1000, then I don’t have to pay Zakat as the wealth I possess is below nisab and I do not have control over the money either. But when the money is repaid, I have to pay the Zakat (make up) for the previous year/s. Why? In reality the 10,000 has always been your money. Some scholars say that the Zakat is to be paid for only the year in which the money has been returned. The relied upon position in the Hanbali Madhab is that Zakat is to be paid on all the years.
Another condition for the livestock is that they are the ones who are from the grazing animals.
Not all cattle is Zakatable. Ex: If a person has camels and they are being used to carry loads or travel instead of its milk, meat etc then one doesn’t pay Zakat on them. Zakat is obligatory upon those animals from the category which graze naturally. If a person has to feed them, or most of the food is fed to them in the year, then there is no Zakat on these animals even if they meet the nisab.
:وَأَقَلُّ نِصَابِ إِبِلٍ
خَمْسٌ, وَفِيهَا شَاةٌ
وَفِي عَشْرٍ شَاتَانِ
وَفِي خَمْسَ عَشْرَةَ ثَلَاثٌ
وَفِي عِشْرِينَ أَرْبَعٌ
وَفِي خَمْسٍ وَعِشْرِينَ: بِنْتُ مَخَاضٍ, وَهِيَ اَلَّتِي لَهَا سَنَةٌ
وَفِي سِتَّةٍ وَثَلَاثِينَ بِنْتُ لَبُونٍ, وَهِيَ اَلَّتِي لَهَا سَنَتَانِ
وَفِي سِتٍّ وَأَرْبَعِينَ حِقَّةٌ, وَهِيَ اَلَّتِي لَهَا ثَلَاثٌ
وَفِي إِحْدَى وَسِتِّينَ جَذَعَة ٌ وَهِيَ اَلَّتِي لَهَا أَرْبَعٌ
وَفِي سِتٍّ وَسَبْعِينَ بِنْتَا لَبُونٍ, وَفِي إِحْدَى وَسِتِّينَ حِقَّتَانِ
وَفِي مِائَةٍ وَإِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ ثَلَاثُ بَنَاتِ لَبُونٍ
ثُمَّ فِي كُلِّ أَرْبَعِينَ بِنْتُ لَبُونٍ, وَفِي كُلِّ خَمْسِينَ حِقَّةٌ
The minimum threshold or amount for Zakat (nisab):
- For camels is 5, from which 1 shahs (شَاةٌ) is owed.
- A شَاةٌ is a one year old female goat, or a 0.5 years old lamb.
- For 10 camels, 2 shahs are owed.
- For 15 camels, 3 shahs are owed.
- For 20 camels, 4 shahs are owed.
- For 25 camels, 1 bint makhad (بِنْتُ مَخَاضٍ) is owed.
- A بِنْتُ مَخَاضٍ is a one year old female camel.
- For 36 camels, 1 bint labun (بِنْتُ لَبُونٍ) is owed.
- A بِنْتُ لَبُونٍ is a two year old female camel.
- For 46 camels, 1 hiqqah (حِقَّةٌ) is owed.
- A حِقَّةٌ is a three year old female camel.
- For 61 camels, 1 jadh’ah (جَذَعَة ٌ) is owed.
- A جَذَعَة ٌ is a four year old female camel.
- From 76 camels, 2 بِنْتَا لَبُونٍ are owed.
- From 91 camels, 2 حِقَّتَانِ are owed.
- From 121 camels, 3 بَنَاتِ لَبُونٍ are owed.
- From every 40 camels, 1 بِنْتُ لَبُونٍ is owed.
- From every 50 camels, 1 حِقَّةٌ is owed.
For Zakat, it is generally the female that is given with an exception or two. All these numbers are not pulled out of thin air. They are based on authentic narrations from the Prophet ﷺ.
Anas Ibn Malik رضى الله عنه narrated that Abu Bakr As-Siddiq رضى الله عنه wrote him this letter, “This is the obligatory Zakah, which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ made obligatory for every Muslim, and which Allah, the Almighty had commanded him to observe.
‘For each twenty-four camels, or less, their Zakah is to be paid as sheep; for every live camels, their Zakah is one sheep. When the amount of camels is between twenty -five to thirty- five, the due Zakah is one she-camel ‘bint makhad’ (a camel which is one year old and just starting the second year) or a male camel ‘ibn labun’(a young male camel which is two years old and already starting the third year).
However, when the amount of camels reaches thirty-six, the due Zakah is a young she-camel ‘bint labun’ (a young female camel, which is two years old and already starting the third year). When they reach forty six to sixty camels, their due Zakah is a she camel ‘hiqqah’ (which is three years old and starting the fourth). When they reach sixty-one to seventy-five, one ‘Jaz’ah’ (a four year old camel already starting its fifth year). When their number is between seventy-six to ninety camels, their due Zakah is two young she camels ‘bint labun’. When they are in the range between ninety-one to one hundred and twenty camels, the Zakah is two young she camels ‘hiqqah’. If they are over a hundred and twenty camels, on every forty camels, one ‘bint labun’ is due.
And for every fifty camels (over one hundred and twenty) a young she-camel ‘hiqqah’ is due, And anyone, who has got only four camels, does not have to pay Zakah unless he (the owner of the camels) wants to give something voluntarily.
Regarding the Zakah of grazing sheep, if they are between forty and one hundred and twenty, one sheep is due as Zakah. lf they are between 120 and 200, two sheep are due. If they are between 200 and 300, three sheep are due. If they exceed three hundred sheep, then one sheep is due for every extra hundred grazing heads. If the grazing sheep are less than forty, (even if they are 39) then no Zakah is due on them, unless he (the owner of the camels) wants to give something voluntarily.
One should not combine (i.e. gather young animals together) or separate them for fear of paying Zakah. When there is a mixture of cattle shared between two partners, and Zakah is paid jointly between them, then they have to calculate it equally among them (depending on the share of each). Neither an old or a defective animal nor a male goat (a ram used for breeding) may be taken as Zakah, unless the Zakah collector wishes to do so.
Concerning silver, the Zakah paid is a quarter of a tenth for each 200 Dirhams. If the amount of silver is less than two hundred Dirhams (even if it is 190) then no Zakah is to be paid for it, unless the owner wishes to do so. If the number of camels reaches the number on which a jaz’ah (a four year old camel already starting its fifth year) is due as Zakah, but he only has a ‘hiqqah’ (a she camel which is three years old and starting the fourth), it should be accepted from him along with two sheep if they were available (to compensate for the difference) or twenty Dirhams. If on the other hand he has to offer a ‘hiqqah’ as Zakah, but he only has a jaz’ah, it is accepted from him, and the Zakah collector will then pay him the difference, which is twenty Dirhams or two female sheep.’ [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Books of Fiqh of the Hanabila read like a book of Hadith as nearly every ruling is backed by a hadith. A person on reading an issue might think that it is the qiyas of Imam Ahmad, but on further research it is found that it is a hadith or a fatwa of a companion or at times the fatwa of a tabi’ee etc. This is the reason Imam Ahmad had an upper hand. He knew the Quran like the rest but he was unmatched and unparalleled in his exceptional knowledge of the Sunnah and the Athar of the Sahaba.
Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu حفظه الله states, “Zakah is given on the animals from their offspring. The Shariah desires ease. Had Allah ordained a camel to be given for every 5 camels, it would be very tough. In some places, the price of a camel can go up to 100,000 and that could be all that a person might have.”
:وَأَقَلُّ نِصَابِ اَلْبَقَرِ
ثَلَاثُونَ, وَفِيهَا تَبِيعٌ, وَهُوَ اَلَّذِي لَهُ سَنَةٌ, أَوْ تَبِيعَةٌ
وَفِي أَرْبَعِينَ مُسِنَّةٌ, وَهِيَ اَلَّتِي لَهَا سَنَتَانِ
وَفِي سِتِّينَ تَبِيعَانِ
ثُمَّ فِي كُلِّ ثَلَاثِينَ تَبِيعٌ
وَفِي كُلِّ أَرْبَعِينَ مُسِنَّةٌ
The minimum amount for cows is 30. It includes:
- For 30 cows, from which 1 male or female tabi’ (تَبِيعَةٌ) is owed.
- A تَبِيعَةٌ is a one year old calf.
- For 40 cows, 1 musinnah (مُسِنَّةٌ) is owed.
- A مُسِنَّةٌ is a two year old female cow.
- For 60 cows, 2 tabi’ are owed.
- For every 30 cows, a تَبِيعَةٌ is owed.
- For every forty cows, a مُسِنَّةٌ is owed.
وَأَقَلُّ نِصَابِ اَلْغَنَمِ: أَرْبَعُونَ, وَفِيهَا شَاةٌ
وَفِي مِائَةٍ وَإِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ شَاتَانِ, وَفِي مِائَتَيْنِ وَوَاحِدَةٍ ثَلَاثٌ [إِلَى أَرْبَعِمِائَةٍ ] ثُمَّ فِي كُلِّ مِائَةٍ شَاةٌ, وَالشَّاةُ بِنْتُ سَنَةٍ مِنْ اَلْمَعْزِ, وَنِصْفُهَا مِنْ اَلضَّأْنِ, وَالْخِلْطَة ُ فِي بَهِيمَةِ اَلْأَنْعَامِ بِشَرْطِهَا تُصَيِّرُ اَلْمَالَيْنِ كَالْوَاحِدِ
The minimum amount for sheep and goats is 40. It includes:
For 40 sheep and goats, 1 شَاةٌ is owed.
For 121 sheep and goats, 2 شَاتَانِ are owed.
For 201 sheep and goats, 3 شَاةٌ are owed.
3 شَاةٌ are owed up until 400 and after that, in every 100, 1 شَاةٌ is owed.
A شَاةٌ is a one year old female goat, or a 6 month old lamb. The Hanabila state that اَلْمَعْز is the animal which has hair whereas اَلضَّأْن is the one which has wool.
Mixing livestock according to its condition renders two properties like one.
If a person has 200 sheep in Makkah and another 200 in India, the ruling of Zakat on both of them would be different as the distance between the two places is significantly far.
If 2 people owned 500 sheep together (200 and 300 each), then it is as though the same person owns 500. The Hanabila mention around 5 conditions for this to be applicable.
Based on the Hanbali primer, Akhsar Al-Mukhtasarat authored by Ibn Balban al-Hanbali as taught by Sheikh Zahed Fettah حفظه الله