Episode 16: Wealth upon which Zakaah is Due 1/2
Zakaah has been made obligatory upon four categories of wealth:
1) Grains and fruits produced by the earth,
2) Grazing or herding animals which feed freely from the earth,
3) Gold and silver,
4) And inventory (stock) with which one does busi-ness.
For each of these categories, there is a specified amount under which Zakaah is not obligatory (termed as ‘nisaab’).
Fruits and Grains
The nisaab for fruits and grains is 5 ‘wasaq’, and one wasaq is equal to 60 saa’ measured during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). This amount, measured according to the saa’ during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), such as dates, raisins, wheat, rice, barley, and their likes, is equal to 300 saa’ according to the saa’ during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). [One saa’] is equal to 4 handfuls of an average sized man.
The amount which is due upon fruits and grains [if it reaches the nisaab] is 10% if the date-palms or plants relied upon natural means for water, such as rain, rivers, flowing streams and their likes.
If they relied on unnatural means for water, such as using animals to water or machines which lift water or their likes, the amount which is due upon them is 5%, as has authentically been reported by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) .
The nisaab for camels, cattle and sheep which fed from natural grazing has been detailed in various authentic hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him), and one who desires knowledge about this may ask the scholars about them. If it were not that we seek not to lengthen [this treatise] we would have mentioned them in order to gain the most benefit.
Gold and Silver
The nisaab for silver is 140 miskals. In the currency of Saudi Arabia, this is equal to 56 riyals. The nisaab for gold is 20 miskals, which is equal to 11 3/7 pounds, equal to 92 grams.
The amount which is due upon them is 2.5 % of the total amount if it reached the nisaab and was in his continuous possession for a period of one [Hijri] year.
Profits must be calculated with the original stock, and it is not a condition that they be in a person’s possession for a period of one year, just as the newborns of herding animals are totaled along with the animals. If the original amount [of gold and silver] has reached the nisaab, it is not condition that the profits be in one’s possession for the period of one year (i.e. Zakaah must be paid on the whole amount).
The paper currency and coined money which people use to-day come under the ruling of gold and silver, whether they be called Dirhams, Dinars, Dollars, or anything else. If its value reaches the nisaab of silver or gold and it is in a person’s possession for a period of one year, Zakaah becomes due upon it.
Gold and silver jewelry also comes under the [general] ruling of gold and silver. If its weight reaches the nisaab and it is in possession for a period of one year, Zakaah becomes obligatory upon it. This is the case even if the jewelry was actually worn by the owner or lent to others [and not just stored for later use or profit] according to the correct of the two opinions which the scholars hold. This is due to the general wording of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) when he said:
“No owner of gold or silver who does not offer its due right (Zakaah) except that in the Day of Judgement, plates of fire will be flattened for him…”
…as mentioned previously.
It has also been confirmed of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) that he saw two gold bangles on the hand of a woman and he said:
“Do you offer the zakaah for this?” She replied, “No.” He said, “Are you pleased that Allah encloses you with two bangles of fire on the Day of Judgement?” So she threw them and said, “They are for Allah and His Mes-senger.” (Abu Dawud and an-Nasaa`i with a Hasan chain of narration).
It has authentically been reported of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she wore some gold jewelry, and so she said, “O Messenger of Allah! Is this regarded as hoarded wealth (al-Kanz)? He (peace and blessing be upon him) replied,
“Whatever had reached the amount liable for Zakaah, and then Zakaah is paid upon it, it is not regarded as hoarded wealth (al-kanz).”
There are also other hadeeth mentioned in this regard.