Tuesday 30 May 2023 \


Fiqh of Zakah – Wisdom and Obligation

Zakah linguistically means increase, meaning there is more barakah in the wealth.

Source : BelieversPath.com / 8 Apr 2013

Zakah linguistically means increase, meaning there is more barakah in the wealth.  Also, it is an increase for the poor recipients. It also means purification because it is a means of purification for one’s wealth.

Zakah is mentioned together with Salah in the Quran about 32 times, and it is the third pillar of Islam.  The one who denies Zakah being a pillar of Islam, then by consensus, he is not a Muslim. However, the one who acknowledges Zakah but does not pay it, is a major sinner but still within the fold of Islam according to the majority of scholars, including the 4 madhabs.

Wisdom of Zakah

The wisdoms of Zakah include that Allah tests people in different ways. For some, giving charity is very difficult but praying Tahajjud is easy. For others, giving Zakah is easy but fasting is very hard. Allah says: “And they spend of whatever We have given them.” Wealth and our life and existence belongs to Allah and to Him is our return.

•It protects us from miserliness. It is a sign of gratefulness and thankfulness to Allah.

•It gives us happiness and satisfaction to know that we have made a difference in the poor person’s life.

•It causes love between two groups of people.

•It bonds the rich and poor through Islam.

•It is spreading the wealth in the community and is social security for them.

•It increases the wealth of a person.

Zakah is an obligation upon:

1. A Muslim – it is not an obligation on a disbeliever.

2. A free person – a slave is not required to give Zakah since he doesn’t own anything but rather, he/she is owned by the master, including what he/she owns.

3. The person must have a minimum amount of wealth (more than the Nisaab)

4. One must have complete ownership of this wealth – this is why some scholars say that haram money (riba) has no Zakah on it since it does not belong to you in the first place, and one needs to get rid of it.

5. A lunar year must pass over this wealth.

According to the majority of scholars, there is no distinction between the child and the old etc. Zakah is a right upon the wealth, not upon the body – this is in contrast to Salah, Siyam and Hajj.

Allah says in the Quran, “Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity…” [9:103]

It is due upon the wealth and not the person because the poor stand to benefit from the Zakah regardless of the age or condition of the person giving it.

*Aisha (ra), Umar (ra) & Ali (ra) along with others held the opinion that Zakah is due upon the wealth of children and the majnoon.

*This is the Hanbali opinion, and the opinion of the majority of scholars and the correct opinion.

*Imam Abu Hanifa and the Hanafi madhab differed.  Their proof was that any act of ‘Ibadah requires intention and the child or the insane do not really have an intention. Furthermore, they use the hadith: “The pen has been lifted from the child until puberty, the insane until he regains sanity…”

Zakah is due upon the following:

1. Free grazing livestock (camels, sheep, goats, cows, buffalos)

2. Agricultural produce (minerals from the earth, zinc, oil, copper, vegetables and fruits. Fruits do not mean the ones we are accustomed to like banana, mango and apples, but that which comes from the trees and is similar to dates and raisins.)

3. Trading stock (Merchandise for business whatever form that may be – sheep, phones, bikes, etc.)

4. Money (currency, gold, silver, etc.)

5. Debts owed to you – many scholars consider the same as money because these are assets that are going to come to the lender.

Note: Zakah is not due upon one’s house, car, clothes, employees or the value of the rental building (it is due, however, on the rental income).


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