The Book of Al-Zakat [Almsgiving]

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Al-Zakat is a duty that Allah's book emphasized and made it a purifier for the spirit. It guarantees cooperation and join liability among the people. It ensures for Islamic society a generous life for all the members. The poor have a right on the money of the rich according to Allah's orders where Allah imposed some money from the rich to help the poor.


The Person Who should pay Al-Zakat

These matters should be considered in the person who pays Al-zakat:

1- Maturity.

2- Mentally sound.

3- Freedom [the slave is not obliged to pay Al-zakat [alms].

4- The commissioned person should possess more than the limited amount below which Al-Zakat is not obligatory.

5- The owner [possessor] should be able to manage and conduct his affairs.


The Categories for which a person should pay Al-Zakat

Al-zakat should be paid for [ 9 ] nine sorts only:

The livestock they are three: 1. camels, 2. cows, 3. sheep.

The two kinds of money including: 4. the gold, 5. the silver.

The four yield [products]: 6. wheat [ corn ], 7. barley, 8. dates, 9. raisins.


The Conditions and Rules Al-Zakat

Every branch of these sorts has special rules and conditions for paying Al-zakat with obligations and these are as follows:


The livestock: They are three parts:-

a. Camels: all the kinds of camels are the same. We should consider these matters in paying Al-Zakat:-


First: The amount [the fixed limit] is twelve limits [amount]:

1- The fifth of camels with one ewe.

2- Tenth camels with two ewes.

3- The fifteen camels with three ewes.

4- The twenty camels with four ewes.

5- The twenty five camels with five ewes.

6- The twenty six camels with a she-camel milker, entering the second year of age. If the person has not a little she-camel, then a small camel or yearling.

7- Thirty six camels with a she-camel [yearling she-camel].

8- Forty six camels with a "Huka" [a she-camel completed three years and entered the fourth ] of age.

9- Sixty-one camels with one she-camel [jath’aa] which means it completed four years and entered the fifth year of age.

10- Seventy six camels with two she-camels that are milch [giving milk].

11- Ninety one camels with two she-camels [completed the third and entered the fourth year of age].

12- One hundred twenty one with one of two matters:


The First matter:

To pay for every [50] camels one "Huka" [ a she-camel that has completed [3] years and entered the fourth].


The Second matter:

To pay for every [40] camels one milch camel and so on however the number increased.


The cows with the buffaloes with all their kinds have two amounts:

1- Thirty and there should be a "Tabee or a Tabeea", which means it has completed the second year and entered the third.

2- Forty with one "Musenaa", which has completed the second year and entered the third year of age. The sheep: This includes the sheep, the ewes with all their kinds and there are five amounts:

a. forty with one ewe.

b. one hundred and twenty one, with two ewes.

c. tow hundred and one, with three ewes.

d. Three hundred and one with four ewes.

e. Four hundred and more: an ewe for every [ 100 ] sheep between a limit and a limit will be exempt.


The Second:

The cattle live on the grass in the pastures without fodder and are not stalled [ stall-fed ], and the criterion is that it is the custom to limit it.


The Third:

These animals should not be factors for the commissioned person to employ [ use ] them for his private affairs or to rent them to gain money by them, but they should be idle [ unemployed ] all the year.


The Forth:

The passing of one year, namely these cattle will stay according to the previous conditions for one year completely.


The Zakat of the two cashes:

They are Al-Dinar and Al-Dirham. Al-Dinar is a golden coin that weighs [18] whit of gold which is equal to ¾ weight in changing. Al-Dirham, is the coin that is made of silver and weighs [18] whit of silver. There are some matters to be considered in these two coins.


The First:

The amount [ the fixed limit ].


Al-Dinar : there are two amounts [ limits ] in it:

a. There should be twenty dinar, and ½ dinar as zakat.

b. There should be twenty-four dinar with ½ dinar two carats.

If the sum increased to 28 dinar, then the person should pay ½ dinar with four carats. If it increased, then he should pay for every [ 40 ] dinar one extra dinar…


The second:

Al-Dirham: It has two amounts [ limits ] also:

a. 200 dirham, the payment of Al-Zakat is 5 dirham.

b. 240 dirham, there should be six dirham, if it increased then for every [40] dirham one extra dirham should be paid.


The Second:

The gold and the silver should be minted current coin of the country and the people are dealing with it. If the coins were out of use; no longer used as official currency, then there should be no Zakat on them, also there is no Zakat on jewels or golden and silver wares for ornament.


The Third:

The passing of one year and the commissioned person still possesses the cash, so under such circumstances if eleven months passed and the cash entered the 12th month in his possession, then he should pay Zakat for the cash.


The Fourth:

The owner should be able to manage his fortune all the year by himself or by his deputy.


The Zakat of the four yield [ products ]

These yield are four: Corn [wheat], barley, dates and raisins, but precautionary, we add "Al-Shilib" with the barley. Al-Shilib is similar to barley or wheat. It is in fast rice after the removal of the husks.

We should consider these matters in Zakat on these yield:


The First:

The attaining of the amount [the fixed limit] which is 884.5.2kgs.


The Second:

The person should possess these yield by agriculture [by planting them] whether he was the real owner or he rented the land or he borrowed it, we should also add that before he was included with "Al-Zakat" he should pay it after the harvesting of the plant by him, namely before the formation of the grains wheat and barley and also in gooseberry and raisin, as for the dates, we can know of their redness and greenness.


The amount of Al-Zakat on yields:

1- The yields that are watered by natural running water the Zakat is1/10[tenth].

2- The yields watered by manual effort or means, the Zakat is ½ of the tenth.


The Deserving people who may take Al – Zakat :

Al-Zakat is paid to eight sorts of deserving people. They are:


The First:

Al-Miskeen [moneyless, impecunious] who has no food for himself and his family except what he gets from here or there or there by toil and exertion [hard work] or from the help of the people.


The Second:

A poor man who has no food, for the year, for himself and his family.


The Third:

The employees who collect Al-Zakat and charge by the legal jurisprudent.


The Fourth:

Those who are joining hands and heart and decided to incorporate in one heart all. They include the people who attract people [make desire] to Islam and to embrace it, and also to make them desirous to stay in Islam. If they entered Islam recently or they have weak minds so, Islam wanted to fix belief in their hearts and was afraid of their apostasy from Islam, and more than this, Al-Zakat should be given to the person whose entering Islam depends on that Zakat legally to gain one individual to join Islam and to fix the person's belief who entered it newly.


The Fifth:

The slaves that Islam wants to free from bondage [slavery].


The Sixth :

The sufferers of heavy loss whose debts surround them from every side and they are unable to pay. In this case, poverty is not considered as a criterion but the criterion is the non-payment because of disability. It is allowed legally to help those people from the money of Al-Zakat to let them get rid of debts.


The Seventh:

Spending money in matters to please Allah, the Most High, in all the aspects of charity and benevolence.


The Eighth:

The wayfarer who has lost his money and he is unable to return to his homeland, such a person, if he was unable to reform his condition reasonably, should be given some money from Al-Zakat to accomplish his need, and there are many conditions for such matters:

a. He is unable to borrow some money or to sell what he has with him to cover the expenses of return.

b. His traveling should not be for Allah's disobedience.

c. He should be given money for the sake of his return to his homeland not to go on his traveling to the intended destination.


Al-Miskeen(poor) and poor man's conditions:

Many matters are considered concerning the poor man and Al-Miskeen:

1. Belief; it is not allowed to pay Al-Zakat to the unbelievers and also not allowed to give it to person who would spend it in disobedience of Allah and as a precaution, it is not allowed to be given to those who committed Al-Kabair [enormities, atrocities] like wine-drinking or giving up prayer.

2. He should not be "Hashemite" [from Bani Hashem family] if the Zakat was from the money of a non-Hashemite.

3. Taking Al-Zakat should not be from those whose maintenance is obligatory [as a duty] to receive Al-Zakat like the parents and the sons [the person, who deserves maintenance, should not pay Al-Zakat].


Some Rules of Al Zakat:

A. It would be better to the sums of Al-Zakat to the jurisprudent who possesses the conditions.

B. It is not a duty to distribute Al-Zakat to all the sorts of those who may receive it, and also the giving of Al-Zakat need not be equal among the members of one sort or between one type and another.

C. It is commendable to increase the shares of the owners of favour such as the owners of science and the owners of the psychological perfections, and also we ought to give preponderance to the relatives over aliens [the strangers].

D. It is commendable to declare publicly about paying "zakat", better than keeping it a secret, which is opposite to deputed alms where the secret is better than the publicity.

E. If a person disobeyed and delayed Al-Zakat and made trade with the money concerned it and he gained a profit it is common between him and the poor.

F. If the person is about to die and he should pay Al-Zakat, before his death, he should leave a will ordering his guardian to pay it after his death.

G. If Al-Zakat requires a weight or measure [ kail ] than the owner of the fortune will bear the expense, [cost].

H. The owner will be acquitted by paying the "Zakat" to the jurisprudent that possesses the conditions for casuistry or his agent.


The Time at which a person should pay Al-Zakat

The time of obligation [duty] is different from the time of taking out Al-Zakat. The cattle Zakat should be paid at the beginning of the 12th month. The owner is obliged pay before the beginning of the coming year. Also in the Zakat of the two cashes. As for the yields that have the real name which indicates and is applied to them not similar, but real as for the obligation at harvesting, in the date-palms and in vine-growing[viticulture] will be by the same conjecture and the piles of the heaped product to be measured comparatively. In the wheat and barley the time is after the settlement of the income from the trading of the product.

It is not allowed to delay Al-Zakat from whom we should pay it. It is not enough just to place the Zakat aside without delivering it to the legal owner. If someone delayed the payment of Al-Zakat, with the ability to convey it to the deserving people, then he must guarantee against damage to convey it to the deserving people, then he must guarantee against damage to the materials. It is not allowed to introduce Al-zakat before the time of obligation. If the person introduced Al-Zakat before its time and paid it to one of the mentioned sorts of people under the name of Al-Zakat, then legally the fortune [the Zakat] would stay as a property of the owner [the payer].


The Rules of Performing Al-Zakat:

1- Performing [paying] Al-Zakat is a matter of worship. Consequently the person should rapprochement Allah, the Most High, by doing it, we should also distinguish it from other financial rights.

2- It is allowed for the owner of Al-Zakat to deputize a person to pay it or the owner himself can pay it directly.

3- It is allowed to pay Al-Zakat to a judge [jurisprudent] as the deputy [agent] of the owner. Also it is allowed to pay it to him [the jurisprudent] as he is a deputy for the poor in receiving Al-Zakat.

4- If the owner paid Al-Zakt to a person [the deserving person] and after that the owner knew that the given person was not deserving, then the owner could recover the Al-Zakat, since the person is alive, and if the materials [of Al-Zakat] were spoiled then the owner can take compensation instead of Al-Zakat [substitution].

5- It is allowed for the owner to sell the amount of Al-Zakat [the decided limit] after the obligation of Al-Zakat and he would put a condition on the buyer to pay it instead of him.

6- If it was known that one of the fortunes, the wheat and the barley is lying in the limit of amount, then if he got Al-Zakat out of the same fortune, he should get it out of both of them and if he got out the value then he should give them all at once.

7- It is allowed for a person to volunteer to pay Al-Zakat instead of the owner, and also it is allowed for the owner to demand from a person to pay Al-Zakat for him [the owner].

8- The owner would not be acquitted by appointing an agent or representative, unless the Zakat reaches the deserving person himself.