LOCAL COLLECTION.LOCAL DISTRIBUTION.
The following list comprises both FAQs and Common Misconceptions about Zakat and Sadaqah. Questions received from visitors are often summarized and added to this list.
Following tables give the Zakat for the three sub categories of livestock.
condition that they satisfy the Nisab, their guardian should pay Zakat
on their behalf. It is incumbent upon that guardian to make sure that
the money is growing otherwise the entire amount will be eaten up over
a number of years by paying Zakat itself. Various opinions in this regard
1. There is no Zakat on the wealth belonging to an orphan (or insane person)
2. The guardian shall keep track of the Zakat owed by the orphan under
his care, and provide this information to the orphan's reaching adulthood,
and finally let the orphan decide.
3. If the wealth belonging to the orphan is invested in a business and
only if it is growing then the guardian should pay Zakat on the profit.
If the wealth is not invested or if there is no profit, no Zakat will
4. It is required of the guardian to pay Zakat on behalf of the orphan.
(We have adopted this opinion with a strong recommendation for the guardian
to invest orphan's money so it can grow).
The above opinions will also apply to an insane person or a prisoner.
conditions obligate payment of Zakat on an individual.
In case of
a loan, Zakat on the amount loaned to someone is primarily the obligation
of the owner of the money, and the obligation is determined based upon
the following conditions.
a. If the borrower is expected to return the loan in the year in question,
the lender (the owner) should include the amount in his calculations.
There are two opinions within this, one is that this Zakat shall be paid
every year, and the other opinion is that it should be paid for all the
years the loan was outstanding upon its return.
b. In case the repayment is not expected, there are three possible opinions.
i. Once returned, pay Zakat for all years the
loan was outstanding.
ii. Once returned, pay Zakat that year.
iii. Once returned, pay Zakat after one year has
passed since the return.
c. We favor the opinion that Zakat should be paid by the owner, upon repayment,
in the year of repayment. Therefore, if a loan whose return is not expected,
should be included if and when the loan is returned.
d. The impact of loan on the borrower is already explained in answer concerning
conditions that make Zakat obligatory.
If this amount is available to the individual at any time without any
restrictions, then Zakat should be calculated for this amount through
the category of "Personal wealth" because its nature will be
that of savings.
If the plan is restrictive and involves penalty and/or taxes, opinions
differ on the payment of Zakat.
a. One opinion is that an individual should calculate the amount that
is available to an individual after paying an early withdrawal penalty
and taxes, and include this remaining amount in the calculation of Zakat
as a part of "Personal wealth" category.
b. Another opinion is that Zakat should be only paid when the amount is
actually received or is fully available to the individual without any penalty.
In that case only taxes due on this amount should be deducted. The net
amount after taxes (for the year the amount is completely available to
the individual) should be included as a part of the "Personal wealth"
If the amount is not fully available, we are of the opinion that the value of the pension plan should not be included in the calculation of Zakat. We have taken the opinion that when it is fully available as in case b above, it should be included in the calculation of Zakat.
Yes it can
be paid in kind or in equivalent amount of money.
Qur'an specifies eight (8) purposes for which the money from Zakat can
be used. They are the following.
1) Poor (Faqir pl. Fuqara'): One who cannot support himself/herself, provided
(or to the extent) that the recipient of Zakat does not reach the level
2) Needy (Miskin pl. Masakin): One who cannot adequately support himself/herself,
and is reluctant to ask for help. Such an individual, therefore, is not
easily recognized as someone who needs help. Such an individual is eligible
for Zakat, provided (or to the extent) that the recipient of Zakat does
not reach the level of Nisab.
3) Those employed to administer the collection, distribution, and administration
of Zakat (Al-'Amilin): They need not remain below Nisab at the time of
receiving compensation through Zakat.
4) Those individuals who have been recently reconciled to the Truth (Mu'allafat-al-Qulub):
This category includes new Muslims, or those who are willing to support
the Muslim State but need to be compensated. They could be non-Muslims
as well. Such individuals can be in possession of Nisab and will not be
disqualified because of that.
5) Freeing of those in bondage (Fi-al-Riqab): Since the custom of bondage
or slavery is now extinct, freeing of slaves may not be needed any longer.
However, this can be interpreted to include individuals who due to excessive
debt do not have any hope of ever standing on their own two feet.
6) Those in debt (Al-Gharimin): Zakat money could be received by on who
is in debt in order to pay off the debt or a part thereof provided at
the time of receiving Zakat, he/she is not in possession of Nisab.
7) In the cause of Allah (Fi-sabil-Allah): Those who are going out or
working in the cause of Allah (including the task of conveying the message
of Islam) or in a battle declared by an Islamic State for just cause.
Being in possession of Nisab does not disqualify them.
8) The wayfarer (Ibn-al-Sabil): Traveler who is in need of help during
One who belongs to the family of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is not
eligible for receiving Zakat.
Yes, provided they are not the dependents, such as wife and children, and parents (including
ascendants grand parents and descendents such as grand children). Beyond
these relatives, in fact it would be preferred that one gives Zakat to
one's relatives first. A wealthy wife can give Zakat to her poor husband
and not the other way around.
be paid with the intention of paying Zakat since it is an act of worship.
If an individual declares his/her Zakat in order to encourage others,
it is permissible, since this an obligatory act of worship. However, it
is not necessary to mention, in fact preferable not to mention, to the
recipient that the payment is from Zakat, if it is feared that it would
be paid any time during the year, in one lump sum or in installments.
However, at the end of each year one must calculate one's Zakat and the
amount due but not paid must be paid. In actual practice, many Muslims
prefer to pay Zakat in the month of Ramadan. This is also fine. Bear in
mind that for agricultural produce, it is preferred to pay Zakat after
Zakat can be paid to institutions, which meet the purposes described.
one may give extra charity beyond Zakat for any good cause, and in fact,
charity beyond Zakat is to be encouraged.
addition to alleviating the hardships of the needy and the less privileged,
this act of worship provides a check against and cleanses individuals,
and indeed the society as a whole, of the baser instincts, such as miserliness,
selfishness, enmity, exploitation etc. that ultimately lead to materialism.
On the other hand, Zakat promotes love, kindness, generosity, and sharing/caring
and mutual cooperation. This also promotes relying on Allah, and sincerity
in seeking the pleasure of Allah alone, and finally building a society
more empathetic and more caring.
A lot has been written about the inner dimensions of Zakat. One may refer
to many books available on Zakat for further details on this subject.
there are differences of opinion concerning the definitions of Nisab and
the treatment of different categories of wealth. For the sake of providing
a comprehensive tool, we have adopted those opinions, which are generally
accepted by various scholars, or are easier to apply. However, other major
differing opinions are also mentioned in the various answers given under
frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the individual is free to follow
other opinions if more appealing to him/her. For a greater in depth understanding,
of course, one can access many books available on Zakat.
Zakat-ul-Fitr is Zakah on the individual. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said:
"Remember Zakat-al-Fitr is essential (Wajib) for every Muslim, man or woman;
free or in servitude; adult or child." (At-Thirmidhi)
Zakat-ul-Fitr or Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is a special charity paid to the needy on
or before the day of Eid -ul-Fitr, which is the first day of the month of
Shawwal following the month of Ramadan. Zakat-ul-Fitr is paid as
atonement for any shortcomings in the worship of Fasting during the
month of Ramadan.
On the day of Eid -ul-Fitr, which marks the completion of the month of
Ramadan, every Muslim possessing an amount of food in excess of his
and his family's need for a day (24 hours) is mandated to pay Zakat-ul-
Fitr on behalf of himself and all his dependent(s).
Zakat-ul-Fitr or Fitrah is "the one full meal per person or cash
equivalent to the cost of one full meal, given directly to the needy of
the community before Eid-ul-Fitr prayer. Arrangements for paying
Fitrah should be made ahead of time so that it reaches the eligible
recipients in time for them to make use of it on Eid day. The quantity of
Zakat-ul-Fitr traditionally amounts to one Sa`. One Sa` is equivalent to
2751--3800 grams of food such as wheat, barley, rice, or the like. In
Greater Chicago the cash equivalent of Fitrah has been determined by
Islamic Organizations to be $5.00 - 7.00 for each member of the family.
The categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat-ul-Fitr are
the same as for those who are eligible to receive the regular Zakat.
Sadaqah is an Arabic term widely used to cover all kinds of charity.
Although Sadaqah and Zakat are often used interchangeably, Sadaqah
voluntary or optional charity.
All good deeds are considered Sadaqah. Every Muslim is exhorted to
give Sadaqah. The Prophet Muhammad(S) said:
“Every Muslim has to give Sadaqah.” The people asked: “O
Prophet of Allah, what about the one who has nothing?”
He(S) replied: “He should work with his hand to give
Sadaqah.” They asked: “If he cannot find (work)?” He(S)
replied: “He should help the needy who asks for help.” They
asked:” If he cannot do that?” He (S) replied: “He should
then do good deeds and shun evil, for this will be taken as
Muslims practice Sadaqah and earn rewards from Allah by doing good
deeds all their lives. They can continue earning Allah’s rewards even
after their death should they leave any of the following legacies behind
them. This is called perpetual Sadaqah (Sadaqat-ul-Jariyah). Prophet
Muhammad (S) is reported to have said:
“When a person dies (the benefit) of his deeds ends, except
three: a continuous Sadaqah, knowledge from which benefit is
derived, or a pious child invoking Allah for him.”
(Sahih Muslim & Ahmad)
Etiquette of Giving Sadaqah
1. Islam has recommended that its followers give Sadaqah. Sadaqah
is to be given from one’s lawful (Halal) earnings because Allah
does not accept Sadaqah if it is given from what is unlawful
2. There is no limit on the amount to be donated as Sadaqah. It is up
to the generosity of the individual to set a limit.
3. Sadaqah is to be given with utmost humility. In order to get the
rewards of Sadaqah from Allah, the donor is required to avoid
making a showoff his generosity.
4. Sadaqah can be given to any deserving person – Muslim or non-
5. Precedence is given first to one’s needy dependents, relatives, and
then to other needy people.
6. The beneficiary of the good deed (Sadaqah) is recommended to
thank the person for his good deed.
The taxes are paid to the government - Federal, State, County, and City in accordance
with its rule and regulations. Zakat is paid as an obligatory duty (Faridatun min Allah)
to Allah. It has its own purpose, function, rules, and regulations of payment and
distribution. In order to have the Zakat obligation to be fulfilled, it must meet
the (Shariah) requirements. Paying taxes do not meet these requirements.
Any unpaid Zakat will be counted as missed obligation (Qada). You should
estimate the amount of Zakat due on you for the years you missed and pay it as soon as
It is a wife's individual responsibility to pay Zakat on her jewelry,
zakatable possession, and wealth. If her husband or someone else pays Zakat
on her behalf with her permission, it is permissible and he will be rewarded
for this voluntary action.
It is prefered to pay Zakat to your poor relatives - sisters, brothers,
cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, etc. Prophet Muhammad (S) said:
"Charity given to the poor is charity, and charity given to a relative is
charity and upholding of family ties." (Ahmad, Al- Nisa'i).
Zakat should not be given to one's parents, grand parents, children,
grand children, or wives. The care of these relatives is a duty enjoined
by Shariah on every Muslim.
The items of one's basic needs and necessities are exempted from Zakat. All items
of value (movable and immovable), that are designated for personal and household
use and/consumption are non-Zakatable.
Example: Food, clothing, residential home, petty cash, personal transportation
(automobile, riding animal), Books for personal study, domestic animals and poultry
for domestic needs, tools of one's personal trade/profession, articles of adornment
in day to day use,, arms and ammunition for personal use, agricultural land cultivated
by the owner, etc.).
We should calculate Zakat properly and meticulously. It is the obligatory duty to Allah
(Fardh minAllah). If you happen to find out that you have underpaid the zakat, you make the
intention of paying due zakat and make up for the underpayment. Allah will accept it as "Ada"
of your obligation (Fardh).
Zakat can be paid as cash/Check/Draft/Credit Card*, and the like. It can also be paid
in kind with gold, silver, grain, livestock, etc.
*Credit Card - it is important that you pay your credit card company on time so as not to incur
any interest payments.
Yes, Zakat will be due on the minimum balance in the bank over the period of one lunar year
(Haul - it is approximately 355 days), provided the balance did not go under the amount of Nisab.
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