ZAKAT – The Third Pillar of Islam
DEFINITION OF ZAKAAT
Zakaat literally means to increase. Technically it means to purify one’s possession of wealth by distributing a prescribed amount which has to be given to the poor as a fundamental Ibaadat.
THE VIRTUES OF ZAKAAT
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan:
“The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn. It grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah increases manifold to whom He pleases.”(Baqarah 261)
The Qur’aan states that wealth increases abundantly by giving zakaat. And the reward increases according to the sincerity of the Niyyah. In another Aayah Allah says:
“Allah destroys wealth obtained from interest and will increase deeds of charity.” (Baqarah 276)(Baqarah 268)
“The shaytaan threatens you with poverty and bids you to coin evil and Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounties and Allah is Bountiful All-Knowing.”
There is no Barakat and benefit from interest and it will either decrease or vanish altogether, whereas wealth spent in the way of Allah increases manifold.
BENEFITS OF ZAKAAT
It is stated in the Hadeeth that by giving zakaat the following benefits are derived:
- Gaining the pleasure of Allah;
- Increase in wealth;
- Protection from losses;
- Obtaining Allah’s forgiveness and blessings;
- Safety from calamities;
- Protection from the wrath of Allah and from a bad death;
- The Zakaat will provide shelter on the Day of Judgement;
- Security from seventy misfortunes;
- It will serve as a shield from the fires of Jahannam;
- It contributes to longevity;
- It saves from fear and grief.
THE PUNISHMENT FOR NOT GIVING ZAKAAT
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan:
“And there are those who board gold and silver and do not spend it in the path of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Qiyamah heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Jahannum, than with it they will be branded on their foreheads and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you had been hoarding.’(Tawbah 34)
Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu Ãlayhi Wasallam) has said;
“The nation that does not give Zakaat, Allah will bring about a drought on them (i.e. necessities of life will become scarce).”
“The person on whom Allah has bestowed wealth, and he does not give Zakaat, on the Day of Qiyaamah, his wealth will be turned into a venomous bald serpent which will wind around his neck and bite his jaws and say: “I am your wealth, I am your treasure.”(Bukhari)
Once Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu Ãlayhi Wasallam) saw gold bangles on the hands of two women. He enquired if they gave the Zakaat for the bangles. They replied “No.” Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu Ãlayhi Wasallam) then said: ‘Do you wish on the Day of Qiyaamah that you be made to dress in bangles of fire?” They replied: “No.” He then said: ‘Give Zakaat on them.” (Tirmizi)
ZAKAAT IS NOT A TAX – IT IS AN IBAADAH
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan: “(Take from their wealth Zakaat so that you may cleanse them and purify them there-with.’ (Tawbah 102). This Aayat points to the fact that Zakaat is not a governmental tax, but its main purpose is to keep those who are wealthy clean monetarily from sins.
There are two major benefits of giving Zakaat:
It keeps one away from sin and saves the giver from moral ills arising from the love and greed for wealth;
Through Zakaat the poorer class, (those who are not capable of providing for themselves) are being cared for, such as widows, orphans, the disabled, the poor and the destitute, and it is intact a vital part of the elaborate and equitable system of the distribution of wealth established by Allah for mankind.
Even if there are no widows, orphans, poor or needy persons, Zakaat is still incumbent upon Muslims. This clearly shows that Zakaat is not solely for giving to the destitute and the poor but has been ordained as a monetary devotion. In the same manner that Salaat and Sawm are a physical devotion, Zakaat is a monetary Ibaadah. It is a special favour of Allah on this Ummah, and in this manner the wealth which is spent in the way of Allah is made lawful for use by the poor and the needy.
TYPES OF WEALTH ON WHICH ZAKAAT IS FARDH
- Gold & Silver (whether jewellery or any other form).
- Merchandise for business.
- Income derived from properties.
- Value of property bought for resale.
- Cash currency (on hand or in bank).
- Monies owing to you (details to be sought from an Aalim).
- Livestock (the Nisaab of livestock is different from above).
TYPES OF WEALTH ON WHICH ZAKAAT IS NOT FARDH
- Home for living.
- Household requirement e.g. furniture, car etc.
- Personal requirements (not of gold and silver.)
- Other precious metals or stones, such as diamonds which are for personal use.
- Fixtures and fittings and other equipment required to run the business e.g. delivery trucks etc.
- If liabilities exceed assets.
The amount of wealth which makes one liable for zakaat is called Nisaab. The Nisaab of gold and silver fixed by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Ãlayhi Wasallam) is as follows:
- Gold 20 Mithqalis 87.48 grams 2,8125 Troy Oz.
- Silver 200 Dirhams 612,36 grams 19,6875 Troy Oz.
The Nisaab of assets other than Gold and Silver (e.g. merchandise and cash etc.) will be the equivalent of what is lesser in value between Gold and Silver. (E.g. if the Nisaab of Gold is for instance R800 and the Nisaab of Silver is R500, then the Nisaab of the merchandise, etc. will be R500.
The rate of Zakaat is 1:40th i.e. 2.5% (2.5 cents in a Rand) annually.
UPON WHOM IS ZAKAAT COMPULSORY?
sane adult Muslim possessing the above amount of gold and silver or
excess wealth equivalent to the above will he liable to pay Zakaat,
provided he has possessed it for a full year.
NOTE: Zakaat should be calculated according to the Islamic (Lunar) calendar as the Christian calendar falls about 11 days short each year.
PERSONS WHO CANNOT BE GIVEN ZAKAAT
- The Banu Hashim who are the children of Sayyadatina Fatima (RA) and all members of Rasoolullah (S.A.W.)’s family and wives (RA)
- Parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren.
- Institutions or organisations that do not give the rightful recipients (Masaarif) possession of Zakaat, but instead use Zakaat funds for consumption, investments or salaries etc.
- Zakaat cannot be given as remuneration for services rendered.
Ibn us Sabeel. Those persons who are Musaafirs (travellers in view of Shariat) and during the course of their jouney do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakaat in order to fulfil travelling needs.
HOW TO DETERMINE ZAKAAT ON GOLD AND SILVER
The value of gold and silver to be calculated by an expert (e.g. Jeweller).
Only the gold and silver content should be taken into consideration
AN EXAMPLE OF CALCULATION OF ZAKAAT
A Muslim normally has the following assets and liabilities at the end of the year.
|1||House Total with Household Goods||120 000.00|
|2||Motor Vehicle||20 000.00|
|3||Jewellery (Silver and Gold)||5 000.00|
|4||Precious stones||5 000.00|
|5||Fixtures and Fittings||20 000.00|
|6||Stock in trade||75 000.00|
|7||Debtors people owing him money||10 000.00|
|8||Shares in Public companies||5 000.00|
|9||Immovable properties||5 000.00|
|10||Other savings cash, investments, endowments, retirement annuities||20 000.00|
|Bond on house (40 000 Total) yearly payments||9 600.00|
|Overdraft end of year||20 000.00|
|Creditors you owing people||20 000.00|
|Higher purchase Cars and furniture (Total 15000.00) yearly payment||7 200.00|
|Jewellery Gold and silver||5 000.00|
|Stock in Trade||75 000.00|
|Less liabilities||56 800.00|
|2.5% of this amount||58 200.00|