Allah says in Quran: 9:103 Of their goods, take alms, that so thou mightest purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them: And Allah is One Who heareth and knoweth.
What is Zakat?
Giving money for charity is highly commendable, and the sky is the limit, but Zakat is different because it is obligatory and is given in a calculated amount.
Zakat represents the unbreakable bond between members of the community, whom Prophet Mohammad described to be "like the organs of the body, if one suffers then all others rally in response." One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
Zakah does not only purify the property of the contributor but also purifies his heart from selfishness and greed. It also purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead good-will and warm wishes for the contributors. As Muslims pay the Zakat they have the genuine feeling that it is an investment and not a debit helping to establish economic balance and social justice in the society. In general terms, what remains over and above the meeting of needs and expenses, and is hoarded for the full span of one year, is liable to Zakat.
Zakat is the right of the poor in the wealth of the rich and is neither optional charity nor philanthropy. Zakah has a deep humanitarian and social-political value; for example, it frees society from class welfare, from ill feelings and distrust and from corruption. Although Islam does not hinder private enterprise or condemn private possession, it does not tolerate selfish and greedy capitalism. Islam adopts a moderate but positive and effective course between individual and society, between the citizen and the state, between capitalism and socialism, between materialism and spiritualism.
Most people pay the Zakat in the last TEN Days of RAMADAN ( those days we are living today ) because as our leader Mohammed ( peace be upon him ) informed us that those days resemble ITKUN MIN ALNAR ( to be far from punished in the Judgement day - away from HELL ).
Al-hamdu lillah (all praise be to Allah). Al-Khiraqi (rahimahullah) said: "If it (nisaab al-zakaat) is reached then a quarter of 1/10 is due upon it and upon whatever exceeds it, no matter how small." Ibn Qadama (rahimahullah) in explaining this statement said: "Meaning that if the amount of silver has reached 200 and the dinars 20 (which is the nisaab for gold in the units of mathaqeel then one is obligated to pay zakaat upon it one quarter of 10 percent, as this has been established by his (the Prophet's , peace be upon him) saying 'for silver, one fourth of one tenth' " (Al-Mughni ma'a al-sharh il-kabeer, 2/600)
As for the meaning of the rest of the statement that what exceeds the nisaab no matter how small, it means that 1/4 of 1/10 (i.e. 2.5%) is also due upon this surplus difference. Thus, the overall meaning is that if monetary wealth surpasses the amount of nisaab, then zakaat is due upon it all, and not upon the surplus only, nor upon the amount of nisaab only, but on the total. Note that zakaat must be paid on the excess amount over nisaab, regardless of how small. This is the opinion taken by Malik and al-Shaafi'I and jumhoor al-ulemaa'.
The value of the nisaab [the amount that determines whether zakaah is obligatory; anyone who has more than this is obliged to pay zakaah] for dollars or other currencies is whatever is equivalent to the value of 20 mithqaals [a unit of measurement] of gold or 140 mithqaals of silver at the time when the zakaah is owed. It should be based on whichever of the two works out better for the poor, because the prices of gold and silver vary from time to time and from country to country (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 9/257) and because this will be more beneficial to the poor. (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 9/254).
Given that currently the price of silver is lower than the price of gold, the nisaab should be based on the price of silver, so if a persons wealth (in paper money) reaches the nisaab on that basis, he has to pay zakaah. The nisaab for silver is roughly equivalent to 595 grams of silver, so the one who has wealth has to pay 2.5% or 25 out of every 1,000 that he has in currency, after one year has passed). And Allaah knows best.
Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made giving a saa of dates or a saa of barley as Zakaat al-Fitr an obligation for all Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, and ordered that it should be given before the people went out to pray (Salaat al-Eid). (Al-Bukhaari, 1503).
Abu Saeed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: We used to pay as Zakaat al-Fitr a saa of food or a saa of barley (which was their food at that time) or a saa or dates or a saa of aqit (dried yoghurt) or a saa of raisins. (1506)
From this it is clear that Zakaat al-Fitr must be food, not money, so we must adhere to what has been recorded in the Sunnah. So give one saa of whatever is the staple food in your country, such as rice or wheat, for example, on behalf of yourself and each member of your household. (A saa is equivalent to approximately 3 kilograms). It is not permissible to give it to anyone except a needy Muslim. If you cannot find anyone in your own country, you can delegate someone else to give it on your behalf in another country. May Allaah help us and you to do the duties that He loves. And Allaah knows best.
Nisaab ul-Zakat for naqd (gold and silver) is defined as the minimum amount of naqd specified by sharia below which one is not required to pay zakat, whereas if ones wealth exceeds it then zakat becomes incumbent.
And it is known that zakat ul-maal (wealth) in sharia is required for the two types of naqdgold and silverand what serves their function in modern times (commonly referred to as cash), whether it is dollars or riyals or pounds or otherwise.
Nisaab for gold as our Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed us (and for currencies made from gold) is 20 mithqaalan, a measure which is equivalent to 85 grams of pure gold (1 mithqaal = 4.25 grams). It becomes incumbent upon anyone who owns such an amount in any form to pay zakat on it in the amount of 2.5%.
Nisaab for silver and currencies made from silver is 200 dirhams, which is equivalent to 595 grams of pure silver (1 dirham = 2.975 grams). Likewise, it becomes incumbent upon anyone who owns such an amount in any form to pay zakat on it in the amount of 2.5%.
It is well known that there is a noticeable disparity between the value of nisaab for gold and that of silver in our times. The best and most conservative for a poor person is to assess how many dollars he has that have been in his possession for a complete lunar year (Hijri, which is 354 days). If the amount reaches the value of nisaab for silver or more, then he should pay from it for every 1000 dollars, 25 dollars (i.e., 2.5%) to be spent in the prescribed benficiaries as specified by shariah, and we ask Allah to aid us and help us succeed in haqq il-maal wa salla allahu ala nabiyyana muha.
Zakaah is one of the pillars of Islam. If a person does not do it because he does not believe that it is obligatory, the ruling should be explained to him and if he persists, then he is a kaafir, and the funeral prayer cannot be offered for him and he cannot be buried in the Muslim graveyard. But if he does not pay zakaah because he is stingy, but he believes that it is obligatory, then he is a sinner who is guilty of a major sin and he is a wrong doer, but he is not a kaafir. Therefore he should be washed (ghusl) and the funeral prayer should be offered for him if he dies in this state, and his case will be decided on the Day of Resurrection.
(Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 9/184)
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