One of the other important economical responsibilities of the Muslims, is the paying of zakat.

As for the importance of zakat, it is enough for us to mention that in the Glorious Qur'an, after the mentioning of Salat, zakat is mentioned and it is counted as one of the signs of faith and righteous actions.

In countless hadith from the Masumin ('a), it has been narrated that: "Someone who does not pay the zakat, is out from the religion."

Zakat, just like khums, has its own specific instances. One part of the zakat is a tax or custom on the body and life, such that once a year, for those people who have the ability to pay this tax (from the view point of property), it becomes wajib on them on the day of 'Eid al-Fitr. The rules related to this type of zakat were explained at the end in the section of fasting.

The other division of zakat is the zakat on wealth, but it is not that this is necessary or included on all the property of a person, rather zakat is only wajib on nine things.

Issue 385: The things that zakat is wajib to be paid on are the following:

Wheat, barley, dates, raisins, camels, cows, goats, gold and silver, and properties of the traders (business goods), with the conditions that have been explained in the Taudihul Masail.

Issue 386: Zakat becomes wajib in the event that the object that zakat must be paid on, reaches a certain quantity. These amounts have been given in the following table:

A brief note:

Camels, cows, sheep, gold and silver also have other quantities (that zakat becomes wajib on), and for a complete listing of these rules, one can refer to the Taudihul Masail.

The Rules of Zakat

Issue 387: If for the complete year, the animals graze, from the grass of the wilderness, zakat will become wajib on these animals. Therefore, if during the year, or for a part of the year, the grass is plucked or picked or that which is cultivated is eaten, then zakat will not be paid on these animals.

Issue 388: The zakat of gold and silver becomes wajib in the event that the amount reaches one sikke - that which one can do business with. Therefore, because of this, the amount that women possess these days and use, does not have any zakat liable on it.

Issue 389: Paying the zakat is one of the acts of worship and must be given with the intention of zakat and with the niyyat of being paid for the pleasure of Allah (SWT) and in compliance with his rule.

The Disposal of Zakat

Issue 390: There are eight ways that the zakat can be disposed of; and one ran dispose of ones zakat in all or some of these ways. The following are some of the places that zakat can be disposed:

It can be given to the poor and destitute.

It can be given to an indebted person who is unable to repay his debt.

It can be given to those non-Muslims who if zakat is given to them, they may become inclined to Islam or they may help Muslims in the time of war.

It may be spent in the way of Allah meaning, in those things that have a common benefit for the Muslims – for example, building a Well, bridge or masjid.1

  • 1. For more information on the disposal of Zak‚t, one can refer to the TauËihul Mas‚il, rule number 1953.