Concerning Zakaat and Its Benefits : Shaykh ibn Uthaimeen

Author:Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen
Source:Fusool fis-Siyaam wat-Taraaweeh waz-Zakaat [E-Book]
Produced By:Al-Ibaanah.com

Lesson Six: Concerning Zakaat and Its Benefits

Zakaat is one of the obligations of Islaam. It is also one of its (five) pillars, and the most important amongst them after the Testimonies of Faith and the Prayer. Proof for its obligation can be found in the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Messenger and the unanimous consensus of the Muslims. So whoever rejects its obligation is a disbeliever who has apostated from Islaam, and he should be made to repent, and if not then he should be killed. And whoever is cheap with giving it or minimizes any portion that is due from it, then he is from the wrongdoers who are deserving of Allaah’s punishment.

Allaah says: “And let not those who hold back miserly from giving that which Allaah has bestowed on them from His Bounty think that it is good for them. Nay, it will be worse for them. The things that they held back from giving will be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Recompense. And to Allaah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth, and Allaah is well-Aware of all that you do.” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 180]

And in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever Allaah has given money to and does not give his Zakaat for it, it will take the form of a shiny-headed male serpent with two black spots over its eyes, which will encircle him on the Day of Judgement and bite his cheeks saying: ‘I am your money, I am your wealth.’”

Allaah says: “And those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend on them in the Way of Allaah (i.e. by giving Zakaat), give them the tidings of a painful punishment. This will be on the Day when those treasures (i.e. gold and silver) will be heated in the Fire of Hell and with it their foreheads, bodies and backs will be branded. (And it will be said to them): ‘This is the treasure that you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you used to hoard.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 34]

And in Saheeh Muslim, Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is no one that possesses gold and silver and doesn’t give his due (Zakaat) on it except that on the Day of Judgement, it will be made into plates of fire, then dipped into the Fire of Hell and with it his body, forehead and back will be branded. Each time the plates grow cool, they will be reheated and brand him again. This will occur on a Day the length of fifty thousand years, until Allaah judges His servants.”

Zakaat has many religious, behavioral and communal benefits of which we will mention the following from them:

From its religious benefits are:

1. It is abiding by one of the pillars of Islaam, upon which rests an individual’s prosperity in this worldly life and the Hereafter.

2. It brings a servant close to his Lord and increases his Faith. This is the case with all of the acts of worship.

3. What comes as a result of doing it, such as great reward. Allaah says: “Allaah will wipe away (the reward) of usury and increase that of charity (i.e. Zakaat).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 276]

And He says: “And that which you give as a gift (to others) in order that it may increase (your wealth by expecting something in return) from other people’s property, has no increase with Allaah. But that which you give in Zakaat sincerely for the sake of Allaah, those people shall have manifold increase.” [Surah Ar-Room: 39]

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever gives away charity the size of a date, which is earned lawfully, since Allaah only accepts the good lawful things, Allaah will indeed take it with His right Hand and cause it to grow for its owner, just as one of you raises up his colt, to the point that the charity will become like the size of a mountain.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

4. Allaah wipes away the (minor) sins by way of it, as the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Giving charity wipes away sins just as water extinguishes fire.” The word charity (sadaqah) here refers to the Zakaat as well as the supererogatory form of charity.

From the benefits it has on a person’s character are:

1. It causes him to follow the way of the generous individuals possessing kindness and magnanimity.

2. Giving the Zakaat requires a person to characterize himself with the attributes of mercy and sympathy towards his destitute brothers, and Allaah shows mercy to those who have mercy on others.

3. What has been witnessed is that giving financial and physical support to Muslims causes the hearts to become open and the soul to be pleased. And it causes a person to become loved and respected according to the extent of support he gives to his fellow brothers.

4. Giving Zakaat cleanses one’s character from stinginess and miserliness, as Allaah says: “Take the charity (Zakaat) from their wealth in order to purify and cleanse them by way of it.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 103]

From its communal benefits is that:

1. Zakaat provides for the needs of the poor who are the majority of people in most countries.

2. Zakaat strengthens the Muslims and raises their status. This is why one of the areas Zakaat can be given in is Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah, as we will mention later, by the Will of Allaah.

3. It removes the grudges and ill feelings found in the hearts of the poor and destitute. This is since when the poor see the money the wealthy have and their not benefiting them with it, by giving them neither a little nor a lot, then it is likely that they will hold hatred and rancor for the wealthy as they did not enforce their rights or provide for their needs. But when the wealthy do give some of their money to them at the beginning of every year (i.e. after holding the wealth for a year’s time), these things terminate and there comes about love and harmony.

4. Giving Zakaat boosts one’s wealth and increases it’s blessedness, as is stated in the hadeeth from the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in which he said: “Charity does not detract from one’s wealth.” This means that even though charity (Zakaat) takes away from one’s wealth numerically, it indeed never takes away from its blessedness or its increasing in the future. Rather, Allaah will replace what he gave away and bless his wealth.

5. Zakaat is a means for spreading and distributing wealth (throughout the community). This is since if some wealth is given out, its range is broadened and many people benefit from it, contrary to when the wealth is just preserved amongst the rich, since the poor will not gain any part of it.

All of these benefits that come from giving Zakaat show clearly that Zakaat is something necessary and required in order to rectify the individual and the society. How perfect is Allaah, the All-Knowing and Most Wise!

Zakaat is required to be given on specific forms of wealth, which include:

1. Gold and silver, on the condition that they meet the nisaab (minimum requirement). With regard to gold, the nisaab is 11 3/7 Saudi pounds, and for silver it is 56 Saudi Riyals worth of silver or whatever equals that amount from other forms of paper currency. One is obligated to pay a quarter of a tenth Zakaat on the above (i.e. 2.5%). It makes no difference if the gold and silver come in the form of cash, coins or jewelry.

Furthermore, one must pay Zakaat on a woman’s gold and silver jewelry if it meets the nisaab, regardless of whether she wears that jewelry or lends it out. The reason for this is because the evidences that mandate that Zakaat be paid on gold and silver are general and not detailed. And it is also because there are specific ahaadeeth that indicate the obligation of giving Zakaat on jewelry, even if it is worn, such as what has been reported by ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) that:

“A woman once came to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with her daughter who had two gold bangles on her hand. So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Do you pay Zakaat on this?’ She said: ‘No.’ So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Would it please you if Allaah made you wear two bangles of fire instead?’ So she took them of and said: ‘They are for Allaah and His Messenger.’” [It is stated in Buloogh-ul-Maraam: “Reported by the Three[1] and its chain of narration is strong.”]

Another reason is because this is more cautious and the most cautious approach takes precedence.

2. Also from the wealth that one is obligated to pay Zakaat on is: Business merchandise, which includes everything that is prepared for business purposes, such as real estate property, automobiles, livestock, household goods and other types of wealth. It is obligatory to pay a quarter of a tenth (i.e. 2.5%) on these items.

After holding the item for one year, one must estimate how much it is worth and pay 2.5% (Zakaat) on it, regardless of whether it now costs more, less or the same amount as what he originally paid for it. As for the items he prepares for his personal use or which he leases, such as real estate property, automobiles, appliances and so on, then there is no Zakaat due on them based on the Prophet’s (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: “A Muslim is not obligated to pay Zakaat on his slave or his horse.”

However, Zakaat is due on things that are rented out, when their year time-limit is reached, as well as on gold and silver due to what was stated previously.


Footnotes:

[1] Translator’s Note: Meaning Abu Dawood, An-Nasaa’ee and At-Tirmidhee

Those Entitled to Receive Zakaah : Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen

Author:Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen
Source:Fusool fis-Siyaam wat-Taraaweeh waz-Zakaat [E-Book]
Produced By:Al-Ibaanah.com

Lesson Seven: Those who are entitled to receive the Zakaat

The people entitled to Zakaat are those places we can direct our Zakaat to. Allaah took charge of explaining for Himself what these places are, saying:

“The charity (Zakaat) is only for the poor, the needy, those employed to collect (the Zakaat), those whose hearts will be inclined (towards Islaam, by giving them Zakaat), for slaves, for those in debt, for (Jihaad in) the Cause of Allaah, and for the wayfarer (i.e. destitute traveler). It is an obligation imposed by Allaah, and Allaah is the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 60]

1. The Poor (Fuqaraa): They are those who are not able to support themselves with sufficient means, except for very little, which is less than half (a year). So if a person cannot find that which will support himself and his family for at least half a year, he is considered poor (faqeer) and he should be given what will suffice him and his family for a year.

2. The Needy (Masaakeen): They are those who are able to support themselves with sufficient means for half of the year or more, but not enough for the entire year. So they should receive support that will complete the year for them. If a person does not have any cash on him, but yet has some other source of income, such as a profession, a salary or investment profits that will support him financially, he should not be given Zakaat. This is based on the Prophet’s statement: “There is no share in it (i.e. the Zakaat) for a wealthy person or for a strong able-bodied person who can earn a living.”

3. Those employed to collect the Zakaat: They are the ones put in charge by the ruler of a country to collect the Zakaat from those who owe it, distribute it to those who are entitled to it, guard the funds and all other types of duties involved with the supervision of Zakaat. So they should be given a portion of the Zakaat in accordance with the work they put in, even if they may already be wealthy.

4. Those whose hearts will be inclined: This refers to tribal and clan leaders, who do not have strong Faith. They should be given Zakaat so as to strengthen their Faith, which will make them callers to Islaam and good role models. But what if a person is weak in his Islaam, and he is not from the leaders who are followed and obeyed, but rather from the common folk, should he be given some Zakaat in order to strengthen his Faith?

Some scholars hold that it should be given to him since benefiting one’s religion is better than benefiting one’s body. Look at the example of a poor person. He is given Zakaat in order to nourish his body. So nourishing someone’s heart with Faith is greater and of more benefit. However some scholars hold that he should not be given the Zakaat since the benefit of strengthening his Faith is a personal benefit that is specific to him alone.

5. Slaves: What falls under this is buying slaves using Zakaat funds in order to free them, as well as assisting in the liberation of Muslim war captives.

6. Those in debt: They are the ones who owe debts. This is on the condition that they do not possess that which will enable them to remove their debts. So these people should be given enough (Zakaat) that will relieve them of their debt, whether it is a small or large amount, even if they may be wealthy due to their livelihood. So in the case where there is a man who has some income that is enough for the livelihood of himself and his family, but he has some debt that he cannot repay, he may be given sufficient Zakaat that will remove his debt from him. However, it is not permissible for a person who is owed money by a poor person to cancel that person’s debt, intending to give his share of Zakaat by that.

The scholars have differed regarding the case where the one in debt is someone’s father or son. Can he be given Zakaat in order to remove his debt? The correct opinion is that it is permissible. It is permissible for a person who owes Zakaat to go to the creditor (person owed the debt) and pay him back the loan of the indebted without the latter being aware of it. This is on the condition that the person owing Zakaat knows that the indebted one is unable to repay his debt.

7. In the Cause of Allaah: This refers to Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah. So those who fight in Jihaad should be given a portion of the Zakaat that will suffice them for their Jihaad and enable them to buy the necessary tools for Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah.

What also falls under “the Cause of Allaah” is religious knowledge. So a student of Islamic knowledge should be given that which will enable him to seek knowledge, such as books and so on. This is unless he already has money of his own that will enable him to achieve that.

8. The Wayfarer: This refers to a traveler that has been cut off from his journey. So he should be given enough Zakaat that will enable him to return to his homeland.

These are the people who are entitled to receive Zakaat, the ones whom Allaah has mentioned in His Book and informed us that this is an obligation that He mandated, which stems from His knowledge and wisdom. And Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

It is not permissible to direct the Zakaat to any other place, such as towards building masaajid or fixing roads. This is because Allaah has told us those who are entitled to receive the Zakaat for the purpose of limiting them to just those mentioned. So this limitation indicates that we are to negate all other potential recipients that due not fall under this limitation.

If we were to reflect on those individuals that we may give Zakaat to, we would come to realize that among them are those who are in need of the Zakaat for personal use as well as those who are in need of it for the Muslims generally. So by this, we can see the extent of wisdom behind the requirement of Zakaat. And we would come to know that the wisdom behind Zakaat is to build a complete and upright society, as best as possible. And that Islaam does not disregard money or the benefits that can be generated from wealth, nor does it leave greedy and stingy souls to go about freely an unchecked with their stinginess and vain desires. On the contrary, it is the greatest guiding force towards the good and betterment of nations. And all praise is due to Allaah, Lord of the universe.

Is paying Zakaah better in Ramadhan ? – Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

Is zakaah better in Ramadaan, even though it is one of the pillars of Islam?

He replied:

Zakaah, like other good deeds, is better when done at a time of virtue, but when zakaah becomes obligatory and the year has passed, it becomes obligatory for a person to pay it, and he should not delay it until Ramadaan. If the year is completed in Rajab, then he should not delay it until Ramadaan, rather he should pay it in Rajab. If the year is completed in Muharram then he should pay it in Muharram, and not delay it until Ramadaan. But if the year is completed in Ramadaan, then he should pay it in Ramadaan. End quote.

Fataawa Islamiyyah, 2/164

How to Pay Zakah on Ones’s Salary – Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah)

Zakaah on an Employee’s Salary – Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

There is a man who depends on his monthly salary; he spends some and saves the rest. How should he pay zakaah on this money?

He replied:

He should write down what he saves of his salary, and pay zakaah on it when one year has passed. Zakaah should be paid on the savings of each month when one year has passed. If he pays zakaah on the total in the first month, there is nothing wrong with that and he will be rewarded for that, and it will be regarded as zakaah paid in advance for the savings for which one year has not yet passed. There is no reason why a person should not pay zakaah in advance if he sees some benefit in doing so. But delaying it after the year has passed is not permissible, unless there is a valid shar’i excuse, such as the wealth not being available or there being no poor people. End quote.

Tuhfat al-Ikhwaan bi Ajwabah Muhimmah tata’allaq bi Arkaan al-Islam (question no. 12)

Here is an Answer from Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah :

If he insists on having all his rights and on not giving any charity to those who deserve it apart from what he is obliged to give, then he should make a schedule of his earnings and write down every amount and the date on which he took possession of it. Then he should pay zakaah for each amount separately when one year has passed from the date on which he took possession of it.

But if he wants an easier method, and wants to be more generous and give precedence to the poor and others who are entitled to zakaah over himself, then he can pay zakaah on all the money he possesses when one year has passed from the date when his wealth first reached the nisaab. This will bring a greater reward and raise him higher in status; it is easier for him and is more generous towards the poor and needy and others who are entitled to zakaah. Whatever extra amount he may pay will be regarded as a “down payment” on the zakaah for any wealth for which one year has not yet passed.

(From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 9/280)

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