Fiqh 3.32: The Estimation of Nisab on Palm Trees and Grapevines Through
Khars, Not by Measure (Kayl)
As soon as palm trees and grapevines ripen and their produce is ready
to be picked, an estimation of their nisab is made without their actual
weighing. The process is carried out by a knowledgeable and trustworthy
person who estimates the amount of fresh grapes and dates still on the
trees for zakah as if they were dry dates and raisins. The arnount of
zakah is, however, payable when the fruit becomes dry.
Abu Humayd as-Sa'idi related: "We went on the expedition of Tabuk
with the Prophet, upon whom be peace. When we arrived at Wadi al-Qura,
we saw a woman in her orchard. The Prophet said: 'Let us estimate [her
zakah].' Then the Messenger, upon whom be peace, estimated ten awsuq and
told her: '[The amount of zakah] has been calculated on your [orchard's]
produce.' " This is narrated by alBukhari.
This is the practice of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and
his companions and the scholars observed it.
The Hanafiyyah have different views because they consider conjecture
to be uncertain, and therefore, of no use in determining the amount owed.
Still, the tradition of the Messenger of Allah is a better guide ('azha)
because conjecture is not guessing; it is a diligent attempt to estimate
the amount of the produce. It is the same as estimating the amount of
the produce lost (because of its being rotten or moth-ridden). The basis
for conjecture rests on the custom that people eat fresh fruits, and as
such, there is no need for calculating the amount of zakah before it is
eaten or plucked. In this way, the owners are allowed to do what they
want and, at the same time, to determine the amount of zakah. The appraiser
should ignore a third or a fourth of the produce as a reprieve for the
property owners since they, their guests, and their neighbors need to
eat some of it. Also, the produce is exposed to such perils as birds feeding,
passers-by plucking, and wind blowing. Any appraisal of the amount of
zakah on all of the produce without excluding a third or a fourth of it
(for the preceding reasons) would have militated against the genuine interests
of the owners.
Sahl ibn Abu Hathamah related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:
"Whenever you conjecture, estimate the [zakah] and ignore one-third.
If you do not, then leave [at least] one-fourth." This is narrated
by Ahmad and the authors of Sunan, except for Ibn Majah. It was also reported
by al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban, and they both authenticated it. Commenting
on the status of the report, atTirmizhi says: "The hadith reported
by Sahl is the one enacted or followed by most scholars." Bashir
ibn Yassar said: "When 'Umar ibn al-Khattab appointed Abu Hathamah
al-Ansari to estimate the property of Muslims, he told him: 'Whenever
you see that the people have left some dates unplucked for autumn, leave
them for the people to eat, and do not estimate the zakah on them.' "
Makhul said: "Whenever the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
assigned someone to estimate, he would say: 'Be easy on the people, for
some of their property [trees] could be barren, some low, and some for
[their] eating.' " It was narrated by Abu 'Ubaid, who added: "The
low palm tree is called as-sabilah and allows its fruit to be plucked
by passers-by. The eating tree (al-akilah) is a palm tree especially designated
as an eating tree for the owner's family or for whoever is attached to
Fiqh 3.34: Eating of the Grains
It is permissible for the owner to eat from the grain, and whatever he
consumes will not be included in the quantity subject to zakah, for this
is a long-standing custom. In any case, only a small amount is actually
eaten. It is the same as an owner of a fruitbearing tree eating some of
its produce. Therefore, the zakah will be estimated on the actual amount
after he harvests the crop and husks the seeds. Ahmad was asked about
the eating of farik (rubbed green wheat) by the owner, and he answered
that there is no harm if the owner eats what he needs. This is also the
opinion of ash-Shaf'i, al-Layth and Ibn Hazm. However, Malik and Abu Hanifah
hold that the owner will have to account for what he eats.
Fiqh 3.34 a: Combining Grains and Fruit
Scholars agree that various kinds of fruit can be combined even if their
quality is different--that is, excellent or bad in quality. Different
kinds of raisins may also be combined together, and so can the various
kinds of wheat and cereals.
They also agree that merchandise and its cash value received can be combined.
Ash-Shaf'i allows combining goods and cash only when purchased because
the nisab is calculated upon that. Scholars also do not allow the combination
of certain categories with others in order to attain a nisab, with the
exception of grains and fruits. That is why one category of animals cannot
be combined with another. For example, camels cannot be added to cattle
to complete a nisab, nor can fruit be combined with raisins.
Scholars have different points of view in regard to combining various
types of grains with one another. The best and the most correct opinion
is that no two things can be combined to calculate a nisab. The nisab
must be considered on every category by itself. This is because there
are various categories and many kinds. Therefore, barley cannot be added
to wheat, nor can the latter be added to the former, which is also true
of dates and raisins, and chickpeas and lentils. This is the opinion of
Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaf'i, and Ahmad, according to one of the reports. Most
of the early scholars hold this opinion.
Ibn al-Munzhir says that most scholars concur that camels cannot be combined
with cattle or sheep, or cattle with sheep, nor dates with raisins. Thus,
there can be no combining of different kinds of produce or animals. Those
who allow such a practice do it without any authentic proof.
Fiqh 3.35: When Zakah is Due on Plants and Fruits
Zakah is due on plants when the grains mature and are ready to be rubbed
off and on the fruit when it is ripened. In the case of dates, for example,
the indication will be their brightness or red color, and with grapes
their sweetness. Zakah becomes due only after grains are husked or the
fruit becomes dried. If the farmer sold his grain after it had matured,
and the fruit after it had ripened, then its zakah will be paid by him
and not the buyer. This is because the obligation to pay zakah became
due when the produce was still in the owner's possession.
Fiqh 3.35 a: Payment of Good (Things) for Zakah
Allah, the Exalted One, commanded those paying zakah to set it aside
from the good portion of their property and forbade paying it from the
bad portion. He says: "O you who believe! Spend of the good things
you have earned and from that which We bring forth from the earth for
you, and seek not the bad [with intent] to spend thereof [in charity]
when you would not take it for yourselves save with disdain. And know
that Allah is free of all wants and worthy of all praise" [alBaqarah
Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i and others reported from Sahl ibn Hanif from his
father that: "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, forbade
paying zakah with two kinds of dates called ju'rur and habiq. People used
to set aside the worst of their fruit for sadaqah but were later on forbidden
to do this by Allah: 'And seek not the bad [with intent] to spend thereof
[in charity]' [al-Baqarah 267]."
While mentioning this verse, al-Bara' said: "This was revealed in
relation to us [al-Ansar--the Helpers], because we were owners of palm
trees. A man may bring from his palm trees [dates] depending on how much
he had, a cluster or two, and hang it at the mosque, and the people of
the Saffah who had no food would come to the cluster and beat it with
their rod. The green and unripe dates would fall off and they would eat
them. There were people who did not seek good. Someone would bring a cluster
of bad or inferior quality dates [shis and hashaf] or an already-broken
cluster [before it had ripened] and hang it at the mosque. At this time,
Allah revealed the 'ayah: 'And seek not the bad [with intent] to spend
thereof [in charity] when you would not take it for yourselves save with
disdain' [al-Baqarah 267]." Al-Bara' continued: "If one of you
receives as a gift something similar to what he gives away, he would not
accept it except out of feigned pleasure." Said al-Bara': "As
a result of that, each one of us used to offer the good part of what he
had." It was narrated by at-Tirmizhi who said: "It is good and
In his summation of the subject, ash-Shaukani says: "This [the preceding
hadith] means that the owner is not allowed to set aside the bad from
the good on which zakah is due, especially in regard to dates as well
as, by analogy, the various other categories on which zakah is due. Furthermore,
the collector of zakah is not allowed to take it.
Fiqh 3.36: Zakah on Honey
Most scholars say that there is no zakah on honey. AlBukhari, for one,
states: "There is no authentic tradition concerning zakah on honey."
Ash-Shaf'i explains: "In my view, no zakah is levied on it because
there is no evidence in the traditions (sunan and 'athar) for doing so.
Thus, it was exempted." Ibn al-Munzhir affirms: "There is no
tradition (khabar) which states that zakah must be paid on honey, nor
is there a consensus. Therefore, there is no zakah on honey. This is the
opinion of most scholars."
The Hanafiyyah and Ahmad are of the opinion that honey is subject to
zakah, even though there is no evidence for this view in any tradition,
except for some traditions ('athar) which support each other. Their reason
is that since it is produced from blossoms, trees, and flowers and weighed
and stored like other types of produce, zakah is due on it. They also
say it is subject to zakah because the cost of producing it is less than
the cost of growing fruits and plants. Abu Hanifah made it a condition
that when zakah is due on honey, it should only be collected on honey
produced on tithe land. However, he did not stipulate any nisab for it.
If this is so, then reason dictates that it should be a tithe due on any
amount. Imam Ahmad, on the contrary, stipulated that it should attain
a nisab equal to ten 'afraq. One faraq equals sixteen Iraqi pounds. It
makes no difference whether it is produced on kharaj or 'ushr land. Abu
Yusuf contends: "Its nisab is ten pounds but Muhammad maintains:
"It is five 'afraq." One faraq equals thirty-six pounds.
Fiqh 3.39: Zakah on Animals
There are authentic ahadith explicitly indicating that camels, cattle,
and sheep are subject to zakah. This enjoys the consensus. There are,
however, some conditions to be met:
1 The animals concerned must attain a nisab.
2 They have to be in possession for one year.
3 They should have pastured by themselves -- that is, grazing
most of the year in the available pasture.
Most scholars agree with these conditions. Malik and al-Layth, however,
say that livestock is subject to zakah whether it be grazing or fodder-fed,
used for carrying loads or not. Nevertheless, the ahadiths mentioned are
unequivocal in restricting zakah to freely grazing livestock. This suggests
that there is no zakah on fodder-fed livestock. It is always safe to base
an opinion on evidence rather than on general implications to avoid possible
misunderstanding of the Prophet's intent.
Ibn 'Abdul-Barr protests: "I do not know of any jurist in the provinces
who followed Malik or al-Layth in this regard."
Fiqh 3.39 a: Zakah on Camels
There is no zakah on camels unless there are five of them, they have
been grazing freely and they have been in one's possession for a year.
When the camels are five, their zakah is one sheep (shah).
When they are ten, their zakah is two sheep. Thus, every time they increase
by five, the zakah due on them is one more sheep. However, when they reach
twenty-five, the due zakah is a she-camel (bint makhad or bint labun)
which is a year old and starting the second, or a young male camel which
is two years and already starting the third year. When they reach thirty-six,
the zakah due on them is a young she-camel (bint labun). When they reach
forty-six, the due zakah is a she-camel (huqqah) which is already three
years old and starting the fourth. When they reach sixty-one, the due
zakah is a four year old camel already starting its fifth year (jazh'ah).
When they reach seventy-six, two young she-camels (bint labun) are due.
When they are in the range of ninety-one to 120, the zakah is two young
camels (huqqatan). When the number of camels is above 120, on every forty
young she-camels, one bint labun is due. And on every fifty above 120,
a young she-camel (huqqah) is due.
When the ages of camels offered for zakah differ, the owner should pay
jazh'ah. If he does not have it, he may pay huqqah and may add two sheep
or twenty dirhams provided he can afford to. The person who has to pay
huqqah as zakah but does not have it only has to pay jazh'ah. The zakah
collector, then, will pay him the difference, which is twenty dirhams
or two female sheep. The one who has to pay huqqah and does not possess
it can pay just the bint labun if he has it, along with two sheep if they
are available. If not, he may pay twenty dirhams. If he has to pay the
zakah of bint labun and does not have it, he can pay a huqqah and will
receive from the zakah collector twenty dirhams or two sheep. If he has
to pay the zakah of bint labun but has only bint makhad, it will be accepted
from him along with two sheep if they are available, or twenty dirhams.
If he is liable for the zakah of bint makhad and does not possess it,
a ibn labun will be accepted from him without any additional things. If
he has only four camels, he is not supposed to pay anything unless he
These are the rules concerning zakah on camels which were applied by
Caliph Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, and none of the companions differed with him
in this matter.
Az-Zuhri reported, on the authority of Salim from his father: "The
Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, had the rules of sadaqah written
down but could not send them to his govemors. Then, after his death, Abu
Bakr dispatched them and applied them, a practice which Caliph 'Umar also
followed and wanted others to follow, as indicated in his will."
Fiqh 3.41: Zakah on Cattle
Cattle are subject to zakah provided they are a freely grazing herd and
number thirty at the completion of the hawl. At that point, the zakah
due is a young bull or a young cow (tabi' or tabi'ah). When they reach
forty, the zakah is a young cow two years old (musinnah); when sixty,
two young cows or two one-year-olds (tabi'ahs); when seventy, the zakah
due is one musinnah and one tabi'; when eighty, two musinnahs; when ninety,
three tabi's; when one hundred, one musinnah and two tabi's; when 110,
two musinnahs and two tabi's; and when 120, three musinnahs or four tabi's.
This system is followed on all additional cattle--one tabi', and on every
forty, one musinnah.
Fiqh 3.41 a: Zakah on Sheep (Including Goats)
Sheep are subject to zakah when their number reaches forty. When the
herd counts forty freely grazing heads at the end of the year, its zakah
is one sheep. This is applicable until the number reaches 120, at which
point, up until 200, the zakah is two sheep. From 201 to 300, their zakah
is three sheep. When the number is above 300, one additional sheep is
added for each increment of one hundred. Young sheep (jazh') are levied
in the case of sheep and young goats (thany) in the case of goats. It
is permissible, say scholars without exception, to levy rams as a form
of zakah if all of the nisab of sheep are male. If the sheep are ewes,
or a grouping of males and females, the Hanafiyyah holds it is optional
to levy a zakah rams, whereas others specify ewes.
Fiqh 3.41 b: Regulation of Awqas
Definition of Awqas: Awqas is a plural form of waqs. A waqs is any amount
or number that lies between the regulation of the lower ordinance and
that of a higher one. Scholars agree that such a waqs is exempt from zakah.
It has been confirmed in the sayings of the Prophet, upon whom be peace,
concerning the sadaqah of camels that he said: "When the number of
camels reaches twenty-five, a young she-camel one year old and already
starting the second (ibn makhad); when they reach thirty-six to forty-five,
then the zakah due on them is a young she-camel two years old and already
starting the third (bint labun)." Concerning the sadaqah of cattle,
he said: "When cattle number between thirty and forty, the zakah
is a young calf of one year old (tabi') or a bull or cow of one year and
already starting the second (jazh' or jazh'ah); when they reach forty,
a young cow of two years old and already starting the third (rnusinnah)."
Concerning sadaqah on sheep, he said: "When the number of freely
grazing sheep is between forty-two and 120, their zakah is one ewe."
Thus, what lies between twenty-five and thirty-six camels is considered
waqs--that is, there is no zakah on them. Likewise, what lies between
thirty and forty cattle is considered waqs. This is also applies to sheep.
Fiqh 3.42: What Should Not Be Included in Zakah
The rights of property owners must be considered when their properties
are subjected to zakah. The best items are not to be taken as zakah unless
the owners freely permit it. Likewise, the rights of the poor should be
considered. A defective animal should not be taken as zakah unless all
of the other animals are defective. In such a case, zakah is due on the
average of that property. Some proofs for this view are:
1 In the letter of Abu Bakr: "Neither an old or a defective
animal nor a billy goat may be taken as zakah."
2 Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah ath-Thaqafi reported: "Umar forbade
the zakah collector to levy zakah on the following: barren ewes (al-'akulah),
a sheep kept at home for milk (ar-rahy), a pregnant ewe (al-rnakhid),
or a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam)."
3 'Abdullah ibn Mu'awiyyah al-Ghadiri reported that the Prophet,
upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever performs these three acts will
have had (savored) a taste of belief ('irnan): He who worships Allah alone,
and [believes] that there is no god but Him; he who good-heartedly offers
the zakah on his property which will repay him every year; and he who
does not offer a very old sheep, a mangy sheep, a sick sheep, a mean and
low sheep, or a ewe which produces only a small amount of milk. You should
offer one from the average. Verily, Allah asks you to offer neither the
best nor the worst." It was related by Abu Dawud and at-Tabarani
with a good transmission.
Fiqh 3.42 a: Zakah on Animals Other Than Cattle (al-An'am)
Zakah is not applicable to animals other than cattle. Thus, there is
no zakah on horses, mules, or donkeys unless they are used for the purpose
of trade. On the authority of 'Ali, it is related that the Prophet, upon
whom be peace, said: "I have exempted you from paying sadaqah on
horses." It was narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawud with a good chain.
On the authority of Abu Hurairah, it is related that the Messenger, upon
whom be peace, was asked if there is zakah on donkeys. He replied: "Nothing
was ever mentioned [in revelation] except in the following excellent Qur'anic
verse: 'And whosoever does evil equal to an atom's weight will see it'
[azZalzalah 7-8]." It was narrated by Ahmad and its details have
already been mentioned.
Harithah ibn Madrab reported that he performed pilgrimage (hajj) with
Caliph 'Umar, and the notables of Syria came to him and said: "O
Commander of the Faithful, we have acquired some animals, so take from
our property a sadaqah that purifies us." He answered them: "My
two predecessors [the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and Caliph Abu Bakr]
did not do this before. But wait and let me ask the Muslims about this."
This was narrated by alHaythami, who said that it was narrated by Ahmad
and atTabarani in the book entitled al-Kabir. The narrators of this hadith
are considered trustworthy.
Az-Zuhri reported from Salman ibn Yassar that the people of Syria said
to Abu 'Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: "Take from our horses . . . a sadaqah."
He refused. Then he wrote to 'Umar, who also refused. They spoke to him
again, and he wrote to 'Umar once again. 'Umar wrote back: "If they
desire that, take it from them and give it back to them [their poor] and
to their slaves." This was narrated by Malik and al-Baihaqi.
Fiqh 3.43: Young Camels, Calves, and Lambs
When a person has a nisab of camels, cattle, and lambs, and they give
birth during the same year, zakah is due on both the original number and
their offsprings at the end of the year. Their zakah is considered a lump-sum
zakah according to the majority of scholars. On the authority of Malik
and ash-Shaf'i, from Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah ath-Thaqafi, it is related that
'Umar ibn al-Khattab said: "The new-born sheep (as-sakhlah) carried
by the shepherd are not to be taken as zakah. Likewise, a barren sheep
(al-'akulah), a ewe kept for milk (ar-raby), a pregnant ewe (al-makhid)
and a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam) are not to be taken as zakah.
Take as zakah the jazh'ah and the thaniyyah. Zakah is levied on the average
quality of the property."
Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaf'i, and Abu Thaur are of the opinion that the young
offspring are not to be calculated in the zakah payment unless the mature
animals make a nisab. Also, Abu Hanifah stated that the young sheep can
be added to fulfill a nisab whether they are born from the same livestock
or not. They will be subject to zakah at the end of the year. Ash-Shaf'i
lays down the condition that young animals have to be born prior to the
completion of the nisab. There is no zakah on young animals according
to Abu Hanifah, Muhammad, Dawud, ash-Shu'abi, and Ahmad.
Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, ad-Daraqutni and al-Baihaqi, relate that
Suwaid ibn Ghaflah said: "The zakah collector of the Messenger of
Allah, upon whom be peace, came to us and I heard him say: 'In my term
of office, a suckling animal was not subject to zakah . . .' " In
its chain of narrators is Hilal ibn Hubab, whom several have declared
trustworthy, but some did not. It was authenticated by more than one person
but was a point of contention to others.
According to the opinion of Malik and a report from Ahmad, young animals
as well as mature ones are subject to zakah, because if the former could
be considered with others (for purposes of zakah), then they could also
be considered on their own. Ash-Shaf'i and Abu Yusuf hold that at least
one young (animal) is obligatory (as zakah) from the young animals.
Fiqh 3.44: On Combining Young and Old (Animals) or Separating Them
1 Suwaid ibn Ghaflah said: "The zakah collector of the Messenger
of Allah, upon whom be peace, came to us and I heard him say: 'We do not
collect zakah on suckling animals, nor do we separate between them [young
and old], nor combine them together.' A man came with a great humped camel
(kawma), but he did not accept it as zakah." It was reported by Ahmad,
Abu Dawud and anNasa'i.
2 Anas reported that Abu Bakr wrote to him: "These are the
sadaqah stipulations which the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
made obligatory to the Muslims. [And of it] do not combine. There is no
need to gather [young and old] animals nor to separate them to obtain
the correct sadaqah amount. What happens to a mixture of young and old?
When zakah is assessed on two associates, then they have to figure it
out equally among them." AlBukhari relates this.
Malik, in alMuwatta', says: "There are, for example, three partners,
each having forty sheep on which zakah is payable. If they add their sheep
together, their zakah will be only one sheep. Or, another example: two
partners have 201 sheep. Their zakah will be three sheep. If they divide
the flock among them, their zakah will be one sheep each."
Ash-Shaf'i holds that this statement is addressed to both the owner and
the zakah collector. Each is ordered not to add or separate his possessions
to obtain a lower or higher sadaqah. Since the owner would naturally prefer
a low sadaqah on his property, he would combine or separate his possessions
accordingly. The same would also be true of the zakah collector, who might
like to collect as much sadaqah as possible. By using the phrase khashyat
assadaqah (for fear of sadagah), the Prophet meant that it may become
more or less since both altematives were possible. This shows that he
did not prefer one choice over the other. Therefore, he made both altematives
possible. According to the Hanafiyyah: "This is, in a sense, a prohibition
on the zakah collector's separating the property of a person so that his
sadaqah is not increased. For example: a man possesses 120 sheep. If they
are divided into three lots of forty each, the zakah would amount to three
sheep. Another example: if they combine the property of one man with the
property of another, the sadaqah would increase. Thus, if a person owns
101 sheep and another owns an equal number, then the zakah collector,
if he combines the two lots, would secure three sheep as payment toward
zakah, while the actual amount due is only two sheep."
Fiqh 3.45: Does Combining (Animals) Have any Effect?
The Hanafiyyah hold that as far as the determination of zakah is concemed,
combining (animals) has no effect. Whether such a combination is between
partners or has ensued because of contiguity does not matter. There will
be no zakah on the joint ownership of partners unless each of them attains
a nisab. The consensus is that zakah has to be detemlined on the basis
of sole ownership.
The Malikiyyah maintain that ownership of cattle is considered as one
for the purpose of zakah. The combination becomes valid only for zakah
when the co-owners in their own right possess a nisab. In addition to
this, they should have a common herdsman, a common breed, a common pen,
and the expressed intention of having joint ownership. If the herd of
one of them is distinguished from the other, they will be considered two
separate entities. In that case, each individual becomes liable for zakah.
The combination affects livestock. What is taken as zakah from the herd
will be distributed among the partners in accordance with each one's share.
If the property of one of the associates is separate, then all of it is
According to the Shaf'iyyah, every share of the combination affects the
zakah and the zakah on two or more associates' separate properties becomes
due. This may affect the amount of zakah due; for example, if two men,
each possessing twenty sheep, combine their sheep, the zakah due is one,
but if they do not combine them, then there is no zakah on either one.
On the other hand, a combination of 101 sheep with the same number results
in a zakah of one and one-half sheep. However, if the flocks of sheep
are considered separately, then the zakah due on each lot is only one
sheep. As for the case of three associates, each of them having forty
sheep, if they combine them, the zakah due is one sheep--that is, the
zakah due for each partner is one-third of a sheep. However, if treated
separately, each should pay one sheep. In addition to this, the Shaf'iyyah
moreover stipulate the following:
1 The partners should qualify financially to pay zakah.
2 The combined property must attain a nisab.
3 Its zakah is due at the end of the year.
4 None of the properties is singled out from the others as regards
resting pen, grazing area, watering, herdsmen, and milking sheds.
5 Flocks of the same kind are bred by the same ram.
Ahmad agrees with the Shaf'iyyah, except that he limited the effect of
combination to cattle and does not take into consideration any other properties.
Fiqh 3.47: Zakah on Buried Treasure and Precious Minerals
The term rikaz is etymologically derived from rakaza, the perfect tense
of the verb yarkuzu (the imperfect root). It means 'to be hidden.' Allah,
the Exalted One, says: "Or hear from them the slightest sound"
[Maryam 98]--that is, rikz means a slight sound.
In the present context, this refers to what was buried at the time of
jahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic period). Malik and many other scholars are
of the opinion that rikaz means objects buried before the Arabs embraced
Islam and which were dug up without any expensive effort or money. If
these conditions cannot be met, then it is not considered rikaz. Abu Hanifah
holds that it is a name of an entity hidden either by the Creator or by
the created one (man).
Fiqh 3.47 a: The Meaning of Minerals and Their Conditions for Zakah
The term ma'din (minerals) is derived from the verb 'adana (to reside),
as in the phrase "'adana fi almakan," which means 'someone resided
in some place.' Allah, the Exalted One, says: "Allah has promised
to the believing men and believing women gardens of Eden" [at-Taubah
72] since it is an abode for eternity.
Scholars differ about minerals (ma'din) which are subject to zakah. Ahmad
holds that everything dug from the ground, whether created in it or buried
by man, and which has a value (such as gold, silver, iron, copper, lead,
sapphires, chrysolite, emeralds, turquoise, crystal, agate, kohl (antimony
sulfide), arsenic, tar, petroleum, sulphur, zaj) are subject to zakah.
He, however, made it a condition that the extracted mineral should attain
a nisab either by itself or by its value. Abu Hanifah is of the opinion
that zakah is payable on any mineral that can receive an imprint or melt
by fire, such as gold, silver, iron, or copper. As for liquids such as
tar, or a solid mineral which cannot be melted by fire such as rubies,
there is no zakah on them. In the former case, the admissibility of nisab
is not a prior condition. Whether large or small in amount, a fifth will
be taken as zakah.
Malik and ash-Shaf'i hold that both gold and silver qualify for zakah.
Like Ahmad, they insist that the gold should weigh at least twenty mithqal
(a weight equal to 4.68 g.) and the silver at least 200 dirhams. They
agree (with the Hanafiyyah) that these metals do not require completion
of a year to be subjected to zakah, which becomes due anytime it is available.
According to the preceding scholars, the amount should be one-fortieth,
and its distribution should be like that of the regular zakah. For Abu
Hanifah, its distribution is similar to booty (fay').
Fiqh 3.48: The Legitimacy of Zakah on Rikaz and Ma'din
That zakah of rikaz and ma'din is obligatory is shown by a statement
attributed to Abu Hurairah: "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:
'There is no compensation for one killed or wounded by an animal, falling
in a well, or because of working in mines; but, one-fifth (khums) is compulsory
on rikaz.' " Ibn al-Munzhir confesses that he does not know anyone
who contradicted this hadith except al-Hasan, who differentiates between
what exists in the land of war and the Islamic land. The latter holds
that if rikaz is found in the land of war, one-fifth (khums) is due, but
if it is found in the Islamic land, it will be subject to the regular
Explaining it, Ibn al-Qayyim says that there are two interpretations
of this statement:
The first interpretation is that whenever someone hires someone else
to dig a mine for him and then he falls into it and is killed, there is
no compensation for him. This view is supported by the Prophet's saying:
"There is no compensation for one who falls into a well or who is
killed by an animal--(al-bi'r jubar, wa al-'ajma' jubar)."
The second interpretation is that there is no zakah on minerals. This
view is supported by the Prophet's saying: "... but one-fifth is
compuslory on treasure--(wa fi az-zakah al-khums)." Thus, he differentiated
between mineral (ma'din) and treasure (rikaz). He made zakah on rikaz
compulsory because it is a wealth obtained without any cost or effort.
He exempted minerals (ma'din) from zakah because they require both cost
and effort for their mining.
Fiqh 3.49: Rikaz Upon Which Zakah is Paid
The rikaz are all those substances upon which one-fifth (khums) is payable,
such as gold, silver, iron, lead, brass, and the like. This is the opinion
of the Hanafiyyah, the Hanbaliyyah, Ishaq, and Ibn al-Munzhir. A report
from Malik and one of the two opinions of ash-Shaf'i also corroborate
it. Ash-Shaf'i also holds that only gold and silver are subject to khums.
Fiqh 3.49 a: The Location of Rikaz
Rikaz might be found in the following places:
1 In a barren land, a land of unknown ownership, or in an intractible
road, or ruined village. In that case, khums has to be paid, and the one
who found it may keep the other four-fifths for himself. This is based
on a report from an-Nasa'i on the authority of 'Amr ibn Shu'aib from his
father and from his grandfather, who said that when the Messenger of Allah,
upon whom be peace, was asked about a lucky find (al-luqatah), he responded:
"For anything along a tractable road or in an inhabited village,
its ownership is determined by established custom. If the owner claims
it, it is his. However, when an item is found in an intractable road or
in an uninhabited village, then on it and the rest of the find, one-fifth
(khums) is payable."
2 If the rikaz is found by someone in a land transferred to him,
then it is his, as it is lodged in the land. Nevertheless, his ownership
does not come from his possession of the land--it comes from the fact
that it became known to him. Analogically, this kind of find falls into
the category of grass, firewood, and game which are found on land which
is not his. He can claim it if the one who transferred the land does not
ask for it. In that case, it will be his because the land originally belonged
to him. This is the view of Abu Yusuf, and the Hanbaliyyah uphold it as
sound. Ash-Shaf'i says it belongs to the owner who transferred the land
(if he claims it) before him, and so on until it is claimed by the first
Whenever land is transferred through inheritance, it is considered an
inheritance by itself. If, however, the inhabitants agree that it did
not belong to the one from whom they inherited it, then it belongs to
the original owner. If he is unknown, then it is considered the lost property
of an unknown owner. Abu Hanifah and Muhammad say that it belongs to the
original owner of the land or to his inheritors if they are known; if
they are not, it is to be placed in the public treasury.
3 If it is found in the land of a Muslim or a free non-Muslim
subject (zhimmi), then it belongs to the owner of the land, according
to Abu Hanifah, Muhammad, and Ahmad. It is also reported from Ahmad that
it belongs to the one who found it (rikaz). Al-Hasan ibn Salih, Abu Thaur,
and Abu Yusuf also preferred this opinion. This view is based on the belief
that rikaz is not necessarily owned by the owner of the land, except when
it is claimed by the owner. In such a case, his word will be the final
one because he has the right over the land. If he does not claim it, it
belongs to the one who finds it. AshShaf'i holds that it belongs to the
one who claims it. Otherwise, it belongs to the original owner.
Fiqh 3.50: The Amount Payable on Rikaz
The amount payable on rikdz is one-fifth, regardless of a nisab, according
to Abu Hanifah, Ahmad, and one of the two correct reports of Malik and
ash-Shaf'i. As for the completion of a year (haws), all scholars agree
that it has not been stipulated as a conditon.
Fiqh 3.50 a: Who Must Pay the Khums (One-Fifth)
Most scholars are of the opinion that khums is due on anyone who finds
a treasure, whether he happens to be a Muslim, a free non-Muslim subject
(zhimmi), old, young, sane, or insane. However, the guardians of the young
and insane must pay it on their behalf. Ibn al-Munzhir comments that all
learned persons agree that a zhimmi who finds rikaz has to pay its khums.
This is also the opinion of Malik, the scholars of Madinah, ath-Thauri,
al-Auza'i, the scholars of Iraq, those who use analogy (ashab ar-ra'y),
and others. Ash-Shaf'i stated that khums is only due upon those who must
Fiqh 3.51: Distribution of Khums
According to ash-Shaf'i, the distribution of khums is similar to the
distribution of zakah. Ahmad and al-Baihaqi narrate from Bishr al-Khath'ami
that a man from his tribe said: "While I was in Kufah, I received
a jar from an old monastery at the zakah district (jibayah) of Bishr.
There were 4,000 dirhams in it. I took it to 'Ali, who told me to divide
it into five parts, which I did. Then, 'Ali took one-fifth and gave me
four-fifths. When I departed, he called me and asked if there were some
needy people living near me. I replied that there were, and he asked me
to divide the one-fifth among them." Abu Hanifah, Malik, and Ahmad
are of the opinion that its distribution is similar to the distribution
of booty (fay').
Ash-Shu'bi narrates that a man, while he was out of Madinah, found 1,000
dinars in the ground. He brought them to 'Umar ibn alKhattab, who took
the khums of 200 dinars and gave the man the rest. 'Umar started to distribute
the 200 dinars among the Muslims who were present. Since a little bit
was left over, he then asked: "Where is the owner of the dinars?"
When the man responded, 'Umar said to him: "Take these dinars, for
they are yours." In alMughni, it says that if it were like zakah,
he would have alloted it to those who deserved it and would not have returned
it to its finder. Furthermore, rikaz can be given to the zhimmi, whereas
zakah is not.
Fiqh 3.53: Zakah on Wealth Extracted from the Sea
Most scholars stipulate that zakah is not payable on anything extracted
from the sea, such as pearls, corals, chrysalite, cachalot's ambergris,
fish, and so on. There is, however, a report from Ahmad that if the amount
extracted reaches a nisab, then zakah is due on it. Abu Yusuf agrees with
him in the case of pearls and cachalot's ambergris. Ibn 'Abbas holds that
there is no zakah of cachalot, beacause it is an object thrown out by
the sea. Jabir said that there is no zakah on cachalot, but that it is
a free spoil for anyone who finds it.
Fiqh 3.53 a: Acquiring Property Through Profit or Increase
When a person acquires property and it stays in his possession for a
year and constitutes a nisab, and he has no other property or he has similar
property which has not reached a nisab except when the acquired property
has been added to it, then the year hawl of zakah becomes applicable to
it from the time of its acquisition. The zakah will be payable at the
completion of the hawl. In such a case, the acquired property may be classified
in any of the following categories:
1 The acquired holdings increase in value either by profits from
trade or by an increase in animal production. These kinds of holdings
qualify themselves for the application of the hawl and zakah. For the
individual whose merchandise or animals constitute a nisab and whose business
also makes a profit or whose animals reproduce during the course of the
hawl, he should count the original and additional property as one for
the purpose of zakah. There is no dispute about this among scholars.
2 As for the acquired property which falls under the same category
as the attained nisab but is not derived or generated from it--that is,
it was acquired through purchase, gift, or inheritance-- Abu Hanifah holds
that this may be combined with the nisab in order to become a part of
it with regard to the hawl and payment of zakah. Thus, the principal property
and the profits are collectively taxable.
Ash-Shaf'i and Ahmad suggest that newly acquired property be combined
with the original one for the purpose of attaining a nisab and that a
new hawl has to be assumed for it--whether the original consists of cash
or animals. For example, if someone has 200 dirhams and manages to acquire
another 200 dirhams during the year, he should pay zakah on both at the
completion of the hawl which will begin to roll at the acquisition of
new property. Malik's opinion is like that of Abu Hanifah's concerning
animals but like Ahmad's in regard to gold and silver.
3 The acquired holdings are not of the same kind that one already
possesses. As such, they cannot be combined with the original either for
the nisab or for the year count (hawl). If, however, the acquired holdings
by themselves reach a nisab, their year count will be calculated independently,
and the owner will pay their zakah at the completion of the hawl. In the
absence of these conditions, nothing is applicable to these holdings.
This is the opinion of the majority of scholars.
Fiqh 3.54: Zakah ie the Responsibility of the Owner, Not the Holdings
The Hanafiyyah, the Malikiyyah, and a report from ash-Shaf'i and Ahmad
propose that it is the property which owes zakah. The second opinion attributed
to ash-Shaf'i and Ahmad is that zakah is the responsibility of the owner,
not the property. The difference between the two opinions is obvious:
For example, someone had 200 dirhams and did not pay zakah on the sum
for two years. The opinion which says that zakah is due on the property
itself means that the amount due is for one year only since it decreased
by five dirhams, which was the amount due for zakah at the end of the
first year. The second opinion, that zakah is the responsibility of the
owner, means that he should pay zakah twice, one for each year, as zakah
is the responsibility of the owner and is not affected by the decrease
of the nisab.
Ibn Hazm favors the view that it is the owner's responsibility. There
has been no difference of opinion, he says, among the Muslims since the
time of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, down to his time as to the applicability
of zakah on wheat, barley, dates, silver, gold, camels, cattle, and sheep.
Concerning payment of zakah from a different lot of wheat, barley, dates,
gold, silver, camels, cattle, and sheep, he says it does not matter whether
one pays it from the same lot, from a different one in one's possession,
or from a lot that may be bought, granted as a gift, or borrowed.
The conviction that the payment of zakah is the owner's responsibility
and is not necessarily that of the property itself is a sound principle,
for if it becomes due on the property itself, the owner will not be permitted
to make payment from a different lot. It is similar to the case of one
partner being prevented from giving his money to his copartner from a
source other than the one involved in their partnership--unless the partners
approve of it and it does not violate the conditions of the transaction
between them. Furthermore, if zakah has to be applied to the property
itself, only two situations can arise. First, zakah is payable on all
parts of that property and is applicable to any individual amount of it,
without individual specification. Second, if it is applicable to every
part of it, it is impermissible to sell from any herd or grain since zakah
collectors in this case would become partners. Thus, the proprietor is
not allowed to take anything from it. This is void without any dispute.
Furthermore, it would become obligatory upon him to specify exactly the
price of the sheep which he desires to take out, just as is done in partnerships.
If zakah is due on any part of it other than the property itself, it becomes
void. This holds true in such a case since he does not know what he might
sell or whether he is taking what is due for the sadaqah collectors. This,
in turn, backs up the above.
Fiqh 3.55: Loss of the Holdings after Zakah is Due
Once zakah becomes payable on the holdings either because of the completion
of a year or harvest time, and the holdings or part of them are lost,
the owner still has to pay it. Whether the loss occured owing to negligence
or not does not matter.
This is the opinion of Ibn Hazm and the better opinion of the Hanbaliyyah.
Abu Hanifah holds that it vitiates the payment of zakah if all the property
perishes without the owner's role in its destruction. When part of it
perishes, the perished portion is not subject to zakah. This is in accordance
with the rule that zakah is associated with the property itself. However,
when the property is deliberately destroyed by the owner, zakah has to
be paid. Ash-Shaf'i, alHassan ibn Salih, Ishaq, Abu Thaur, and Ibn al-Munzhir
hold that if the nisab perishes before zakah is paid, then the owner owes
nothing. However, if it perishes subsequent to the accumulation of the
nisab, the owner has to pay it. Ibn Qudamah supports this view and says
it vitiates the payment of zakah if the property perishes without any
negligence on the part of the owner. This is because it is obligatory
for the sake of beneficence, which presupposes the existence of the property--and
not with the purpose of impoverishing the payers of zakah.
Negligence in this context implies that the owner had accumulated the
nisab and thus it was possible for him to pay zakah, but he did not and
the property perished. On the contrary, if he did not have the nisab,
or the holdings were not in his possession, or they were to be purchased
and he could not, then this does not constitute an act of negligence.
Likewise, if it is presumed that the obligation to pay zakah remains
even after the holdings are lost, and the owner has the means to pay it,
then he must do so. Otherwise, he should be granted a respite in order
to fulfill his obligation to pay zakah. This is akin to a debt one owes
to someone but the debt owed to Allah should be considered more important.
Fiqh 3.56: The Loss of Zakah After it is Set Aside
When a person sets aside zakah for distribution among the poor and all
of it or some of it is lost, he must repay it because it is still his
Ibn Hazm says: "We received a narration from Ibn Abi Shaibah on
the authority of Hafs ibn Ghayath, Jarir, al-Mu'tamir ibn Sulaiman at-Taymi,
Zaid ibn al-Hubab, and 'Abdulwahhab ibn 'Ata; also from Hafs, who narrated
on the authority of Hisham ibn Hassan from al-Hassan al-Basri; Jarir who
reported, on the authority of alMughirah from his companions; and al-Mu'tamir
who reported from Mu'amar from Hammad; and Zaid who reported from Shu'bah
from al-Hakam; and 'Abdulwahhab who reported on the authority of Ibn Abi
'Urubah from Hammad from Ibrahim an-Nakha'i that whoever sets aside zakah
from his property and then it is lost, his obligation to pay zakah still
remains to be discharged, and he must set it aside again."
There exists, however, another opinion on it: "We received a narration
on the authority of 'Ata' that the obligation will be discharged [if set
aside and lost]," says Ibn Hazm.
Fiqh 3.57: Delaying of Zakah (Payment) Does Not Void it
Ash-Shaf'i holds that anyone who does not pay zakah for a number of years
must pay it all together. Whether or not he is aware of its obligation
or he happens to be in a Muslim or non-Muslim land, makes no difference.
Based on the opinion of Malik, ash-Shaf'i and Abu Thaur, Ibn al-Munzhir
says: "When unjust people rule a country and the people of that country
do not pay their zakah for a number of years, then their new leader should
take it from them."
Fiqh 3.57 a: The Payment of the Value Instead of Paying the Item Itself
It is not permissible to pay the value instead of the item itself, except
in the case of non-existence, for zakah is an act of worship which can
only be fulfilled according to the specified manner, with the rich sharing
their wealth with the poor
Mu'azh reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, sent him to Yemen
and told him: "Take grain from grain, sheep from sheep, camels from
camels, and cows from cows." This hadith is narrated by Abu Dawud,
Ibn Majah, al-Baihaqi, and al-Hakim. It should be noted that there is
an interruption in the chain of this hadith, since 'Ata' did not hear
it from Mu'azh.
Disapproving of substitution, ash-Shaukani says: "The truth of the
matter is that zakah is obligatory on the item itself and should not be
substituted for its value except where there is a valid excuse."
Abu Hanifah permits the acceptance of the value whether the individual
owing could pay it in the items itself or not because zakah is the right
of the poor, and he believed that it made no difference whether it was
paid in the item or in something else of equal value. AlBukhari reports,
with a firm statement, that Mu'azh asked the people of Yemen to give him
either goods or clothes of silk or garments as zakah instead of barley
and corn because it was more convenient for them. The companions of the
Prophet, upon whom be peace, were also given the choice in Madinah.
Fiqh 3.58: Zakah on Shared Property
When holdings are shared between two or more partners, zakah is not obligatory
on either one until all of them attain a nisab individually. This is the
opinion of most scholars. This does not include the combination of animals,
which has been discussed earlier.
Fiqh 3.58 a: Evading the Payment of Zakah
The opinion of Malik, al-Auza'i, Ishaq, Ahmad, and Abu 'Ubaid is that
whoever possesses a nisab of any kind of property and then sells it before
the completion of the year hawl, or gives it away as a gift, or damages
part of it with the intention of avoiding its zakah, he still must pay
its zakah. If he engages himself in any of the preceding acts at a time
when his obligation to pay zakah is about to mature, he will be forced
to pay it. If, however, any of the preceding acts happen at the beginning
of the hawl, this will not constitute an evasion, and he will be (legally)
free from his obligation to pay zakah.
Abu Hanifah and ash-Shaf'i hold that since the amount decreased before
the end of the hawl, zakah will not be paid on it. He would still be considered
a wrongdoer and disobedient to Allah for attempting to escape it. The
early Muslims based their rationale on the 'ayahs in which Allah, the
Exalted One, says: "Lo! We have tried them as We tried the owners
of the garden when they vowed they would pluck its fruit the next morning,
and made no reservation [for the will of Allah]. Then a visitation from
your Lord came upon it while they were asleep. So the garden became a
dark and desolate spot in the morning, as if it were plucked" [alMulk
17-20]. Allah punished those people for avoiding their obligation to the
Zakah, as such, will still be due and the person has to pay it because
his intention was to deprive the poor of their share in his wealth. This
would be similar to the case of a man who divorces his wife during his
terminal illness. His evil intention calls for punishment as a redemptive
act. Another case of a similar nature would be that of a person who kills
his benefactor so that he could have his inheritance. In that case, Allah
punishes him by depriving him of his inheritance.
Fiqh 3.59: The Recipients of Zakah
There are eight categories of the beneficiaries of zakah which Allah
specifies in the Qur'an: "The alms are only for the poor and the
needy, for those who collect them, for those whose hearts are to be reconciled,
for the freedom of those who are captives and in debt, for the cause of
Allah, and for the wayfarers; [it is] a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is
the Knower, the Wise" [at-Taubah 60]. Ziyad ibn alHarith as-Suda'i
reported: "I came to the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
and pledged allegience to him. Then a man came and said to the Messenger:
'Give me some of the collected sadaqah.' The Messenger replied: 'Allah
did not leave the matter of sadaqat to be decided by a prophet nor to
others ... He Himself classified it into eight categories. If you fit
into any of these categories, I will give you your due.' " It was
narrated by Abu Dawud although in its chain of transmission there is 'Abdurrahman
al-'Afriqi, who is of questionable merits.
The following is an elaboration upon the preceding eight categories:
1 The Poor (al-Fuqara').
2 The Needy (al-Masakin): The needy, along with the poor mentioned
above, are those who do not even have basic needs fulfilled. This categroy
parallels the category of the rich who have all they need. As mentioned
elsewhere, a person is considered rich if he possesses the nisab--that
is, an arnount in excess of his essential needs or those of his children
with regard to food, drink, clothing, housing, animals, tools of his trade,
and similar other necessities. Thus, one who lacks all these is considered
poor (fuqura') and qualifies for zakah.
A hadith attributed to Mu'azh instructs: "Take from the rich [that
is those who are self-sufficient] and give to their poor." Thus,
zakah should be taken from the rich who own a nisab and given to those
who are not so fortunate.
No difference has been made here between the poor (fuqura') and the needy
(nasakin) as far as their needs, their poverty, and their qualification
for receiving zakah are concerned. The two are brought together in the
preceding Qur'anic 'ayah with the necessary conjunction so that they could
be differentiated from each other. This does not contradict our categorizing
the masakin as a subgroup of the fuqura'. In the following hadith, the
text indicates that the needy are the poor who are not noticed by the
people because they abstain from begging. The Qur'an takes note of them
because they, perhaps due to their modesty, go unnoticed.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
said: "The needy person (miskin) is not one who goes around asking
the people for a date or two, or for a mouthful or two, but the one who
is too embarrassed to ask. Read if you wish: 'They do not beg from men
importunately' [alBaqarah 273]." In a variant of this report, it
is related: "The needy person is not one who goes around asking people
for a mouthful or two or a date or two, but the one who has not enough
[money] to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others.
Thus, sadaqah is given to him and he does not beg from the people."
This is narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.