Category Archives: Zakat

Is it permissible to turn the zakaah money into specific items, such as food or other things, and distribute it to the poor?


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Praise be to Allah

Firstly:

What is required in the case of zakaah on one’s wealth is that it should be given in the form of money, and it is not permissible to give it in the form of items or food. It is obligatory for the one who is giving zakaah to hand over the zakaah money to those who are entitled to it, but after that he does not have any say in how the poor person is to dispose of this money or to tell him how to spend it in the was that will bring him most benefit according to his view; rather he should give the money to a poor person who is deserving of it and who knows better what he needs and what is in his best interests than anyone else.

It is well-known that the person can get what he wants by means of money, unlike specific items that he may or may not need, and he may be compelled to sell it for a cheap price in order to make use of its price.

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

Is it permissible to turn the zakaah money into specific items, such as food or other things, and distribute it to the poor?

He replied:

That is not permissible; zakaah must be given in cash.

End quote from al-Liqa’ ash-Shahri (41/12)

He also said:

Zakaah on money must be given in cash; it cannot be given in the form of other items, unless the poor person made a request of you and said: If you receive money for me, then buy me such and such with it. In that case there is nothing wrong with it. End quote.

Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (18/303)

Secondly:

If there is a specific poor person who needs either medicine or food, or similar needs, and it is known that if zakaah is given to him in the form of cash it will clearly be detrimental, or if his interests dictate that that poor person should not be given cash, then in this case some of the scholars regard it as permissible to give him zakaah in the form of specific items instead of cash. For example, if the poor person is insane or feebleminded, and does not handle money well, or he is foolish and will waste money, or he is an evildoer who will spend the money on that which is of no benefit, then he and his dependents will remain in need.

Shaykh al-Islam said:

Giving items of equivalent value when there is no need and no obvious interest to be served is not allowed… Because if it were made permissible to give items of equivalent value, then the giver may give bad quality items or the evaluation may not be correct. Zakaah is intended to help the poor, and the zakaah is connected to the amount of wealth one owns and its type. However, with regard to giving items of equivalent value when there is a need for that or an interest to be served thereby, or to achieve fairness, there is nothing wrong with that.

End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (25/82)

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in al-Fataawa (14/253):

It is permissible to give, instead of cash, goods such as fabric, food and the like, if it is thought that the interests of the recipients of zakaah may be best served in that manner, so long as what is given is evaluated correctly. For example, if the poor person is insane, feebleminded, foolish or immature, and there is the fear that he may mess about with the cash, and his interests are best served by giving him food or clothing equal in value to the amount of money due to him, bought with zakaah funds, that he can benefit from. All of this is according to the most correct scholarly opinion. End quote.

Better than that is to buy on behalf of the poor (with their consent) the things that they need.

Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If the people of this household are poor, but if we give them cash they will mishandle it by buying luxuries and things that are of no benefit, then if we buy necessities for them and give them to them, is that permissible?

The well-known view among the scholars is that this is not permissible, i.e. it is not permissible for the individual to buy items with his zakaah and give them instead of cash.

They said: That is because this cash is more beneficial to the poor, because they can spend the cash however they wish, unlike specific items for which they may have no need, in which case they would sell them for a lower price.

But there is an alternative: if you are afraid that if you give zakaah to this household they will spend it on things that are not necessary, then you may say to the head of the household – whether that is the father or the mother or the brother or the paternal uncle – you can say to him: I have zakaah to give; what items do you need so that I can buy them for you and send them to you?

If you do it in this way, then it is permissible, and the zakaah will be given appropriately.

End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (18/question no. 643)

Conclusion: giving zakaah in the form of items and goods instead of cash is not permissible, unless there is a need for that and an interest to be served thereby.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

How much zakaat al-fitr ?


How much zakaat al-fitr is and when it should be paid


We are members of a North African group living in Barcelona. How can we work out how much zakaat al-fitr is?.

Praise be to Allaah.  It was proven from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that he enjoined zakaat al-fitr on the Muslims, one saa’ of dates or one saa’ of barley, and he commanded that it be given before the people went out to the (Eid) prayer.

In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) we used to give one saa’ of food, or one saa’ of dates, or one saa’ of barley, or one saa’ of raisins.

Some of the scholars have interpreted “food” (ta’aam) in this hadeeth as referring to wheat; others interpreted it as meaning the staple food of the country, whatever it is, whether it is wheat, corn, pearl millet or whatever.

This is the correct view, because zakaah is a help from the rich to the poor, and the Muslim does not have to help with anything other than the staple food of his country.

Undoubtedly rice is the staple food in the land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries (Saudi Arabia) and it is a good and valuable food; it is better than the barley that is mentioned in the text. Hence it is known that there is nothing wrong with giving rice as zakaat al-fitr.

What must be given is a saa’ of any kind of staple food, i.e., a saa’ of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is four complete scoops as scooped up with two hands, according to al-Qaamoos etc. In modern weights this is equivalent to approximately three kilograms.

If a Muslim gives a kilo of rice or some other staple food of his country, that is sufficient even if it is not one of the types mentioned in the hadeeth, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions.

There is nothing wrong with giving the equivalent amount by weight, which is approximately three kilograms.

Zakaat al-fitr must be given on behalf of all Muslims, young and old, male and female, free and slave. With regard to a foetus, it is not obligatory to give it on his behalf according to scholarly consensus, but it is mustahabb, because ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) did that.

It is also obligatory to give it before the Eid prayer, and it is not permissible to delay it until after the Eid prayer. There is nothing wrong with giving it one or two days before the Eid.

Hence it is known that the earliest time when it may be given, according to the more correct of the two scholarly views, is the night of the 28th of Ramadaan, because the month may be twenty-nine or thirty days. The companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to give it one or two days before Eid.

Those to whom it must be given are the poor and needy. It was proven that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) enjoined zakaat al-fitr as a purification for the fasting person from idle and obscene speech, and to feed the poor.

Whoever gives it before the prayer, it is zakaat al-fitr, and whoever gives it after the prayer, it is ordinary charity. This was narrated by Abu Dawood and classed as hasan by al-Albaani inSaheeh Abi Dawood.

It is not permissible to pay the value in money, according to the majority of scholars; this view has the stronger evidence.

Rather it must be given in the form of food, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did. This is also the view of the majority of the ummah.

We ask Allaah to help us and all the Muslims to understand His religion properly and adhere to it steadfastly, and to guide us, for He is the Most Generous, Most Kind.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 14/200.

This is the estimation of Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), who reckoned the weight of zakaat al-fitr as being approximately three kilograms.

This was also the estimate of the scholars of the Standing Committee (9/371).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) estimated it in grams as being 2100 grams, as it says in Fataawa al-Zakaah, p. 274-276.

This discrepancy occurred because a saa’ is a measure of volume, not weight.

The scholars worked it out by weight so that it would be easier to work out. It is well known that the weight of grains varies; some are light and some are heavy, and some are in between. In fact the weight of a saa’ of the same kind of grain may vary, and new may weigh more than old. Hence if people err on the side of caution and give more, that will be better.

See al-Mughni, 4/168, where it mentions something similar about working out the nisaab of crops by weight.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Ruling on zakaat al-fitr


Ruling on zakaat al-fitr and how much is to be paid


Is the hadeeth “The fast of Ramadaan will not be taken up [to Allaah] until zakaat al-fitr is paid” saheeh?

If the fasting Muslim is in need and does not possess the threshold (nisaab) of zakaah, is he obliged to pay zakaat al-fitr because of the soundness of this hadeeth or other saheeh shar’i evidence that is proven in the Sunnah?.

Praise be to Allaah.  Sadaqat al-fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim who is self-supporting, if he has one saa’ or more than he needs of food for himself and his family on the day and night of Eid.

The basis for that is the report narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr, a saa’ of dates, or a saa’ of barley, upon all the Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, and he commanded that it be paid before the people went out to pray.” Agreed upon; this version was narrated by al-Bukhaari.

And Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri narrated: “We used to pay zakaat al-fitr when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was alive, a saa’ of food or a saa’ of dates or a saa’ of barley or a saa’ of raisins or a saa’ of dried yoghurt.” Agreed upon.

It is acceptable to give a saa’ of the local staple food such as rice etc.

What is meant by a saa’ here is the saa’ of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is four times the amount that may be held in the two hands of a man of average build. If a person does not pay zakaat al-fitr, he is sinning, and he has to make it up.

With regard to the hadeeth mentioned, we do not know whether it is saheeh or not.

We ask Allaah to give you strength and to make our words and deeds and yours righteous.

And Allaah is the Source if strength.

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, 9/364

Minimum amount (nisaab) required to pay zakat in dollars


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Minimum amount (nisaab) required to pay zakat in dollars


I live in the united states. How much is Nesab el-Zakat in US dollars?

Nisaab ul-Zakat for naqd (gold and silver) is defined as the minimum amount of naqdspecified by shari’a below which one is not required to pay zakat, whereas if one’s wealth exceeds it then zakat becomes incumbent.

And it is known that zakat ul-maal (wealth) in shari’a is required for the two types ofnaqd—gold and silver—and 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 (Sallallahu Alaihi wa sallam) 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 shari’ah, and we ask Allah to aid us and help us succeed in haqq il-maal wa salla allahu ala nabiyyana muhammad

Islam Q&A
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