Zakat on Salaries

I want to ask about zakat on the fixed income. Should I pay zakat on my monthly salary?

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings are upon His Messenger.

In his response to the question, Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist and counselor, states:

“According to the majority of Muslim scholars salaries are not subject to zakat, because the passage of one full lunar year from the day one acquires a nisab is a necessary condition for the obligation of zakat.

Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi believes that salaries are subject to zakat because that condition is not on all forms of what one owns and he also quotes some incidences from the time of the Companions of the Prophet that may indicate taking zakat on earned income (salaries and professional income).

This view of Dr. Al-Qaradawi is supported by the point that richness is not only manifested by how much one owns but also by how much one earns, and zakat is on the rich. I (Dr. Monzer Kahf) go along with this view. However, according to Al-Qaradawi, there are conditions for this obligation of zakat on salaries:

  1. Deducing personal and family expenses. These include any other expenses even for leisure and Shari’ah permissible entertainment.
  2. What remains after the above expenses should accumulate to a nisab for a whole lunar year.

The difference between the two views is not really big. This may be a surprise to some; but if we look closely, we will find that according to both whatever is saved is subject to zakat.

The second opinion requires zakat to be paid in the first year during the accumulation of savings while the first opinion only requires zakat in the second year that begins on the day when a nisab is reached.”

Refer this link to calculate your zakat on Salaries (in the Malay language):

And Allah Almighty knows best.

Sources: Fatwas of Muslim Minorities Series (1): Islamic Finance (Q&A)

Author: Abu Tariq Abu Tariq Muhsin is a zakat officer for Zakat Centre of Federal Territory of Malaysia. A writer, researcher and publisher of various writing focusing on Zakat & Islamic studies.

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