I own two acres of land, one of which is my property and the other is rented out. What is the due zakat on each of them, given that I am growing banana trees and that costs a lot of money to cultivate?
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Scholars have differed with regards to the due zakat on agricultural products. Imam Abu Hanifah, may Allah have mercy upon him, believed that zakat is obligatory on agricultural products, regardless of their amount. He believed that zakat should be paid on everything that comes out of the earth like grains; all crops and fruits; such as bananas, pomegranates, peaches and even vegetables, legume and flowers. He depended on the narration of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, who reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “On that which is watered by the heavens (i.e. rain), springs or its own roots, a tenth of the harvest is due and for what is watered by irrigation, half a tenth (i.e. twentieth) of the harvest.” [Al-Bukhari and others]
The other three Imams, may Allah have mercy upon them, believed that zakat is obligatory on edible agricultural products that can be measured by capacity (i.e. Saa‘: a measure that equals four double-handfuls of an average person’s hands) such as rice, wheat, dates and raisins. They relied on what the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “No zakat is payable in less than five Wasqs (i.e. equals sixty Saa‘) of dates.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The same narration was reported as follows: “No zakat is payable in less than five Wasqs of dates or grain.” [Muslim and Ahmad]
This indicates that zakat is only due on edible agricultural products, provided the resulting crop is used as regular food which can be stored and planted, as stated above. As for vegetables, fresh fruits and legumes, they are not measured or stored, so no zakat is due on them.
The predominant opinion in this regard is that zakat is not obligatory on fruits and vegetables since vegetables were plentiful in Al-Madinah and fruits were abundant in the Arab markets in Taa’if. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were never reported to have taken zakat on any of these crops.
Hence, there is no zakat on the bananas grown in this land. However, if the money that is earned from selling agricultural products reaches the due Nisab of zakat, whether by itself or when added to other money or trade goods, and the Hawl (i.e. lunar year) has passed, then zakat becomes due on that money.
Allah Knows best.
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