Does Asnaf Need to Pay Zakat?


I am a poor, penniless man and the father of two disabled children. Righteous people gave me from the wealth of Allah such as Zakat and charity. Now, I own a Nisab on which one full lunar year (haul) has lapsed. Is Zakat due on me?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

The majority of scholars hold that Zakat is due on wealth. The condition by which Zakat becomes due is to own a Nisab on which one lunar year (haul) has passed. Therefore, whenever a Muslim owns a Nisab of a kind of wealth on which one full lunar year lapses, Zakat becomes due on him whether he is rich or poor. Hanafi jurists, however, excluded the wealth that is saved for one’s basic needs such as food, drink, clothes and so on as they said: “No Zakah is due on it”.

The majority of scholars hold a different view from that of the Hanafi scholars as they hold that whoever owns a Nisab is required to pay Zakat on it even if he is poor. They also say that being entitled to receive Zakat does not prevent it from being due on a person. They set a difference between the limit of wealth that makes Zakat due and that which prevents one from taking it.

According to Malik, Ash-Shafi‘i, and Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon them), the limit of wealth that makes Zakat due on someone is owning the Nisab. In relation to this, Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said: “The fourth condition: Richness, based on the statement of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to Mu‘aath ibn Jabal may Allaah be pleased with him, ‘Inform them that they have to pay an obligatory charity that is taken from their rich to be given to their poor.’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. This is also because Zakat is obligatory so as to be a source of assistance to the poor. Hence, there should be a considerable limit of wealth so as to achieve such assistance. The considerable limit of wealth in such a condition is to own a Nisab that is free from debt.”

The limit of wealth that prevents one from taking Zakat is owning what is sufficient for fulfilling one’s needs, whether it has reached the Nisab or not. Al-Khattaabi (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said about this, “Malik and Ash-Shafi‘i said: “There is no specified limit for wealth, but what counts is the financial capability of a person. So, if a person owns what suffices his needs, it is unlawful for him to take charity and, if he becomes in need, then it is lawful for him to take it.” Ash-Shafi‘i said: “A man who can earn his living may be rich by having only one dirham while another, who is too weak to earn his living and has many dependents to provide for, maybe poor despite having 1000 dirhams.”

On the other hand, Hanafi scholars hold that the same criterion should apply in both cases. This means that one who owns the Nisab is not permitted to receive Zakat because, by owning it, he is considered rich. However, the preponderant opinion is held by the majority of scholars. Therefore, you should know that you have to pay Zakat on your money as long as it has reached a Nisab and a full lunar year has lapsed on it. This also does not cancel the permissibility of taking from the Zakat money if you are entitled to receive it under the Shari‘ah.

Allah Knows best.

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Zakat and Poverty Alleviation: Institutionalizing Zakat

Zakat is an Islamic practice based on one of the five pillars of the religion. This obligation for Muslims to give alms to the less fortunate is aimed at alleviating poverty in society. Yet in many countries, poverty is a grim and persistent reality despite zakat institutions. What can we learn from success stories in zakat management?

Encouraging sustainability

Poverty occurs due to the lack of transfer of assets to the poor. The zakat model ensures the net transfer of wealth to the poorest people at the bottom of the pyramid, without burdening them with repayment and interest.

Zakat has to ensure sustainability for the recipients over the long term. A zakat project jointly initiated by several corporations in some countries has demonstrated success in helping poor families increase their income.

A post-assessment of the project found that not only was the original zakat capital intact, but it had increased by nearly 15 percent. The study also recommended a phase-out exit strategy of another two years, which will enable the families to be self-sustainable instead of relapsing into poverty. While zakat can be a short-term arrangement, for long-term rehabilitation and poverty alleviation, waqf institutions are needed to open up opportunities for the poor to access funds in the future.

Treating zakat payers as shareholders

To successfully institutionalize zakat, the role of Muslim scholarship must be respected. Scholars need to work with practitioners to develop a framework for zakat distribution and come up with authentic and relevant solutions.

Zakat payers should be served as customers and treated as shareholders. As customers, zakat payers want education and a deeper understanding of zakat, including support for calculating zakat. As shareholders, they want an easy and accessible collection, the integrity of management, transparency of information and clear communication.

Zakat payers should not be taken for granted, even though zakat is an obligation, as this attitude will cause a lot of disenchantment among the payers.

Transforming lives of zakat recipients

To better serve zakat recipients, data gathering and management are critical for correct distribution, to measure the impact, and to set a future agenda for advocacy and policy.

Zakat should not only aim to alleviate poverty among its recipients but should also transform their lives. Gaining a deeper understanding of the community that needs help will enable the zakat funds to be used more effectively and strategically. This approach also enables zakat organizations and institutions to determine whether those asking for aid are truly eligible and are not violating social security laws.

While the traditional understanding of zakat is that Muslims give obligatory alms with the intention of sharing their wealth with the poor, zakat should go beyond mere charity- giving. Hence, zakat should be used for education, training, jobs creation and empowerment of people. Furthermore, as zakat is not always appropriate in all situations, the boundaries have to be very clearly defined.

Institutionalizing zakat

Institutionalization of zakat needs to be carefully managed to achieve:
• The scale of distribution; and
• Quality, in terms of appropriate distribution and communication to zakat payers.

Establishing a proper collection and distribution method of zakat is of spiritual and economic concern. To achieve this, more dialogue is needed across the state and community zakat institutions to share knowledge, information and best practices. Islamic financial institutions have a significant role to play here.

One challenge of institutionalizing zakat stems from the concern that employees of a zakat organization could be biased or corrupt. This is why such institutes had to be stringently audited as they are no different from any other institution, such as a government or a bank. There are good and bad, and what is needed is carefully managed and nurtured institutionalization that gives scale to zakat distribution, while making sure there is quality in terms of how it is distributed and how zakat payers are communicated to.


This is based on a session in the 10th WIEF in Dubai.

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The Unbelievers; Recipients of Zakat?

As for zakat for the unbelievers, they are of two categories….

As for zakat for the unbelievers, they are two types of categories:

First Category
Those who may come to Islam through the reconciliation of their hearts: Such was the case of Safwan ibn ‘Umayyah whom the Prophet granted safety on the day of Makkah’s conquest. The Prophet allowed him to think about his situation for four months and then choose for himself. He was absent at the time but came forward later and went with the Muslims to fight in the battle of Hunayn before his acceptance of Islam. The Prophet borrowed his armory for the expedition of Hunayn, and in return gave him a large number of camels, loaded with goods, that was at a certain valley. Thereupon Safwan said: “This is a gift from someone who does not fear poverty. By Allah,” he continued, “the Prophet has given all of this to me and verily he is the person whom I dislike the most, but he continued to give me things until he became the one I loved the most.” 

Second Category
People whose evil is feared, and it is hoped that money is given to them, will neutralize their hostility: Ibn ‘Abbas reported: “A group of people used to come to the Prophet. If he gave them money, they would praise Islam and say: ‘This is a good religion.’ However, if he did not give them any money, they criticized and found fault with Islam.” Among such people were Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, al-Aqra’ ibn Habis, and ‘Uyainah ibn Hisn. The Prophet gave every one of them one hundred camels.

The Hanafiyyah (madhab) say that the share of such people are canceled when Islam is strong. For instance, ‘Uyainah ibn Hisn, al-Aqra’ ibn Habis, and al-‘Abbas ibn Mirdas came to Abu Bakr and requested their share. He wrote them a letter, which they took to ‘Umar. He tore the letter and said: “This is something that the Prophet used to give you to reconcile you to Islam. Now, Allah has fortified Islam and it is no longer in need of you. Unless you stay with Islam, the sword will be between you and us. Say: ‘It is the truth from the Lord of you [all]. Then whoever will let him believe, and whoever will let him disbelieve’ [Refer to Al-Quran, surah al-Kahf, verse 29].” They returned to Abu Bakr and said: “Are you the Caliph or is ‘Umar? You wrote a letter for us and ‘Umar tore it up.” He answered: “This is the way it is.”

The Hanafiyyah continues: “Indeed, Abu Bakr agreed with ‘Umar, and none of the companions disapproved of it. Likewise, it was never reported from ‘Uthman or ‘Ali that they gave anything to anyone in this category.”

It can be answered that the case under reference was ‘Umar’s own judgment. He saw that there would be no benefit in mollifying these people after Islam had become well-established among their people, and no harm would follow if they abandoned Islam. Also, if ‘Uthman and ‘Ali stopped spending this kind of endowment, this does not necessarily mean that the provision for it was repealed. It is possible that the change of circumstances did not call for the continuation of such an endowment to the nonbelievers. However, this does not amount to the invalidation of the provision for such endowments.

Should the contingency call for its revival, the endowments in this category can be given. This is because their sanction lies in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Ahmad and Muslim reported from Anas that whenever the Prophet was asked for anything for the sake of Islam, he would give it away. A man came and asked for sadaqah. The Prophet ordered that the man is given the entire lot of sheep between two mountains. These sheep were part of the sadaqah. The man returned to his people and said: “Oh my people! Accept Islam, for indeed, Muhammad gives in such a way as if he does not fear poverty.” Ash-Shaukani says that al-‘Itrah, al-Jobbani, al-Balkhi, and Ibn Mubashshir held that sadaqah may be given to those whose hearts are to be reconciled to Islam. On the contrary, ash-Shaf’i maintains that such endowments are not for unbelievers. As for the sinner (fasiq), he may be given from such allocations.

Abu Hanifah and his followers hold that this kind of endowment was canceled with the spread and domination of Islam and, as evidence, they cite Abu Bakr’s refusal to restore endowments to Abu Sufyan, ‘Uyainah, al-Aqra’, and al-‘Abbas ibn Mirdas. It appears that reconciliation is permitted when the need for it arises. In other words, it is permitted to give them sadaqah for reconciliation when people obey a leader only for worldly affairs, and they cannot be controlled except by force and domination.

The spread of Islam has no ramification on the issue of reconciliation because it makes no difference in this case. The author of al-Manar testifies: “This is the whole truth. Only independent judgment can be exercised to elaborate on the eligibility and the amount of sadaqah or booty to be given away when they are available, along with other kinds of property [immovable and movable]. It is necessary to seek the consultation of capable people (ahl-ash-Shura) as the caliphs did in those matters that required ijtihad. Whether a leader can force them into obedience by coercive action before resorting to the use of the endowment is an unsettled issue. Nevertheless, this cannot be followed as a rule but rather as the principle of inclining to the lesser of two evils and to the best benefit of the society.” 

Taken with slight modifications from Fiqh-us-Sunnah by As-Sayyid Sabiq

Zakat on Retirement Accounts?

I have a question about zakat on retirement-saving accounts. As you know these are retirement plans that many companies offer to their employees. Sometimes, the employee has to contribute to it to be eligible for any withdrawals or sometimes companies deposit money for their employees. Either case employees are not supposed to take money out of these accounts until he/she retires. My question is: Should I pay zakat on that money, or it is better to wait until I retire, and get access to it?

In fact, every Muslim should hasten to pay zakat on its due time as long as the conditions for paying the zakat are fulfilled. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said:

“Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing the Prayers, paying zakat, making the pilgrimage to the House, and fasting in Ramadan.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

As regards your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:

“The basic rule of zakat is that it is due to the wealth that one owns and has the freedom to use. I think this Retirement Account is similar to what is called ‘Provident Fund’ in India and Pakistan. A committee of scholars under the leadership of Maulana Mujahidul-Islam Qasmi discussed this issue in great detail. In the light of the discussion of the scholars the following points can be presented:

The employee’s contribution to this fund is zakatable if it is done by his/her own choice. There is no zakat due on these funds if the employers due to the company or government’s policies collect them by force. Zakat will be due on these funds when they can be withdrawn.

If these funds are withdrawn and they reach the value of nisab (3 ounces or 85 grams of gold or its cash value) and a year passes on them, then the zakat (at the ration of 2.5 percent) will be due.

The zakat must be paid for the money that one receives and then voluntarily contributes to a retirement fund, if it reaches the nisab and after a period of one year.”

Shedding more light on this issue, Dr. ‘Abdul-Azeez Al-Qassar, professor of Comparative Jurisprudence, Faculty of Shari`ah, Kuwait University, says:

“It is not obligatory to pay zakat on what is known as retirement money (i.e. the pension paid to the employee upon his retirement) unless the money is really possessed. Muslim Jurists state that the person who is going to pay zakat should possess the money he is going to pay. So far, as it appears in your question, that such pension is not actually possessed by the person for the time being, hence it is not obligatory to pay zakat on it till it falls into his possession in one way or the other. According to the consensus of jurists, it is not permitted to pay zakat two years in advance.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist and counselor, states the following:

“Zakat on retirement account can be paid every year or you can accumulate the yearly due zakat, year after year, delay payment until you begin withdrawing, and then pay with each withdrawal (it will then be a big portion of each withdrawal). The reason is that zakat is not required to be paid from resources other than the item on which it is due. However, it is certainly permissible (and perhaps much easier) to pay it from your current income every year and I would prefer this approach if you can do it.

Accordingly, you should estimate the amount of due zakat for each of the past four years by looking at the balances in the account, or by making the payment four times on the last year balance (which will be higher than the actual amount because the balance is increased by the monthly additions). Take as a base of calculation the market price of the funds in the account for each year or for the last year, and make the intention that anything you pay extra is a sadaqah.”

And Allah Almighty knows best.

Zakat and Social Solidarity in Islam

Zakat is a mandatory Islamic ritual imposed upon the wealthy Muslims for the benefit of the destitute and those of low income in the Muslim community. It is a specific share paid out of the properties if they reach nisab (the least amount for giving Zakat).

Zakat is an individual obligation and one of the basic acts of worship that must be offered according to fixed periods stated by the Islamic Shari’ah. The excellence of Zakat is manifested in its gathering between the worldly and spiritual aspects on an obligatory, not optional, standard.

It is a shared right of God the Almighty and the beneficiaries whom the Qur’an precisely determined. Allah (Glory be to Him) says (meaning):

“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, surah At-Tawbah, verse 60)].

Zakat is one of the features of the Islamic social solidarity that reflect the keenness of Islam on preserving the balance of the community through purposeful obligations that show kindness, cordiality, altruism, cooperation and mutual love among people. Also, it combats selfishness, niggardliness, hatred, carelessness, destitution, and sufferings of the poor and the needy.

No one can deny that sexual harassment, rape, robbery, embezzlement, bribe, cheating, etc., are nothing but the product of the lack of social cooperation, stinginess of the rich, and the absence of justice that stricken our life, and uncovered and vitalized the evil drives within people. The goals of Zakat are confronting these diseases and providing safe alternatives for fulfilling the needs of the helpless as well as fulfilling the social services through a balanced ritual and obtainable obligation.

Today, the Muslim countries abound with plenty of tycoons who top the world lists of a billionaire: what does one expect if those affluent ones give their due Zakat? Is not it enough to eradicate the regional troubles that Muslims are experiencing for a long time? Does not it suffice as a solution for the problem of the Muslim refugees who knock the doors of Europe seeking a safe place to live? Not only the refugees but also those who pass away because of poverty and disease will be satisfied.

Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned of the gravest outcomes of withholding the rights of the poor in one’s possession (i.e. Zakat) and threatened its withholders with severe punishment.

Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s Messenger said: “No owner of the treasure who does not pay Zakat (would be spared) but (his hoards) would be heated in the Fire of Hell and these would be made into plates and with these his sides, his forehead would be cauterized till Allah would pronounce judgment among His servants during a day, the extent of which would be fifty thousand years. He would then see his path, leading either to Paradise or to Hell. And no owner of the camels who does not pay Zakat (would be spared) but a soft sandy plain would be set for him and they (the camels) would be made to pass over him till the last of them would be made to return till Allah would pronounce judgment among His servants during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years. He would then see his path leading him to Paradise or leading him to Hell. And no owner of the (cattle and) goats who does not pay Zakat (would be spared) but a soft sandy plain would be set for him, he would find none of them missing, with twisted horns, without horns, or with broken horns, and they will gore him with their horns and trample him with their hoofs and they would be made to pass over him till the last of them would be made to return till Allah would pronounce judgment among His servants, during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, and he would see the paths leading to Paradise or to Hell. [Narrated by Muslim].

The Qur’an pictures Zakat in a very intimate way while it lists the characteristics of the dwellers of paradise. God says (meaning):

“Except the observers of prayer. Those who are constant in their prayer. And those within whose wealth is a known right. For the petitioner and the deprived.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Ma`arij, verse 22-25].

According to the verse, the obligation of Zakat is not meant to overburden the rich ones or to seize their properties in favor of others. Rather, it is a merciful duty that is carried out for alleviating the sufferings of other Muslims who experience bad conditions. This generous contribution is surely reciprocal, who is sure that he or she will remain rich in the long run? All of us are liable to these distressful conditions; if you give today, you may be the receiver the other day or that Allah blesses and protects you and your belongings.

Moreover, Zakat is an explanation of the bond of brotherhood that Islam builds between its followers. This bond is bound by social rights and duties that secure the continuation of the Muslim community and strengthen its unity and integration. One should bear this fact in mind, namely that Islam legislated Zakat for the benefit of the community not for religious aspirations.

Zakat is not to be given to the clerks and or the Imams of the mosques but it is a right of the poor and the needy.

Ibn Abbas narrated (meaning): “The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent Mu`adh to Yemen and said, “Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I am Allah’s Messenger, and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the Zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. It is a clear right for its beneficiaries alone without others.

The fortunate ones are those who pay out their Zakat at its due times. They enjoy the boundless bless and pleasure of God whose most repeated Attributes are the All-Gracious and the All-Merciful. Almighty Allah says (meaning):

“The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend (i.e. give Zakat). Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Anfal, verse 3-4].

The most prudent ones among the believers are those who make business with God. They spend from their money for His sake and feel no avarice in their hearts about what they give out. The Qur’an says (meaning):

“Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a profit that will never perish. That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is Forgiving and Appreciative.” [Al-Quran, surah Fatir, verse 29-30].

Moreover, Allah blesses their properties and proliferates their belongings openhandedly. Almighty Allah says (meaning):

“Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Baqarah, verse 276].

Abu Kabshah `Amr ibn Sa`d reported (meaning): “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “I swear by Allah for three (qualities) which I am going to tell you about. Remember them well: The wealth of a man will not diminish by charity. Allah augments the honor of a man who endures oppression patiently. He who opens a gate of begging, Allah opens a gate of poverty (or he said a word similar to it).” [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi].

In fact, this is the hopeful reward of Allah for paying out His share and right in the properties. He (Glory be to Him) blesses and protects the possessions of the giver, and spreads the love of him among people.

Zakat to Islamic School and Mosque, is it Valid?

Is it permissible to give my zakat to any Islamic school or to my masjid for their expenses such as rent, utilities, renovation, etc?

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings are upon His Messenger. Indeed, it is the duty and responsibility of the rich Muslims of each community in the East or West to finance the mosques and Islamic schools. They should not, by any means, exploit zakat, the right of the poor, for such purposes, which may badly influence the poor reducing the amount of zakat that they receive.

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

“If the question is for America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the like, my answer is definitely NO. Mosques are always necessary for any Muslim community to maintain their religion and that of their children. The Shari`ah principle is that any Muslim community must have a mosque and other community facilities, and mosques should be established and spent on by members of the community outside the zakat which is a right of the poor and the needy.

In the past Muslims in these countries were very poor (students and poor Afro-American converts) and have no means and were endangered to lose their very religion, then the Fatwa was it is permissible on the ground that preservation of their religion is a part of “fi sabilil-llah” as an exception from the principle which prohibits using zakat for mosques.

Now, this exception does not apply anymore as Muslims in these countries have become well-to-do and able to spend on their mosques. It is the responsibility of the rich Muslims to spend on mosques in these countries not the responsibility of the poor because spending zakat on mosques means charging these expenses to the poor who have the right to this zakat.

As for schools, the matter is even stricter because educating Muslim children is the responsibility of their parents, more specifically their fathers; it is not the responsibility of the poor or even other members of the Muslim community.

Poor Muslim families who cannot afford Muslim schools fees may be paid from zakat on the basis of needs and poverty and they are of course free to use whatever they receive for food, school tuitions or any other expenses of their own. ZAKAT MUST NOT BE PAID TO THE SCHOOL FOR THESE FAMILIES.”

**Other scholars might have a different opinion on this topic, and I will tell it on another day.

And Allah Almighty knows best.

The Difference Between Zakat and Sadaqah.

The word sadaqah may be applied to all kinds of good deeds. Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Sahih: “Chapter: every good deed is a charity” then he narrated from Jabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Every good deed is a charity.”……

Zakat in Arabic means growth, blessing, and purification (See Lisaan al-‘Arab, 14/358;, 2/399). While Sadaqah comes from the word sidq (sincerity), i.e. it is a sign of sincerity of faith on the part of the person who gives it (See Fath al-Qadeer, 2/399).

With regard to the shar’i definition:

Zakat means worshipping Allah by giving that which He has enjoined of different kinds of zakat to those who are entitled to them, according to the guidelines prescribed in shari’ahSadaqah means worshipping Allah by giving money without that being made obligatory in shari’ah. The word sadaqah is sometimes used to refer to obligatory zakat.

With regard to the difference between zakat and sadaqah, it is as follows:

1 – Zakat is enjoined in Islam on specific things, which are: gold, silver, crops, fruits, trade goods and an’aam livestock, i.e., camels, cattle and sheep. With regard to sadaqah, it is not obligatory on any kind of wealth, rather it is what a person can give, without any specific limits or guidelines.

2 – Zakat is subject to the conditions that one full Hijri has passed since acquiring the wealth, and that the wealth meet the minimum threshold (nisab), and it is a specific portion of wealth. Sadaqah is not subject to any conditions, and it may be given at any time, in any amount.

3 – Allah has enjoined that zakat is given to certain types of people, and it is not permissible to give it to anyone else. They are the people mentioned in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al‑Masakeen (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam), and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidoon — those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Tawbah, verse 60].

With regard to sadaqah, it may be given to those mentioned in the verse on zakat and to others.

4 – Whoever dies and owes zakat, his heirs must pay it from his wealth, and that takes precedence over the will (wasiyah) and inheritance. As for sadaqah, there are no such obligations with regard to it.

5 – The one who withholds zakat is to be punished, as it says in the hadith narrated by Muslim in his Sahih (987) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no owner of treasure who does not pay his zakat, but it will be heated in the Fire of Hell and made into plates with which his sides and forehead will be branded until Allah passes judgment between His slaves on a Day the length of which will be like fifty thousand years, then he see shown his path and whether it leads to Paradise or to Hell. And there is no owner of camels who does not pay zakat on them, but a soft sandy plain will be prepared for him and they will be made to step on him. Every time the last of them has gone the first of them will return until Allah passes judgment between His slaves on a Day the length of which will be like fifty thousand years, then he will see his path and whether it leads to Paradise or to Hell. And there is no owner of sheep who does not pay zakat on them but a soft sandy plain will be prepared for him, and he will find none of them missing, with twisted horns or without horns or with broken horns, and they will be made to gore him with their horns and trample him with their hooves. Every time the last of them has gone the first of them will return until Allah passes judgment between His slaves on a Day the length of which will be like fifty thousand years, then he will see his path and whether it leads to Paradise or to Hell…”

With regard to sadaqah, the one who does not pay it will not be punished.

6 – According to the four schools of law, it is not permissible to give zakat to one’s ascendants or descendants. Ascendants include one’s mother, father, grandfathers, and grandmothers; descendants include one’s children and their children. Sadaqah may be given to one’s ascendants and descendants.

7 – It is not permissible to give zakat to one who is rich or who is strong and able to earn a living.

It was narrated that ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn ‘Adiyy said: “Two men told me that they came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the Farewell Pilgrimage when he was distributing the zakat and asked him for some of it. He looked them up and down, and saw that they were strong and able-bodied. He said, “If you wish, I will give you some, but those who are rich or strong and able to earn have no share of it.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1633; al-Nasa’i, 2598; classed as sahih by Imam Ahmad and others], [See Talkhis al-Habir, 3/108].

Sadaqah may be given to those who are rich and those who are strong and able to earn.

8 – In the case of zakat, it is better for it to be taken from the rich of land and given to their poor. Many scholars are of the view that it is not permissible to send it to another country unless that serves an interest. But sadaqah may be spent on those who are near and those who are far.

9 – It is not permissible to give zakat to kuffar and mushrikeenSadaqah may be given to kuffar and mushrikeen. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the Miskeen(the poor), the orphan, and the captive” [Al-Quran, Surah, al-Insan, verse 8].

Al-Qurtubi said: In dar al-Islam (the Muslim lands), a captive could only be a mushrik.

10 – It is not permissible for a Muslim to give zakat to his wife. Ibn al-Mundhir narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this point. But sadaqah may be given to one’s wife.

These are some of the differences between zakat and sadaqah.

The word sadaqah may be applied to all kinds of good deeds. Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Sahih: “Chapter: every good deed is a charity” then he narrated from Jabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Every good deed is a charity.

Ibn Battal said: This hadith indicates that every good thing that a person does or says is recorded for him as an act of charity.

Al-Nawawi said: The Prophet’s words “Every good deed is a charity” means that it is like charity in reward.

And Allah knows best.

17 Benefits of Zakat.

17 Benefits of Zakat. Benefits and wisdom of the individual and social Zakat are as follows [Find it here….]

Benefits and wisdom of the individual and social Zakat are as follows:

1- Perfecting and completing the Islam of a slave because it is one of the pillars of Islam. So, if one does it, his Islam will be complete and perfect. There is absolutely no doubt that this is a great aim for every Muslim individual. Actually, every Muslim individual seeks to complete his religion.

2- It is proof of the truthfulness of the faith of he who gives Zakat. This is because money is loved by souls and what is loved cannot be sacrificed except in return for something similar to or more beloved than it. Therefore, it is called Sadaqah (i.e. charity) for it indicates the truthfulness of the request of its payer for the Pleasure of Allah The Almighty.

3- It purifies the morals of the payer of Zakat. It disassociates him from the group of misers and includes him in the group of the generous. This is because if one used to give, be it knowledge, money or honor, then giving will become natural for him to the extent that he may feel sad on a day in which he does not give anything.

Such as the hunter who used to hunt. If he delays his hunt on a specific day, he feels sad. The same thing applies to the one who gets himself accustomed to being generous. He feels sad when a day passes by without giving out money, honor or benefit.

4- It expands the breast with assurance and gladdens the heart. This is because if one gives something, especially money, he will feel assurance in his breast. This is something that is tested and tried, providing that his giving should be done with complete generosity and pleasure. His sacrifice should not dwell in his heart (with regret and displeasure).

Shaykh Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned in his renowned book ‘Zad Al-Ma‘ad’ that giving and generosity are included in the causes of expanding the heart with assurance. However, no one can achieve this benefit except one who gives with generosity and pleasure. The money leaves his heart before it leaves his hand. However, the one whose money leaves his hand while his heart is still attached to it will not benefit from giving.

5- It makes one reach the rank of the perfect believer. The Prophet said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Narrated by Muslim] So, as one loves to be given money to satisfy his needs, he should also love to give it to his brother. By doing so, one will have perfect faith.

6- It is one of the causes of entering Paradise. This is because Paradise is for “those who use soft speech, spread the greeting of Islam, feed people and spend the night in voluntary prayer while the people are asleep.” [Narrated by Ahmad and At-Tirmithi] All of us earnestly seek to enter Paradise.

7- It makes Islamic society a single family in which the strong helps the weak and the rich helps the poor. One will feel that he has brothers to whom he has to do good as Allah The Almighty has done good to him. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And do good as Allah has done good to you.} [Quran, Chapter 28, Verse 77] Thus, the Islamic nation will be as one family. This is what the later scholars called social solidarity. Zakat is the best thing that can achieve this because one fulfills with it an obligation and benefits his fellows.

8- It extinguishes the fire of the revolution of the poor. This is because the poor are vexed to find someone who rides in whatever he desires (of luxurious modes of transportation), lives in whatever palace he wishes and eats whatever he likes. All this, while (the poor bystander) can only use his (own) legs, does not sleep except on the ground and the like. There is no doubt that he will find something (of an ill feeling) in his heart. However, if the rich give to the poor, this will extinguish their feeling for revolution, calm down their anger and make them say: “We have brothers that take care of us in difficult times” and thus they will love the rich.”

9- It prevents financial crimes such as robbery and stealing. This is because the poor will receive what satisfies their needs and so they will excuse the rich for they give them from their wealth. They give them one-quarter of one-tenth (i.e. 2.5 percent) on gold, silver and trade goods, one-tenth or one-half of one-tenth on grains and fruits and a great percentage on flocks. Thus, they will see that they are treating them well and will not transgress against them.

10- Salvation from the intense heat of the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet said: “Every man will be in the shade of his charity on the Day of Resurrection.” [Narrated by Ahmad]

Furthermore, The Prophet said regarding the seven categories of people whom Allah The Almighty will shade with the shade He Creates on the day when there will be no shade but His: “A man who gives in charity so secretly that his left-hand does not know what his right-hand spends;” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

11- It makes one know the limits and rulings of Allah The Almighty because one will not fulfill Zakat unless he knows its rulings, properties, Nisab (i.e. the minimum amounts liable for Zakat), its recipients and other such matters that the need calls for.

12- It purifies and increases wealth, meaning that, if one gives charity on his wealth, then this will protect it from blight and Allah The Almighty may Increase his provision due to this charity. Therefore, it is mentioned in the Hadith: “Wealth does not decrease because of charity.” [Narrated by Muslim]

It is clearly witnessed that the wealth of a miser may be afflicted with what may destroy it or the most of it due to fire, a great loss or diseases that force him to seek treatment that consumes great amounts of his wealth.

13- It is one of the causes of the downfall of goodness. It is mentioned in the Hadith: “No people ever withhold the Zakat of their wealth but rain is withheld from the sky.” [Narrated by Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim]

14- The Prophet said: “Charity given in secret extinguishes the wrath of The Lord,” as was authentically narrated from the Messenger. [Narrated by At-Tirmithi and Ibn Hiban]

15- The Prophet said: “It wards off an unpleasant death.” [Narrated by At-Tirmithi and Ahmad]

16- The Prophet said: “It wrestles with a calamity that comes down from the heavens and prevents it from reaching earth.” [Narrated by At-Tabarani]

17- It expiates sins. The Prophet said: “Charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire.” [Narrated by Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and An-Nasaa’i]


Islamic Finance: Using blockchain to improve transparency of zakat process

Today I attended the first day of 2nd Islamic Fintech Dialogue (@ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). For now, I will like to share this interesting article…

ZAKAT Professionals Charity

This article first appeared in Personal Wealth, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 27, 2018 – September 02, 2018.

The collection of zakat has been institutionalised in many Muslim countries. The promotion, collection and distribution of zakat are undertaken by the respective religious authorities according to shariah requirements.
However, there are several challenges, according to research papers. They include inefficiency, a lack of transparency in terms of how the funds are collected, managed and distributed, the differing views of Islamic scholars on how these should be dealt with and extensive bureaucracy.
To address these challenges, Dr Ziyaad Mahomed, associate dean of executive education and e-learning at the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), and his team have come up with an Islamic social financing app that leverages blockchain technology. The app — which won first prize in a competition organised by the Islamic Development Bank Group and the…

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