Do I Need to Pay Zakat as a Single Mother?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I am a single parent and live in my parent’s house. I get income from the rent, which I survive on. I have a fixed deposit account and a savings account. I use inheritance money to pay my kids’ fees and extra expenses. I have gold, but I don’t know its weight.

How am I supposed to give zakat as I don’t work, and what I have is just savings? My ex-husband doesn’t support kids at all.


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for the hardships and efforts that you are undertaking, and may He compensate you with well-reared children who honor and respect their parents and become a coolness to your eyes.

Attitude Toward Zakat

First and foremost, this is our attitude toward zakat, quoted from the Reliance of the Traveller:

Lexically, zakat means growth, blessings, an increase in good, purification, or praise. In Sacred Law, it is the name for a particular amount of property that must be paid to certain kinds of recipients under the conditions mentioned below. It is called zakat because one’s wealth grows through the blessings of giving it and the prayers of those who receive it and because it purifies its giver of sin and extolls him by testifying to the genuineness of his faith. [Muhammad Shirbini Khatib, al-Iqna’ fi hall alfaz Abi Shuja’]

Zakat on Money

Zakat is due on the wealth that you own, irrespective of whether or not you are unemployed. So, if you have the zakatable minimum amount (nisab) above and beyond your immediate needs and expenses, and one lunar year has passed, then zakat would be due. You must add up the cash that has been in your possession for a lunar year, if it is over the zakatable amount, you must pay your zakat.

You can find out if you owe anything here:
Do We Calculate Nisab With Gold or Silver?

Zakat on Gold

As your first step, get your gold weighed, not counting gems or stones. If you have over 84.7 grams of gold, 2.5 percent zakat is due on it after a year has passed of owning it. You can give this amount by giving away a small piece of gold, an earring, or part of an earring, for example. You could also give cash. This will never harm you in any way, but instead, this guarantees that your wealth will grow by the grace of Allah.

Please see these links for much more detail:
Zakat: How to Calculate & Whom to Give
How Do I Determine How Much Zakat I Owe?
Zakat: A Comprehensive SeekersGuidance Reader

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.