Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
I read in Shaykh Musa Furber’s ‘The Accessible Conspectus’ that women do not have to pay zakat on gold jewelry they own as long as it is not an excessive amount. Is this the relied upon opinion in the Shafi’i school? Also, what does excessive mean?
Shaykh Musa is a well-respected scholar and the views he expresses in his book ‘The Accessible Conspectus’ generally constitute the preponderant view in the Shafi’i school.
Accordingly, he correctly says that zakah is not compulsory on lawful, permissible jewelry. As long as a lady uses her jewelry and does not hoard it as an investment, zakah is not compulsory on it.
However, if her jewelry is excessive, zakah is compulsory on all of it. Excessiveness is determined by what is considered more than the norm according to the customs of her community.
For example, women in certain Arab cultures may receive jewelry weighing a kilogram or more on the occasion of their marriage. Thus, the norm in such communities is that women own such quantities of jewelry. Accordingly, zakah is not payable on it.
On the other hand, a woman who owns a kilogram of jewelry in another society may be regarded as owning an excessive amount of jewelry. Consequently, she will have to pay zakah on all of it.
And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.