Should The Minimum Zakatable Amount be Measured by The Gold or Silver Standards?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Does the amount of one’s saved money need to equal the value of 84 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver to pay zakat? There’s a significant difference between the value of that amount of gold and silver.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Based on the relatively low value of the silver nisab, it is generally best to calculate zakat according to the gold nisab value as this is more beneficial for the poor (from specific perspectives), and Allah knows best.

The value of the zakat nisab fluctuates with the value of gold. You can get an up-to-date value on our Zakat calculator in your currency.

Using the Gold Standard

In the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the value of the zakatable amount (nisab) of gold and silver was the same. Afterward, they changed, and now there is a vast difference between them.

Contemporary Jurists generally state that zakat should be calculated with whichever standard most benefits low-income people. 

Opinion Preferring Silver

The contemporary Shafi‘i scholar Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller states, “One must pay zakat (2.5 percent) on all money that has been saved for a year if it equals at least the market value of 592.9 grams of silver (that is current during the year). While there is a considerable difference between the value of the gold zakat minimum and the silver zakat minimum, the minimum for monetary currency should correspond to that of silver since it is better for the poor”. [Reliance of the Traveller]

Opinion Preferring Gold

Our teacher, the late Shafi‘i Mufti, Shaykh Taha Karaan (Allah have mercy on him), emphasized that the Nisab (minimal zakatable amount) should be calculated according to the gold and not the silver standard.

While using the silver standard means that more people would be eligible to pay zakat, the relatively low value of 592.9 grams of silver would necessitate many low-income individuals to pay zakat, while the objective of zakat is for the wealth of the rich to be redistributed to the less fortunate, and Allah knows best.

For similar reasons, other scholars have suggested that people living in countries with a relatively more robust economy should use gold. These scholars add that, in poorer economies, using silver as the standard might be practical. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.