Should One Consider the Gold or the Silver Nisab With Regard to Whom You are Giving Zakat?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


The site mentions that in more affluent countries, we should use the Nisab as Gold when giving Zakat and silver to poorer countries. My question about the person taking the Zakat is, I understand Hirman-al-Zakat. If they have more personal items than nisab, then they cannot take Zakat. But for this person, what amount should be considered, gold or silver? e.g., a person in Pakistan, unable to work, has a silver nisab amount in belongings (clothing, old phone, etc.). Can I give this person Zakat with me, taking gold as the nisab amount? If yes, then what if this person themselves takes silver as the nisab amount and therefore me giving Zakat using gold as the nisab, but the person receiving then also gives Zakat using silver?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

Yes, you can give Zakat taking the gold threshold (nisab). One should take out Zakat, considering what is beneficial and best for the poor.

Value of Gold and Silver in the Prophetic Era

During the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the value of the zakatable amount or threshold(nisab) of gold and silver was the same. Afterward, they changed, and now there is a huge difference between them. The jurists (fuqaha) state that zakat should be calculated with whichever standard most benefits the poor.

[Ibn ʿAbidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Gold Threshold

When it comes to acts of worship, jurists tend to be cautious to ensure that the religious duty is fulfilled. According to the hadith, if a person’s wealth is equal to or more than the silver threshold, they are required to pay zakat. However, if their wealth does not reach the gold threshold, then discussing the threshold for gold zakat is not necessary. In this case, caution would require that a person pays zakat to ensure that they fulfill their religious duties. The jurists also look at that option which benefits the poor the most. Hence, by paying zakat, the poor will benefit more.

Silver Threshold

Some scholars argue that the gold threshold should be used instead of the silver threshold for calculating zakat. This is because there is a large difference between the value of gold and silver, which was not the case during the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). In addition, the price of silver has decreased so much that it no longer accurately reflects the point at which someone would be considered wealthy. As such, some scholars have given their opinion in favor of the gold threshold, but it is important to remember that this matter is open to interpretation (ijtihad). Therefore, it is not considered sinful if someone follows the gold threshold under the guidance of scholars. However, it is important to be cautious regarding matters related to worship, and one should still pay zakat according to the silver nisab.

May Allah grant you all good and success in this life and the Next

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[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.