Is Spending Money on Financially Stable Family Considered Charity?

Question: If someone is spending money on his married sister who is financially stable, is it considered sadaqah? If it is not sadaqa but ihsan, what are the virtues of Ihsan? And is it better to spend his money as sadaqah to needy people or helping a community?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum

The word sadaqa is often used as a broad term incorporating all good deeds. The Prophet (blessings upon him) said, “Every act of good is sadaqa.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Therefore, what you give to your family members of monetary wealth to assist them is a form of sadaqa, even if they are financially stable. As to whether it is superior to give to the poor or family members, then the best approach is to strike a balance between the two. There may be some contexts where spending money on your family is required and appropriate, while other times it would be better to assist the poor and the community.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics.

Forgetting to Give Zakat

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.

1) What is the minimum amount of money to give zakat in pounds (£)?

2) Can a girl who has not reached (bulugh) give zakat even if she has enough wealth to make it obligatory as if she did reach it?

3) What if one forgot to give zakat when he was wealthy but is later in debt?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

What is the nisab amount that makes zakat obligatory?

This amount is roughly £3,407 at the moment. Please refer to our Zakat calculator for accurate, up to date information.

Can a Girl Who Has Not Reached Bulugh Give Zakat?

She can give money to charity, yes.  However, it will not be classified as zakat because it is not obligatory for her. She will be rewarded for it, however. ”Anything of the good you do Allah is well aware of it.“ (Qur’an, 2:215)

What Does Someone Who Forgot to Give Zakat and Then Falls into Debt Do?

The obligation of paying that amount which was owed remains. He would have to pay it when he has possession of the money.

(Mawsili, al Ikhtiyar)

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is it Valid to Pay the Zakat on Gold and Silver with Cash?

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.
Is it valid in the Hanafi school of thought to pay the due Zakat on actual gold or silver in its value in cash currency? For instance, if someone owns 10oz of gold in bars and coins, can they pay the due Zakat in CAD?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

Yes, it is valid to pay the zakat on gold and silver in cash. (Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al Muhtar)

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Are Taxes Outside of Zakat Considered Forbidden in Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu ‘Alaykum,  Are taxes outside of zakat considered forbidden in Islam?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Yes, it is permissible for a government or authority to levy taxes on people. Usually, these funds are used for the benefit of everyone who lives in that place for things like maintaining roads and education.

The best thing to do is to intend to give the money as a charity to society at large. Allah has said, ”Whatever you do of the good Allah knows it.” (Qur’an; 2:197) Meaning that He will reward you for all the good that you do. This way you can take the benefits of paying your taxes into the next life with you.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Do I Pay Zakat on Foreign Property?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat answers a question related to the payment of Zakat on foreign property (according to the Hanafi school of thought).

 

Question:

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahuh

Hope you are well. I have a question re. zakat. My family has put a property abroad under my name – presumably to avoid problems of transfer when it comes to future inheritance. It is currently leased to a business who pay rent but in reality, I don’t consider the money as my own as, in effect, it is under the control of my family. Do I need to pay zakat on this? It’s not a matter I feel entirely comfortable with even though I understand why it has been done but I
don’t want to create problems. Concerning my own earned income, I am not eligible for zakat but if I have to incorporate the foreign rent, I may be even though I don’t use it. I would really appreciate an answer, especially as I can imagine other second-generation immigrants may be in similar situations.

Jazakallah khayrun

 

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Zakat is only due on wealth or property which has the potential for growth. This would include any property purchased with the intention of sale or to acquire rental income. As such, zakat would not be due on the property if it was not purchased with intention of sale. The rental income, however, is zakatable. (Mawsili, Al Ikhtiyar).

Ownership of the Property

Whether you owe zakat on the rental income or not is dependant on who the actual owner is. When the property was transferred to you was it done with the intention of making you the owner of it, such that if you decided to sell it you would be able to do so?

You need to gentle clarify the matter with your family. Make it clear to them that you do not want to cause friction, and then explain that there are religious ramifications to owning the property – if you are indeed the owner. You need to know so you can pay the zakat on the rental income – which is rightfully your if you own it, even if you do not spend it. If they say it is yours then you can deal with the situation in the manner you deem to be the best for all involved.

If the property is only in your name for another purpose then you do not have to pay the zakat on the rental income. The actual owner is responsible for this.

Clarity In Matters of Inheritance 

Inheritance is a serious affair in Islam. When a person dies his property automatically becomes the property of his next of kin – with the exception of funeral costs and the repayment of debts which are both given precedence. It is up to the heirs to see that it is distributed accordingly.

Non-Shari’a compliant distributions before death, and vague allocations can be the cause of a lot of problems، and even fighting، between the next of kin. Therefore, it is best to have all such matters clarified beforehand.

Not following the distribution detailed in the Qur’an has serious consequences in this world and the next. I heard Shaykh Ali Hani, whose family were originally from Palestine, say on a number of occasions that before the country was occupied, it was common for Palestinian families not give anything of the inheritance to the daughters. They thought that the money would end up going to another (her husband’s) family, and they preferred to keep it in their own. This practice was rife. Could it be that what happened to the country was a test from Allah because of this?

Speak to your family and get clarity. It will make things much easier later on.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Zakat on Six Months Advance Rent

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked how to calculate zakat on advance rent.

My zakat will be due soon.  In the following situation would you please kindly inform me on whether I would pay zakat on the full rent and deposit or not?

I renewed my tenancy last week for another six months and, as before, because I’m not in employment I have to pay the full amount upfront plus the security deposit, which they already have from when I started renting.

Rent: £675/mo. Six months total: £4,050. Security Deposit: £800.

Last year I did as I was unsure.  It would be helpful to know what the actual ruling on this would be. I pray you will advise me please.

Wassalam

No, you do not need to pay zakat on the rent you have paid your landlord for your home.

The principle is that zakat is paid on assets owned. As you have paid your rent up front, the money has left your ownership, and it is thus no longer included in your zakat calculations.

As for the security deposit, you would include it in your zakatable assets. This is because it is merely a deposit, and you aren’t transferring ownership of that money to the landlord.

Note that if you are in possession of the zakatable minimum (nisab) and you then proceed to pay zakat which you think is due, when it actually isn’t, you can consider that amount to count towards a future payment of zakat. Hence, if you unduly paid extra last year, you can assume it was forwarded to this year.

Please also see Is Your Zakat Due? – A Reader and Resources on Giving Zakat.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How to Pay Zakat on Trade Goods?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

If I buy 1000 pieces of trade goods for 1€ each, do I have to pay zakat on the market value? Let’s say the sales price is 7€. Does it mean that I have to pay zakat on 7000€ ?

How should I count the sales tax or other expenses like selling on ebay who requires you to pay a percentage of the sales price to them?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Generally, and with regards to calculating the net worth of trade goods in your possession, you should use their current market value.

Note that there are usually three sets of valuation: (1) the cost or wholesale price, which is the price you most likely paid to purchase the goods, (2) the current market value, and (3) the retail price, which you listed in your question as the sale price, namely, something which can be self-determined.

If there are liabilities which are due, whether for the purposes of tax or other general overheads, these can be deducted when calculating your net zakatable assets.

Please also see: Is Your Zakat Due? – A Reader and Resources on Giving Zakat and: Zakat: A Comprehensive SeekersHub Reader and: Years of Past Due Zakat, and Zakat on Non-Selling or Damaged Trade Goods

And Allah Most High knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Should I Pay Zakat on Investments I Have Made?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I have a certain amount of cash that I have given to my friend to invest in his business, I had that amount for a year with me and then transferred it to him to invest. Does this wealth require zakat to be paid? And currently, I am unemployed and don’t have any other source of income.

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Short answer:

If you intended to transfer ownership of those funds to your friend, your friend pays the zakat. If you intended your friend to merely act as an agent (wakeel) to invest the funds on your behalf, then you pay zakat on those funds. Whoever has to pay the zakat should calculate it according to the method detailed below.

Detailed Answer:

First of all, the principle underlying the obligation of zakat has been summarized as follows:

“Zakat is only due if one possesses a net zakatable amount above and beyond one’s debts and immediate (one-month) expenses after a zakat-year has passed since first possessing such an amount.” (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, may Allah preserve him, in one of his past answers).

Secondly, there are two parts to your question. The first pertains to the year you were in possession of the cash, prior to giving it over to your friend. During that year, the cash you had must certainly be counted from your assets. You should do the calculations described below to determine whether you owe zakat for this year.

The second part of your question pertains to what happens after transfering the cash to a friend to invest. Based on your intention at the time of transferring the funds, the following is possible: A) you intended to make your friend your agent (wakeel) to invest the funds on your behalf, or B) you intended to transfer ownership of the funds to your friend. In latter scenario, the funds would be considered a gift (hibah) and your friend would become the owner of the funds from the time of transfer. Hence, after the transfer, no zakat would be due on you in relation to those funds. Rather, your friend would have to calculate and pay zakat on those funds from that point on.

Since you have asked regarding your own zakat obligation, it seems more likely that you intended scenario A. That is, the friend is merely acting as an agent (wakeel) on your behalf, while the funds remain yours. In this case, you must calculate and pay zakat on those funds, in the same way as described above. One must always remember that paying zakat from any given wealth is the responsibility of the owner of that wealth (malik), and not the responsibility of the one to whom it is given for a specific duration. Phyiscal possession is not necessary for the obligation of zakat. Rather, if one has full control over the funds and they are redeemable whenever one desires, the funds are considered to be in one’s possession and zakat will due on them.

Lastly, you have indicated that you are unemployed without any other source of income. Even in that situation, zakat may still be due. In order to determine zakat due, you must add up your zakatable assets for a given year. Zakatable assets include cash, bank balances, investment and retirement accounts, gold, silver, and trade goods (i.e. goods purchased for resale, not for personal use). Any property acquired for personal use (including homes, cars, furnishings, personal effects, etc.) is not from one’s zakatable assets. From the total zakatable assets, subtract your debts, including immediate (one-month) expenses for yourself and your dependents. If the resulting amount is more than the nisaab, then you must pay 2.5% of that amount as zakat for that year. Note that the nisaab is the minimum amount of wealth upon which zakat is due, and it equals 612.32 grams of silver or about $302 (according to the current market price for silver).

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Umer Mian

Should I Include Loans When I Calculate My Zakat?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I needed money, and one of my relatives helped me out. He is happy to get the money back (if I can ever repay), and he is happy if I don’t repay.

Is zakat calculated on this? It is a confusing matter as I’m not financially well off, and while I pray I can repay, it is possible I may never be able to. If Allah opens my income gates, I may be able to. No clue. It is a very very large amount.

Time passes. What to do about this?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

If he loaned the amount of money to you, it would be considered a debt owed to him.

If he merely gifted the amount to you, or forgave the “loan,” then it would be owned by you fully. Consequently, you would add it to your other financial assets and pay zakat the next time your due date comes around.

If you did not own the zakatable minimum (nisab) before this gift, or you did not have a zakat due date, the date the money was received would be your new zakat due date, assuming you have no other debts and the like. Hence, you would owe zakat the following lunar year.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (2.391)]

Please also see: Is Your Zakat Due? – A Reader and Resources on Giving Zakat and: Zakat: A Comprehensive SeekersHub Reader and: Zakat Calculator

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Help Scholars Do The Work Of Scholars – A Message from Imam Zaid Shakir

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh,

Dear Brothers and Sisters, this is Imam Zaid Shakir, and I’m here to encourage all of you to support the SeekersGuidance Islamic Scholars Fund.

The Islamic Scholars Fund helps support students and scholars from all over the world and from every corner of the Ummah.

Many scholars that have been affected by the various conflicts are now refugees. They have been uprooted from their homelands, torn away from their sources of income and separated from their students.

As you know, adjusting to a new life in a foreign land, especially as a refugee is very difficult. This is where the Seekershub Islamic Scholars Fund comes in.

It helps these scholars continue to teach, continue to research, continue to study and to continue to serve the Ummah with their knowledge and skills.


This is what we need our scholars to be doing — not driving cabs and mopping floors, or other menial jobs.


When you donate to the Islamic Scholars Fund you’re helping scholars in North America and other Western countries, who’ve dedicated large parts of their lives to studying sacred knowledge, teach and benefit their communities instead of driving cabs or doing other menial work.

Every job has its dignity, but our scholars should be teaching, writing and researching. By donating to the SeekersHub Islamic Scholars Fund, you’re helping them to do just that.


The budget is large; over $100,000 is being spent each month to support scholars and students of knowledge.


Unfortunately most people wait until Ramadan to give their Zakat and Sadaqa, but the need is immediate.

My dear Brothers and Sisters… we need to step up right now!

We need to help the SeekersHub Islamic Scholars Fund to meet its budgetary requirements in the months before Ramadan.


We need to support our Ummah’s scholars and students of knowledge so they can continue to do what they do best: teach, research, guide, nurture communities and write.


This is what we need our scholars to be doing. Not driving cabs and mopping floors, or other menial jobs.

May Allah bless all of you, your families and all those you love. May He give you all great openings during these upcoming blessed months.

– Imam Zaid Shakir

Don’t wait until Ramadan to give your Zakat! Take a minute right now to support scholars and students who are preserving and spreading sacred knowledge in communities all over the world.