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Zakat FAQs – Mufti Faraz Adam

The following is a list of FAQS pertaining to Zakat – written by Mufti Faraz Adam. 

Q: Upon whom is Zakāt compulsory?

A: Zakat is compulsory on every sane, mature Muslim who is owner of Zakātable assets equivalent to the Nisab after a passing of a lunar year.


Q: Who is regarded to have nisab?

A: A person who has Zakātable assets equivalent to or more than the Nisāb after deducting liabilities will qualify as a Nisāb holder.


Q: What is Nisāb?

A: The Nisāb is a threshold.  One who possesses Zakātable assets equivalent to the Nisāb amount, will be regarded as a Nisāb holder and will have to check one lunar year later if he still possesses nisab amount to pay Zakāt.


Q: What is the value of Nisāb?

A: The Nisāb is the value of 612.36 grams of silver.


Q: How much will I have to pay?

A: One will have to give 2.5% of one’s total net assets.


Q: What if one’s wealth fluctuates during the course of the year?

A: It makes no difference whether one’s wealth increases or decreases during the course of the year.  Only if one becomes insolvent then one’s Nisāb date will expire.


Q: Is there Zakāt on one’s house and car?

A: There is no Zakat on personal items which take the form of living necessity.  e.g. a house, clothes, utensils, furniture, car and all household appliances without which life would fall into difficulty etc.


Q: Is intention necessary?

A: Intention at the time of giving Zakāt is a pre-requisite for the valid discharge of Zakāt.


Q: Can a husband pay Zakāt on behalf of his wife?

A: It is permissible to discharge somebody else’s Zakāt from one’s own wealth on condition one has approval and acknowledgement from the other party.


Q: Is Zakāt compulsory on personal gold?

A: Zakāt is compulsory on gold & silver in one’s ownership for whatever reason and whichever form.


Q: Is Zakāt binding on cash in a bank account?

A: Zakāt is obligatory on all cash whether in one’s physical possession or in a bank account.


Q: Do I have to pay Zakāt on money I have given to a brother as a loan?

A: Zakāt is compulsory on debt receivables arising from forwarding a loan or selling stock on credit.  The total outstanding balance will be added to one’s gross assets.


Q: I am in debt; do I deduct my debts when calculating Zakāt?

A: Debts are deductible from your Zakatable total if they are to be repaid in full within the next 12 months.

Debts not repayable at all in the next 12 months are NOT deductible.

If debts are payable by instalment, then 12 months debt is deductible.


Q: Is Zakāt compulsory on social security allowances?

A: Zakāt is payable on the beneficiary of Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Child benefits and all other forms of social security allowances.


Q: I have a business, do I have to pay Zakāt on anything?

A: Zakāt is compulsory on one’s business stock and will be calculated according to the retail price of the goods.  There is no zakat upon the fixed assets in a business.


Q: Do I have to pay Zakāt on shares?

A: The value of shares purchased to resell is Zakātable.


Q: We manufacture goods.  Do we have to pay Zakāt on those goods?

A:  For businesses involved in manufacturing goods, all finished goods must be valued at their sale price, and all unfinished goods at market price.


Q: I have not paid Zakāt for years.  What do I do?

A: If one failed to give Zakāt for previous years, one should estimate how many years were missed and how much one’s nets assets were each year and give Zakāt accordingly.


Q: Who can I give Zakāt to?

A: Zakāt can only be given to either a needy person who does not own in excess of his personal needs any surplus asset that is equal to the value of Nisāb or a debtor whose liabilities exceed Zakātable and surplus assets.


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