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Alms Tax (Zakat) » The fiṭrah alms tax (zakāt al-fiṭrah) → ← Alms Tax (Zakat) » Intention (niyyah) for giving zakat

Alms Tax (Zakat) » Miscellaneous rulings on zakat

Ruling 1974. When wheat and barley are separated from the chaff, and when dates and grapes become dry, one must give zakat to the poor or separate it from his property. The zakat on gold, silver, cows, sheep, and camels must be given to the poor or separated from one’s property after the eleventh month is complete.

Ruling 1975. After separating zakat [from one’s property], it is not necessary that he immediately gives it to someone who is entitled to receive it, and there is no problem if it is delayed because of a rationally acceptable reason.

Ruling 1976. If a person can deliver zakat to someone entitled to receive it but does not do so and the zakat perishes due to his negligence, he must give it again in replacement.

Ruling 1977. If a person can deliver zakat to someone who is entitled to receive it but does not do so and it perishes without him being negligent in looking after it, in the event that he did not have a valid reason for the delay, he must give zakat again in replacement for it. In fact, even if he had a good reason for the delay – for example, he had intended to give it to a poor person in particular, or he wanted to distribute it to poor people gradually – then based on obligatory precaution he is responsible for it.

Ruling 1978. If a person puts aside zakat from his property, he can still use the rest of his property; and if he puts aside zakat from some other property of his, he can still use his entire property.

Ruling 1979. A person cannot use for himself zakat that he has set aside and replace it with something else.

Ruling 1980. If some profit accrues from the zakat that a person has set aside – for example, a sheep that has been kept aside for zakat gives birth to a lamb – then the profit is subject to the same rules as the zakat.

Ruling 1981. If someone who is entitled to receive zakat is present when a person sets aside zakat, it is better that he gives the zakat to him unless he has someone else in mind and for some reason it is better to give it to that other person instead.

Ruling 1982. If a person transacts with the property that he has set aside as zakat without the authorisation of a fully qualified jurist and incurs a loss, he must not deduct anything from the zakat. However, if he makes a profit, then based on obligatory precaution he must give it to someone who is entitled to receive zakat.

Ruling 1983. If before zakat becomes obligatory on a person he gives something to the poor as zakat, he cannot count it as zakat. However, if afterwards when zakat becomes obligatory on him the thing that he gave to the poor has not perished and the poor person has remained poor, he can count the thing that he gave him as zakat.

Ruling 1984. If a poor person knows that zakat has not become obligatory on someone and yet takes something from him as zakat and it perishes while it is with him, he is responsible for it. However, when zakat becomes obligatory on the person, if the poor person has remained poor, he can count the thing that he gave him as zakat.

Ruling 1985. If a poor person does not know that zakat has not become obligatory on someone and he takes something from him as zakat and it perishes while it is with him, he is not responsible for it; and the person who gave the thing cannot count it as zakat.

Ruling 1986. It is recommended for one to give zakat on cows, sheep, and camels to poor persons who are respectable; and in giving zakat, he should prefer his relatives and learned and virtuous persons over others, and those who do not beg over those who beg, although, it is possible that it may be better to give zakat to a poor person for some other reason.

Ruling 1987. It is better that zakat be given openly and that recommended alms to the poor (ṣadaqah) be given secretly.

Ruling 1988. If in the town of the person who wants to give zakat there is no one entitled to receive it and he cannot spend it in another way for which it was specified, he can transfer the zakat to another place. In this case, if he is not negligent in looking after it but it perishes nevertheless, he is not responsible for it. Furthermore, he can obtain agency (wikālah) from a fully qualified jurist to take possession of it, and with authorisation from a fully qualified jurist he can transfer it to another place. In this case too, he is not responsible for any loss, and he can take the transportation expenses from the zakat.

Ruling 1989. If someone entitled to receive zakat is found in one’s town, he can still take it to another town but he must pay the expenses for transferring it to that town himself; and if the zakat perishes, he is responsible for it unless he took it in compliance with the command of a fully qualified jurist.

Ruling 1990. The charges for weighing and measuring wheat, barley, raisins, and dates that a person gives as zakat must be paid by himself.

Ruling 1991. It is disapproved (makrūh) for a person to request someone entitled to receive zakat to sell him the zakat that he gave him. However, if the person entitled to receive zakat wants to sell the thing he received, then after its price has been determined, the person who gave him the zakat has the first option to buy it.

Ruling 1992. If a person doubts whether or not he gave the zakat that was obligatory on him and the property that was subject to zakat still exists, he must give zakat even if his doubt is about the zakat of previous years. However, if the property has perished, then zakat is not liable on it even if it relates to the current year.

Ruling 1993. A poor person cannot settle for a lesser amount of zakat before receiving it, nor can he accept something that is more expensive than the value of the zakat. Furthermore, an owner cannot give zakat to someone entitled to receive it on condition that he must return it to him. However, there is no problem if after receiving it, the entitled person consents to returning it to him. For example, if someone who owes a lot of zakat but has become poor and cannot give it, and he has repented, and a poor person consents to taking his zakat from him and gifting it back to him, there is no problem.

Ruling 1994. A person cannot purchase the Qur’an, religious books, or books of supplications (duʿāʾs) from the ‘in the way of Allah’ portion of zakat and give them as a charitable endowment (waqf) unless the general public benefit necessitates it, and, based on obligatory precaution, he gets authorisation from a fully qualified jurist.

Ruling 1995. A person cannot buy property from zakat and give it as a charitable endowment to his children or to those whose living expenses are obligatory on him in order that they spend the income generated from that property on their living expenses.

Ruling 1996. A person can take from the ‘in the way of Allah’ portion of zakat for hajj, ziyārah,(1) or suchlike, even if he is not poor or he has already taken an amount of zakat that is equal to his annual living expenses, provided that going for hajj, ziyārah, or suchlike is in the general public interest, and, based on obligatory precaution, he has obtained permission from a fully qualified jurist for using zakat in this way.

Ruling 1997. If the owner of a property makes a poor person his representative for distributing the zakat of his property, in the event that the poor person deems it probable that the owner did not intend for him to take zakat for himself as well, he cannot take anything from it for himself; but, if he has certainty (yaqīn) that this was not the intention of the owner, then he can take from it for himself.

Ruling 1998. If a poor person takes camels, cows, sheep, gold, or silver as zakat, in the event that the conditions for zakat to become obligatory are fulfilled with regard to those items, he must give zakat on them.

Ruling 1999. If two people jointly own a property on which zakat is obligatory and one of them gives zakat for his share and thereafter they divide the property, then even if he knows that his partner has not given zakat on his share and is not going to give it afterwards, there is no problem.

Ruling 2000. If a person owes the one-fifth tax (khums) or zakat, and recompense (kaffārah), vow (nadhr), and suchlike are also obligatory on him, and he has debt as well, in the event that he cannot pay all of these obligations and the property on which khums and zakat is obligatory has not perished, he must pay the khums and zakat. And if it has perished, then paying zakat, khums, and settling his debt has priority over kaffārah and nadhr.

Ruling 2001. If a person owes khums or zakat, and ḥajjat al-islām(2) is obligatory on him, and he has debt as well, then, if he dies and his estate is not sufficient for all of these obligations, in the event that the property on which khums and zakat is obligatory has not perished, the khums and zakat must be paid and the rest of his estate must be used to settle his debt. However, if the property on which khums and zakat is obligatory has perished, then his estate must be used to settle his debt; and if after this anything is left, it must be spent for [hiring a representative to perform] hajj [on the deceased’s behalf]; and if after this anything remains, it must be divided between the khums and zakat debts.

Ruling 2002. If a person is engaged in acquiring knowledge, and if he were not acquiring knowledge he could be working for a living, in the event that acquiring that knowledge is an individual obligation, the portion of zakat for the poor can be given to him. And if acquiring that knowledge is in the public interest, then it is permitted to give zakat to him from the ‘in the way of Allah’ portion with, based on obligatory precaution, the authorisation of a fully qualified jurist. In cases other than these two, it is not permitted to give zakat to him.

(1) Ziyārah is a visitation to the place of burial of a holy personality or to a holy place.

(2) Ḥajjat al-islām is the term used for the hajj that is obligatory on a Muslim to perform once in his lifetime as a fundamental precept of the religion, as opposed to a hajj that is obligatory on a Muslim by means of a vow and suchlike.
Alms Tax (Zakat) » The fiṭrah alms tax (zakāt al-fiṭrah) → ← Alms Tax (Zakat) » Intention (niyyah) for giving zakat
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