Zakaah- Merchandise,Zakaatul Fitr, Zakaah Recipients

Zakaah on Merchandise/Trade Goods

[219] As for merchandise; then this is defined as all that which is used in buying and selling for a profit.

  • Merchandise is those goods that a person intends to sell.

[220] zakaah is due on all such goods at the end of a specified duration.

  • You have to pay zakaah on merchandise if a complete lunar year is passed.
  • You start calculate year from the time when you intend to sell the goods and not on the time you own the goods.
  • During that time if you change the goods, sell the goods for cash and buy more goods, this does not break the initial zakaah timeline/zakaah financial year.

[221]The Zakaah on this should be a fortieth of the highest price estimate of such goods, for the benefit of the poor, payable in gold or silver.

[224] Zakah is to be taken from the median wealth of the person and if he gives it from [225] the most inferior (in value) of it, then it will not be rewarded. He need not give from the [226] most superior of it but may do so if he wishes.  

The above means that  the Zakaah collector must not take the most valuable of animals, nor the least valuable- but one which is of middle value.

This is if Zakaah is being paid on livestock.

The same applies to grains etc.

And Allah knows best

 Computation of Zakaah on merchandise:

You need to know (evaluate) the market value of your goods at end of the zakah financial year and then divide by 40 in order to arrive the zakaah payable amount.

For eg: if you find the market value of your goods at the end of the year to be 40,000 riyals then you divide 40,000 by 40 and your zakaah payable will be 1,000 riyals.


–         If the debt is upon a person who is able to pay off his debts and is not poor and is not a then zakaah is compulsory on him.

 –         The amount loaned it to mumaatil (a person who is known to delay in repayment), when you pay out your zakaah then you don’t need to include the amount you lent this person while calculating your zakaah. However, if the mumaatil (the one who delays in paying), pays you back- when the money is returned to you – you have to pay 2.5 % of that received amount as Zakaah for the amount lent.

 –         If the debt is upon the person who is poor and the person cannot pay the debt then zakaah is not compulsory for him.

 –         If the debt is upon the person who can pay his debt then zakaah is compulsory for him.

 –         Zakaah is waajib on a person if they are in debt, but able to pay it, and only delay payment for no valid reason.


If you lent money to a person who is known to pay back you on time, then when you calculate your zakaah you can include that amount that you lent him.

Zakaah has to be paid on all assets at the end of each ‘zakaah financial year’. If the money taken does not have to be paid back immediately, and you possess the nisaab, you include the money taken in your complete calculation.

If the money has to be paid back immediately, and you cannot afford to, then Zakaah is not liable upon you.

DEBT – Money lent to be included or not – there is difference in opinion among Ulamaas.

The Ulamaa have differed heavily in this regard, however the preferred view is that -if you lend money to someone who you know will pay you back, then that money is to be counted in when working out your yearly Zakaah. However you have the choice to pay the Zakaah on the lent money along with the zakaah of your possessed assets, or wait till the money is paid back; and once paid back or received, remove 2.5% from the amount (calculate 2.5% of the received amount) and pay zakaah for it.

The ruling in the first scenario is more virtuous, and the ruling in the second scenario permissible because of an applied leniency as the money is not physically held by you.

And Allah knows best…

 [224] Zakah is to be taken from the median wealth of the person and if he gives it from

[225] the most inferior (in value) of it, then it will not be rewarded. He need not give from the

[226] most superior of it but may do so if he wishes.

[227] Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: “There is a fifth (payable) upon buried treasure.” [Agreed Upon]

Chapter: Zakah al-Fitr

[228] Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) related that: “The Prophet(s) prescribed the payment of Zakah al-Fitr as one Saa’ of dates or one Saa’ of barley for every slave and freeman, whether male and female, young old, among the Muslims and ordered that it be paid before the people go out to the Eid Prayer..” [Agreed Upon]

It is prescribed for us to pay Zakah Al Fitr, the wisdom behind it is to:

 a) cleanse you from the mistakes you committed during Ramadan whilst fasting e.g.: idle talks and shameful talk (that may have occurred etc..

b) Giving opportunity for poor people to enjoy Eid.

When it should be paid: Zakaatul Fitr – It should be paid on Eid or a day or two days before Eid. To be paid before Eid prayer.

What to be paid as Zakaatul Fitr: The Ulama have differed to give out on that day, should we restrict to these that mentioned in the hadith: Saa’ of dates,or barley, or dry cottage cheese, or raisins, or bran.

First view is that u should give only the five mentioned in hadith.

– Second view is u can give from these 5 in hadith or the staple diet of the country you reside in e.g.: if rice is staple die in a country then you can pay rice.

Third view: you can give equivalent cash.

Preferred view is second view that u can give 5 in hadith or staple diet of the place your reside. Why – because this will do justice to the amount that the poor person needs and by giving cash it may not be suffice the needs.

Voluntary CharityIt has important place in our religion, our shariah has opened us door to get extra rewards by performing voluntary charity.  From the seven who will be shaded on the Day of Judgment will be the one  who  had spent his wealth in the way of Allah to such an extent that his right hand would not know what the left has given.

The Prophet (r) said: “Allah will give seven (persons) protection with His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His. (i.e., on the Day of Judgment, and they are): a just ruler, a youth who grew up worshipping Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosques; two persons who love each other, meeting and parting for the sake of Allah; a man whom a beautiful high-society woman seduces (for an illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying): ‘I fear Allah’; a person who gives charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that his right hand would not know what the left has given; and a person who remembers Allah in privacy and his eyes therefore shed tears.” [Agreed Upon]

  Recipients of ZAKAAH: PTTBFFFS

  1. Poor
  2. The Needy.
  3. Those employed to collect Zakah.
  4. Bringing hearts together for Islam.
  5. Freeing Captives for Slaves.
  6. For those in debt.
  7. For Cause of Allah.
  8. Stranded Traveler.

 Zakaah is not to be paid except to the above eight categories of people mentioned by Allah in his statement:

{Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.} [at-Tawbah: 9:60]

You can increase the rewards of Zakaah by paying out to the appropriate recipient who deserves most, for eg: if there is group of people who is really in need of zakaah, their poverty is more  serious than the other group in that case if you pay the most needy among them you will get more rewards.

If you spent on your family relatives those who are deserving zakaah there rewards will be even greater.

Zakaah to relatives:

Whom you should pay and whom you shouldn’t pay among your relatives:

You shouldn’t pay Zakaah to those relatives from whom you would inherit in the event of their death. Because it is not allowed to receive the zakaah paid back.

Eg: for eg a person has two brothers with no father, one of the brothers has children and other brother has no children. So this rich brother can give zakaah to brother who has children, he cannot give brother with no children. Because in case of death of the brother with children, the children will inherit the wealth not the rich brother. But if the brother with no children dies, then the rich brother will inherit his wealth.

Also note that a father and son block the blood brother to inherit your wealth.

 [236] Zakaah is not to be given to:

[1] – The wealthy

[2]- Those who have the ability to earn

[3] – The family of Muhammad (s), who are the Banu Hashim and their clients.

[4] – Someone upon whom it is obligatory to provide for

[5] – A disbeliever

[237] As for Sadaqah (superogatory charity), then it may be given to these people as well as other than them.

 [238] However, it is advisable to give it in a manner and path that will cause it to be a means of complete benefit.

Source: Taken from Course-Lecture9: by Shaikh Saad ibn Naasir Al Shithry, a former member of the Senior Scholars’ Council of Saudia Arabia and the Vice-President of KIU based on the book ’Manhaj As Salikin’ (The Methodology of the Traveller and a Clarification of Fiqh of  the Religion) by  Shaikh Abdur -Rahman As-Sa’di.

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