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.

The Book of Zakaah

As of all us know that Zakaah is one of the pillar of Islam.

Allah says in Quran:

خُذۡ مِنۡ أَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ صَدَقَةً۬ تُطَهِّرُهُمۡ وَتُزَكِّيہِم بِہَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيۡهِمۡ‌ۖ إِنَّ صَلَوٰتَكَ سَكَنٌ۬ لَّهُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allâh for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”     [ 9:103]

Zakaah means to purify, purify one’s wealth and purify one self, purify his wealth which in turn helps himself from being miser, stingy etc. 

وَمَآ ءَاتَيۡتُم مِّن رِّبً۬ا لِّيَرۡبُوَاْ فِىٓ أَمۡوَٲلِ ٱلنَّاسِ فَلَا يَرۡبُواْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ وَمَآ ءَاتَيۡتُم مِّن زَكَوٰةٍ۬ تُرِيدُونَ وَجۡهَ ٱللَّهِ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُضۡعِفُونَ

And that which you give in gift (to others), in order that it may increase (your wealth by expecting to get a better one in return) from other people’s property, has no increase with Allâh, but that which you give in Zakât seeking Allâh’s Countenance then those, they shall have manifold increase.” [“30:39]

Allah teaches us paying out of Zakah is an increment for one self, it is an investment, and it actually is a turn over for the assets we have.

[201] This is obligatory upon [1] every Muslim who is [2] free and [3] possesses the Nisaab (minimal amount that if possessed; makes Zakaah compulsory).

 [211] Zakaah is not obligatory upon one’s wealth, until a full lunar. We find in the hadith that there is no zakaah in wealth until a full lunar is completed. Hadith –“there is no zakat in wealth until one lunar year is completed” – (Abu Dawood -1573-)

With two exception of the above rule:

[1] – Anything that is harvested from earth, crops, treasure that is taken out earth, the one have to pay Zakaah as soon as you extract it or harvest it.  (What comes out of the ground (i.e. agricultural produce)).

 [2] – Whatever is produced/earned from one’s original assets such as the offspring of livestock and profits from trade. This is because it’s ‘hawl’ (complete lunar year) is calculated based on the timeline of one’s original assets, if it had reached the minimal amount (nisaab).

The Zakaah on profit have to pay when your original assets are one year.

To make it more clear, additional notes from Shaikh  Sajid:

From the outset Zakaah is not compulsory on your wealth until a complete lunar year is completed whilst that wealth is in your possession.

However there are two exceptions to the general rule:

1. That which is harvested/extracted from the ground. This should be paid out upon extraction.

2. Whatever is produced/earned from one’s original assets.

One’s original assets refers to:
the possessed amount that made you liable to pay zakaah if you continued to possess at least that amount or a higher amount throughout the year until the end of your ‘zakaah financial year’

‘Zakah financial year’ refers to the following scenario:

If you possessed the minimal amount that constituted you being liable to pay zakaah (nisaab) on January 1st 2009. If all condition are met;zakaah would be due on January 1st 2010. Thus the end of your ‘zakaah financial year’ would be January 1st each year.

If the nisaab was 1000 riyals and you acquired 1000 riyals on January 1st 2009, and then during March that year you turned that 1000.00 into 3000.00, and in August that year, you turned that 3000 into 10000.00 and on December 31st you ended up with 20 000.00.

On the 1st of January 2010, you will have to pay zakaah on 20 000.00.

We do not say you pay Zakaah on 1000.00 on the 1st of Jan 2010, then pay Zakaah on 3000.00 in March 2010 etc.

This is because all monies earned after you amassed the nissab is considered a result of your initial amount/original capital, and thus follows the same timeline.

In the same breath-continuing with our previous example: If you happened to lose 10 000.00 riyals before the end of the 31st of December 2009, after possessing 20 000.00 earlier, you would only be liable to pay Zakaah on

And Allah knows best

In regards, to physical wealth and merchandise, we need to understand that the lunar year calculation is not disrupted by the turnover of this particular wealth.

Zakaah is not applicable except in the following four cases (where zakaah is compulsory)  and also there is a nisaab for each case. Nisaab: Nisaab is a minimum amount for zakah to be liable and compulsory, each category have its own minimum amount.

i.  Zakaat Baheemah al-An’aam (Zakaah on an’aam animals) -The Sa’imah – which refers to those animals that eat by themselves.  Cows,camels,sheeps. As far as those animals which you have to feed there is no zakaah on them.

–      Minimum amount ( zakaah to be compulsory) for sheep is forty sheep.

–      Minimum amount for camel is five.

–      Minimum amount for cow is thirty cows. 

Thus if someone has 5 freely grazing camels, then zakaah is waajib upon him when his/her     ‘zakaah financial year’ is up. And if someone has 30 freely grazing cows, then zakaah is waajib upon him at the end of the ‘zakaah financial year’.

 2.  What comes out of the ground  –  Those things are harvested  which can be  weighed and stored, those cannot be stored and weighed you don’t pay Zakah. Stored means stored without preservatives or chemicals.  Minimum amount for zakaah to be due (Nisaab) is At least  six hundred and a bit Kilograms.

 3. Treasures – means Gold and silver and those that can take the place of Gold and Silver eg: cash/money .

The Nisaab of Gold is 20 Dinaar’s (85 grams of gold)
The Nisaab of Silver is 200 Dirhams (595 grams of silver)

 The minimal value for Zakaah changes every year depending on the price of Gold in the country that you are in.

If at the end of your Zakaah financial year, you have less than the nisaab, then you do not have to pay zakaah even if you had the minimal amount before your financial year was completed.

Zakaah on an employee’s salary

I am an employee with a monthly salary of 2000 Saudi riyals. My family are all dependent on me and I pay all their expenses from my salary. I have a wife, daughter, father and brothers and sisters on whom I spend.

But my question is, how can I pay the zakaah on my wealth when my only source of income is this salary, and all of my salary is spent on my family? So when should I pay may zakaah? Some people say that a salary is like agricultural crops, and one should not wait until one full year has passed before paying it. So when does zakaah become obligatory upon my salary?


Praise be to Allaah.
If a person has a monthly salary and he spends all of it and has nothing left, so that at the end of the month he has spent all his money, then he does not have to pay zakaah, because for zakaah to be obligatory, one full year must have passed (i.e., one full year from the date of his taking possession of the nisaab, the minimum amount of wealth on which zakaah is due). On this basis, you do not have to pay zakaah, unless you save some of your wealth and that amount reaches the nisaab (threshold or minimum amount), and one year has passed.

With regard to the person who told you that the zakaah on a salary is like the zakaah on agricultural crops and you do not have to wait until one full year has passed before paying it, what he said is not correct.

As most people work for a salary, we think that it is a good idea to describe how zakaah is to be paid on salaries.

Zakaah on the salary of an employee:

The employee with a salary will find himself in one of the following two situations:

1 – Either he spends all of it and does not save anything, in which case he is not obliged to pay zakaah, as in the case of the person who asked this question;

2 – Or he will save some of it, sometimes more and sometimes less. So how is zakaah to be reckoned in this case?

The answer is: if he insists on having all his rights and on not giving any charity to those who deserve it apart from what he is obliged to give, then he should make a schedule of his earnings and write down every amount and the date on which he took possession of it. Then he should pay zakaah for each amount separately when one year has passed from the date on which he took possession of it.

But if he wants an easier method, and wants to be more generous and give precedence to the poor and others who are entitled to zakaah over himself, then he can pay zakaah on all the money he possesses when one year has passed from the date when his wealth first reached the nisaab. This will bring a greater reward and raise him higher in status; it is easier for him and is more generous towards the poor and needy and others who are entitled to zakaah. Whatever extra amount he may pay will be regarded as a “down payment” on the zakaah for any wealth for which one year has not yet passed.

(From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 9/280).

For example: a man takes his salary for Muharram, and saves one thousand riyals of it. Then he does likewise in Safar and the remaining months. When Muharram comes in the following year, he looks at all that he has and pays zakaah based on that.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

 4. Zakaah ‘urood al-tijaarah (Zakaah on trade goods) -Merchandise– Refers to those goods  for which you have an intention to sell, even if you display them or you don’t display them.  As long as you intent to sell, Zakah is compulsory on it.

Minimum amount for zakaah to be due is same as Nisaab for gold and silver.


Zakaah on the CAMEL

 i.    Camels – 24 or less – sheep are to be paid as zakaah.

ii.    For every 5 camels (Minimum Nisab level) – 1 sheep is to be paid.

iii.    25 to 35 camelsa 1yr old she-camel (Binth Makhad) is paid,  in the absence if 1 yr old she camel, then a 2yr old male camel (ibn Laboon) is to be paid.

iv.    36 to 45 camelsa 2yr old she-camel (binth Laboon)

 v.    46 to 60 camelsa 3yr old one she-camel  fit for breeding(hiqqah) is to be paid. Whoever owes in Zakah a three-year old she-camel but does not     possess it, but instead has a four-year old, that would  be accepted from him and in in return, the Zakah collector should give him twenty Dirhams or two sheep.”

 vi.    61 to 75 camelsa 4yr old she-camel whose udders have formed (Jaza’ah) to be paid. Whoever has to pay in Zakah a four-year old she-camel but does not possess one, and instead has a three-year old she- camel; then that would be acceptable, but he should add to that two sheep if he is able, and if not, he should add twenty Dirhams.

vii.    76 to 90 camels –  two binth laboons to be paid ( two  2year old she-camels)

 viii.    91 to 120 camelstwo hiqqas to be paid (two 3yr old camels – fit for breeding are to be paid)

ix.    More than 120 camelsfor every 40 (over 120) – a 2yr old she-camel – binth laboon to be paid.

x.    More than 120 camels – for every 50 (over 120) – a 3yr old she-camel fit for breeding = hiqqah to  be paid.

xi.    Have only 4 camels0 -does not have to pay zakaah (unless he wishes to do so)

This is based on the Hadith of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), where Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote to him, saying: This concerns the obligation of Zakah which the Messenger of Allah, (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) made obligatory for the Muslims and which Allah commanded His Messenger with: …For twenty-four camels or less , sheep are to be paid as Zakaah; for every five camels one sheep is to be paid.. And if there are between twenty-five to thirty-five camels, one ‘Bint Makhad ( a one year old she-camel) is to be paid or, in the absence of a one year old she-camel, a ‘ibn Laboon’ ( a two year old male-camel). From thirtysix to forty-five, one ‘bint laboon’ (a two year old she-camel) is to be paid. From forty-six to sixty, one ‘hiqqah’ is to be paid ( a three-year old she-camel fit for breeding). From sixty-one to seventy-five, one ‘Jaza’ah’ is to be paid ( a four-year old she-camel whose udders haveformed). From seventy-six to ninety (camels), two ‘bint laboons’ ( two-year old she-camels) are to be paid. From ninety-one to one hundred and twenty (camels), two ‘hiqqahs’ ( three-year old shecamels fit for breeding) are to be paid. If there are more than onehundred and twenty (camels), for every forty (over 120), one ‘bint laboon’ is to be paid, and for every fifty camels (over 120) one ‘hiqqah’ is to be paid, and whoever has only four camels, does not have to pay any Zakaah unless he wishes to.”

 Zakaah on sheep

     i.        40 – 120 = 1 sheep to be given as Zakaah.

    ii.        121 – 200 = 2 sheeps to be given as Zakaah.

   iii.        201-300 = 3 sheeps to be given as Zakaah.

  iv.        More than 300 = Every hundred above this (300) , another sheep must be paid.

   v.        Less than 40  = No Zakaah need to be paid unless the owner wishes.

 It is not permissible for one to combine different groups, nor divide flocks of one type, to avoid paying Zakaah on them. 

If the animals are co-owned, then the owners should pay the Zakaah collectively.

 It is not permissible to pay in Zakaah an animal that has reached old age or is defective.

 Zakaah on Cows

[214] And in the Hadith of Mu’aadh (may Allah be pleased with him) it states that: “The Prophet (r) commanded him to take from every thirty cows a one-year old calf, male or female, and from every forty (cows)a two-year old she-calf.” [Ahl As-Sunan]

Source:  Notes taken from Course-Lecture8: 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.