Miscellaneous Rulings Pertaining to ZakÁt
1978. When the wheat or barley grains are being separated from the chaff, and when the dates or grapes are drying, a person must give their zakÁtto the poor, or separate it from his own property. As for the zakÁtof gold, silver, cows, sheep and camels, it should be given to the poor after the completion of the eleventh month, or separated from the owner’s property.
If one is waiting for a particular poor individual, or wishes to give it to a person who is distinguished from some aspect, he has the choice not to separate the zakÁt, provided he writes it down and gets it recorded. The obligatory precaution is that he should not delay it for more than three months.
1979. Uponseparating the zakÁt, one does not have to give it away immediately. However, if he has access to a deserving recipient, the recommended precaution is that he should not delay in giving the zakÁt.
1980. If a person who is able to deliver the zakÁtto a deserving recipient, fails to do so and the zakÁtgets destroyed due to his own negligence, he will have to replace it.
1981. If a person who is able to deliver the zakÁt to a deserving recipient, fails to do so, but is not negligent in safeguarding it, and has a shar‘Ð reason for not giving, such as waiting to give it to a better utilization, or a particular poor person, he will not be held accountable for it. In a case other than this, he will be held accountable for it.
1982. If a person separates the zakÁt from the property itself, he can make use of the remaining property. However, if he puts aside the zakÁt from some of his other property, he can make use of the entire property that was subject to zakÁt.
1983. A person cannot take anything for himself from the property that he has put aside as zakÁt, and replace it with something else.
1984. If the zakÁt that has been put aside generates profit, such as a sheep—which has been put aside as zakÁt—giving birth to a lamb, the profit will belong to the poor.
1985. If a deserving recipient appears at the time when one is putting some property away as zakÁt, it is better that he gives the zakÁtto him, unless he has someone in mind, and giving it to that person is better for some reason.
1986. If a person transacts with the asset that has been put aside as zakÁtwithout the permission of the ÎÁkim al-sharÞa, and incurs a loss, then if the transaction was carried out on obligation, and he gave that property to fulfill his obligation, the owner will incur the loss and he is responsible for the zakÁt. However, if the transaction was carried out with the zakÁtproperty in particular, the transaction is void and cannot be made valid with permission from a ÎÁkim al-shara’.
If, on the other hand, he makes a profit, then in the event that the transaction was carried out on obligation, and he gave the property to fulfill his obligation, the profit belongs to himself and he is responsible for the zakÁt.However, if he transacted with the zakÁtin particular, and the ÎÁkim al-shara’ permits the transaction, he will have to give the profits to a zakÁt-deserving person.
1987. If a person gives something to the poor as zakÁtbefore it becomes obligatory on him, it will not count as zakÁt. However, if the thing that he gave to the poor has not ceased to exist after zakÁtbecomes obligatory on him, and the recipient remains poor at that time, he may count the thing that he gave him towards his zakÁt.
1988.If a poor person knows that zakÁthas not become obligatory on the giver, yet takes something from him as zakÁt, and it perishes whilst it is in his care, he will be held responsible for it. Hence, once the zakÁtbecomes obligatory on the giver, he may count the replacement of what he has given to him aszakÁtif the poor person continues to be poor at the time.
1989. If a poor person does not know that zakÁthas not become obligatory on the giver, and he takes something from him as zakÁt, which then perishes in his care, he will not be held responsible for it. In this case the giver may not count the replacement of the given item towards his zakÁt.
1990. It is recommended that the zakÁtof cows, sheep and camels be given to the poor who are respectable. One should also give precedence in giving zakÁtto his relatives and to people vested with knowledge and excellence over others. He’d better also give precedence to those who do not beg over those who do. However, if giving zakÁtto a poor person is better for another reason, then it is recommended that the zakÁtbe given to him.
1991. It is preferable to give zakÁtopenly, and the recommended charities secretly.
1992.If a person is unable to locate a deserving recipient in his town, and neither is he able to make use of it in the other manners that have been specified for it, then if he does not hold any hopes that a deserving recipient may be located later on, he must transport the zakÁtto another town and utilize it in its prescribed manner. He may also obtain the shipping expenses from the zakÁtitself. The obligatory precaution is that he should draw that money (for traveling expenses) with the permission of the ÎÁkim al-shara’. Then if the zakÁtperishes, given that he was not negligent in its care, he will not be held responsible for it.
1993.If a deserving recipient is present in one’s town, he may still transport that zakÁtto another town. However, in this case, he will have to pay the shipping expenses from his own wealth. In addition, if the zakÁtperishes, he will be held responsible for it, unless he transports it with the permission of the ÎÁkim al-shara’.
1994. The owner is liable for the cost of weighing or measuring the wheat, barley, raisins, or dates that he wishes to give as zakÁt.
1995.If a person is liable to give 2 mithqÁls and 15 nukhÙd of silver or more as zakÁt, the recommended precaution is that he should not give less than 2 mithqÁls and 15 nukhÙd to one poor person. Similarly, if he is liable to pay something other than silver, such as wheat or barley, and its value reaches 2 mithqÁls and 15 nukhÙd, the recommended precaution is that he should not give less than it to one poor person.
1996.It is makrÙh for a person to request a deserving recipient to sell him the zakÁtthat he gave the recipient. However, if the deserving recipient wishes to sell the received item after determining its market price, the one who gave him the zakÁtwill have precedence in buying it over others.
1997. If a person doubts whether he gave the zakÁtthat was obligatory on him or not, and the property which was subject to it still exists, he will have to pay its zakÁt, even though his doubt may be with respect to previous years. However, if the property has perished, nozakÁtwill be obligatory on him, even if it be with regards to the present year.
1998.The poor cannot settle (as a settlement contract) on the zakÁtfor an amount that is less than the zakÁt, or accept an item for zakÁtat a value that is higher than its price, or take the zakÁtfrom the owner and gift it back to him. However, if a person oweszakÁt, and he has become poor and is no longer able to pay it, but wishes to repent (for not paying it), then a poor person may take the zakÁtfrom him and gift it back to him.
1999. A group of scholars (may the Lord raise their station) have stated that a person may endow (waqf) a land using the funds acquired from the zakÁt, or buy a copy of the Qur’an, a religious text, or a book of prayers and dedicate it for public use (as waqf), and he may also appoint himself or his children as trustees of the endowment.
However, it is problematic to claim that the owner has authority over the endowment, or that he can appoint a trustee without the permission of the ÎÁkim al-sharaÞ.
2000. A person cannot buy property from his zakÁtand endow it for his children or to those whose maintenance is obligatory on him, so that they may use the revenue generated from the property to pay for their expenses.
2001. A person may take zakÁt from that share of it that is spent in the way of Allah (under category 7th of article 1942), to go for Hajj, ziyÁrat or a similar act of worship, even though he may not be poor, or be a poor person who has already acquired an amount of zakÁtthat is sufficient for his year’s expenses. Obligatory precaution dictates that these acts, in addition to being acts of worship, should also possess a benefit to the public, such as venerating the sacraments and propagating the faith.
2002. If the owner appoints a poor person as his agent to pay the zakÁtlevied on his property, then if the poor person entertains the possibility that the owner intended that the person himself should not partake of it, he cannot take any of the zakÁtfor himself. However, if he acquires certainty or satisfaction that the owner had no such intention, he may also take from the zakÁtfor himself.
2003. If a poor person accepts camels, cows, sheep, gold or silver as zakÁt, and the received goods come to possess the conditions—as elaborated earlier—that render zakÁtobligatory, he will have to pay their zakÁt.
2004.If two persons jointly own a property which is subject to zakÁt, and one of them pays the zakÁtof his share and then divides and distributes the property, then there is no problem if he makes use of his share, even if he knows that his partner has not paid the zakÁtof his share.
2005. If a person owes khums or zakÁt, and a kaffÁrah, nadhr or similar obligation is also incumbent upon him, and is additionally indebted, then should he be unable to pay all of them, he should pay the khums or zakÁtif the property that is subject to khums or zakÁthas not ceased to exist. If it has, obligatory precaution dictates that he proportionally distributes the wealth betweenpaying off his debt, the khums and the zakÁt. He should also give precedence to paying off these dues over paying for a kaffÁrah, or an amount that he made a nadhr to pay.
2006. If a person owes khums or zakÁt, has an obligation to perform Hajj (Hajj of Islam), and is additionally indebted, then if he dies leaving behindan estate that is not sufficient to fulfill all the obligations, hiskhums or zakÁtmust be paid first, if the property that is subject to it has not ceased to exist. The rest of his property should be divided between performing Hajj (for him) and paying off his debts.
If however that property has ceased to exist, then in the event that it is his first journey for Hajj, and he dies on the way prior to entering the state of iÎrÁm, his property must be spent for his Hajj. Then if something remains, it should be proportionally distributed between khums, zakÁtand his debts. In a case other than this, Hajj will take precedence over khums and zakÁt. However, to claim that it will also take precedence over his debts is problematic.
2007. If a person is engaged in acquiring knowledge, and is also able to work for his living expenses should he not be learning, then should acquiring that knowledge be obligatory on him in particular (wÁjib ‘aynÐ), or on the entire community (wÁjib kifÁ’iyy) and no one else proceeds towards fulfilling it, one may give zakÁtto him from the share for the poor, or the share meant to be utilized in the way of Allah. However, in the latter case, the obligatory precaution is that his learning should entail a benefit for the public interest.
If however acquiring that knowledge is recommended for him, it is not permissible to give ZakÁt to him from the share of the poor. However, it is permissible to grant it to him from the share utilized in the way of Allah, and obligatory precaution dictates that it have benefit for the general public.
If however acquiring that knowledge is neither obligatory nor recommended, it is not permissible to give zakÁtto him.