Some explanations about Zalat al-Maal
Dear brothers and sisters,
Praise be to Allah.
Zakat has been enjoined by Allah in order to purify wealth, make it grow and bring blessing, and to help the poor and needy.
It is a great obligation and it is not permissible for a Muslim to neglect it or careless about the matter of zakat, or to be lazy about giving it to those who are entitled to it, because of the stern warning concerning that which is mentioned in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
We have to know that the wealth belongs to Allah and He is the One Who has enjoined zakat and has warned against neglecting it. Allah says: “And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakat, and bow down (or submit yourselves with obedience to Allah) along with Ar Raaki‘oon” [al-Baqarah 2:43].
“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them; and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower” [al-Tawbah 9:103] “And those who hoard up gold and silver (Al Kanz: the money, the Zakat of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment” [al-Tawbah 9:34].
The word (Kanz) refers to all kinds of wealth that is subject to zakat but on which zakat has not been paid.
Imam Muslim narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no owner of gold or silver who does not pay what is due on them, but when the Day of Resurrection comes, there will be beaten out for him plates of fire which will be heated in the Fire of Hell, and his sides, forehead and back will be branded with them. Every time they cool down they will be reheated for him, on a day the length of which is as fifty thousand years, until judgment is passed among the people. Then he will be shown his path, either to Paradise or to Hell.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that wealth does not in fact decrease because of zakat, rather it is blessed and increases. He said:“Wealth does not decrease because of charity.” Narrated by Muslim.
Many people neglect the issue of blessing on wealth. A person may own huge amounts of wealth but it is not enough for him, and it does not bring him what he wants; he does not feel any sense of ease or happiness because of it. But someone else may own a small amount of wealth that has been blessed for him, so he is happy and content with it. This is something that is well known.
So we have to do that willingly and cheerfully. Remember that the pleasure of Allah is what we are seeking, and this world is transient and passing, and a pleasure that will soon fade. “The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:185].
Also we have to believe that Zakat is a bounty, not a penalty, as Allah says: “Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them; and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower” [al-Tawbah 9:103].
The kinds of the wealth regarding to Zakat: Wealth is of three kinds:
- Wealth on which Zakat is definitely due, such as cash in gold and silver or the notes and bills that have taken their place. Zakat is due on this whether it is set aside for trade, spending, buying a house to live in or a dowry with which to get married, etc.
- Wealth on which zakat is definitely not due, such as the house in which one lives, the car which one drives, the furnishings of one’s house, and so on. These two matters are clear.
- Kinds of wealth concerning which there is some difference of opinion, such as debts that are still owed. What you should do is ask the scholars about this so that you will understand your religious duties and worship Allah properly.
Conditions of Zakat being obligatory:
In order for zakat to be due on money, two conditions must be met:
- That it reaches the nisaab (minimum threshold).
- That one year has passed since it reaches the nisaab. If the money is less than the nisaab, then no zakat is due on it. If it reaches the nisaab, and one year has passed, i.e. a lunar (hijri) year has passed since the time when it reached the nisaab, then zakat becomes due at that point.
The nisaab is the equivalent of 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver. The rate that must be paid for zakat is one quarter of one tenth(2.5%).
Is it essential to tell the person who is entitled to zakat that the money is zakat? If you gave your zakat to someone whom you know is entitled to it, with the intention of giving zakat, then your zakat is valid and May Allah accept it from you, So you do not have to tell the recipient that it is zakat.
Ruling on Zakat on wealth earned during the year:
If the money reaches the nisaab, then at the end of the year it is more than the nisaab, how should zakat be paid? That depends:
- If this extra amount stems directly from the original amount, then you should pay zakat on the entire amount at the end of the year, because the profit on money is connected to the capital.
- If this extra amount did not stem directly from the original amount, rather it is money that was acquired by different means, such as an inheritance or a gift, or it is the price of something that you sold, and so on, then a separate year should be counted for it, starting from the day when you took possession of this extra amount. But if you want to pay its zakat in advance, there is nothing wrong with that and it is better.
- This extra amount may come gradually, such as money that a person saves from his salary, So you have the tow choices:
a) paying the whole amount when one year has passed, in which case you will have paid zakat in advance for the money for which a year has not yet passed (this is better).
b) or you can pay the zakat for each sum separately when its year has passed, but this entails some kind of hardship, as you will be paying zakat several times in one year.
Ruling on spending zakat to build a mosque:
With regard to zakat, it can only be spent in eight ways which are specified by Allah in the verse (ayah): “As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) is only for the Fuqaraa’ (poor), and Al-Masaakeen (needy) and those employed to collect (zakat collectors); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (people entering Islam); and to free the captives (purchase their release); and for those in debt (to repay it); and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for those who are fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is without means of support)” [al-Tawbah 9:60].
What is meant by “Allah’s Cause” in this verse (ayah)? In fact there are two meanings:
- The first one is the original linguistic meaning, which is wide and includes all interests and acts of worship of the person to please Allah.
- The second one is the meaning which the majority of the scholars of Hadeeth, Tafseer and Feqeh are agreed upon it, that is Jihad, and there are many hadeeth supporting this opinion.
So it is not acceptable to expand on the meaning of “Allah’s Cause” to include all interests and acts of worship, at the same time not restricting it, so that does not limit the jihad to a purely military sense only.
Supporting the religion of Allah is in some cases by fighting against the enemies of Islam, but it may be that in another time – such as these days when the intellectual and psychological invasion of media propaganda is more serious and more harmful than the physical invasion of the military – that another strategy is necessary.
While this kind of Jihad is not within the meaning of Jihad in the text, should it not also be considered as a kind of Jihad? Are not both of them intended to support the work of Islam and defend it, and to resist the enemies of Allah, and to spread Islam all over the world?
The establishment of a Mosque or Islamic center or Islamic school under normal conditions is for work and it is a commendable effort favored by Islam, but it is not jihad. However, if the country is ruled by a non-Muslim majority then the above things become very important and extremely necessary for the Muslim community living in a country whose educational institutions are in the hands of missionaries or communists or secular atheists.
In this case it is the greatest Jihad to establish a Mosque or an Islamic school to teach Muslim children what they need in their religion and worldly affairs, to insulate them from intellectual and moral sabotage, and protect them from toxins in the curriculum, in the textbooks, in the minds of their teachers, and in the spirit of the general orientation of the schools and education as a whole.
Therefore it is permissible to use of some of the Zakat for the establishment of Mosques or Islamic centers for inviting to true Islam, and for conveying the message of Islam to non-Muslims in all continents, in this world of clashing religions and creeds, because today this work is indeed jihad for the sake of Allah.
For more information or any questions please feel free to contact me,
May Allah help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.
And Allah knows best.
Mohsen Shaker Bayoumy
Imam of Osaka Ibaraki Mosque