Who can receive my zakat?
To be eligible to receive zakat, the recipient must be poor and/or needy. A poor person is someone whose property, in excess of his basic requirements, does not reach the nisab threshold.
The recipient must not belong to your immediate family; your spouse, children, parents and grandparents cannot receive your zakat. Other relatives, however, can receive your zakat.
The recipient must not be a Hashimi, a descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Ahmed owns only £50. However he also owns two cars, one is in excess of his basic needs. To find out if Ahmed is eligible to receive zakat, the value of his second car will have to be taken into account.
- Do I have to pay zakat?
Zakat is obligatory on someone who is:
1.A free man or woman: A slave does not have to pay zakat.
2.A Muslim. Zakat is a religious obligation upon Muslims, like the five daily prayers.
3.Sane: The person on whom zakat becomes obligatory must be of sound mind according to Imam Abu Hanifa. Imam Malik holds that an insane person is still liable for zakat.
4.An adult: Children do not have to pay zakat, even if they own enough wealth to make zakat obligatory. However, both Imam Shafi’i and Imam Malik say that the guardians of the children should pay the zakat on their behalf.
5.In complete ownership and control of their wealth: The person must own and be in possession of the wealth, and also be free to spend or dispose of the wealth in any manner they like. If a person has made a loan of their wealth then they are not in a position to spend it until it is repaid.
6.In possession of wealth above the nisab threshold: The person should possess wealth above a defined amount required to satisfy the essential needs of themselves and their dependents (nisab).
7.Free from debt: Someone in debt may deduct his debts from his assets, if what remains is still above the nisab threshold, zakat is due, otherwise not.
8.In possession of the wealth for one complete lunar (Hijrah) year: If one owns zakatable wealth for a lunar year, zakat will become obligatory, provided the total amount of wealth exceeds the nisab at the beginning of the year and the end, irrespective of any fluctuations in the months between.
- I gave a lot of money to charity over the year, doesn’t that count as zakat?
For a donation to qualify as zakat, there must be a clear intention present, either when you separate the zakat money from the rest of your wealth, or when you make the zakat payment.
- What part of my wealth is ‘zakatable’?
Gold and Silver: Any gold or silver you possess is zakatable, including jewellery according to Hanafi school, because these two metals have intrinsic monetary value.
Other precious metals and stones are not zakatable unless they were acquired for the purpose of trade.
Cash or its Equivalent: Cash at home, in bank accounts, savings, money lent to others,saving certificates, bonds, shares, investment certificates and so on, are all taken into account when calculating zakat.
Stock Purchased for Trade: Any goods you have bought with the intention of selling are included in your zakatable wealth.
- What part of my wealth is not zakatable?
- Any goods, other than gold or silver, that you have not bought for resale are non-zakatable. No zakat is payable on your personal belongings, such us a house or a car.
- Can I pay zakat in advance?
Yes, zakat can be paid in advance before the year has ended, but you should make sure you have wealth equal to or above the nisab.
- Do I pay zakat on wealth belonging to my children?
Not according to the Hanafi school. A child is not liable to pay zakat, even if in possession of wealth above the nisab threshold. For a child who possesses the nisab or more, the first zakat payment will become due twelve lunar months reaching the age of puberty.
According to both Imam Shafi’ and Imam Malik however, a child who possesses wealth above the nisab value is liable for zakat.