An Introduction to Financial Sacrifice published by Tehrik-e-Jadid
Anjuman Ahmadiyya: Zakat
“[Hadhrat] Abu Bakr [ra] wrote to me what was made compulsory by Allah’s Apostle regarding the payment of Zakat and that also includes: Neither different types of properties may be taken together nor the joint property may be split for fear of (paying more, or receiving less) Zakat. Verily, a time comes, when people will find it a burden to pay Zakat on their belongings
“Qasim bin Muhammad said: Hadhrat Abu Bakr [ra] never received Zakat on a property unless it had been in someone’s possession for a whole year. And when he distributed stipends among the people, he would ask them if Zakat was due on some of their property. If someone answered ‘yes’, he would deduct the Zakat from his stipend, otherwise he would hand over the whole stipend and would deduct nothing from it.”
Definition of Zakat
The Promised Messiah [as] says:
“What is Zakat? It is taken from the rich and given to the poor. It teaches the highest level of human sympathy. Thus by coming together of the rich and the poor, the Muslims gain strength. It is a must for the rich to help the poor, and even if it were not so, it is a demand of human sympathy to do so. But nowadays, I see that people care the least even if their neighbour is starving to death, so engrossed are they with their own comfort and enjoyment. I can’t hold back what Allah has told me. Sympathy is a very precious gem that a man has. Allah Almighty says: “You cannot achieve virtue until you spend out of that which you love.” This is not the way to please God, for instance a Hindu’s cow becomes ill and he presents it as Mans. There are many who give to the poor rotten crumbs which are of no use to anyone, and they imagine that they have given charity. Allah does not accept such things, nor is such charity acceptable. He clearly says that you cannot achieve virtue until you spend out of that which you love. Virtue cannot be called virtue until you spend for the propagation of the faith and the sympathy for mankind out of your possessions which you love.”
A brother asked: “Huzur, some of the beggars, themselves, ask for old bread and clothes.” Huzur [as] said: “Will you give them new ones? What will they do? They ask that, because they know that no one is willing to give them anything new. We must, as far as it is in our power, sympathise with and provide for Allah’s creatures.”
Zakat on Assets Yet to be Realised
Someone asked the Promised Messiah [as]:
“In trade there are many payments pending from customers, which are as yet un-recovered, is Zakat payable on such money?” The Promised Messiah [as] replied: “Zakat is not payable on such money until it comes into one’s possession. But it is also important that a businessperson should not try to avoid Zakat by such excuses. After all, he manages to bear his own expenses from the same means. He should carefully consider what he has in his possession and what remains unrecovered, and should seek the pleasure of God, by spending an appropriate sum in His path. Some people play tricks with Allah, it is not wise.”
Zakat on Jewelry
Zakat is not payable on every kind of gold and silver. The Promised Messiah [as] says:
“According to some people’s Zakat is not payable on gold and silver which is worn and is sometimes given to poor women for use. And it is perfected that Zakat should be paid on jewellery which is worn but is not given to the poor. This is the practice of my family also. They pay Zakat on their jewelry every year. Furthermore, there is no disagreement about the payment of Zakat on jewellery which is kept safe like money.
There is no Zakat on Buildings and on Precious Stones
A letter came to the Promised Messiah [as] in which a man enquired: “I have a five-hundred rupee share in a house, do I have to pay Zakat on this amount?” The Promised Messiah [as] said: “There is no Zakat on precious stones/buildings.”
Zakat on House and Merchandise Goods
In response to a query by a person, the Promised Messiah [as] said:
“No matter what the value of a house, Zakat is not payable on it. But if you have given it on rent, the Zakat will be payable on the rental income you receive. Similarly, there is no Zakat on merchandise stored in a house. Hadhrat ‘Umar used to finalise the account every six months and Zakat was calculated on the money one possessed.”
Zakat on Loans
The Promised Messiah [as] was asked: “Is Zakat payable on the amount one has extended some other person as a loan?” The Promised Messiah [as] replied: “No.”
Payment of Zakat
Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam, and it is obligatory to pay it according to the requirements. The Promised Messiah [as] says:
“O ye people who consider themselves among my Jama‘at, heaven will only count you in my Jama‘at when you truly strive in the path of Taqwa. So observe your five daily prayers with such fear and concentration as if you actually see Allah. Complete your fasts only for the sake of Allah with sincerity. Whoever of you is capable to pay Zakat should do so. And whoever can perform the Hajj, and there is no obstacle in his way, he should perform it.”
Then Huzur [as] said:
“Everyone who pays Zakat should send it right here. He should avoid extravagance and spend his money in this cause. He should show steadfastness in all events, so that he is rewarded with blessings and the Holy Spirit. Because this is a gift which is specially meant for people who join this Movement.”
Chanda Jat and Zakat
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih [ra], says:
“I wish to draw the attention of every Ahmadi to the fact that if Zakat is collected in a single place, it can do a lot, and is doing a lot, in fulfilling the needs of Islam. The best example for our Jama‘at is that of the Disciples of the Holy Prophet [saw], who did not consider it correct to spend Zakat individually, rather all the Zakat was collected in the Baitul Mal, some great purposes were served by this. Regardless of all the collections, our Jama’at has through Chandas, it does not behove a movement, which is the movement of the Promised Messiah [as], not to give proper attention to the principles which form the basis of Islam. Just as paying Chanda does not relieve us from the obligation to pray, fast and perform the Hajj, in the same way it does not make any difference in the payment of Zakat.
Performing Tahajjud and Nawafil prayers does not exempt one from the obligatory prayers one has to offer in the mosque, in fact such Nawafil are a mere waste which hinder one from the performance of obligatory prayers. Similarly, one cannot become exempt from Zakat, which is one of the four basic principles of Islam, by paying other Chandas. All our success depends upon holding fast to the principals of Islam.
I, therefore, beseech you to distinguish your Jama‘at by collecting your Zakat at one place, and that can be none other than the Markaz. Unless we distinguish ourselves from the people who have left off adhering to the principals of Islam—though they call themselves Muslims—we cannot become victorious by mere sermonising. If you want to become a successful nation, then hold fast to the principals of Islam just as the Disciples of the Holy Prophet [saw] did. Whether or not our people understand the benefits of paying Zakat, and whether they find it hard to accept what I say because a couple of thousand rupees seem insignificant compared to One hundred and forty thousand, I still see that we can never achieve the success we are looking for unless we firmly establish ourselves on the principal of paying Zakat and take this two thousand to millions. The greatest path to success is that which is demonstrated to us by the Holy Prophet [saw] and told to us by Allah Who is the Knower of the unseen. The Allah who creates humans is also the One Who creates nations. It will be most unwise to deviate from the trodden path which is before us and still claim to be followers of Islam. So I again beseech you that as the Holy Prophet [saw] set the example of collecting Zakat at a single place and spending it for certain causes as told by Qur’an, unless we do the same, we will not be following one of the four basic principals of Islam. Just as prayer is obligatory and must be observed with congregation in the mosque, so is Zakat obligatory and it must be collected at a single place and spent for the prescribed purposes. We must consider the payment of Zakat to be as obligatory as prayer, fasting and performing the Hajj.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV [rh], says: “Zakat is a Qur’anic injunction. It must be paid whenever the conditions which make it binding are fulfilled.”
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V [abtt], said in his speech:
“Zakat is an obligation for women as well. Here in these countries, by the Grace of God, where people are generally prosperous, every woman possesses some kind of jewellery. Every woman is therefore under obligation to pay Zakat. In view of the prescribed conditions and rate of Zakat, if Zakat is received in Pakistani currency, Zakat would one and a half Tola (approximately 18 grams) gold or its equivalent jewellery. In short since everyone usually possesses some gold, she is under obligation to pay Zakat on it. However, Zakat has to be paid in accordance with the currency value of each country.”
Basic Information About the Payment of Zakat
Q: Can Zakat be paid before it becomes binding?
Q: What is the time-limit for paying Zakat?
A: Zakat must be paid within one year of the day when it becomes payable.
Q: Does Zakat apply on the amount which has been given as a loan?
A: Zakat is not payable on the amount which has been given as a loan. However it will become payable one year after the said loan has been returned. Moreover money deposited in banks will not be considered as loan rather, it will be treated as savings.
Q: What is the procedure for paying Zakat on an amount preserved in a bank or elsewhere?
A: If the amount preserved is equal to or greater than the Nisab, then Zakat will become payable upon it after the completion of one year.
Q: What are the conditions for Zakat on commercial goods?
A: Zakat will be levied if an investment is equal to or more than the Nisab at the beginning of the year and remains so until the end. It will still be payable if it decreases during the year but is recovered by the end. If some investment is stolen or lost during the year, Zakat will not be levied on it, but it will be if the loss is recovered afterwards. In case of business partnership, it is incumbent to pay Zakat immediately after the year ends. If goods on which Zakat is payable are interchanged with other such goods, the Zakat will still remain binding. Money which is given as loan is called ‘Mu‘allaq’ (Suspended) and Zakat will not be levied on it.
Q: Is Chanda a substitute for Zakat?
A: Chanda is no substitute for Zakat. Those upon whom Zakat is binding must fulfil this obligation.
Q: Is Zakat levied on all the items as a whole, or is it to be levied separately on each?
A: Zakat is not levied on all the items as a whole, rather it is levied on each item separately. Whenever an item is equal to or more than the Nisab (52.5 Tolas, 614.25 grams of silver), Zakat will be levied on it.
Q: Will Zakat be levied on the total property or only that which exceeds the Nisab?
A: Zakat will be levied on the total amount. It is not sufficient to pay Zakat on that which exceeds the Nisab. For instance, if someone has 55 tolas of Silver, he shall pay Zakat on 55 tolas and not just on 2.5 tolas.
Instructions Regarding the Distribution of Zakat
- All the Zakat money shall be deposited with the National Jama‘at. The local Jama’at is not allowed to spend any of this amount.
- If people who deserve Zakat are not available at national level, then this amount shall be transferred to the Central Reserve Fund.
- No local Jama‘at or individual is authorised to distribute the Zakat money at his own discretion.
- The office-bearers should properly publicise these points among their members.
Source: Tariq Magazine
Copyright 2005 Islam International Publications