Give Charity & Pay Zakat

In Islam, giving charity is a good deed and paying Zakat is a must. Charity can be given to anyone in need, whether they are Muslims or not, and regardless of their ethnic or racial backgrounds. On the other hand, Zakat is given to Muslims who are poor, and it can be given to non-Muslims whose hearts are to be softened.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible to give charity to non-Muslims and this action will be rewarded, if they are in need of it, but they should not be given the obligatory charity, i.e. zakaat, unless they are those whose hearts are to be softened (i.e., they are close to embracing Islam). It is a condition for giving charity to non-Muslims that they should not be involvied in fighting the Muslims or driving them from their homes, because charity in such cases would be seen as helping them to wage war against the Muslims. (Fataawa Mutanawwi’ah by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 521).

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allaah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity. It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allaah forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the zaalimoon (wrong-doers – those who disobey Allaah.)” [al-Mumtahimah 60:8-9].

Muslims should seek first and foremost to give their charity to their Muslim brothers who are in need, and there are plenty of them. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

It must be noted that charity can be given in any time and in every possible amount and type. But Zakat must be payed once a year under certain conditions.

Nisaab ul-Zakat for naqd (gold and silver) is defined as the minimum amount of naqd specified by shari’a below which one is not required to pay zakat, whereas if one’s wealth exceeds it then zakat becomes incumbent.

And it is known that zakat ul-maal (wealth) in shari’a is required for the two types of naqd—gold and silver—and what serves their function in modern times (commonly referred to as cash), whether it is dollars or riyals or pounds or otherwise.

Nisaab for gold as our Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed us (and for currencies made from gold) is 20 mithqaalan, a measure which is equivalent to 85 grams of pure gold (1 mithqaal = 4.25 grams). It becomes incumbent upon anyone who owns such an amount in any form to pay zakat on it in the amount of 2.5%.

Nisaab for silver and currencies made from silver is 200 dirhams, which is equivalent to 595 grams of pure silver (1 dirham = 2.975 grams). Likewise, it becomes incumbent upon anyone who owns such an amount in any form to pay zakat on it in the amount of 2.5%.

It is well known that there is a noticeable disparity between the value of nisaab for gold and that of silver in our times. The best and most conservative for a poor person is to assess how many dollars he has that have been in his possession for a complete lunar year (Hijri, which is 354 days). If the amount reaches the value of nisaab for silver or more, then he should pay from it for every 1000 dollars, 25 dollars (i.e., 2.5%) to be spent in the prescribed benficiaries as specified by shari’ah, and we ask Allah to aid us and help us succeed in haqq il-maal wa salla allahu ala nabiyyana muha

Note you can find the current price of gold and silver via the internet, such as on the following page:

http://www.tradeshop.com/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/raylc/aipm/gold.cgi

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Note that the previous link is not working. You can use this online Zakat calculator to calculate the Zakat in US Dollars.

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One Response to “Give Charity & Pay Zakat”

  1. World of Islam » Blog Archive » Ramadan: What does islam mean….What is islaam? Says:

    […] Give Charity & Pay Zakat « Odd Number 7 […]

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