Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Zakat/ Zakaat/ Charity in Shia Islam

Zakaat/ Charity is the third branch/ practice among Fur'u Deen/ Branches of Faith in Shia Islam. The sole purpose of Zakaat/ Charity in Shia Islam is to uplift the financial crises of needy people. In Shia Islam motive of Zakaat/ Charity does not profess social, developmental works etc.

There are two types of Zakaat/ Charity in Shia Islam, one is Waajib/ Obligatory and the second one is Mustahab/ Recommended. Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Charity has everything fixed and defined, called Nisaab, which includes types of wealth, form of wealth, amount of wealth, tenure of possession, and rates of deduction. It is reported that Prophet Mohammed himself gave very clear and precise definitions and instructions about Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory charity. The other type is Mustahab Zakaat/ Recommended Charity which includes any item which could be weighted; rate, tenure of possession is upon owner’s discretion.

Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Zakaat include only nine items; along with their rates are listed below:

1) Gold, only in form of currency coins, weighing 69.12 gm, personally possessed for one year. Even if gold forms a percentage of coin’s material, it becomes liable for Zakaat, with respect to its percentage. Any other form of gold i.e. jewellery etc is exempt from Waajib Zakaat/ obligatory charity. Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Zakaat would be 2.5% of the total value.



2) Silver, only in form of currency coins, weighing 483.88 gm, personally possessed for one year. Even if silver forms a percentage of coin’s material, it becomes liable for Zakaat, with respect to its percentage. Any other form of silver i.e. jewellery etc is exempt from Waajib Zakaat/ obligatory charity. Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Zakaat would be 2.5% of the value.


3) Wheat, only in dried form, weighing 847 kg, personally possessed for one year. If irrigated with rain then 10% of the total value, if irrigated through other means then 5% of total value, still if both methods were used then 7.5% of the total value. On such item, Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Zakaat is to be paid only once.

4) Barley, only in dried form, weighing 847 kg, personally possessed for one year. If irrigated with rain then 10% of the total value, if irrigated through other means then 5% of total value, still if both methods were used then 7.5% of the total value. On such item, Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Zakaat is to be paid only once.

5) Dates, only in dried form, weighing 847 kg, personally possessed for one year. If irrigated with rain then 10% of the total value, if irrigated through other means then 5% of total value, still if both methods were used then 7.5% of the total value. On such item, Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Zakaat is to be paid only once.

6) Raisins, after dried from grapes, weighing 847 kg, personally possessed for one year. If irrigated with rain then 10% of the total value, if irrigated through other means then 5% of total value, still if both methods were used then 7.5% of the total value. On such item, Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Zakaat is to be paid only once.

7) Camels grazed on natural pastures and not fed privately, if minimum 5 of them are owned for one year. A sheep for 5 camels, 2 sheep for 10 camels, check details for further limits with reliable sources.

8) Bulls, Cows, Buffaloes grazed on natural pastures and not fed privately, if minimum 30 of them are owned for one year. A two year old male calf for 30 such animals and a 3 year old female calf for 40 such animals, checks details for further limits with reliable sources.

9) Sheep and goats grazed on natural pastures and not fed privately, if minimum 40 of them are owned for one year. A sheep for 40 such animals and 2 sheep for 121 such animals, checks details for further limits with reliable sources.

Other forms of wealth were available even during the time of Prophet Mohammed, yet He Himself fixed only the above content. Thus, to fix anything beyond it would be a trespass. However, one is free to extract charity from following sources:

Mustahab Zakaat/ Recommended Charity depend upon owner’s discretion. Any item which could be weighed could be considered for payment, no tenure of possession, no rates of extraction are fixed; owner is free to pay any amount on anything. Items could include gold or silver jewellery, other grains i.e. rice, maize etc, cash, stocks, houses, land, metals, cars etc. The owner, if decides could pay 2, 4, 10, 20 50, 100% value of such items.

Zakaat/ Charity needs to be declared before disposal, one should not give Zakaat/ Charity silently to the recipients. Zakaat/ Charity can be given to poor person, a destitute person, to free a person from slavery, indebted person to repay debts, stranded travellers, check further details with reliable sources. Waajib Zakaat/ Obligatory Charity as per Shia Islam could only be given to Shia Muslims, however, one is free from such requirement in Mustahab Zakaat/ Recommended Charity to be disposed, it could be given to whoever owner considers fit to receive.

There is an another Zakaat al Fitra/ Charity for end of fast, with the sunset of month of Ramadan this charity becomes obligatory for one’s self and all dependents, one must pay 3 kg of one’s staple food (wheat, rice etc) or its value for each person to the poor.

Those defined as descendants of family of Prophet Mohammed are forbidden from receiving any charity. One cannot give charity to those whose responsibility lies on one’s own self.

Above content is brief description of Zakaat/ Charity, check further details from reliable sources.



Oh Allah! Peace and Salutation be upon Mohammed and House-hold of Mohammed.




4 comments:

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  3. Thanks! but isn't Zakat the 4th branch of Furoo-e-Deen???

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