Q. Do non-Muslim have to pay Zakat?
A. No, Zakat is only prescribed for Muslims.
Q. If a child’s wealth has satisfied all the conditions of Zakat (i.e., it is above the Nisab and has been in their possession for one year,) should Zakat be paid on it?
A. No, Zakat is not due on it.
(The majority of the scholars in the past, however, favoured the opinion that Zakat should be paid by both children and the insane. In such cases, the guardian should take the Zakat from the person’s wealth and pay it on their behalf.)
Q. I have mixed assets of gold, silver and cash. Gold value: $800, Silver value: $100 and Cash: $100. The total value is $1000. Do I have to pay Zakat?
A. Yes, as the value of your total assets is more than the preferred Silver Nisab threshold of approx. 612.36 grams (and presuming you have met all the other requirements).
Q. Together, my spouse and I have wealth valued at $500. Can I pay Zakat for both of us?
A. As Zakat is an individual obligation, you must compare the Nisab with your own wealth and your spouse’s own wealth to see if each of you has to pay Zakat. If you do, you may pay Zakat for both yourself and your spouse as long as they have given their consent.
Q. If one has not yet possessed her/his wealth for one lunar year, can s/he still pay Zakat?
A. Yes he can pay Zakat, but one needs to consider present / future liabilities.
Q. My wealth dipped below the Nisab during the course of the year – do I still have to pay Zakat?
A. Yes, but refer to Scholar.
Q. I received a large amount of money just before my Zakat was due for this year. Do I include it in this year’s Zakat?
A. Yes you need to include this in your Zakat calculation.
Q. I paid Zakat on $4,000 last Ramadan. This year I have a total of $10,000 of wealth liable for Zakat. What value do I take the 2.5% from as I paid for the $4,000 last year?
A. Zakat is to be paid on the total savings regardless of what Zakat was paid on in the past. Therefore, you would pay 2.5% of $10,000, which is $250.
Q. I normally give a lot of money in charity throughout the year; do I still have to pay Zakat?
A. Zakat must be paid with the intention of paying Zakat. If one gives any other charity, it cannot be counted as Zakat if it did not carry the necessary intention. In such an instance, you would still have to pay Zakat.
Q. How much is Zakat?
A. Zakat is 2.5% of your total wealth. If, for example, you have $10,000 of wealth liable for Zakat, you would pay $250.
Q. I owe several years of Zakat, how do I pay?
A. For every year that you owe Zakat, take 2.5% from the total wealth you had at the end of that year and pay that in Zakat. If you are not sure how much wealth you had, you must estimate it to the best of your ability. For example, it is now Ramadan 2016 and if you have not paid Zakat for the last five years you need to work out how much wealth you owned every Ramadan for the last five years and pay 2.5% of that amount.
Q. Who are the recipients of Zakat-ul-Fitr / Fitrana?
A. The majority of scholars hold the opinion that only the first two categories of the recipients of Zakat can receive Zakat-ul-Fitr; ie, the poor and the needy.
Q. What do you mean when you say Islamic Relief acts as an agent and how does this allow me to pay my Zakat-ul-Fitr in money?
A. An agent is someone who facilitates the payment of your Zakat-ul-Fitr because they are better placed to distribute the food on your behalf. You can pay the agent in money because we use that money to buy the food which we give to appropriate beneficiaries. So, in reality, it is as if you are paying in food rather than in money.
Q. I have a shop where I sell clothes. How do I pay Zakat?
A. Every year at the time of paying Zakat you would need to calculate the total selling price for all the goods for sale in your shop. For example, if all the clothes for sale in your shop add up to a total sales value of $2,000, this figure would be added to your other wealth / assets when calculating your Zakat.
Q. I bought a house for the purpose of renting out five years ago. Last year, I decided that I would sell the house. How do I pay Zakat on this?
A. For the four years that you were renting the house out and did not have the intention of selling, you do not pay Zakat on the house. But you would still have to pay Zakat on the rent you earned just like any other wealth you have. In addition, you must pay Zakat after one lunar year from the day you made the intention to sell the house. Zakat is to be paid on the selling price of the house. If you are paying in advance, you would need to estimate this amount. You would need to do the same for every year after in which the house is still for sale.
Q. My Zakat is due in dhul-Qa’dah but I would like to pay in advance (in Ramadan). I have a debt which must be paid in Shawwal (after Ramadan). Can this be deducted from my wealth when calculating Zakat?
A. The general answer would be yes, but we would strongly urge you to consult a scholar about this.
Q. I lent some money out to a friend who informed me that he is able to return the money. Do I have to include this in my wealth when calculating Zakat?
A. Yes, because it is as if he is just storing your money.
Q. Ten years ago I lent some money to a friend who was poor and I did not expect to get the money back. He has now paid me back – is this money liable for Zakat?
A. We need to look at the intention when the money was lent out. If the lender was fairly sure that he was not going to receive it back and he was unable to claim it through the judicial system, then in such cases Zakat is usually not payable. However, there are many variables and hence this question should be referred to a scholar.
Q. I have savings which I shall use to go for Hajj. Should this to be included in my wealth when calculating Zakat?
A. Yes, it must be included.
Q. I have mixed jewellery consisting of gold, silver and precious stones. How do I calculate the value on which Zakat must be paid?
A. The best way for you to do this would be to take the jewellery to a jewellers shop and ask them to value just the gold and silver parts of the jewellery. The valuations they give will be the total amount upon which you have to pay Zakat. Precious stones are not liable for Zakat.
Q. What is the definition of the poor and needy?
A. The Fuqara & the Masakin
Fuqara are those that do not own wealth to the amount of Nisab.
Masakin are those who do not have food for the day; (which is 15-20% of the world).
Q. Can I give Zakat to my family members?
A. Zakat can only be given to people from one of those eight categories given above. If a family member is from one of those categories (i.e., s/he is poor and is unable to provide for herself or himself) – and s/he is not already dependent upon you – then according to the majority of scholars s/he can be given Zakat. But if s/he is already one of your dependents, then you are obliged to spend on them anyway and cannot give them anything from your Zakat.
Q. Can you take Zakat-ul-Fitr before the 27th of Ramadan?
A. Yes you can, according to the Hanafi & Shafi’i Madhhabs.