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Zakat on precious stones

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

 

Dear brother Burhan:

 

As Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

 

Since last one month I have been browsing your site and have found it very enlightening (referred to me by one of my relatives).

 

It is a real good deed that you are doing for all Muslims and Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala will certainly give you Ajr.

 

Most of my queries get solved by reviewing your answers to questions posed by other people. However, I will appreciate if you answer following specific questions pertaining to Zakat.

 

Since this being month of Ramadan, I will appreciate if you can answer these questions out of line. I would certainly not mind a delayed response, as I understand your load.

 

Q1.      I have a slight misunderstanding in your 2 responses. In response to Q# 1711 you have categorically stated that believers should pay Zakat on precious stones. However in your reply to some other question, you had mentioned that Zakat is not due on precious stones in the jewelry. Can you please clarify this point? Is my understanding correct that Zakat would be payable if one holds loose precious stones. However, if the stones are fixed in jewelry, the value of stones should not be considered in the calculation.

 

Q2.      It is understood that Zakat is payable @ 2.5% of the net worth on a given date. When one decides on a date, it is better to keep that date constant. As far as personal net worth is concerned, it is easy for a Muslim to maintain any date in the month of Ramadan and keep calculating Zakat each year. However, in respect of partnership business the accounting year is generally 12 Gregorian Calander months. The Islamic calander follows lunar months, which is shorter than Gregorian year. In this case, is it necessary to calculate Zakat @ 2.57% (2.5/355*365), or should one still take only 2.5%.

 

Q3.      There is a widow in my family (khala) who does not have any source of income. She has a teenage daughter who is working and earns only Rs. 5,000 a month. She also has a son who is probably 12-13 years old. The salary of the daughter is barely sufficient to make their ends meet in a city like Mumbai. However, she also holds some Jewelry from the time of her marriage, which I believe is more than NISAB. She is storing this jewelry for the marriage of her daughter and her son. Is Zakat wajib on her? If yes, how would she arrange to pay for it? Should she sell the jewelry to pay Zakat. Also, since they can barely survive, is she eligible to receive Zakat from us to supplement their living expenses (which may also include buying of a refrigerator, TV, etc. which may be considered as a necessity in a metropolitan city like Mumbai)? Can Zakat money be used to give gold presents to this widow? The logic is that she can never afford to buy any jewelry. However, she may need the jewelry for the marriage of her daughter and her son. You may be aware of the customs in India, especially if she wants to get her daughter married. What happens if a person reaches NISAB by getting such gold presents but has just sufficient daily bread?


 

Your early response will be highly appreciated.

 

Jazaak Allah

 

Best Regards: 

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Zakat on precious stones

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Q-1:  I have a slight misunderstanding in your 2 responses. In response to Q# 1711 you have categorically stated that believers should pay Zakat on precious stones. However in your reply to some other question, you had mentioned that Zakat is not due on precious stones in the jewelry. Can you please clarify this point? Is my understanding correct that Zakat would be payable if one holds loose precious stones. However, if the stones are fixed in jewelry, the value of stones should not be considered in the calculation.

There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars of Islam on this issue of paying zakat on precious stones. Some are of the opinion that there is no zakat on precious stones, but the majority of the scholars in Islam consider the precious stones a wealth of the person, and since zakat is due on the net worth of the person, they say that the person must pay the zakat on the precious stones whether they are loose or embedded in jewelry, etc.

 

Q-2: It is understood that Zakat is payable @ 2.5% of the net worth on a given date. When one decides on a date, it is better to keep that date constant. As far as personal net worth is concerned, it is easy for a Muslim to maintain any date in the month of Ramadan and keep calculating Zakat each year. However, in respect of partnership business the accounting year is generally 12 Gregorian Calander months. The Islamic calander follows lunar months, which is shorter than Gregorian year. In this case, is it necessary to calculate Zakat @ 2.57% (2.5/355*365), or should one still take only 2.5%.

It would indeed be better, purer, and closer to the truth if one calculated his zakah based on the lunar or Islamic year, and pay the extra fraction if calculated based on the Gregorian calendar.

 

Q-3: There is a widow in my family (khala) who does not have any source of income. She has a teenage daughter who is working and earns only Rs. 5,000 a month. She also has a son who is probably 12-13 years old. The salary of the daughter is barely sufficient to make their ends meet in a city like Mumbai. However, she also holds some Jewelry from the time of her marriage, which I believe is more than NISAB. She is storing this jewelry for the marriage of her daughter and her son. Is Zakat wajib on her? If yes, how would she arrange to pay for it? Should she sell the jewelry to pay Zakat. Also, since they can barely survive, is she eligible to receive Zakat from us to supplement their living expenses (which may also include buying of a refrigerator, TV, etc. which may be considered as a necessity in a metropolitan city like Mumbai)? Can Zakat money be used to give gold presents to this widow? The logic is that she can never afford to buy any jewelry. However, she may need the jewelry for the marriage of her daughter and her son. You may be aware of the customs in India, especially if she wants to get her daughter married. What happens if a person reaches NISAB by getting such gold presents but has just sufficient daily bread?

 

A: Is Zakat wajib on her?

If her net worth is more than the prescribed nisaab of 7.5 tolas of gold (app. 85 grams or app. Value US$1,000.00), then she must pay the obligatory zakat of 2.5% on her excess wealth which has been in her possession for a full calendar year.

 

B: If yes, how would she arrange to pay for it?

She should pay 2.5% of her excess wealth which has been in her possession for a year as zakat.

 

C: Should she sell the jewelry to pay Zakat.

She can either pay the zakat from her cash in one lump-sum, or pay it in installments over the year. If she does not have the cash, then she may sell part of the jewelry and pay the zakat.

 

D: Also, since they can barely survive, is she eligible to receive Zakat from us to supplement their living expenses (which may also include buying of a refrigerator, TV, etc. which may be considered as a necessity in a metropolitan city like Mumbai)?

In principle, the maternal/paternal aunt, or any close relative who is not directly under the responsibility of the person (like wives, children, parents, etc.), has the biggest right to receive zakat from the person whom Allah has blessed from His Bounty.

 

If one cannot find someone who is more needy or indigent who cannot even afford two square meals a day, or a shelter over his head, etc.; then there is no harm in paying zakat to the aunt to supplement her living expenses.

 

E: Can Zakat money be used to give gold presents to this widow?

If one wishes to pay his zakat in gold, there is absolutely no harm.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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