Question 044: Can you please tell us those things on which payment of zakat is either obligatory or recommend?
Answer 044: Zakãt is obligatory on three cattle, namely, camels, cows and sheep (male and female both), two rich minerals, namely, gold and silver, and four cereals, namely, wheat, barley, dates and raisins (or currants), and it is not obligatory except on these nine items.
Note: some scholars have considered Zakat to be payable on the wealth in business, as a necessary precaution. Some other scholars consider payment of Zakat on invested capital as recommended.
Zakãt is approved on fruits and other things grown on land including even saitwort excluding vegetables or green crops (of grain) like Qatt (a grain eaten by desert people after pounding it), brinjal (or aubergine), cucumber, melon and the like. It is not free from difficulty in declaring payment of Zakät to be approved in case of (other) grains The same is the case with merchandise and mares. As regards horses, ponies and donkeys, Zakãt is not approved in their case.
The followings are rules relating to the nine items (1. Wheat, 2. Barley, 3. Dates, 4. Raisins, 5. Gold, 6. Silver, 7. Camel, 8. Cow, 9. Sheep (including goat).), on which Zakãt is obligatory.
Payment of Zakat on Cattle: There are four conditions for the obligation of Zakat on cattle in addition to those mentioned earlier. They are: the Nisabs (criteria of payment of Zakat), grazing in the pastures, completion of one full year and their not being employed for service.
- Nisãbs of Zakat on Camels: There are the following twelve Nisäbs on camels:
- One sheep on each unit of 5 camels.
- Two sheep on each unit of 10 camels.
- Three sheep on each unit of 15 camels.
- Four sheep on each unit of 20 camels.
- Five sheep on each unit of 25 camels.
- One Bint-i Mukhãd on each unit of 26 camels.
- One Bint-i Labun on each unit of 36 camels.
- One Hiqqah on each unit of 46 camels.
- One Jadha’ah on each unit of 6l camels.
- Two Bint-i Labun on each unit of 76 camels
11 Two Hiqqah on each unit of 91 camels.
- On each unit of 121 camels Zakãt shall be charged in the following way one Hiqqah on each 50 camels, one Bint-i Labun on each 40 camels, which means that it shall be obligatory to charge the Zakãt according to the rates of these numbers wherever applicable. If action cannot be taken without both these numbers, both of them shall be taken into account. One may take into account either or both of them Therefore, one cannot imagine a case where action cannot be taken accordingly; rather, it can be attained in one of the ways in case of groups of ten Of course, in case of a number consisting of units (i. e., numbers from one to nine) lying between two groups of ten, one cannot imagine action on them .So action shall be taken by counting in a way that may take in
all the numbers without taking into account the units So in case of the number being 121 camels, three forties shall be taken into account and three Bint-i Labuns shall be payable as Zakãt.
Again, in case of the number being 130 camels, two forties and one fifty shall be taken into account, and two Bint-i Labuns and one Hiqqah shall be payable as Zakãt. In case there are 140 camels, two fifties and one forty shall be taken into account, and two Hiqqahs and one Bint-i Labun shall be payable as Zakãt In case there are 150 camels, three fifties shall be taken into account, and three Hiqqahs shall be payable as Zakãt Where there are 160 camels, four forties shall be taken into account, and four Bint Labuns shall be payable as Zakãt. Action shall be taken in a similar way until the number reaches 200 camels, when one may account for five forties and pay five Bint-i Labuns, or account for four fifties, and pay four Hiqqahs.
- Nisãbs of Zakát on Cows & Buffaloes: There are two Nisabs for cows including buffaloes, one where they are 30 and the other where they are 40. So for each 30 cows one Tabi’ or one Tabi’ah, and for each 40 cows one Musnah shall be paid as Zakãt. Here too the rule should be applied, as far as possible, taking into account the above standard of payment of one Tabi’ or Tabi’ah for each 30 Cows and one Musnah for each 40 cows. There is no Zakãt until the number reaches sixty. When the number reaches sixty one cannot imagine that the rule cannot be applied to groups of ten, when they are accounted for according to thirty – thirty or forty – forty or they may be together (i.e.30-40). So in case of 60 cows, they shall be counted as two thirties, and two Tabi’s shall be paid as Zakät. In case of 70 cows, they shall be accounted for as 30 and 40, and one Tabi’ and one Musnah shall be paid as Zakãt. In case of 80 cows, they shall accounted for as two forties, and two Musnahs shall be paid as Zakat. In case of 90 cows, they shall be accounted for as three thirties, and three Tabi shall be paid as Zakät. In case of 100 cows, they shall be accounted for as two thirties and one forty, and two Tabi’ahs and one Musnah shall be paid as Zakãt. In case of 110 cows, they shall be accounted for as two forties and one thirty. (and two Musnahs and one Tabi’ah shall be paid as Zakat). In case of 120 cows, one may either account for as four thirties or three forties (and make payment accordingly)
- Nisãbs of Zakãt on Sheep: There are five Nisãbs of Zakãt on Sheep.
- For each unit of 40 sheep – one sheep.
- For each unit of 121 sheep – two sheep.
- For each unit of 201 sheep – three sheep.
- For each unit of 301 sheep – 4 sheep, according to the more cautious opinion The problem is, however, very difficult.
- For 400 sheep or above, for each 100 sheep – one sheep, how high so ever the number may be.
Rules Concerning Grazing in Pastures: It is a condition that the cattle (on which payment of Zakãt is obligatory) should have grazed in the pasture throughout the year, so that if it happens to be fed on fodder during the year in a way that according to the custom or tradition it may cease to be called a cattle grazing in the pasture, it shall not be obligatory to pay Zakat on it
Rules Concerning (Completion of a Whole) Year: A year is considered to be complete after the passage of eleven months. Apparently the Zakãt is shifted to its owners (i.e. those who are entitled to receive it) at the start of the twelfth month when it becomes their wavering ownership and its payment becomes obligatory unwaveringly, and so it is not permissible for the owner of the property to make any changes in it which may deprive those entitled to receive it of their right. In case he does, he shall be held responsible for it. Of course, if any of the conditions are not fulfilled unintentionally in a way that the property falls short of the Nisab during the twelfth month, the property shall return to its previous owner, and the obligation for the payment of Zakãt shall be dropped. According to the stronger opinion, twelfth month shall be counted in the first year and not in the second.
Rules Concerning the Last Condition: It is also a condition (for the payment of Zakat) that the cattle (on which Zakãt is to be charged) should not have been employed for service throughout the year. In case they are employed for service, although for a short period of time, no Zakat shall be payable for them, even if they happen to be grazing (in the pasture). The criterion for determining whether they are employed for service is the prevalent or usual practice.
Note: Neither sick cattle shall be accepted as Zakät for healthy cattle, nor shall old cattle for the Zakät of young cattle. Similarly, defective cattle shall also not be accepted as Zakãt for sound cattle, even if they fall under the Nisãb.
Zakät on Gold and Silver: The following are some conditions in addition to the general conditions already understood.
I – Nisãb of Zakat on Gold: In case of gold, the Nisãb of Zakat is twenty Dinars, whose Zakãt is ten Qirats which is equal to half a Dinar, and one Dinar is one Shar’i Mithqal which is equal to 3/4th of a Sayrafi Mithqal. So twenty Dinars come to fifteen Sayrafi Mithqals, and its Zakãt amounts to 4/8th of a Mithqal. There shall be no Zakat on less than twenty Dinars of gold, nor if it exceeds a little until the excess reaches four Dinars, and that is equal to three Sayrafi Mithqals whose Zakãt is two Qirats, as one Dinar = 20 Qirãts. The same amount shall be payable for each excess of four Dinars, and there shall be no Zakãt on any amount of gold which is less than four Dinars, but not in the sense that there shall be no Zakãt on it at all, as is the case when gold is less than twenty Dinars, but what is meant by exemption of whatever lies between two Nisabs is whatever exceeds the amount of Nisãb until its reaches another Nisab shall be supposed to belong to the previous one. So the first Nisab of gold begins from twenty Dinars until twenty-four Dinars, and it falls under the first amount of Zakãt that is half a Dinar.
Once the amount reaches twenty-four Dinars, two Qirats shall be added to the amount of Zakãt, and it shall remain so until it reaches twenty-eight Dinars, when another two Qirats shall be added to the amount of Zakãt, and so on.
2 – Nisãb of Zakat on Silver: The Nisãb of Zakãt on Silver is two hundred Dirhams of which Zakãt is five Dirhams. Then on each amount exceeding forty Dirhams, there shall be an addition of one Dirham in the amount of Zakãt, whatever the amount may be. There shall be (initially) no Zakãt on silver of less than two hundred Dirhams, and so also there shall be no Zakãt on an excess of less than forty Dirhams, in the sense already explained under the rules relating to the Zakãt on gold. A Dirham is equal to six Dawaniq, which is equal to half of one-fifth Shar’i Mithqal, as each ten Dirhams are equal to seven Shar’i Mithqals.
Explanation: The general rule in the payment of Zakãt on gold and silver is that when each of them reaches the Nisab i.e. twenty Dinars in case of gold and two hundred Dirhams in case of silver, 1/40th of the amount of gold or silver, as the case may be, shall be paid as Zakãt, and so its owner shall be considered to have paid what was due. If a person pays a bit more than the due amount of Zakãt, there shall be no objection, rather it shall be better and shall add to the beneficence.
Second: For the obligation of payment of Zakãt on a gold or silver coin, it should bear the seal of a king or somebody like him of whatever time or place, belonging to Islam, or a non-believer, with writing on it or without it, even if the writing has been obliterated for some reason. In case a coin of gold or silver does not originally bear a seal or writing, payment of Zakãt shall not be obligatory on it, except when it was in currency, in which case, according to the more cautious opinion, it shall be obligatory to pay Zakát on it. If a coin (of gold or silver) is used, for example, as an ornament for decoration, then it shall not be obligatory to pay Zakãt on it, regardless whether its value exceeds (the limit of Nisäb) or falls short of it, and whether it was used in a way as transaction or not.
Third: Completion of a year. It is also a condition that the whole Nisab should subsist for a full year. If, therefore, during the year it falls short of the required limit or it is changed in substance, etc., or by means of casting, even if in order to escape payment.
For further information in this regards, please refer to following answer:
Index: Zakat of Gold and Silver and its criterion, answer 039.
Index: Zakat and difference between Sayyid and non-Sayyid holms, answer 040.
 Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini), vol.2, p. 107, issue No.1853, Grand Ayatollah Sistani: “As an obligatory precaution, upon the wealth in business”.
 Ibid. Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani: “It is recommended that Zakat should also be paid from the capital of business, trade and commerce every year”; Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: “It is recommended that Zakat should also be paid from the capital of business, trade and commerce every year. Similarly, it is recommended to pay Zakat on grains other than wheat, barley, dates and raisins.”
 Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini), vol.2, Pg. 107, issue No.1853; Ibid, Pg. 131; Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol.2, Pgs. 614-615, issue No. 5-7; Ibid, Vol. 1, rules concerning “Things on which Payment of Zakàt is Obligatory or Recommended”.