Do I pay zakat on wealth belonging to my children?

Not according to the Hanafi school. A child is not liable to pay zakat, even if they possess wealth above the nisab threshold. The first zakat payment will become due twelve lunar months after the child reaches the age of puberty, if they possess wealth above the nisab.

According to Imam Shafi’ and Imam Malik, however, a child who possesses wealth above the nisab value is liable for zakat, the same as an adult.

I gave a lot of money to charity over the year. Doesn’t that count as zakat?

For a donation to qualify as zakat, there must be a clear intention present, either when you separate the zakat money from the rest of your wealth, or when you make the zakat payment.

Zakat al-Fitr (fitrana)

Before the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the end of Ramadan, every adult Muslim who possesses food in excess of their needs must pay zakat al-fitr for themselves. The head of household can also pay on behalf of their dependants such as children, servants and elderly relatives.

The head of the household is responsible for paying zakat al-fitr for all dependants Zakat al-fitr can be paid during Ramadan, before Eid al-Fitr prayers at the latest, so that the poor can enjoy the day of Eid.

The minimum amount due is the equivalent of about 2 kg of wheat flour, rice or other staple foodstuff, for each member of the household, including children and dependants – even if they do not live in the same house. A safe estimate is approximately £5/US$7 per head.

Recipients of zakat al-Fitr are the poor and those in need, who are entitled to receive general zakat. SACH acts as your charitable agent, using your zakat al-fitr to buy and distribute food on your behalf.

Who can receive my zakat?

To be eligible to receive zakat, the recipient must be a poor Muslim. A poor person is someone whose property in excess of his basic requirements does not reach the value of the nisab threshold.

The recipient must not belong to your immediate family: your spouse, children, parents and grandparents cannot receive your zakat. Other relatives however, can receive your zakat.

The recipient must not be a Hashimi, a descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Can I pay zakat in advance?

Yes, zakat can be paid in advance before the year has ended, but you should make sure you have wealth equal to or above the nisab.

Do I have to pay zakat?

Zakat is obligatory on someone who is:

1. A free man or woman.

2. Muslim: Zakat is a religious obligation upon Muslims, like the five daily prayers.

3. Sane: The person on whom zakat becomes obligatory must be of sound mind according to Imam Abu Hanifa. Imam Malik holds that an insane person is still liable for zakat.

4. An adult: Children do not have to pay zakat, even if they own enough wealth to make zakat obligatory. However, both Imam Shafi’i and Imam Malik say that the guardians of the children should pay the zakat on their behalf.

5. In complete ownership and control of their wealth: The person must own and be in possession of the wealth, and also be free to spend or dispose of the wealth in any manner they like. If a person has made a loan of their wealth then they are not in a position to spend it until it is repaid.

6. In possession of wealth above the nisab threshold: The person should possess wealth above a defined amount required to satisfy the essential needs of themselves and their dependents (nisab).

7. Free from debt: Someone in debt may deduct their debts from their assets. If what remains is still above the nisab threshold, zakat is due, otherwise not.

8. In possession of the wealth for one complete lunar (Hijrah) year: If one owns zakatable wealth for a lunar year, zakat will become obligatory, provided the total amount of wealth exceeds the nisab at the beginning of the year and the end, irrespective of any fluctuations in the months between.



I have taken out large commercial loans to expand my business, how will this affect my zakat calculation?

A loan you have taken out to acquire zakatable assets, such as raw materials, goods and so on, can be deducted from your capital. You pay zakat on what remains.

A loan you have taken out to acquire non-zakatable assets, such as furniture, machinery and buildings is not deductible.

I have ‘dead stock’ in my shop that I have not been able to sell for many years, do I still pay zakat on it?

Yes, you would need to pay zakat on it. Although when calculating its value, you would consider the price that you would be able to sell it for.

How do I calculate the value of stock in my shop?

The value of the stock in your shop is its market value, not the buying price. You can calculate this by estimating how much you would expect to receive if you sold the entire stock at once to a single buyer.

I have my own business, how do I pay zakat on it?

If you have a business, all stock in trade is liable for zakat, including land and real estate that has been bought for the purpose of resale.

Raw materials and goods produced for sale are also subject to zakat. The buildings, machinery, vehicles and so on that are essential for the business are exempt from zakat.