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The Obligation of Paying the Zakat is Not Tied to Ramadan.

Question:

When does Zakat (obligatory charity) becomes obligatory? What time should it be paid and who are the right people to receive it?

Answer:

The Zakat on wealth becomes obligatory if a Muslim possesses the Nisab (the minimum amount on which Zakat is due) and the year rounds on it (calculated from the time wealth reaches the minimum amount upon which Zakat is due), provided that the owner is a free person (not a slave).

The minimum amount on which Zakat is due for gold is twenty Mithqal (1 Mithqal = 4.25grams) which is equal to approximately 92gm. While the minimum amount on which Zakat is due for silver is 200 Dirhams which is equal to 56 Saudi Riyals.

If a person possesses the minimum amount on which Zakat is due and kept it for a full lunar year, Zakat becomes due on it, which is one-quarter of one-tenth of the total amount possessed. For example, the Zakat of 100 Riyals is 2.5 Riyals and for 1000 Riyals is 25 Riyals, and so on.

The prescribed time for the payment of Zakat depends on the time when the person possesses the minimum amount on which Zakat is due; if a person owns the it in the month of Muharram, for example, Zakat becomes obligatory in the following Muharram.

It is worthy to mention here that the obligation of paying Zakat is not tied to the month of Ramadan, but some Muslims prefer to pay their Zakat in Ramadan seeking the doubled reward in this month. However, if the Zakat becomes due at any other time other than Ramadan, it becomes obligatory to pay it and not to delay it until Ramadan. If one hastens to pay the Zakat in advance before the year complete in order to pay it in Ramadan, there is nothing wrong in doing so, In sha’a-Allah.

As for the people who deserve to receive the Zakat, they are those specified in the Sayings of Allah the Most High:

{إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ}.

{Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler - an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.} (Qur’an 9:60).

Source of Fatwa:

Fatwa issued by: The General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta.

Original Fatwa text in Arabic:

السؤال:

متى تجب الزكاة ؟ وما وقت وجوبها ؟ ومن هم مستحقوها ؟

الإجابة:

تجب زكاة الأموال إذا ملـك المسلم نصابا وحـال عليه الحول ، وكان المالك حرا . ومقدار النصـاب عشرون مثقـالا بالنسبة للذهب ، وهو ما يقارب اثنين وتسعين جرامـا ، ومن الفضة مائتـا درهم ، وهو مـا يقارب ستة وخمسين ريالا سعوديا ، فمتى ملك النصاب وتمت السنة من ملكه له وجبت الزكاة ، وهـي ربـع العشر . ففي مائة ريـال مثلا ريالان ونصف ، وفي الألف خمسة وعشرون ريالا ، وهكذا … إلخ.

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