Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions related to Zakat.
(Please note that for any specific queries, it is advisable to contact your local imam)
Gold and silver: Any gold or silver you possess is Zakatable, including jewellery according to Hanafi school, because these two metals have intrinsic monetary value.
Other precious metals and stones are not Zakatable unless they were acquired for the purpose of trade.
Cash or its equivalent: Cash at home, in bank accounts, savings, money lent to others, saving certificates, bonds, shares, investment certificates and so on, are all taken into account when calculating Zakat.
Stock purchased for trade: Any goods you have bought with the intention of selling are included in your Zakatable wealth.
Any goods, other than gold or silver, that you have not bought for resale are non-Zakatable. No Zakat is payable on your personal belongings, such us a house or a car.
When does the Zakat year begin?
- Yes. You can either pay Zakat for every year that passes until you receive the loan back, alternatively you can wait until you receive the loan and then pay the accumulated Zakat in one go.
- If the loan is insecure and you are not sure whether the borrower will be able to pay you back, it is better to delay the Zakat payment until you receive it, at which point the Zakat accumulated over the years will be payable. If you never receive the money back, no Zakat is payable.
Shares are of two types: those purchased by a speculator who trades in shares, and those bought for investment.
If you are a speculator and have bought shares specifically for the purpose of selling them and making a profit, then the entire market value of the shares is subject to Zakat since it is considered as stock in trade.
If, on the other hand, you have bought the shares as an investment and to receive dividends, then you first have to calculate the percentage of Zakatable assets the company has, and pay Zakat on that percentage of the value of your shares. To do this you would have to look at the yearly accounts of the company, and work out what percentage of its assets are stock, raw materials, cash, gold or other Zakatable items. Buildings, machinery, vehicles and so on that are essential for the business are not Zakatable.
Yes, Zakat is payable on money saved for hajj, provided it is kept for one lunar year, and is at or above the Nisab threshold.