Q: How is Nisab measured?
A: The standard of the Nisab is gold and silver .
This was stipulated by the Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him).
Allah has placed intrinsic worth and value in gold and silver. Gold and silver have universal value and worth. Investopedia describes the natural phenomenon of these metals in the following manner:
Gold doesn’t corrode and can be melted over a flame, making it easy to work with and stamp as a coin. Finally, gold has a unique and beautiful colour, unlike other elements. The atoms in gold are heavier and the electrons move faster, creating absorption of some light; a process which took Einstein’s theory of relativity to figure out.
From a elemental perspective, gold is the most logical choice for a medium of exchange for goods and services. It is abundant enough to create coins, but rare enough that not everyone can make them. It doesn’t corrode, providing a sustainable store of value, and humans are physically attracted to its colour and feel.
In the Prophetic era, the bimetallic currency was common. Arabia used both dinar, the byzantine currency, and the dirham, the Persian currency. When Islam came, the Prophet approved the use of Dinar and Dirham as money. Hence, the Zakat thresholds were pegged on these standards.
And Allah knows best!
Mufti Faraz Adam