Who has to pay Zakat?
Those required to pay Zakat must be:
- Adult (have reached the age of puberty)
- Muslim (Zakat is not paid by non-Muslims)
- In complete ownership of the Nisab
Differences of opinion:
- The orphan
- The child (pre-puberty)
- The mad/insane
The three schools of jurisprudence other than the Hanafi school state that Zakat should be paid on qualifying wealth owned by the orphan, child and the insane .
The three schools of jurisprudence consider the ownership of wealth reaching the Nisab as the driving factor behind the Zakat obligation. Furthermore, the child, insane and orphan’s wealth will also benefit from the purification of wealth due to the payment of Zakat.
The Hanafi school considers the element of worship in Zakat and therefore opines that Zakat is not binding on the orphan, child and insane. Since these individuals are not obliged to perform worship, they are not obliged to pay Zakat. However, if a person has intermittent sanity, they will be required to pay Zakat. Only a person with continuous insanity and mental incapacity is exempt from Zakat .
The parent/guardian will be responsible to pay Zakat on the wealth of the orphan, child and insane. They can pay from the wealth of these individuals.
Conditions that make Zakat obligatory
Zakat is obligatory if an individual possesses wealth to the value of the Nisab (minimum threshold). According to Sharia, such a person is deemed to be rich. Zakat is imposed by both the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself listed Zakatable items and monetary rates to be charged on each of them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also gave us exemptions and regimented criteria of Zakat, Zakatable items and general Zakatability. Everything has been written for and given to us, SubhanAllah! – and it is our role as pious Muslims to adhere to what we have been commanded to do.
Conditions for Zakat to be obligatory on wealth:
- Complete ownership
- The wealth has the ability to grow and increase
- The wealth has reached the Nisab
- A whole lunar year passes after possessing the Nisab
Zakat is meant to help relieve the poor without impoverishing the rich; once you have reached the Nisab threshold you are only required to give 2.5% of your Zakatable assets. In essence, we are required to give a little from a lot – and in doing so, not do ourselves any financial damage whilst providing security for those in need.
Q) My daughter is 9 years old and she has received gold gifts over the years. Do we need to pay Zakat on this amount?
A) Those required to pay Zakat must be: adult (having reached puberty), Muslim, sane, and have complete ownership of the Nisab. All three schools of law other than the Hanafi school of law state that Zakat should be paid on qualifying wealth owned by the insane and children. So, depending on which school you adhere to and if your child’s assets are above the Nisab, you can pay Zakat on this gold.
And Allah knows best.
Approved by Mufti Amjad 8th August 2023.