Fiqh As-Sunnah
Zakah "giving Alms"

Zakah on Animals:
There are authentic ahadith explicitly indicating that camels, cattle, and sheep are subject to zakah. This enjoys the consensus. There are, however, some conditions to be met:

1. The animals concerned must attain a nisab.
2. They have to be in possession for one year.
3. They should have pastured by themselves -- that is, grazing most of the year in the available pasture.

Most scholars agree with these conditions. Malik and al-Layth, however, say that livestock is subject to zakah whether it be grazing or fodder-fed, used for carrying loads or not. Nevertheless, the ahadiths mentioned are unequivocal in restricting zakah to freely grazing livestock. This suggests that there is no zakah on fodder-fed livestock. It is always safe to base an opinion on evidence rather than on general implications to avoid possible misunderstanding of the Prophet's intent.

Ibn 'Abdul-Barr protests: "I do not know of any jurist in the provinces who followed Malik or al-Layth in this regard."

Zakah on Camels:
There is no zakah on camels unless there are five of them, they have been grazing freely and they have been in one's possession for a year. When the camels are five, their zakah is one sheep (shah). When they are ten, their zakah is two sheep. Thus, every time they increase by five, the zakah due on them is one more sheep. However, when they reach twenty-five, the due zakah is a she-camel (bint makhad or bint labun) which is a year old and starting the second, or a young male camel which is two years and already starting the third year. When they reach thirty-six, the zakah due on them is a young she-camel (bint labun). When they reach forty-six, the due zakah is a she-camel (huqqah) which is already three years old and starting the fourth. When they reach sixty-one, the due zakah is a four year old camel already starting its fifth year (jadh'ah). When they reach seventy-six, two young she-camels (bint labun) are due. When they are in the range of ninety-one to 120, the zakah is two young camels (huqqatan). When the number of camels is above 120, on every forty young she-camels, one bint labun is due. And on every fifty above 120, a young she-camel (huqqah) is due.

When the ages of camels offered for zakah differ, the owner should pay jadh'ah. If he does not have it, he may pay huqqah and may add two sheep or twenty dirhams provided he can afford to. The person who has to pay huqqah as zakah but does not have it only has to pay jadh'ah. The zakah collector, then, will pay him the difference, which is twenty dirhams or two female sheep. The one who has to pay huqqah and does not possess it can pay just the bint labun if he has it, along with two sheep if they are available. If not, he may pay twenty dirhams. If he has to pay the zakah of bint labun and does not have it, he can pay a huqqah and will receive from the zakah collector twenty dirhams or two sheep. If he has to pay the zakah of bint labun but has only bint makhad, it will be accepted from him along with two sheep if they are available, or twenty dirhams. If he is liable for the zakah of bint makhad and does not possess it, a ibn labun will be accepted from him without any additional things. If he has only four camels, he is not supposed to pay anything unless he wants to.

These are the rules concerning zakah on camels which were applied by Caliph Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, and none of the companions differed with him in this matter.

Az-Zuhri reported, on the authority of Salim from his father: "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, had the rules of sadaqah written down but could not send them to his govemors. Then, after his death, Abu Bakr dispatched them and applied them, a practice which Caliph 'Umar also followed and wanted others to follow, as indicated in his will."

Zakah on Cattle:
Cattle are subject to zakah provided they are a freely grazing herd and number thirty at the completion of the hawl. At that point, the zakah due is a young bull or a young cow (tabi' or tabi'ah). When they reach forty, the zakah is a young cow two years old (musinnah); when sixty, two young cows or two one-year-olds (tabi'ahs); when seventy, the zakah due is one musinnah and one tabi'; when eighty, two musinnahs; when ninety, three tabi's; when one hundred, one musinnah and two tabi's; when 110, two musinnahs and two tabi's; and when 120, three musinnahs or four tabi's. This system is followed on all additional cattle--one tabi', and on every forty, one musinnah.

Zakah on Sheep (Including Goats):
Sheep are subject to zakah when their number reaches forty. When the herd counts forty freely grazing heads at the end of the year, its zakah is one sheep. This is applicable until the number reaches 120, at which point, up until 200, the zakah is two sheep. From 201 to 300, their zakah is three sheep. When the number is above 300, one additional sheep is added for each increment of one hundred. Young sheep (jadh') are levied in the case of sheep and young goats (thany) in the case of goats. It is permissible, say scholars without exception, to levy rams as a form of zakah if all of the nisab of sheep are male. If the sheep are ewes, or a grouping of males and females, the Hanafiyyah holds it is optional to levy a zakah rams, whereas others specify ewes.

Regulation of Awqas:
Definition of Awqas: Awqas is a plural form of waqs. A waqs is any amount or number that lies between the regulation of the lower ordinance and that of a higher one. Scholars agree that such a waqs is exempt from zakah. It has been confirmed in the sayings of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, concerning the sadaqah of camels that he said: "When the number of camels reaches twenty-five, a young she-camel one year old and already starting the second (ibn makhad); when they reach thirty-six to forty-five, then the zakah due on them is a young she-camel two years old and already starting the third (bint labun)." Concerning the sadaqah of cattle, he said: "When cattle number between thirty and forty, the zakah is a young calf of one year old (tabi') or a bull or cow of one year and already starting the second (jadh' or jadh'ah); when they reach forty, a young cow of two years old and already starting the third (rnusinnah)." Concerning sadaqah on sheep, he said: "When the number of freely grazing sheep is between forty-two and 120, their zakah is one ewe." Thus, what lies between twenty-five and thirty-six camels is considered waqs--that is, there is no zakah on them. Likewise, what lies between thirty and forty cattle is considered waqs. This is also applies to sheep.

What Should Not Be Included in Zakah:
The rights of property owners must be considered when their properties are subjected to zakah. The best items are not to be taken as zakah unless the owners freely permit it. Likewise, the rights of the poor should be considered. A defective animal should not be taken as zakah unless all of the other animals are defective. In such a case, zakah is due on the average of that property. Some proofs for this view are:

1. In the letter of Abu Bakr: "Neither an old or a defective animal nor a billy goat may be taken as zakah."
2. Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah ath-Thaqafi reported: "Umar forbade the zakah collector to levy zakah on the following: barren ewes (al-'akulah), a sheep kept at home for milk (ar-rahy), a pregnant ewe (al-rnakhid), or a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam)."
3. 'Abdullah ibn Mu'awiyyah al-Ghadiri reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever performs these three acts will have had (savored) a taste of belief ('irnan): He who worships Allah alone, and [believes] that there is no god but Him; he who good-heartedly offers the zakah on his property which will repay him every year; and he who does not offer a very old sheep, a mangy sheep, a sick sheep, a mean and low sheep, or a ewe which produces only a small amount of milk. You should offer one from the average. Verily, Allah asks you to offer neither the best nor the worst." It was related by Abu Dawud and at-Tabarani with a good transmission.

Zakah on Animals Other Than Cattle (al-An'am):
Zakah is not applicable to animals other than cattle. Thus, there is no zakah on horses, mules, or donkeys unless they are used for the purpose of trade. On the authority of 'Ali, it is related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "I have exempted you from paying sadaqah on horses." It was narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawud with a good chain. On the authority of Abu Hurairah, it is related that the Messenger, upon whom be peace, was asked if there is zakah on donkeys. He replied: "Nothing was ever mentioned [in revelation] except in the following excellent Qur'anic verse: 'And whosoever does evil equal to an atom's weight will see it' [azZalzalah 7-8]." It was narrated by Ahmad and its details have already been mentioned.

Harithah ibn Madrab reported that he performed pilgrimage (hajj) with Caliph 'Umar, and the notables of Syria came to him and said: "O Commander of the Faithful, we have acquired some animals, so take from our property a sadaqah that purifies us." He answered them: "My two predecessors [the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and Caliph Abu Bakr] did not do this before. But wait and let me ask the Muslims about this." This was narrated by alHaythami, who said that it was narrated by Ahmad and atTabarani in the book entitled al-Kabir. The narrators of this hadith are considered trustworthy.

Az-Zuhri reported from Salman ibn Yassar that the people of Syria said to Abu 'Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: "Take from our horses . . . a sadaqah." He refused. Then he wrote to 'Umar, who also refused. They spoke to him again, and he wrote to 'Umar once again. 'Umar wrote back: "If they desire that, take it from them and give it back to them [their poor] and to their slaves." This was narrated by Malik and al-Baihaqi.

Young Camels, Calves, and Lambs:
When a person has a nisab of camels, cattle, and lambs, and they give birth during the same year, zakah is due on both the original number and their offsprings at the end of the year. Their zakah is considered a lump-sum zakah according to the majority of scholars. On the authority of Malik and ash-Shaf'i, from Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah ath-Thaqafi, it is related that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said: "The new-born sheep (as-sakhlah) carried by the shepherd are not to be taken as zakah. Likewise, a barren sheep (al-'akulah), a ewe kept for milk (ar-raby), a pregnant ewe (al-makhid) and a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam) are not to be taken as zakah. Take as zakah the jadh'ah and the thaniyyah. Zakah is levied on the average quality of the property."

Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaf'i, and Abu Thaur are of the opinion that the young offspring are not to be calculated in the zakah payment unless the mature animals make a nisab. Also, Abu Hanifah stated that the young sheep can be added to fulfill a nisab whether they are born from the same livestock or not. They will be subject to zakah at the end of the year. Ash-Shaf'i lays down the condition that young animals have to be born prior to the completion of the nisab. There is no zakah on young animals according to Abu Hanifah, Muhammad, Dawud, ash-Shu'abi, and Ahmad.

Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, ad-Daraqutni and al-Baihaqi, relate that Suwaid ibn Ghaflah said: "The zakah collector of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, came to us and I heard him say: 'In my term of office, a suckling animal was not subject to zakah . . .' " In its chain of narrators is Hilal ibn Hubab, whom several have declared trustworthy, but some did not. It was authenticated by more than one person but was a point of contention to others.

According to the opinion of Malik and a report from Ahmad, young animals as well as mature ones are subject to zakah, because if the former could be considered with others (for purposes of zakah), then they could also be considered on their own. Ash-Shaf'i and Abu Yusuf hold that at least one young (animal) is obligatory (as zakah) from the young animals.

On Combining Young and Old (Animals) or Separating Them:
1. Suwaid ibn Ghaflah said: "The zakah collector of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, came to us and I heard him say: 'We do not collect zakah on suckling animals, nor do we separate between them [young and old], nor combine them together.' A man came with a great humped camel (kawma), but he did not accept it as zakah." It was reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and anNasa'i.

2. Anas reported that Abu Bakr wrote to him: "These are the sadaqah stipulations which the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, made obligatory to the Muslims. [And of it] do not combine. There is no need to gather [young and old] animals nor to separate them to obtain the correct sadaqah amount. What happens to a mixture of young and old? When zakah is assessed on two associates, then they have to figure it out equally among them." AlBukhari relates this.

Malik, in alMuwatta', says: "There are, for example, three partners, each having forty sheep on which zakah is payable. If they add their sheep together, their zakah will be only one sheep. Or, another example: two partners have 201 sheep. Their zakah will be three sheep. If they divide the flock among them, their zakah will be one sheep each."

Ash-Shaf'i holds that this statement is addressed to both the owner and the zakah collector. Each is ordered not to add or separate his possessions to obtain a lower or higher sadaqah. Since the owner would naturally prefer a low sadaqah on his property, he would combine or separate his possessions accordingly. The same would also be true of the zakah collector, who might like to collect as much sadaqah as possible. By using the phrase khashyat assadaqah (for fear of sadagah), the Prophet meant that it may become more or less since both altematives were possible. This shows that he did not prefer one choice over the other. Therefore, he made both altematives possible. According to the Hanafiyyah: "This is, in a sense, a prohibition on the zakah collector's separating the property of a person so that his sadaqah is not increased. For example: a man possesses 120 sheep. If they are divided into three lots of forty each, the zakah would amount to three sheep. Another example: if they combine the property of one man with the property of another, the sadaqah would increase. Thus, if a person owns 101 sheep and another owns an equal number, then the zakah collector, if he combines the two lots, would secure three sheep as payment toward zakah, while the actual amount due is only two sheep."

Does Combining (Animals) Have any Effect?:
The Hanafiyyah hold that as far as the determination of zakah is concemed, combining (animals) has no effect. Whether such a combination is between partners or has ensued because of contiguity does not matter. There will be no zakah on the joint ownership of partners unless each of them attains a nisab. The consensus is that zakah has to be detemlined on the basis of sole ownership.

The Malikiyyah maintain that ownership of cattle is considered as one for the purpose of zakah. The combination becomes valid only for zakah when the co-owners in their own right possess a nisab. In addition to this, they should have a common herdsman, a common breed, a common pen, and the expressed intention of having joint ownership. If the herd of one of them is distinguished from the other, they will be considered two separate entities. In that case, each individual becomes liable for zakah. The combination affects livestock. What is taken as zakah from the herd will be distributed among the partners in accordance with each one's share. If the property of one of the associates is separate, then all of it is considered combined.

According to the Shaf'iyyah, every share of the combination affects the zakah and the zakah on two or more associates' separate properties becomes due. This may affect the amount of zakah due; for example, if two men, each possessing twenty sheep, combine their sheep, the zakah due is one, but if they do not combine them, then there is no zakah on either one. On the other hand, a combination of 101 sheep with the same number results in a zakah of one and one-half sheep. However, if the flocks of sheep are considered separately, then the zakah due on each lot is only one sheep. As for the case of three associates, each of them having forty sheep, if they combine them, the zakah due is one sheep--that is, the zakah due for each partner is one-third of a sheep. However, if treated separately, each should pay one sheep. In addition to this, the Shaf'iyyah moreover stipulate the following:

1. The partners should qualify financially to pay zakah.
2. The combined property must attain a nisab.
3. Its zakah is due at the end of the year.
4. None of the properties is singled out from the others as regards resting pen, grazing area, watering, herdsmen, and milking sheds.
5. Flocks of the same kind are bred by the same ram. Ahmad agrees with the Shaf'iyyah, except that he limited the effect of combination to cattle and does not take into consideration any other properties.

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