Is it obligatory to pay zakat on mo...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Is it obligatory to pay zakat on money if this money is necessary for something else?


Is it incumbent on one to pay zakat on money he owns even if this money is to be used to purchase something necessary?


There are several conditions required for money to be zakatable: the money must be one’s own completely, he must have complete control of it, it must be open to growth, more than what one needs, and the necessary period of time has elapsed for it to be zakatable , it has reached the zakatable amount which is 85 grams worth of gold, and that the person be free of anything to prevent him from paying such as debt and the like.

Of these conditions, that which concerns us here is that the money be open to growth and that the money be in excess of one’s needs. These two conditions have been illustrated well by the jurists of the Hanafi school of have stated that:

The condition that the money be open to growth is because the meaning of zakat, which means growth, cannot be reached except from money that is open to growth. We do not mean actual growth as this is not possible, rather we mean that the money is open to growth through investment and trade. If you would like you could say that one of the conditions is that the money be in excess to one’s needs since through this one realizes the meaning of excess wealth and pleasure which is to live in luxury and by using this excess one fulfils the goal of purifying ones self.

Money that one needs for basic needs, one cannot be in need without it, nor could they have attained material pleasure since indulging in material pleasure cannot be done with one’s basic needs as these are necessary for life to continue and for one’s physical upkeep and this person’s form of thanksgiving is to be thankful for the blessing of their physical upkeep. By using this money one does not fulfill the command of purifying one’s soul which the Prophet said, “Pay the zakat on your money to purify your souls.” Therefore it would not be zakat as the reality of one being in need is an internal affair that one cannot pinpoint. Therefore one will not be able to tell the excess from the necessary, and one is need of proof to indicate this Therefore, excess money is one that is ready for growth and trade, and this is the position of the majority of scholars.

Based on this, zakat is not required except on money that is extra from ones basic needs and which is open to growth and investment. The possibility of investment is itself a sign that it is beyond one’s basic needs. As for the money that a Muslim needs to purchase something necessary, there is no zakat on it. Allah is most high and all knowledgeable.

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