What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: If Zayd has £800 pounds and is not working, is Zakāh wājib upon him?
Questioner: Shareeq from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
If someone has the equivalent currency of 52.5 Tolas of silver (approximately 612.35 grams) in value, which, according to present day calculations, accumulates to £243.69 [October 2018] and this amount excludes his basic needs, then he will possess the threshold (i.e. becomes the owner of nisāb), and when a complete [lunar] year passes whilst it being in his possession, then Zakāh will be wājib upon him, even if he does not have a job, because pounds is a currency which is being operated (used – meaning it is in usage) in this current moment time i.e. it is a common currency which is in circulation, and so when its value equals to the amount of silver required (for Zakāh) then this will make one the owner of nisāb.
Just as it is stated in Bahār-e-Sharī’at, that when money is used in society as common currency and is in circulation, and it is equal to the value of two hundred Dirhams of silver (52.5 Tolas) or 20 Mithqāls of gold [7.5 Tolas], then its Zakāh is wājib, even if it is not for trade purposes. Alternatively, if that currency is redundant (i.e. not in use anymore), then unless it is not used for trade purposes, Zakāh on it is not wājib. [Fatāwā Qārī al-Hidāyah]. Zakāh on notes is also wājib, for as long as they are common and in circulation, as this is also regarded as ‘Thaman Istilāhī’ [i.e. that which the word ‘payment’ is applicable to], and the ruling is the same as any (other) money (i.e. coins).
[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 1, part 5 pg 905]
Furthermore, one not working does not stop Zakāh becoming necessary upon someome, as it is from the conditions for Zakāh becoming necessary that one becomes the owner of nisāb (as explained above).
Just as ‘Allāmah abū al-Barakāt ‘Abdullāh bin Ahmad Nasafī, may Allāh shower endless mercies upon him, stated,
“شرط وجوبھا العقل والبلوغ والإسلام والحريۃ وملک نصاب حولي فارغ عن الدين وحاجتہ الأصليۃ نام ولو تقديراً“
“The conditions which necessitate Zakāh are: Being sane, being mature, being a Muslim, being free [i.e. not being a slave] and being the owner of nisāb [for such a complete year] in which one is free from any debts – the nisāb must be free from one’s general necessities [of living] and the wealth must be nāmī (i.e. the potential of growth/increase), even if that wealth is assumed to have the potential to grow/increase.”
[Kanz al-Daqā’iq & Bahr al-Rā’iq, vol 2, pg 353-355]
 There are two types of thaman (payment):
- Haqīqī – Former payment which consisted of gold or silver, for example, if 5g of gold is worth £1, thus a £1 coin would be made of 5g of gold (this is why previously money only used to be in the form of coins and would be weighed using a scale).
- Istilāhī – Payment which is not made from gold or silver, rather it is made from any material and is given a certain value; this applies to coins as well as notes, cheques, etc. So though this is not the traditional method of payment i.e. gold or silver, it is still a form of payment and regarded as so.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Bilal Shabir
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0578] I have £800 but don’t work – do I have to give Zakah?