بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Zakat on gold or silver jewellery

Omar Farooq, Abdullah Bin Masoud, Abdullah Bin Abbas, Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Al-A’as(May Allah pleased with them), similarly famous and renowned Tabeien, Saeed Bin Jobair, Ata’a, Mujahid, Ibn Sirin, Imam Zohari, Imam Sauri, Imam Auzaie and the great Imam Abu Hanifah (May Allah’s mercy fall upon them)  are well convinced being Zakat obligatory on usable gold or silver jewellery, whether ornaments be equal to the minimum amount of gold liable to Zakat or more and one full year passed over it, the following several evidences are being presented in this context:

{1} The general command of the holy Quran and Sunnah in which being Zakat obligatory on gold or silver without any condition (whether for use or non-use)is mentioned and in these holy verses and Ahadith, harsh and severe warningsfor negligence in non-payment of Zakat, are mentioned. This generality is obviously found in numerous Verses and Ahadith. Due to brevity, I confine this subject to one verse and one Hadith only:

الَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ (34) يَوْمَ يُحْمَىٰ عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَىٰ بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنُوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ ۖ هَٰذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا مَا كُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ (35) {سورة التوبة 34 و 35}َ

And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah - give them tidings of a painful punishment. (34) The Day when it will be heated in the fire of Hell and seared therewith will be their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (it will be said), "This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you used to hoard." (35)(Tawba 34 & 35)…….. The Messenger of Allah said that the wealth whose Zakat is paid, does not enter within the category of (كنزتم stored)(Abu Daud, Musnad Ahmad). Thus, the gold and silver whose Zakat is not being paid, so, on the day of resurrection, that gold and silver will be heated in the fire of hell, and then their foreheads, flanks and backs will be seared--- May Allah, the Exalted, help us to pay Zakat of all wealth, gold and silver and save all of us from painful torment! Amen.

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ (رضي الله عنه)، قال قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ مَا مِنْ صَاحِبِ ذَهَبٍ وَلاَ فِضَّةٍ لاَ يُؤَدِّي مِنْهَا حَقَّهَا إِلاَّ إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ صُفِّحَتْ لَهُ صَفَائِحَ مِنْ نَارٍ فَأُحْمِيَ عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَيُكْوَى بِهَا جَنْبُهُ وَجَبِينُهُ وَظَهْرُهُ كُلَّمَا بَرَدَتْ أُعِيدَتْ لَهُ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ حَتَّى يُقْضَى بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ فَيُرَى سَبِيلُهُ إِمَّا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَإِمَّا إِلَى النَّارِ ‏" {مسلم ، كتاب الزكاة ، باب فيمن لا يؤدي الزكاة}

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (way peace be upon him) as saying: If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.

In the above mentioned Verse and Hadith, a painful punishment is reported in general, due to non-payment of zakat on gold or silver, whether they are ornaments for use or gold and silver for trading. It is therefore, in the holy Quran, no exclusion or exemption from Zakat of usable ornaments is mentioned at any occasion.

{2} Abdullah bin Omar (RA) reported: that A woman came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and she was accompanied by her daughter who wore two heavy gold bangles in her hands. He said to her: Do you pay zakat on them? She said: No. He then said: Are you pleased that Allah may put two bangles of fire on your hands? Thereupon she took them off and placed them before the Prophet (PBUH) saying: They are for Allah and His Apostle. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Chapter: On the Meaning of Kanz (Treasure) and Zakat on Jewellery, Musnad Ahmad – Tirmidhi – Darqutni)Imam Nawavi, the explainer of Muslim and Sheikh Naseruddin Albani has authenticated this Hadith.

{3} A’ishah (RA), wife of the Prophet (PBUH) said that the Apostle of Allah (PBUH) entered upon me and saw two silver rings in my hand. He asked whatthis, Aisha is. I said I have made two ornaments myself for you, Messenger of Allah (PBUH). He asked do you pay zakat on them. I said no or I said Whatever Allah willed. He said this is sufficient for you (to take you) to the Hell fire (Sunan Abi Dawud 1/244&Darqutni).

A group of Mohaddesin has authenticated this Hadith. Imam Khattabi has mentioned it in (Ma’alemussonan 3/176) explaining that the most likely this ring alone does not complete the course of Zakat, this clearly means that if these rings are included in other ornaments and completed the course, then their Zakat must be paid. The same justification is stated by Imam Sufiyan Sauri.

{4} Asma’a Bint Yazid(May Allah pleased with her) said: I and my aunt came to the Prophet (PBUH) and we had worn the bracelets of gold. He said to us: "Do you pay their Zakat?”We said: No. He, said, "Aren’t you afraid that Allah will wear you the bracelets of fire tomorrow on the Day of resurrection? (Due to non-payment of their Zakat). So, you have to pay their zakat (Musnad Ahmad). A group of Mohaddasin has authenticated this Hadith.

Being Zakat obligatory on jewellery is mentioned in number of Ahadith. We mentioned here only three Ahadith avoiding prolongation.   

The second school of thought of Muslim Ummah who is of the view that Zakat is not obligatory on usable ornaments, they generally present two arguments:

1-     Rational Argument: Allah Almighty made Zakat obligatory on the wealth that may be augmented and grown, whereas there is no growth in the jewellery of gold and silver--- Whatever the case may be, in fact there is a growth in the ornaments too, thus by the increase in the value of gold and silver, the value of ornaments are also increased. Nowadays, the profit margin is found in gold more than other trade deals.

2-    Few Ahadith and Companions’ quotations: They are all denied and weak Hadiths, as Sheikh Naseruddin Albani has written in his book named (إرواء الغليل في تخريج أحاديث منابر السبيل) with evidences and arguments.

The majority of Indian Subcontinent’s scholars have written that if the usable jewellery reaches the course (minimum amount for obligation of zakat), then it is obligatory to pay zakat. In the light of Quran and Sunnah, the same opinion is of the former Mufti of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz(May Allah’s mercy fall upon him) “that Zakat is obligatory on usable ornaments.”

{Rule of thumb}:

On the subject under discussion, the Muslim Ummah is divided into two schools of thoughts from long time. Every school of thought has resorted to the prophetic Ahadith for support of its stance. But no one can deny the fact that wherever in the holy Quran, severe warnings are indicated on non-payment of zakat on gold and silver, at none of occasions/places, any difference between usable and trading gold is reported. Moreover, there is no Hadith which cannot be argued or criticized, out of stock of Ahadith that exclude usable jewelry from zakat. To the contrary, some of authentic Hadith do clearly guide being zakat obligatory on usable jewellery. The Mohaddis like Sheikh Naseruddin Albani has also considered some of these Ahadithas authentic. Even though, if there is no Hadith for being zakat obligatory on usable ornaments, then in the light of general ruling of the holy Quran, we should pay zakat on every kinds of gold and silver, whether usable or not, so that, we could rescue ourselves from painful torment and shame and humiliation on the day of resurrection. Moreover, in declaring zakat obligatory on usable ornaments, there is benefit for poor, orphans and widows, so that the wealth would not confined in few houses/families, but by extending this fund as help, we will do our best to make our society better.

{Precaution}:

Those Ahadith mentioned above in that, the prophet (PBUH) has also obligated zakat on usable ornaments, a group of Mohaddesin is agreed upon being these Ahadith as authentic, however some Mohaddesin has decided that there is a weakness in their narration source. But the safe side is that we should pay the zakat for usable ornaments, so, we could save ourselves from stricter threats and warnings mentioned in the holy Quran and Sunnah for non-payment of zakat. Moreover, along with purification, the growth and augmentation could be possible in our wealth only on the condition that we will completely pay zakat of our wealth. Because, there is no promise of purification and growth in the wealth until full zakat is paid. Hence, some of companions and Tabeien who do not see zakat in usable jewellery and we well know after being acquaint with their life conditions that they against their needs, had been considering success of their world and hereafter in fulfilling of other’s needs, and they had been spending a great part of their wealth for God’s sake. The historical books are filled with such events and stories. At such a time when a largest segment of the Muslim Ummah is not ready to pay Zakat, much less they will help their poor brethren with charities and other material aids. It is therefore, more precaution is in payment of zakat for usable jewellery, so that we can save ourselves by extending material assistance to poor, orphans and widows not only from torment on Day of Resurrection, but also we should be entitled of great reward.

{Few Clarifications}:

If jewellery are not for use, but they are kept to utilize in case of a trouble in future (for example marriage of daughter) and more than a year has passed over them and were not used, then in this event, all scholars are agreed upon being zakat obligatory on these jewelleries, e.g. the second school of thought is also agreed upon it.

Upon payment of jewellery zakat, the sale value of old gold will be taken into consideration. For instance, the gold which is possessed by you, if you sell it in the market, then, what would be the value of that, the same value will be taken into consideration upon payment of zakat.

There is consensus among Muslim Ummah on not being zakat obligatory on diamond, because Islamic Shariah has counted it as valuable stones. However, if they are kept for trading, then if reach the course of zakat, so their zakat will be obligatory.

If someone possesses cash or bank balance beside gold and silver, thus he has to pay their zakat, however there are two basic conditions for them:

They should be either equal to the course or more

One year has already passed over them.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)