In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, The Most Merciful.
Assalamu Alaikum Warohmatulloohi wabarokatuh…
All praises be to Allah, peace and prayer of Allah be upon His messenger..
Dear ustadz, may Allah always preserve you…
This morning I was asked about the ruling of Zakat from one’s profession (zakat taken from one’s monthly or other periodic salary, -translator) :
Is the method or analogy of the scholars that allow the establishment of zakat from one’s monthly salary is valid indication to be applied? The company where I currently work has imposed this policy for quite a long time, by taking some amount from the monthly salary of the employees based on an agreement beforehand, where some people agreed to it and some people didn’t.
Next, is there any good book that explain about this kind of zakat?
. Zakat that is compulsory for the rich have been explained clearly in some indications. And zakat is a matter of worship, where there are no chance for anyone to decide by himself or to create innovation without indication that support it. The scholars from various madzhab have stated that:
الأَصْلُ فِي العِبَادَاتِ التَّوقِيفُ
“The origin of law in worshipping matters is by guidance, or forbidden.”
Based on this principle, they explained that anyone who allow or perform a worshipping act, should find indication that allow the act beforehand. If not, the act is forbidden, or considered as an innovation.
مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَل لَيْسَ عَلَيهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَدٌّ رواه مسلم
“Whoever perform an act without our guidance, (it) is rejected.” (Narrated by Muslim)
Think about this: Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam, as the testimony (the two syahadat), prayer, fast, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Will you tolerate one who use his own opinion to make compulsory other prayer than the five compulsory prayers, or to change it’s rules: for example fajr or dawn prayer with 4 rak’ahs, maghrib prayer performed in 5 rak’ahs, or it is performed in one occasion; the testimony is embedded with other words that suits the improvement of man’s lifestyle, the pilgrimage is performed in every country to save the people’s fund and to improve their prosperity, and the Ramadan fast is divided into each month to make it lighter to perform and to make ease for the factory workers and other heavy workers.
Now, will you accept such imbecile opinion? If you wont, you should also reject the opinion of this zakat taken from one’s monthly salary, since it is also a form of man’s opinion in worshipping and in the pillars of Islam.
Moreover, it is proven through history that the companions of the prophet and the next generations after them never acknowledged this kind of zakat, whereas they have recognized the term ‘salary’ since long ago, although it came in different names. It was previously termed as ‘al ‘atha’, and now people called it ‘salary’ or ‘raatib’ or ‘mukafaah’ (other Arabic terms for salary- translator). The difference in names certainly do not change it’s law.
Besides, analyzing this opinion further, we would find some awkward points and manipulation. Here are several examples of that awkwardness and manipulation:
The claimer of zakat from profession equalled it to zakat of the harvest (agriculture field), by neglecting the difference between the two form of zakat. Zakat taken from the harvest of agricultural work is 1/10 from the harvest with free irrigation, and 1/20 from it with paid irrigation. As for the zakat from one’s monthly salary, it is 2.5%, thus making it a weird and false analogy. The correct analogy will be by establishing the standard of 1/10 for the profession performed without any need for capital, and 1/20 for one with capital. Such establishment will surely burden all people and of course the claimer will not be brave enough to issue amount for zakat taken from one’s monthly salary.
Salary from one’s job/profession comes in the form of money, thus it is more appropriate to be equalled to zakat of gold and silver, since the commodities serve as trading tool, and standard for goods’ value.
The claimer of this zakat have evidently transgressed the scholars’ agreement hold for 14 centuries, by issuing fatwa of the obligation to pay zakat of the house, land, and the like.
Salary is not a new thing for men and muslim in particular, and it has been established since long ago. Below are the proofs if this statement:
Umar Ibn Al Khattab -may Allah be pleased with him- once performed a task ordered by the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, and he gave him his wage. Umar refused it at first, but the messenger of Allah peace and prayer of Allah be upon him said yo him: “If you are given something without asking for it, eat (take) it and spend it in charity.” (Narrated by Muslim).
After being sworn as a caliph, Abu Bakr -may Allah be pleased with him- went to the market to trade as he used to do, and he met Umar Ibn Al Khatthab -may Allah be pleased with him-, Umar asked him: “Where are you going?”.Abu Bakr said, “The market.” Umar asked him again, “Although you already have the jobs that makes you busy.”. Abu Bakr said, “Allah is The Holy One, this job (being caliph) will make me busy from supporting my family?” Umar replied, “We will give you proportionally.”
Bukhari also narrated a testimony of Abu Bakr -may Allah be pleased with him- about this:
لقد عَلِمَ قَوْمِي أَنَّ حِرْفَتِي لم تَكُنْ تَعْجِزُ عن مؤونة أَهْلِي وَشُغِلْتُ بِأَمْرِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَسَيَأْكُلُ آلُ أبي بَكْرٍ من هذا الْمَالِ وَيَحْتَرِفُ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ فيه.
“Indeed, my people have understood that my work will not support my family needs, whereas now the affairs of muslims make me busy, Thus the family of Abu Bakr will now consume a past of this wealth (wealth from bait al maal.), while he works to regulate their affairs.” (Narrated by Bukhari).
It proves that the term wage or salary has long been known by the muslim, not a new phenomena, and for 14 centuries none of the scholars ever issued a fatwa about zakat taken from one’s salary or wage. It shows that this kind of zakat is not a valid one, but what exists is the zakat taken from certain kinds of wealth, that must fulfill two requirements of nisab and a year of possession.
Thus, the scholars who are also experts in ijtihaad (opinion) in our century have refused this opinion; such as Sheikh Ibn Baz, who said that: “Zakat taken from the wage which form is money, need to detailed: If the wage is received and a year has passed, and it’s amount is already equals to nisab, the zakat for such wage is compulsory. But if that wage less than nisab, or it hasn’t reach a year yet, or it has been spent before, there are no zakat obligation in it.” (Maqalaat Al Mutanawwi’ah by Syeikh Abdul Aziz bin Baaz 14/134. Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shaleh Al Uthaymeen also justified the similar opinion in his work Majmu’ Fatawa wa Ar Rasaa’il 18/178)
The Permanent Members of Fatwa Committee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also have issued a similar fatwa regarding this matter, as we cited below:
“As commonly known that among the properties that have zakat obligation in it, are gold and silver (currency). And among the compulsory requirements of zakat taken from gold and silver (money) is a year should have passed since the possession of that money. Regarding that fact, then zakat that is being compulsory for the salary of the employees that being saved and equals to nisab, whether the salary itself equals to nisab, or after being added with money from another source, and it’s possession has passed one year time. It is not right to make equalization between the salary and the harvest, because the requirement of one year possession has been established in valid indication, thus there should be no analogy in it. Based on that considerations, zakat is not compulsory for the salary of the employees until it passed a year of possession.” (Majmu’ Fatwa of The Permanent Members of Fatwa Committee, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 9/281, fatwa no: 1360)
To end this short article, I’d like to remind all readers to always bear in their mind a promise by the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- below:
مَا نَقَصَتْ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ مَالٍ. رواه مسلم
“Charity will not diminish the wealth.” (Narrated by Muslim).
Based on the explanations above, I suggest you to tell your company or your boss to eliminate this salary cutting, that is due to the reason of zakat from profession. Because among those whose salaries have been cut for these years, there might be people whose salary is not yet eligible for zakat obligation, since their savings haven’t reach the nisab yet, or haven’t pass the one year possession criterion yet, being spent in their lawful needs, or if the nisab and one year possession have been fulfilled, the amount of zakat should be paid is smaller than the amount taken. And Allah know best.
. Based on the first answer, I don’t think you need to find books or literatures about this kind of zakat. It is enough for you and other muslims to pay the well known zakat that have been agreed by all of our scholars from time to time, and have been discussed in all jurisprudence books. And Allah knows best.
Ustadz Dr. Muhammad Arifin Badri, M.A.
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