Published in  
October 11, 2020

Akhsar al-Mukhtasarat | Book of Zakat| Gold, Silver and Trade Goods

  زَكَاةُ اَلذَّهَبِ


وَأَقَلُّ نِصَابِ ذَهَبٍ عِشْرُونَ مِثْقَالًا وَفِضَّةٍ مِائَتَا دِرْهَمٍ, وَيُضَمَّانِ  فِي تَكْمِيلِ اَلنِّصَابِ, وَالْعُرُوضُ إِلَى كُلٍّ مِنْهَا, وَالْوَاجِبُ فِيهِمَا رُبْعُ اَلْعُشْرِ

The minimum amount for gold is twenty mithqals (20 x 4.25 grams = 85 grams), and for silver two hundred dirhams (200 x 2.975 grams = 595 grams). Mithqal at times is referred to as Dinar and the silver as Dirham. The Hanabila and majority of the scholars have calculated this to be 85 grams for gold and 595 grams for silver.

In the earlier times, the difference between 20 mithqals and 200 silver dirhams was not much. Today the difference is immense. If we calculate our nisab based on silver today, 595 grams the value is around 250 British Pounds. If we calculate based on gold, it comes to around 2300-2500 British Pounds. The Hanabila say that a person should use that which is more beneficial for the poor. This was also the position held by Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله‎ and also Sheikh Yusuf al-Qardawi حفظه الله who is a leader in Fiqh of Zakat in contemporary times. According to the Madhab, one calculates according to pure silver. Ex: If a person has 1000, he can just divide it by 40 to find the amount to pay as Zakat.
Many contemporary scholars prefer using gold instead of silver. It is more beneficial for the poor. The other scholars say that a person’s money is theirs and cannot be taken unless with clear proof and there is no explicit proof for gold.

الأصل براءة الذمة

The default rule is that one is free of obligation of paying Zakat.
Silver is not a stable currency and fluctuates immensely unlike gold. Gold is literally 10 times more expensive than what it used to be.

Focus on the reasoning the scholars give or else you’ll just be a person who copies and pastes that which doesn’t fit in and doesn’t make sense. Study the Ilal of Ahkam. Train yourself to ask, ‘WHY did the scholar say this?’

A person has gold and silver, both of which alone don’t reach the nisab. Gold and silver are combined together to complete the minimum amount (nisab).
Ex: A person has 70 grams of gold. He doesn’t pay Zakat on it as it doesn’t reach the nisab of 85 grams. Likeiwse he has 550 grams of silver. He doesn’t pay Zakat on it as it doesn’t reach the nisab of 595 grams. But if both of them were combined, it is above the nisab. Each is calculated as per their amounts and the Zakat is paid accordingly.
It would not make sense to ask someone who has 600 grams of silver alone to pay Zakat whereas one with 595 grams of silver and 70 grams of gold is left off. The point is having enough amount of money for oneself, such that one can contribute towards the society.

Trade goods are those goods that a person buys with the intention to sell. If the intention is personal use, then no matter how expensive it is, it doesn’t matter. The hawl begins the moment the goods are purchased with the intention to sell. If a year passes and the goods still haven’t been sold, Zakat is to be paid on it the moment the good is sold, including that for the previous years.
If something is gifted, then you no longer have its ownership and are not liable for its Zakat.
If someone buys a car for personal use, but later decides to put it out for rent or sale. When does the hawl on this start? Does one pay based on since the car was first brought or should one sell the car and then pay the Zakat from the money once hawl passes on it? Both are accepted positions in the madhab but the second is the Mu’tamad of the Hanabaila. As per the Hanabila changing the intention does not have an impact; the impact comes in only when that good is sold and a year passes on that value.

A person can add their gold, silver and trade goods as it the value that is being taken into account.
The obligation of them both is one quarter of a tenth (0.025).


وَأُبِيحَ لِرَجُلٍ مِنْ اَلْفِضَّةِ خَاتَمٌ وَقَبِيعَةُ سَيْفٍ, وَحِلْيَةُ مِنْطَقَةٍ وَنَحْوِهِ, وَمِنْ اَلذَّهَبِ قَبِيعَةُ سَيْفٍ وَمَا دَعَتْ إِلَيْهِ ضَرُورَةٌ كَأَنْفٍ   وَلِنِسَاءٍ مِنْهُمَا مَا جَرَتْ عَادَتُهُنَّ بِلُبْسِهِ, وَلَا زَكَاةَ فِي حُلِيٍّ مُبَاحٍ أُعِدَّ لِاسْتِعْمَالٍ أَوْ عَارِيَةٍ

Men are permitted to use silver for a ring, the pommel of a sword, or to decorate a leather waist belt and the like. There are practices from the lives and the actions of the Sahaba that show that these are exceptions to the general rule. They are permitted to use gold for the pommel of their sword, and whatever need calls for it, like a prosthetic nose. Imam Abu Dawud etc report that one of the companions used gold to fix his nose.
The official position of the Hanabila being that men cannot wear gold or silver, except for a few certain exceptions where small portions are used.

Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله‎, Imam Ibn Muflih رحمه الله‎ and Imam Ibn al-Uthaymeen رحمه الله‎ from among the contemporary jurists among many others opined that silver is completely permissible for men to use. The only thing not permitted are utensils of gold and silver and that is prohibited for both men and silver. There is nothing explicit from the Prophet ﷺ which mentions silver to be impermissible. The only thing we have explicit on this topic is:
Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari رضى الله عنه reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

حرم لباس الحرير والذهب على ذكور أمتي ،وأحل لإناثهم

“Wearing of silk and gold has been made unlawful for males and lawful for the females of my Ummah.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi].
Imam Ibn Muflih in al-Furu’ further strengthens this position. To prohibit something, it requires proof.

Women are permitted to use gold and silver for whatever is customary for them to wear. Imam Manur al-Buhuti رحمه الله gives the example of wearing gold shoes and says as this is not the custom of women, doing so would be impermissible. At the end of the day, it all returns back to the general custom of the women. The second opinion in the Madhab is more flexible and says that women can wear anything that they like as Allah described women as those raised in ornaments, based on the ayah:

أَوَمَن يُنَشَّأُ فِي الْحِلْيَةِ

So is one brought up in ornaments…. [Surah az-Zukhruf, Ayah 18]

Imam Nawawi رحمه الله and other scholars don’t allow wearing of silver bracelets etc for men; not because silver is not allowed to be used, but rather they categorize it as falling under the imitation of women which is completely haram. Hujjatul Islam Imam Ghazali رحمه الله allowed men to wear silver, even though the position of the Shafi’i madhab like the Hanabila is that of prohibition.
Generally speaking, jewelry is more of a women’s thing but that doesn’t make it a women only thing as using silver rings etc which fall under the category of jewelry is established from the Sunnah and the life of the Sahaba. Something which is explicitly made for women is without a doubt Haram for men.

al-Qadhi Abu Yusuf رحمه الله writes in his books,
I found from my teachers that they would not say regarding something to be Halal or Haram except that which they found clearly in the Book of Allah without it needing a Tafseer.

Just because someone has reservations or dislikes something which may be because of their culture, they cannot go around declaring it to be Haram or Halal. In one country something could be imitating women, but in another country it could be the primary custom of men. The ruling here will have to be based on the culture of the place.

Imam Malik رحمه الله and Imam Ahmad رحمه الله are clearly recorded to replying with, “I don’t like this” or “It is disliked” instead of using the term “Haram”. Don’t prohibit anything except with clear proof and doing proper research. Discouraging something doesn’t necessarily mean prohibition.

Zakat is not required on permitted jewelry that is ready to be used or lent out. This is the position of our mother Aisha رضي الله عنها, the Hanbali madhab and other leading jurists. This stands even if she has bought them to wear it on special occasions, even if it is once in 2 years. Aisha رضي الله عنها used to take care of her nieces, who were orphans under her protection, and adorned them with jewelry without paying its zakat. Imam al-Baihaqi narrates the case of Asma رضي الله عنها: “Asma’ bint Abu Bakr used to adorn her daughters with gold. Although its value was around fifty thousand dinars, she did not pay zakat on it.”


The ruling of Zakat changes if she buys with the intention to sell later when the price is higher. This falls under the intention of buying goods of trade.

Imam Malik, Imam ash-Shaf’i, and Imam Ahmad hold that there is no zakat on women’s jewelry regardless of its value whereas Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Ibn Hazm opine the opposite.

The Golden Chain: Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Abdullah Ibn Umar used to adorn his daughters and slave-girls with gold jewelry and he did not take any zakat from their jewellery.

Imam Malik said, “Anyone who has unminted gold or silver, or gold and silver jewelry which is not used for wearing, must pay zakat on it every year. It is weighed and one-fortieth is taken, unless it falls short of twenty dinars of gold or two hundred dirhams of silver, in which case there is no zakat to pay. Zakat is paid only when jewelry is kept for purposes other than wearing. Bits of gold and silver or broken jewelry which the owner intends to mend to wear are in the same position as goods which are worn by their owner – no zakat has to be paid on them by the owner.”
Imam Malik said, “There is no zakat (to pay) on pearls, musk or amber.” [Muwatta Imam Malik]


وَيَجِبُ تَقْوِيمُ عَرْضِ اَلتِّجَارَةِ بِالْأَحَظِّ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ مِنْهُمَا, وَتَخْرُجُ مِنْ قِيمَتِهِ, وَإِنْ اِشْتَرَى عَرْضًا بِنِصَابٍ غَيْرَ سَائِمَةٍ بَنَى عَلَى حَوْلِهِ

Items which a person uses for the sake of trade are zakatable. There is no Zakat on personal goods even though they count as wealth and may be relatively quite expensive which is later even inherited by one’s family. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said,

لَيْسَ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِ فِي فَرَسِهِ وَغُلاَمِهِ صَدَقَةٌ


“There is no Zakat either on a horse or a slave belonging to a Muslim.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

It is obligatory to assess goods of trade and giving Zakat based on that whichever is best for the poor. What does, “بِالْأَحَظِّ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ مِنْهُمَا” mean? The nisab is calculated according to either gold or silver. Zakat becomes obligatory when someone has 20 Dinars (approx 85 grams of gold) or 200 Dirhams (approx 595 grams of silver). Today the value of gold and silver vary vastly with the value of silver being very low. What’s more beneficial according to the madhab as per this would be to calculate the zakat based on silver. Why? Because now many more people will pay zakat and this is more beneficial to the people. This is the opinion of Imam Ahmad as well as Imam Abu Hanifa. The fatwa of the contemporary fiqh councils calculate the nisab based on gold as the value is much more stable.

Zakat is extracted from the value of the trade good and not the item itself. One cannot give 2.5% of the trade goods itself.

If a person buys something for personal use and later wishes to use it for trade. As per the Mu’tamad of the Hanabila, this change in intention does not have any impact on the liability of zakat on the object until the person actually sells the object.  Now, Zakat is applied on the money made from the sale of the object.

When it comes to rent, one doesn’t pay zakat on the entire house but rather on the profit or rent received from the house.

If one buys trade goods with a minimum amount that is not grazing (animals), one should build upon its hawl.
Ex: One buys a house worth 100,000 with the intention to sell, and 6 months later the person trades this house for 5 cars worth 20,000 each. The hawl is counted from the initial item and in this case continues as it was done with the intention of profit primarily. The person pays zakat after 6 months in this case as the hawl continues.

But if one bought trade goods with a minimum zakatable amount of grazing animals for trade in exchange for a minimum zakatable amount of grazing animals that were kept for keeping, one builds upon their duration.
Ex: One sold 5 cows for 1000 sheep. Is the hawl continued? No, the hawl starts again as the nisab for each is different.



Based on the Hanbali primer, Akhsar Al-Mukhtasarat authored by Ibn Balban al-Hanbali as taught by Sheikh Zahed Fettah حفظه الله

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