What is the philosophy of animal sacrifice? Can we spend in charity instead?
Before I answer your question let me first point out that animal sacrifice is an optional worship ritual on ‘īd. It is not mandatory; however, it is highly desirable if its underlying philosophy and wisdom is understood.
Now coming to this philosophy:
There are many things which must not be taken on their face value; they have a deeper significance and philosophy. They symbolize certain realities and are not an end in themselves.…
This is to seek clarification on opinion of respected Mr. Javed Ahmad Gamidi on zakat on salary and professional income, which he derived mainly through an analogy with zakat on agricultural production.
I requesta response on below three concerns, which seemingly prohibits the creation of analogy between agriculture production and income from professional services/salary and thus levy of zakat on such services:
1. Dissimilar Nature of Agriculture Production and Professional Services Study on zakat on agriculture production evidently reveals that basically zakat is levied on agriculture output itself in a quantitative manner rather than on its realizable or realized value. Hence, sales price is not relevant for calculation of zakat on production. Whether realized or not zakat is collected from physical produce at time of harvest. Once zakat is paid on a produce it can be stored for years without paying any further zakat on that production. However, if it is sold and money realized, zakat is payable on money on which year has passed. Zakat on produce shall however be paid if it is acquired for trading in the nature of business merchandise with that money and year has lapsed. (Summarized concept based on Imam Malik’s Al-Muwatta) Comparing the above with income from professional services, a clear distinction in the nature of two heads can be marked that, unlike agriculture produce, services lack physical or tangible output from which a zakat can be collected. If monetary value of services is made a basis for calculation of zakat, it contradicts with the very nature of agriculture production where monetary value of produce is irrelevant, hence precluding us from drawing an analogy between the two . Further, service is merely a form of labor and one of the factors of production, not a production itself. There is no zakat on factors of production rather it’s the actual physical output. Physical significance of production for zakat is further evident from the fact that there is no zakat on perishable fruits, vegetables and herbs. It reinforces the understanding that zakat is on physical production rather than its realizable value. If this notion was not correct, sales value of perishable produce could have well been assessed and paid through money or some other non-perishable produce of equal value. Further there could have been a zakat on these produce upon sales if needed at all, no such arrangement was made. Non collection of zakat on perishable produce signifies that since such produce is not collectable nor distributable so no zakat was imposed. The same analogy applies to professional services i.e. they are non-collectable and non-distributable and hence non-zakat -able.
2. Burden of Labor and Factor of Nature’s Support Labor aspect in Professional services differs greatly from agricultural produce. Professional services output continues as long as the person is at work. As soon as work stops, production stops (linear relationship). This is not the case with agriculture, where though labor is required but its major role is played by nature to bring that produce to life. Agriculture produce is underpinned by a great deal of element of ‘freebie’ from nature. Output of agricultural produce is generally much higher than the input of time and energy, e.g. small number of grains could produce hundreds or thousands of new grains. While in case of services, output is restricted to the amount of time and energy input without observable nature’s support. Such natural support is the main factor which distinctly set professional services apart from ‘labor only’ category of agriculture production. As a an evidence of recognition of human effort for zakat purposes, it may well be observed from the pattern of zakat rates ( 5%, 10% and 20%) that any increase in human burden (cost or effort) lowers the zakat level and vice versa. Now professional services, though may ostensibly and conveniently be classified under ‘labor only’ category, yet burden of output for services is highly dependent upon human effort rather than the nature as in the case of agricultural produce. Hence based on subtle pattern embedded in zakat rates, professional services may not simply be considered a ‘labor only’ activity similar to agriculture and thereby attracting 10% zakat levy. This either signifies a need to deduce a new rate of zakat for income from services, corresponding with human burden without nature’s support, if at all to be levied or be content with the idea that income from services was never intended for zakat due to its different nature and/or burden of output.
3. Risk of Bid’ah Zakat, as we all know very well, is an obligatory ibad’ah just like prayer, fasting etc. Extending the scope of this ibad’ah based on principle of modern era developments, appears to be unconvincing and rather entails the risk of creating a bid’ah. Concept of salaries and professional services is not a novel idea of modern economics and was well known at the time Prophet (PBUH) and four rightly guided Caliphs. The argument that since such services were not the major part of economic activity in those times and hence not included, appears to entail a fallacy. It may well be inferred that, in the very presence of services in those times, had the intention not been there to exclude them from zakat, a guiding principle towards the level of exemption would have well been provided. Hence based on the highly dissimilar nature of agriculture production and professional services, drawing resemblance of the two to suggest an additional zakat head is not only akin to comparing apple with oranges, it severely entails the risk of creating a bid’ah by enhancing scope of an obligatory act.
Allah knows the best
Thanks for your detailed analysis of the subject. Although the normal practice in the Exploring Islam website is to reject very long questions but I thought it would be beneficial for others to read your analysis and learn from it.
My very quick and straightforward answer to your argument is very simple:
This is a matter of ijtihad (personal view based on deduction). If you are convinced by your analysis then you are obliged…
Please elaborate whether stock are zakatable? If yes, please tell the percentage to be applied if they are kept for capital appreciation? What would be the share value to be used for calculation i.e. cost or market value?
I have had shares for five years and never paid zakat on them, should I go back in time to calculate the cumulative amount to be paid on the same principle advised in responses to the questions above? If yes, what is the percentage to be applied?
Is a rental property zakatable? What value should be applied if there is no income left after paying the mandatory mortgage interest and other running expenses? Your guidance will be much appreciated.
Thank you for the email. We believe that the shares are included in the invested capital and are not zakatable. However, the dividend and other benefits they yield is subject to zakah. The dividends etc are to be zakated at the rate of ten percent, in the view of Mr Javed Ahmad Ghamidi.
As explained in question one above it is not zakatable. It is better to pay the zakat due. It would be…
If you are living in Madina and you go to Jeddah at your relatives house from where you decide to perform Umrah. You wear the ihram and then perform your umrah, so is this right.
As for I know Dhu'l-Hulayfah is the miqat which is about 9 kilometers from Madinah and about 450 kilometers from Makkah. Dhu'l-Hulayfah is the miqat for those who live in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that direction.
Al-Johfa in the North-West for those going to Makkah from Jeddah. (Or, if it is difficult to go to Masjid-e-Johfa because of a valid reason, one can go to Rabigh, which is Mahaz-e-Miqat (in…
Why do we recite surahs in only the first two rakats while offering the farz prayer but in all four while offering the sunnah prayer?
The Prophet pbuh taught the prayer in this way that we read Surah Fatihah and a part of the Qur’an in the first two units and recite only surah fatihah in the last two units and do not recite the extra part of the Qur’an in these two units. Now the question is if it is obligatory to recite the qur’an over and above surah fatihah in the first two units? Will my prayer…
Can members of a happy household buy the sacrificial animal together even if any one of them is not financially capable?
assalaam o alaykum
The offering is not compulsory for those who don’t afford it. However, it must remain clear a single qurbani is to be done by a single person if the animal is like goat etc. If the animal offered is the kind of camel, cow etc. then seven people can join. If you plan to buy sheep or goat jointly it would be on behalf of a single person. This is ritualistic…
Ulama have said that if a woman has a tola of gold along with an amount of money will she be included in the nisab of qurbani? I also want to know what Ghamidi sahib has to say regarding the situation?
assalaam o alaykum
Thank you for the email.
We believe that qurbani is an optional worship. There is no nisab for it after obtaining which one is obliged to offer the qurbani. Therefore, it is upon the individual to decide whether he can offer qurbani or not. If we understand the importance of the worship we can even take loan for it just as we take loan for other works of importance.
Is a dog's saliva najis? If a dog or its saliva touches your clothes, are we allowed to pray in that condition?
assalaam o alaykum
Generally it is against the etiquette the believers have developed to keep such things easily and pray in the same clothes. However, it does not mean that saliva of dog is najas and impure and one cannot pray if it touches one’s garments. The reason is that the dogs killing the prey for us undoubtedly inflict the prey with their teeth. It entails that the saliva is mixed with the meat. Still we…
My question is about eligibility of Zakat at old age when there is no source of income for retired person. For example my uncle has given Zakat his whole life regularly and completely. Now he is 75. He sold his spare home and then submitted the money in Islamic bank finance scheme fixed deposit account, from where he gets monthly interest. This helps him to run his daily expenses. He does not have any pension and no other adequate resources of income. He has his own home as his only property. Certainly, he is now fairly elderly and struggles in managing his needs, with the income from the bank being his only help. He has two dependants as well. The confusion is because he still has an amount fixed in his bank account but this is for purpose of monthly income as he can’t have any other source. If he pays Zakat from the profit he gets from bank then he shall struggle a lot to pay all his monthly expenses. My question is that does he still have to give Zakat. And if he has to then how will it be calculated. If you have any references from Quran or Hadith please do let me know.
I will not comment about the interest based income of your uncle.
As for Zakah, the way you describe it I think your uncle does not really look at this money as wealth rather he looks at it as an investment and is using it all in a very good way as well. He is in fact investing his money in the projects that the bank is engaged in. If your uncle sees this…
How is it possible to celebrate shab-e-qadr in one night throughout the world? Many countries start their fast a day before us. Please clarify.
We believe that the timings are only related to us, the humans. They are not universal as Allah Almighty is beyond the limits of time and space. This issue can be understood in comparison to many other issues of the same nature as for example Allah Almighty descends to the world in the later part of night and asks if there is anyone seeking forgiveness. Similar is the case of the blessed nature of the…
Does vomiting invalidate the fast?
Vomiting during the fast does not invalidate the fast. However, if someone is sick and cannot complete his fast he may break it and make it up later as the Shari’ah allows the sick to leave the fast till the time he is better and he is obliged to complete the count later on
If one gets dehydrated due to fasting and has been advised to drink throughout the day due to his medical condition, what if this person keeps drinking during his Ramadan fast but avoid eating totally during the hours of fast and eats at normal Iftar time?
The sick is allowed to leave the fast and complete it later one when he is well and healthy. He may drink and eat during the days he is not fasting. When the Shari’ah has given this allowance we do not need to break the fast and stop eating considering ourselves as fasting. This is not allowable according to the Shari’ah.
I am 24 years old boy who is under-weight for my age. I did my BMI and it showed that I am underweight for my age. The fast here is about 19 hours and when I am fasting I feel lazy all day and not able to do any kind of work. I am just lying down in bed all day and only getting up for the fard prayers. I was just wondering that if I don’t keep the fast in this month and keep them all in December when the days are shorter, will that be acceptable in Islam?
The Shari’ah has given us some concessions in fasts. If we are sick we can leave the fasts to be made up later when we are healthy. It is upon you and the doctors to decide whether your condition allows fasting or not. If you believe that your health condition will deteriorate because of fasting you can leave it and make up the left over fasts later when you are able to fast.
I have a very specific question about fasting. I am a travelling salesperson. My daily average mileage is about 150 miles. During Ramadan, I have no problem keeping my fast and doing my normal routine - currently our fasts are about 19 hours, but I am still able to cope. However on a regular basis, I have to travel further and my daily drive can become closer to 300 miles or more, sometimes I am aware of the fact that I have a long journey, sometimes as the day progresses, I find myself further and further away and then have a long drive back home. Generally when I know I have a long drive, I do not keep a fast on that day, but what happens if my day starts with a fast, and then I find I am many hundred miles away, tired, even exhausted. Is it permissible for me to break my fast and what then do I have to do?
You are allowed to break the fast when you realize that you are condition does not allow you to complete it. This is just as a person starts fast when he is healthy and sound but during the day suffers from a disease. He is allowed to break the fast.
If my wife is in menses at the time of Zuhr and at the time of Asr she is clean, must she pray Zuhr as Qadah?
The Shari`ah does not want us to count such things to the second. If a lady finds at the time of Asr that she is able to take a bath and offer the prayer, she should do so. If she finds that the bleeding had stopped at the time of zuhr and she could have taken the bath and prepared for the prayer which she neglected then she would be held responsible for neglecting the…
I have been watching your show in USA. I will appreciate if you can answer my following questions.
1. I work full time. When I come home I am totally exhausted. Is it okay to perform only
Fard ṣalāh (without Sunnat and Witer) and can I do Maghrib and Issha Namaz at the same time.
2. Is it okay to do Namaz with Nail polish on?
3. Can I make up for the missed ṣalāhs?
1. The obligatory prayer is the only fard prayer. The rest of it is optional. If you offer the optional prayer you are highly rewarded but leaving it does not incur sin.
The basic obligation that we should try our best to fulfill is to pray in the due time. However, when there is no chance then instead of leaving the prayer altogether we can combine them. But this is originally allowed only when we…
Four brothers are living in a rented house along with their parents. Two elder brothers contribute for running the house. One of them pays the rent and other pays for groceries and bills. The rent paying brother has a good job and pays regular rent of a joint house, other expenses of his wife and children and medical care of parents but the other one is not a man of means and always struggles to make both ends meet and buys groceries on loans from the shop keeper to fulfill his obligations in the combined family. This poor brother is now under debt to fulfill his responsibilities in the house for the past few months. Q.1. Now can the first brother pay-off the debt of his brother(s) to the grocery shop and utility bills from ZAKAT as he is already paying and helping his family more than other family members and also in a ZAKAT paying position?
We believe it is not only allowable but good to spend the zakah on the near relatives. Many people dislike it but an independent brother is not our responsibility. When we contribute to them we are doing good, an act of piety, a form of worship to God. The nearest the person is to us the more rightful of our zakah he is. We believe even if one believes that one's brother or sister would…
Hope you are fine and enjoying the blessings of Allah Almighty. Here I want to ask a question about the atonement (Kaffāra) of Fast. My Question is that can a boy and a girl who are unmarried kiss and lie together during fast? What if they touch private parts? What will be the punishment and atonement (Kaffāra) of such acts?
Fast is broken if someone enters sexual intercourse, eats or drinks. Any act that is intended to arouse and satisfy sexual gratification is included in sex. We are talking about sexual relations with legitimate life partners. Therefore, kissing and foreplay invalidates the fast even when carried out by married couple. This act committed by unrelated male and female adds other sins to breaking the fast.
Then there is also the essence of the worship ritual.…