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ZAKAH Zakah on Cattle

Nov 15, 2019, 11:49 AM

Cattle are subject to zakah provided they are a freely grazing herd and number thirty at the completion of the hawl. At that point, the zakah due is a young bull or a young cow (tabi’ or tabi’ah). When they reach forty, the zakah is a young cow two years old (musinnah); when sixty, two young cows or two one-year-olds (tabi’ahs); when seventy, the zakah due is one musinnah and one tabi’; when eighty, two musinnahs; when ninety, three tabi’s; when one hundred, one musinnah and two tabi’s; when 110, two musinnahs and two tabi’s; and when 120, three musinnahs or four tabi’s. This system is followed on all additional cattle--one tabi’, and on every forty, one musinnah.

Zakah on Sheep (Including Goats) 

Sheep are subject to zakah when their number reaches forty. When the herd counts forty freely grazing heads at the end of the year, its zakah is one sheep. This is applicable until the number reaches 120, at which point, up until 200, the zakah is two sheep. From 201 to 300, their zakah is three sheep. When the number is above 300, one additional sheep is added for each increment of one hundred. Young sheep (jazh’) are levied in the case of sheep and young goats (thany) in the case of goats. It is permissible, say scholars without exception, to levy rams as a form of zakah if all of the nisab of sheep are male. If the sheep are ewes, or a grouping of males and females, the Hanafiyyah holds it is optional to levy a zakah rams, whereas others specify ewes.

Regulation of Awqas 

Definition of Awqas: Awqas is a plural form of waqs. A waqs is any amount or number that lies between the regulation of the lower ordinance and that of a higher one. Scholars agree that such a waqs is exempt from zakah. It has been confirmed in the sayings of the Prophet, (SAW), concerning the sadaqah of camels that he said: “When the number of camels reaches twenty-five, a young she-camel one year old and already starting the second (ibn makhad); when they reach thirty-six to forty-five, then the zakah due on them is a young she-camel two years old and already starting the third (bint labun).” Concerning the sadaqah of cattle, he said: “When cattle number between thirty and forty, the zakah is a young calf of one year old (tabi’) or a bull or cow of one year and already starting the second (jazh’ or jazh’ah); when they reach forty, a young cow of two years old and already starting the third (rnusinnah).” Concerning sadaqah on sheep, he said: “When the number of freely grazing sheep is between forty-two and 120, their zakah is one ewe.” Thus, what lies between twentyfive and thirty-six camels is considered waqs--that is, there is no zakah on them. Likewise, what lies between thirty and forty cattle is considered waqs. This is also applies to sheep.

What Should Not Be Included in Zakah 

The rights of property owners must be considered when their properties are subjected to zakah. The best items are not to be taken as zakah unless the owners freely permit it. Likewise, the rights of the poor should be considered. A defective animal should not be taken as zakah unless all of the other animals are defective. In such a case, zakah is due on the average of that property. Some proofs for this view are:

1. In the letter of Abu Bakr: “Neither an old or a defective animal nor a billy goat may be taken as zakah.”

2. Sufyan ibn ‘Abdullah ath-Thaqafi reported: “Umar forbade the zakah collector to levy zakah on the following: barren ewes (al-’akulah), a sheep kept at home for milk (ar-rahy), a pregnant ewe (Alrnakhid), or a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam).”

3. ‘Abdullah ibn Mu’awiyyah al-Ghadiri reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: “Whoever performs these three acts will have had (savored) a taste of belief (‘Irnan): He who worships Allah alone, and [believes] that there is no god but Him; he who good-heartedly offers the zakah on his property which will repay him every year; and he who does not offer a very old sheep, a mangy sheep, a sick sheep, a mean and low sheep, or a ewe which produces only a small amount of milk. You should offer one from the average. Verily, Allah asks you to offer neither the best nor the worst.” It was related by Abu Dawud and at-Tabarani with a good transmission.

Zakah on Animals Other Than Cattle (al-An’am) 

Zakah is not applicable to animals other than cattle. Thus, there is no zakah on horses, mules, or donkeys unless they are used for the purpose of trade. On the authority of ‘Ali, it is related that the Prophet, (SAW), said: “I have exempted you from paying sadaqah on horses.” It was narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawud with a good chain. On the authority of Abu Hurairah, it is related that the Messenger, (SAW), was asked if there is zakah on donkeys. He replied: “Nothing was ever mentioned [in revelation] except in the following excellent Qur’anic verse: ‘And whosoever does evil equal to an atom’s weight will see it’ [az-Zalzalah 7-8].” It was narrated by Ahmad and its details have already been mentioned.

Harithah ibn Madrab reported that he performed pilgrimage (hajj) with Caliph ‘Umar and the notables of Syria came to him and said: “O Commander of the Faithful, we have acquired some animals, so take from our property a sadaqah that purifies us.” He answered them: “My two predecessors [the Prophet, (SAW), and Caliph Abu Bakr] did not do this before. But wait and let me ask the Muslims about this.” This was narrated by al-Haythami, who said that it was narrated by Ahmad and at-Tabarani in the book entitled al-Kabir. The narrators of this hadith are considered trustworthy.

Az-Zuhri reported from Salman ibn Yassar that the people of Syria said to Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: “Take from our horses . . . a sadaqah.” He refused. Then he wrote to ‘Umar, who also refused. They spoke to him again, and he wrote to ‘Umar once again. ‘Umar wrote back: “If they desire that, take it from them and give it back to them [their poor] and to their slaves.” This was narrated by Malik and al-Baihaqi.

Young Camels, Calves, and Lambs 

When a person has a nisab of camels, cattle, and lambs, and they give birth during the same year, zakah is due on both the original number and their offsprings at the end of the year. Their zakah is considered a lump-sum zakah according to the majority of scholars. On the authority of Malik and ash-Shaf’i, from Sufyan ibn ‘Abdullah ath-Thaqafi, it is related that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said: “The newborn sheep (as-sakhlah) carried by the shepherd are not to be taken as zakah. Likewise, a barren sheep (al-’akulah), a ewe kept for milk (ar-raby), a pregnant ewe (al-makhid) and a ram used for breeding (fahl al-ghanam) are not to be taken as zakah. Take as zakah the Jazh’ah and the Thaniyyah. Zakah is levied on the average quality of the property.”

Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaf’i, and Abu Thaur are of the opinion that the young offspring are not to be calculated in the zakah payment unless the mature animals make a nisab. Also, Abu Hanifah stated that the young sheep can be added to fulfill a nisab whether they are born from the same livestock or not. They will be subject to zakah at the end of the year. Ash-Shaf’i lays down the condition that young animals have to be born prior to the completion of the nisab. There is no zakah on young animals according to Abu Hanifah, Muhammad, Dawud, ash-Shu’abi, and Ahmad.

Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, ad-Daraqutni and al-Baihaqi, relate that Suwaid ibn Ghaflah said: “The zakah collector of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, came to us and I heard him say: ‘In my term of office, a suckling animal was not subject to zakah . . .’ “ In its chain of narrators is Hilal ibn Hubab, whom several have declared trustworthy, but some did not. It was authenticated by more than one person but was a point of contention to others.

According to the opinion of Malik and a report from Ahmad, young animals as well as mature ones are subject to zakah, because if the former could be considered with others (for purposes of zakah), then they could also be considered on their own. Ash-Shaf’i and Abu Yusuf hold that at least one young (animal) is obligatory (as zakah) from the young animals

To be continued