Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Zakat
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي حفِظ سنةَ حبيبِه بالفقهاء العاملين، والشيوخِ العارفين، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدٌى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع
الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: إن الله طيب لا يقبل إلا الطيب
“Allah is tayyib and only accepts that which tayyib.” We have talked in recent weeks about usury and how it has pervaded every aspect of our lives and become part of every transaction, to the extent that even the very money we use is itself engendered in usury and totally impermissible as a means of exchange. This obviously impacts upon every aspect of our lives, but the area that it most impacts is that of zakat, the third pillar of the deen. For the truth of the matter is that the widespread use of paper as a currency and the almost total removal of gold and silver from circulation has led to the pillar of zakat falling by the wayside and ceasing to exist or be implemented in any meaningful way. And when any of the pillars upon which a building is built collapse, the whole edifice inevitably collapses, leading to the present weakened state of the Muslims that we see when we look about the world today.
For the truth of the matter is that the true implementation of zakat is reliant upon true wealth being in the hands of the Muslim people, not just mere token representations of it. And true wealth is limited to those things Allah made appear valuable and attractive to people, those things He mentions in surat Ali Imran when He says:
زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنْطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ذَلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا
the translation of which is, “To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colours: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock, and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world.” In every traditional human society the basic measures of wealth have always been land, livestock and gold and silver, and so it is upon those things that zakat, as a tax on superfluous wealth, has always been levied, and it is in those things that zakat has always been paid.
This is clear and unambiguous when one looks at what took place in the time of the Prophet and in all the generations of Muslims that followed right up to the 19th century. This is clear when one looks at the sunna of the Prophet and the statements and rulings of the ulama who helped preserve the deen of Allah in every succeeding generation. Zakat has only ever been payable on three types of wealth: livestock, agricultural produce and monetary wealth, which includes trade goods. In the Muwatta of Imam Malik we find a hadith of the Prophet indicating these three types of wealth:
عن أبي سعيد الخدري، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: ليس فيما دون خمسة أوسق من التمر صدقة، وليس فيما دون خمس أواقي من الورق صدقة، وليس فيما دون خمس ذود من الإبل صدقة
Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “In anything less than five wasaqs of dates there us no zakat, in anything less than five awqiyas of silver there is no zakat, and in anything less than five camels there is no zakat.”
‘Umar ibn Abdal-Aziz, the great Umayyad khalifa wrote to his governor in Damascus, saying,
إنما الصدقة في الحرث والعين والماشية
‘Zakat is only due on crops, ‘ayn and livestock.’ ‘ayn is defined as gold and silver. And Imam Malik agreed with him, saying,
ولا تكون الصدقة إلا في ثلاثة أشياء: في الحرث والعين والماشية
“Zakat is due only on three things: crops, ‘ayn and livestock.” For each of these types of wealth: livestock which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats, agricultural produce which includes the various different types of grains, pulses and dates, and ‘ayn (money), which is exclusively limited to gold and silver although it is also paid on trade goods, a certain minimum threshhold must be reached before any zakat is due, as is indicated in the hadith of the Prophet above. And in the case of livestock and money, that wealth must have been in your possession for at least a year. Then and only then is a certain percentage of that wealth due. And it must be given in the same substance from which it was due. So livestock must be given for livestock, grain for grain and gold or silver for gold and silver. This is and always has been the ruling with regard to zakat.
As for the modern tendency to extend the category of ‘ayn to include paper money and other currencies, by adding the words in the books of fiqh, ’wa maa yaqumu maqamahumaa’ - ‘and what assumes their place’ after ‘gold and silver’, the basis for that is extremely weak if not totally false. For the zakat has always been held to be due on the volume or weight of the two metals that are in your possession, not their value as money. It is due on twenty gold dinars of full weight, which is equivalent to approximately 85 grams and 200 silver dirhams of full weight which is equivalent to approximately 600 grams. If the total weight of gold in your possession is below 85 grams then no zakat is due, even if that gold has been divided up into thirty coins each of which has been assigned a value equivalent to the dinar. (such as with coins that have been adulterated and mixed with other base metals so their gold content is drastically reduced)
Imam Malik says in al-Muwatta,
ليس في عشرين دينارا ناقصة بينة النقصان زكاة، فإن زادت حتى تبلغ بزيادتها عشرين دينارا وازنة ففيها الزكاة، وليس فيما دون عشرين دينارا عينا الزكاة،
“There is no zakat on twenty dinars that are clearly deficient (in terms of their gold content or in terms of their weight). If more is added to them until they reach the level where their weight is equivalent to twenty gold dinars of full weight then zakat is due. There is no zakat on anything whose ‘ayn (i.e. gold content) is less than twenty dinars.” And he also says,
في رجل كانت عنده ستون ومائة درهم وازنة وصرف الدراهم ببلده ثمانية دراهم بدينار : أنها لا تجب فيها الزكاة، وإنما تجب الزكاة في عشرين دينارا عينا أو مائتى درهم
“A man who has 160 dirhams in a country where eight dirhams is worth one dinar does not have to pay zakat. Zakat is only due on 20 dinars or 200 dirhams.” The respective value of the dirham and dinar is immaterial - even if one silver dirham were worth more than one gold dinar, still zakat would only be due on 200 dirhams and twenty dinars, for the nisab is linked to weight not to value.
So, the words, ‘maa yaquumu maqamahumaa’ are a nonsense when it comes to zakat, since it is only on the physical metals that zakat is due and it is only in those same metals that it may be paid. The shariah is not a plaything to be adapted and altered to fit in with whatever abomination the enemies of Islam and the leaders of kufr dream up - no the Shariah of Allah on this matter is unambiguous and clear. And that is reflected by the fatawaa issued by Muslim scholars when first confronted by this matter and before their deen and centres of knowledge had been compromised by the defeatist ideologies of the modernists.
For example, in the late 19th century, soon after paper money had been introduced in the Ottoman empire, the great Shaykh of al-Azhar, Shaykh Illish, delivered a fatwa in which he ruled that zakat should not be paid on it because, unlike gold and silver on which zakat must be paid, the paper had no intrinsic value. Zakat, he ruled, would only be owed on it if there was sufficient weight of it for its value as scrap paper to reach the nisab, in which case zakat would be payable on it in gold as merchandise. Hence, zakat is only paid on things which have intrinsic value and is only paid in something which has intrinsic value.
It might be said, going strictly by this understanding, that no zakat is owed on wealth held in bank accounts and other modern forms of saving and investment because no actual gold or silver is involved. However, going by the fact that the original intention of paper money was to represent particular amounts of gold and silver, it has been argued that, for zakat purposes only, monetary wealth held in these forms should be valued in terms of the amount of gold or silver that can be bought with it. If this amount exceeds the nisab, zakat is owed. Certainly, if zakat is to be paid at all in the present circumstances – and it is essential that it is, both to re-establish Allah’s deen in its entirety and to look after the needs of millions of Muslims who are legally entitled to receive zakat – then this is the position which needs to be adopted by Muslims everywhere in the present circumstances in which they find themselves. What must be emphasised, however, is that firstly this is only a stop gap measure until real money comes back into circulation and replaces the abomination that is paper money, and that secondly this in no way removes the obligation for Muslims to pay zakat in the actual gold or silver categorically demanded by the shari‘a. For zakat is an act of worship and acts of worship must be carried out in the exact way specified in the Quran and Sunna.
Thus, whichever way we look at it, the only way for the lost pillar of zakat to be restored and the only way for us as Muslims to fulfil our basic obligations within the deen is for us to mint gold dinars and silver dirhams in such numbers that we make them easily available to all Muslims, thereby reviving a firm sunna of the Messenger of Allah that has fallen by the wayside. And as the Prophet said,
إنه من أحيا سنة من سنتي قد أميتت بعدي فإن له من الأجر مثل من عمل بها من غير أن ينقص من أجورهم شيئا
“Anyone who revives an aspect of my sunnah that is forgotten after my death, will have a reward equivalent to that of all the people who follow him, without that diminishing their reward in any way.” It is only through this, through obeying Allah and His Messenger and reviving the Sunna that victory will be ours and we will see Allah’s deen in all its glory established in our time and in our lands. So we ask Allah that He give us the necessary himma and the necessary furqan to do what needs to be done and put in place what needs to be put in place.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.
For the pillar of zakat to be fully restored, there is another missing element that must be put back in place and that is amirate. Although zakat is an individual act of worship in the sense that it is a duty on every Muslim who has the necessary level of wealth to pay it with the intention of fulfilling that aspect of the deen, it is also a function of amirate, it is also inextricably linked to governance, and in that regard is different from the remainder of the pillars of Islam. For zakat to truly be fulfilled in the way that Allah intends it to be fulfilled, there must be an amir who collects it and distributes it. It must be taken. In surat at-Tawba, Allah says,
خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا
the translation of which is, “Take sadaqa from their wealth to purify and cleanse them.”
According to the mufassirun, the word sadaqa in this aya refers specifically to zakat. So, in other words, Allah is commanding His Prophet to take the zakat from people's wealth, not leave it up to them to decide whether or not to give it to him. The reality of zakat is that it is taken and not given. This has always been the understanding of the Muslim umma and has always been the practice of its leaders, from the very inception of the Muslim state. Indeed, the very first thing that Abu Bakr did upon coming to power and being informed that the tribes who had paid zakat to the Prophet were now refusing to pay it to him, was to say,
والله لأقاتلن من فرق بين الصلاة والزكاة فإن الزكاة حق المال والله لو منعوني عناقاً كانوا يؤدونها إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لقاتلتهم على منعها
“By Allah, I will fight anyone who makes a distinction between the prayer and zakat. Zakat is the right which is due on wealth. By Allah, if they refuse me a hobbling rope which they used to pay to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, I will fight them for it!” He saw the institution of zakat as being such a fundamental cog in the welfare of the Muslim state that he was prepared to risk the survival of the nascent Muslim umma to restore it. This report indicates that, contrary to popular belief, the collection and distribution of zakat is the right of the amir, not the individual who pays it. The amir and his representatives take it from the rich and distribute it among the poor, as is indicated from the instructions the Prophet gave to Mu‘adh ibn Jabal when he sent him to Yemen,
أعلمهم أن الله تعالى فرض عليهم صدقة تؤخذ من أغنيائهم وترد في فقرائهم
“Inform them that Allah has made it obligatory for zakat to be taken from their wealthy and given back to their poor.” This was the ijma of the four imams and of all the major fuqaha from their madhahib, and it applies just as much to hidden wealth, such as gold, silver and trade goods, as to apparent wealth, such as livestock and crops, as is proven by the statement of Umar ibn al-Khattab,
خُذ من المسلمين من أربعين درهما درهما...
“Take from the Muslims out of every forty dirhams one dirham.”
And the statement of the Umayyad khalifa, Umar ibn AbdalAziz,
خُذ من المسلمين من كل أربعين دينارا دينارا..
“Take from the Muslims out of every forty dinars one dinar,”
And the practice of Uthman, of taking the zakat straight out of people’s stipends before handing their yearly stipends over, as is indicated by the hadith of Qudama in the Muwatta,
كنت إذا جئت عثمان بن عفان أقبض عطائي سألني : هل عندك من مال وجبت عليك فيه الزكاة قال فإن قلت : نعم أخذ من عطائي زكاة ذلك المال، وإن قلت : لا، دفع إلى عطائي
“Whenever I used to go to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan to collect my stipend, he would ask me, ‘Do you have any wealth upon which zakat is due?‘ If I said, ‘Yes’, then he would the zakat due on that wealth out of my stipend, and if I said, ‘No’, he would give me my stipend in full.” Indeed the Hanafi faqih, Shaykh Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abi Sahl as-Sarkhasi, went so far as to say that anyone who paid his zakat to other than the ruler, had not met his obligation of zakat and still owed it. And Imam Ahmad is quoted in the book ash-Sharh ar-Rabbani li Musnad Ahmad as having said, “The khalifa alone has the authority and responsibility to collect and distribute zakat, whether by himself or through those he appoints, and he has the authority and responsibility to fight those who refuse to pay it.”
So, zakat is a political matter, not a private one. And without leadership, without governance, an essential aspect of it is lost. It is no longer zakat, but merely a poor facsimile of it. The link between zakat and governance today has been well and truly cut and that is why we see the Muslim umma in the sorry state that it is in. There is not now and has not been for nearly a century anyone to take from the wealthy and give to the poor. That function of the amir is not being fulfilled because there has been no amir. And so zakat has been relegated to the status of an obligatory charity that is either given to the poor members of one’s own family or to charitable institutions that send the money abroad or something that is simply not given at all. But such institutions have no right to your zakat because they neither fall into one of the eight categories nor has any authority appointed them as collectors. And so all they succeed in doing is misappropriating the funds of well-intentioned Muslims and preventing them from fulfilling their obligation correctly. No, there can be no zakat in its full and original sense until we have leaders and those leaders take on the responsibility of collecting and distributing it. There can be no zakat until we have imara. And so the first step towards its restoration is giving bay’a to an amir, even if that is only in its first stages at a local level. Then and only then will we begin to see the pillar restored. So we ask Allah to restore leadership amongst us so that we can once again make the deen whole and recover the missing foundation of the house.
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تَدَعْ فِي مَقَامِنَا هَذَا ذَنْباً إِلاَّ غَفَرْتَهُ، وَلاَ عَيْباً إِلاَّ سَتَرْتَهُ، وَلاَ مَرِيضاً إِلاَّ شَفَيْتَهُ وَعَافَيْتَهُ، وَلاَ مَسْجُوناً إِلاَّ طَلَقْتَ سَرَاحَهُ، وَلاَ مُسَافِراً فِي بَرِّكَ وَبَحْرِكَ إِلاَّ سَلِِمْتَهُ وَغَنِمْتَهُ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.