Name of Questioner
Are Women Obliged to Pay Zakah?
As-Salaamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah. I am a student but I have a part-time job. Is it Fard (obligatory) upon me to pay Zakah? I was told that it is not Fard upon women because while they are unmarried, the head of the family (i.e. the father) pays Zakah on behalf of everyone in the family, and when they are married their husbands pay on their behalf. I was also told that if a woman’s father does not pay any Zakah at all, then she still will not be accountable for it. Is this true? Also is everyone liable to pay Zakat-ul Fitr? If so, how much do we give and in what form (money or food)? Jazakum Allahu Khairan.
Name of Counsellor
Who Should Pay Zakah
Answer Wa`alykum As-Salaamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear sister in Islam, thanks a lot for your question which reflects your care to have a clear view of the teachings of Islam. Allah commands Muslims to refer to people of knowledge to get themselves well-acquainted with the teachings of Islam as well as all aspects of life.
Zakah is one of the pillars of Islam and a manifestation of the solidarity that that connects Muslims and brings them each to other. It is also a demonstration of one’s gratitude to Allah Who granted him wealth and favored him with prosperity and reaches. It also bridge the gab between the reach and the poor and spread stability and social peace in the community.
With regard to your question, Dr. Monzer Kahf
, a prominent Muslim economist and counselor, answers:
Zakah is obligated in Shari`ah on certain items of assets and income. These include gold and silver, jewelry (with a few conditions), money, trade inventory, live stock, and agricultural products. You can also read:
Zakah and Charity: Signs of Gratitude
Spending Zakah Money on Jihad
Should Zakah Be Paid on Unlawful Money?
In your case, if you have money that reaches the amount of nisab (minimum amount on which zakah is due) you are required to pay Zakah. (In the United States the nisab is approximately $1,000.) This nisab is a criterion of whether a person is liable to pay Zakah, and once a person owns this amount then he or she is obligated to pay Zakah. In Islam, each person, young or adult, who owns his or her own property is called upon to fulfill the personal and financial obligations that are required in Islamic Law. Your father, husband, brother, etc. may be required to spend on your livelihood, but they are not certainly required to pay zakah due on your properties. If they ever pay any such thing, it will be so only as a voluntary act on your behalf and in your name. Zakah is due on the owner, and you are the owner of your money and other properties.
Consequently, you are required to pay Zakah on your savings and other Zakatable properties every lunar year (354 days) beginning from the day you accumulated the amount of nisab and pay repeatedly every lunar year on that same day at the rate of 2.5% of the accumulated balance that exists on the day when Zakah is due.
Zakat-ul Fitr is obligatory on each Muslim, male or female, young or adult. It is in the amount of the value of two meals that are most common in the area where you live. If you live in the United States, the amount is 7 to10 dollars. It must be paid by every Muslim and can be paid by the head of the household for all adults in the household. The head of the household is obliged to pay it on behalf of his or her minors. Zakat-ul Fitr is due on the last day of Ramadan. It can be paid earlier, but it must not be delayed after the `Eid prayer on the morning of the `Eid.
I believe that the real percentage of zakat is flexible (and is more than just 2.5%) and should be collected by the government (by force if necessary) of a shariah state - doorster