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Zakat on Cattle-Heads

The Messenger of Allah ((sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)) said that by the entity who has my souls in His control, if a person owns camels, cows and goats and he does not pay the dues [zakat] on them all such cattle will be brought to him in full fat and fit condition which will trample him with their feet and strike him with their horns. The herds of such cattle will keep on repeating this process one after the other. This will continue till all the accounts of the all concerned are settled (Al-Bukhari  & Muslim). The nisaab and the rate of zakat on camels, cows and goats and other conditions are described below:

  1. One complete Hijri (lunar) year must have passed over their possession.
  2. They must be saima animals [those which get feed by grazing in pastures and jungles]. They should not be fed at home with paid feed.
  3. Their heads should be equal to the prescribed nisaab for zakat.

Nisaab for Cattle

For Camels: There is no zakat for up to four heads of camel. The levy starts at five and above, as detailed below:

5-9 camels: one goat (one-year old fit and healthy).

10-14 camels: two goats (one-year old fit and healthy).

15-19 camels: three goats (one-year old fit and healthy).

20-24 camels: four goats (one-year old fit and healthy).

25-35 camels: one camel, male or female (one-year old)

36-45 camels: one camel, male or female (two-year old).

46-60 camels: one camel, male or female (three-year old).

61-75 camels: one camel, male or female (four-year old).

76-90 camels: two she-camels (two-year old).

91-120 camels: three she-camels (three-year old).

Whenever the number of camels exceeds 120 on each 40 camels one she- camel (two-year old) and on each 50 camels one she-camel (three-year old) shall have to be given in zakat (Bukhari, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi).

For Cows and Buffaloes: There is no zakat on less than 30 heads. For 30 cows/buffaloes the zakat is one calf or heifer (one-year old). If the number reaches 40 the zakat is one heifer (two-year old). For each 30 heads exceeding that zakat is one heifer (one-year old) and for each 40 heads zakat is one heifer (two year-old). Jurists have counted the buffaloes in the category of cows.

For Goats and Sheep:

There is no zakat on less than 40 goats. From 41 t0 120, zakat is one goat. For 201-300, zakat is three goats. For 301-400, zakat is four goats. For each one hundred exceeding this number, one goat shall have to be given in zakat. Apart from that there is no zakat on horses, mules and donkeys unless they are kept for trade purposes.

Zakat on Treasure Troves and Mines:

All valuable objects buried under the earth by the people and all minerals, e.g. gold, silver, petrol or other treasures are liable to payment of zakat at their one-fifth. The Messenger of Allah ((sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)) said that the zakat of Rukaz is one-fifth (Rukaz means all the buried objects). The majority of jurists following the practice of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) hold that zakat on commodities or cattle should be paid in kind.  When the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was deputing Hadrat Mu’aaz (RadhiAllahu Anhu ) as Governor of Yemen, he directed him to collect zakat of grains in grains, of camels in camels, of goats in goats and of cows in cows (Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah). But the followers of the Hanafi School hold that it is valid to pay zakat in cash instead of kind because it may be convenient to both the giver and the receiver who may spend it according to their priorities. After all, the objective of the levy of zakat is to meet the needs of  the indigent. But it is better to leave this matter to the judgment of scholars in accordance with the conditions of times.

Zakat on Loans:

If a person gives to some other person an amount which is equal to or more than the nisaab prescribed, then payment of zakat on that money becomes due on the lender, not the debtor, provided that one complete year has passed over the loan and zakat will  be paid actually only when the loan amount  is returned to the lender. This is in accordance with the opinion of the majority of scholars.

Articles of Personal Use are Exempt from Zakat

There is no zakat on self-occupied house. Similarly there is no zakat on articles of personal use like clothes, household utensils, vehicles, articles of makeup (except silver or gold-made), books, tools and machines.