Zakāt is payable on a herd of 40-120 goats (see livestock). But three people collectively owning 120 goats cannot offer one goat. Nor can an assessor of Zakāt aggregate the combined wealth of two brothers to take them above one threshold. But in aggregating currency notes or coins, all of them should be added to establish the threshold. Where wealth is jointly owned and cannot be separated to individual participators, it will be aggregated and treated as if it belonged to one entity, but where there are partners and their assets can be allocated per partner, they will be treated as separate individuals. On these aspects, there exists dispute among various schools of jurisprudence, but the correct principle is that assets should not be aggregated to avoid Zakāt nor should an assessor of Zakāt aggregate or treat as separate joint wealth to extract more Zakāt than may actually be due.
‘Some people pay Zakāt but are not mindful of the fact whether their earning has been acquired lawfully or illegally. Remember, if a person slaughters a dog in the name of Allah and though he pronounces His name on it or Slaughters a swine with similar rites, could that dog or swine be reckoned to be Halal? It indeed shall remain forbidden. ZAKAT originates from TAZKIA as a result of which wealth is purified so that a human being may earn his livelihood from pure and lawful means and may spend in the cause of faith. It is owing to such mistakes that they fail to grasp the truth. One must refrain wholly from such notions. The pillars of Islam are means of our salvation but as a result of such errors people stray from the right path.’
Any form of capital or income which is difficult to account or be assessed is not liable to Zakāt. But rents received from real estate, other accountable trading profits from buses, etc., or bank accounts, or livestock or crops, or gold and silver, or royalties from mineral rights can all be readily accounted and are assessable. But sundry income which cannot be accounted, or accommodation for one’s own use, or chattels in constant use, e.g. clothing, soft furnishing or values of factories, etc., are excluded from assessment.
Goats and Sheep
One calf is to be surrendered for every thirty heads of cattle.
Only the profit obtained from the purchase and sale of horses in trade is assessable to Zakāt at 2.5% of the profit made. The reason for this distinction is that whereas other livestock animals provide meat and hides for skins, a stable of horses is not used as an investment for these purposes.
The income arising from what the earth yields belongs to the entire community. Thus a higher rate is fixed for these. Zakāt is levied at 20% (one-fifth) of the net income from mines, excavated treasures, inclusive of royalties obtained therefrom. Despite the high cost of extraction, the profit arising from such ventures should rightly belong in part to the rest of the community with the balance belonging to the entrepreneur who undertook the risk. This includes oil revenues, whether obtained from the land or sea-bed and all other mineral resources, e.g. gold, silver, diamonds. Cut diamonds and smelted gold, etc., then if possessed and held for more than a year in the hands of an individual is also assessable to Zakāt at 2.5% (see earlier section).
Rents received from property not owner-occupied or part sub-let and commercial rents, licence fees, etc., are also assessable to Zakāt at 2.5 %.
Stock-in-trade which has remained in the owner’s possession for more than one year is also similarly assessable at 2.5%. If such stock appreciates in value because of inflation, the current market price would be paid on it and where it depletes or becomes obsolete, the estimated realizable value of that stock would be assessable to Zakāt.
If the form of wealth on which Islamic law imposes Zakāt is no longer available or by separating that part of Zakāt from it undue loss would arise from that wealth or cannot be conveyed from one place to another, then Zakāt may be paid to an equivalent amount from other source or object or in the form of cash.