DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHARITY IN ISLAM

1. ZAKAH

This is the compulsory alms-giving which Allāh (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has given the order for in the Qurʾān. It is one of the five pillars of Islām. Its status is obligatory (fard), so it is obligatory upon every mature, sane man and woman whose wealth is above the minimum threshold, called nisāb. A minimum of 2.5% of their wealth must then be given as zakāh. Zakāh can only be given to the specific eight categories mentioned in the Qurʾān in chapter 9, verse number 60 (Taubah 9:60). If it is not given to any of these eight categories then it shall not be considered to be zakāh and the individual is not relieved of his obligation.

Nisāb is 20 dinārs of gold (equivalent to 0.08748 kilograms of pure gold) or 200 dhirams of silver (equivalent to 0.61236 kilograms of pure silver). This was the exchange rate between dinār and dhiram, 1:10, during the early days of Islām. Nowadays the exchange rate is around 1:75, however, both values are acceptable in Sharia.

If your wealth consists of gold, silver, cash other assets you should use the nisaab value for silver. If you wealth consists only of gold then use gold rate for nisaab.

Prices for gold and silver can be found at https://www.bullionvault.com

Note use price per Kg in pound sterling (£) for U.K. residents.

Nisāb value (based on silver) = 0.61236 x (Price of pure silver per Kg)

Zakāh is only payable on lawful (halāl) earnings. So if earnings are generated by sale of unlawful items or services such as sale of alcohol, lottery tickets, cigarettes or acquired by unlawful methods such as lying to get state benefits, lying to increase the price of sale items, then such earning are not liable for zakāh. Unlawful earning should be returned to their rightful owner or given away without expecting any reward, similar to giving away interest (ribā).

So fulfill your obligation of zakāh by giving the due amount on the wealth that Allāh (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has bestowed upon you.

Charity (sadaqa) in Islam can be divided broadly in to two categories, charity which is binding (sadaqa wājiba) and charity which is optional (sadaqa nāfilah).

 

2. SADAQA WAJIBA

This is a charity which is binding in nature. The different types of sadaqa wājiba include:

      2.1.  Sadaqah al-fitr

      2.2   Nadhr

      3.2   Fidya

      4.2   Kaffāra

      5.2   Udhiyyah, Dam and Badanah

Sadaqa wājiba is similar to zakāh in that it must be spent on the same categories as defined by the Qurʾān, except that it is not a condition for the beneficiary to be Muslim.

2.1 Sadaqat al-Fitr

This is a charity which is given to the poor prior to salāh of Eid al-fitr. It is an emphasised Sunnah which according to many scholars has the status of being wājib. It is a duty upon every sane Muslim, who possesses the value of nisāb beyond the basic necessities to give sadaqa al-fitr. A father should give sadaqat al-fitr on behalf of his children who have not reached the age of majority.

The sadaqat al-fitr rate is half a sa‘ of wheat according to Hanafi fiqh (or 1 sa‘ of barley of 1 sa‘ of dates) which is to equivalent to 1.63296 Kg (1.75 sayr according to muft Shafii in his Auzān Shariyyah) and 1.648 Kg (according to Ta’meer Hayaat) of whole wheat. It is one sa‘ according to the other three fiqh, and according to the other fiqh one sa‘ is equivalent to 2.175 Kg. The local masjid will specify the actual rate as the price fluctuates. For those who wish to donate the equivalent value in money rather than the commodity, the monetary value should be based on whole wheat.

If one does not give sadaqat al-fitr prior to Eid al-fitr the duty to pay remains.

Rate of sadaqat al-fitr = Price of wheat bag/Kg x 1.648 (Hanafi fiqh) Price of bag of whole wheat can be found on the internet:

www.dovesfarm.co.uk/sack-flour/sacked-grains/

http://www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk/wheat-grains

http://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/842/organic-wheat-grain

2.2 Nadhr (Vow/ Oath)

This can be a form of charity which one imposes on oneself by means of an oath, whereupon it would be sadaqa wājiba. If one cannot uphold the oath, it becomes necessary to give kaffāra, and the person may be sinful.

2.3 Fidya

This is compensation for missing each obligatory salāh (including witr), for missing each obligatory fast due to illness or in the event of a person making a minor mistake in Hajj. Fidya is generally sadaqa wājiba.

Rate of fidya = Price of wheat bag/Kg x 1.648 (Hanafi fiqh)

Price of bag of whole wheat can be found on the internet:

www.dovesfarm.co.uk/sack-flour/sacked-grains/

http://www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk/wheat-grains

http://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/842/organic-wheat-grain

2.4 Kaffārah

This is major compensation and like fidya, it is also sadaqa wājiba. It applies in various situations such as if a person breaks a fast intentionally, breaks an oath, or kills someone. The kaffāra for breaking one's fast intentionally is to free a slave or fast for sixty consecutive days; if one cannot fast due to poor health or old age, then one must feed sixty poor people for a day which consists of two meals. Each meal is a fidya.

So kaffāra for breaking one fast intentionally = 60 x 2 x (Price of wheat bag/Kg x 1.648)

The kaffāra for breaking an oath (yāmin) is to free a slave or feed ten poor people (two meals per day), or give each one of them clothing, failing that one must fast for three consecutive days.

So kaffāra for breaking an oath = 10 x 2 x (Price of wheat bag/Kg x 1.648)

2.5 Udhiyya

Also called qurbani or animal sacrifice.It is wājib on all mature Muslims who on the day of Eid-ul adha possess nisāb. An animal (sheep or goat) of one year is to be bought and slaughtered in the name of Allāh (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) after the salāt-ul-Eid or during the two following days. The meat can be used to feed one’s own family and for distribution to the poor.

Sacrifice of a large animal such as a cow, buffalo or camel is equivalent to seven sacrifices. A man is not duty bound for performing qurbani on behalf of his wife or mature children, that is their responsibility.

Dam is a violation which requires either a fidya in lieu of minor mistakes during Hajj or an animal sacrifice for major mistakes during Hajj. For certain specific violations during Hajj a large animal has to be sacrificed, this is called badana.

 

3. SADAQA NAFILAH

This is a charitable giving which is optional. It may be given for removal of difficulties by Allāh (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) or for seeking forgiveness. Sadaqa nafila includes lillāh, aqeeqa, setting set of waqf, sadaqa jariya and qardh hasan.

Lillāh means for Allāh (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and means any kind of charity given in the cause of Allāh (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) on a purely voluntary basis. It does not have the restrictions associated with zakāh. It is permissible to use for digging wells, construction of buildings and projects. Any zakāh given above the obligaoty 2.5%, indeed any amount above sadaqa wājiba would also be categorised as sadaqa nafila.