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Zakat on gold

Question:

I was given a large amount of gold as part of my Mahr in which my ex husband stole from me whilst I was married to him. He then pawned it to a shop gambling all the money away, this gold was then bought back from the shop by my ex husbands sister and it now is in her possession.

I want to know:

1) Does the gold now belong to her as she has bought it back?

2)As it was a large amount of gold, would I have to pay zakaat on it, as it was my gold even though it is not in my possession? Also, if I have a small amount of gold in my possession now, which equals to roughly 7grams in weight, am I eligible to pay zakaat on it?Please can you briefly explain what women have to give zakaat on i.e. wealth, clothes, etc as I am not sure. and finally, if my ex husband has agreed to pay a Mahr during Nikah including gold and money, of which he pays none, and has now divorced me, how does that stand in this Dunya/Akhirat?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Based upon the information given in the query, the rulings are as follows:

1. If the gold was given to you by your husband as Mahr and you took possession of it, you are the rightful owner of the gold. You may either claim the gold from your ex-husband’s sister upon which she will claim the value of the gold from her brother or you may claim the value of the gold from your ex-husband directly.

2. If you retrieve the gold from your ex-husband’s sister or the value of the gold from your ex-husband, then you will have to pay Zakaat for all the previous years.

According to our understanding, it was pre-agreed that Mahr will be payable to you in both cash and gold. Accordingly, your husband has already given you gold which was then “stolen” by him from you. If this understanding is correct, then the amount of gold that has already been given to you was Mahr and you may claim the amount of gold as stolen goods and not as part of the Mahr. In any case, you are entitled to the cash amount still payable to you as Mahr.

Calculating Zakaat:

Zakaat will become compulsory on a sane and mature Muslim when his / her wealth exceeds the Nisāb and this amount of wealth is maintained for the duration of one entire lunar year. The Nisāb is 20 Mithqals (87.479 g) for gold and 200 Dirhams (612.35 g) for silver. Any currency equal to the amount of any of these Nisābs will also render Zakaat binding. For example, if the price of silver is quoted at R4.40 per gram then the Nisāb will equal approximately R2, 702. If one’s wealth decreases below the Nisāb during the year but before the expiry of the year, it reaches the Nisāb, Zakaat will be binding contrary to the case of the wealth not rebounding to amount of Nisāb upon the expiry of the year. However, if one loses his entire wealth, a new lunar cycle will begin after reaching the Nisāb for the second time. All debts and liabilities will be deducted from his wealth before calculating his estate. Only that particular year’s liabilities will be deducted from long-term debts such as car / home financing. Loans given and other receivables into one’s estate will be accounted for even if the person is not paid by his debtor for several years. Any gold or silver items such as jewelry, ornaments etc will also form part of Zakatable assets. If the percentage of gold or silver in the item is more than the metal alloy with which it is amalgamated the entire item will be considered as gold or silver. If the percentage of alloy is greater, if there is enough gold or silver where it is possible for it to be extracted, then Zakaat will be compulsory only on the value of the gold or silver therein and not on the entire item if the Nisāb is reached. Similarly, any items purchased for trade will be subject to Zakaat and must be accounted for in the calculation. A person should add his / her cash savings, values of gold and/or silver, value of the merchandise of trade and any receivables from debts etc. Thereafter, he / she should deduct the amount of debts owed to others. If the value of the net total equals the Nisāb of gold or silver, he / she will have to pay 2.5% of the amount in Zakaat.

Hereunder is a brief chart illustrating the calculation of Zakaat:

Personal Wealth Amounts:
1. Amount of Cash and Savings at home or in the bank R 10,000
2. Current value of any gold and silver jewelry, coins, utensils etc R 5,000
3. Value of assets and merchandise for trade R 20,000
4. Receivables and loaned amounts to others R 5,000
Total these amounts here: R 40,000
Amount Debts to be paid: R 20,000
Subtract the total amount of debts for the year from the above amount.
Nett Total of Zakatable Wealth R 20,000
if the net total of Zakatable Wealth is more than the Nisab amount then…
Multiply the nett total by 2.5% (nett amount x 0.025) R 500

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Hussein Issa,
Mozambique

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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