ZAKAH PAYMENT IN RAMADAN
This year’s month of Ramadan is fast approaching. The month will be here in a few weeks time. That is the month in which most Muslims prefer to pay their annual, monetary Zakah.
Zakah Payment in the Arab World
In most Arab countries, especially in the Gulf region, where Islam originated from, the month of Ramadan is mostly chosen by individuals as well as companies and governments, as the month of Zakah payment. This is not because the Qur’anic revelation that made Zakah a pillar of Islam came to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the month of Ramadan, but because the month is, traditionally, earmarked for hospitality, among the Arabs following the coming of Islam. The general belief, among the Muslim Arabs, is that Ramadan, among the lunar months, is a month in which good deeds, in all ramifications, should be maximized, hence the adoption of the sacred month for the payment of Zakah.
Outside the Arab World
Muslims, outside the Arab world, are emulating the Muslim Arabs in practicing that Islamized culture, in the interest of unity. But unless the month of Ramadan is taken as the benchmark month for the payment of Zakah, there is no specific rule in Islam that makes Ramadan a mandatory month of Zakah payment.
Every lunar month is available for the payment of Zakah, depending on the month adopted by the payer, as benchmark for Zakah payment. Some people’s month of Zakah may be Rajab, some may be Sha‘ban, some may be Shawwal or any other lunar month.
Since there is no uniformity in the mode or time of income for individuals and groups, there can be no statutory uniformity of the month in which monetary Zakah must be paid.
Ramadan as Benchmark Month
As for those whose benchmark month of Zakah payment is Ramadan, this is the time to start preparing for its payment. And, the Nisab of monetary Zakah, as prescribed by Prophet Muhammad (SAW), is 200 Dirham which is an equivalece of 54 American Dollars. In this case, the Dirham to be adopted is that of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with which most Nigerian Zakah payers are familiar. Only 2.5% of that amount is to be paid as monetary Zakah once in a year.
The idea of paying Zakah once in a year is not general in Islam. Since the mode and time of income for individuals and groups are not has no uniformity, the means and time of Zakah payment cannot be uniform.
Technicalities of Zakah
It must always be remembered that the payment of Zakah is not a 100% annual affair. Sometimes it may be seasonal and sometimes it may be periodical depending on the nature of the concerned commodity or product from which Zakah is to be paid. For instance, the payment of Zakah on harvested crops is made as soon as the crops are harvested. Such cannot be Kept for one full year before Zakah is paid on it. Also, the payment of Zakah on chicken eggs or snails or even honey should be made as soon as they are harvested.
Much more explanation will be made about the above mentioned and other areas of Zakah payment in a foreseeable future, before the coming Ramadan in sha’Allah. Please, keep the trend alive with you and God bless you abundantly.
Allah The Almighty has praised those who fulfill the needs of the poor and t…