1) Suppose I earn $30000/yr, is Zakaat applied on the total amount or after deducting monthly rent, car payment, tax and utilities. 2) Should the gift checks/cash be added to the total Zakatable amount? What about the gift checks/cash given to kids, should they be added too? 3) I got a better paying job in March (which makes my income Zakatable) and since I pay Zakaat every Ramadhan (I have been paying Zakaat for my wife’s jewelry), how should I calculate it? 4) Can I give Zakaat to a friend of mine who is very active in Tabligh, whose family apparently doesn’t seems to be in good financial condition, without mentioning that it’s Zakaat money (like a gift)? 5) My father runs a school back in India free of cost to poor Muslims, which imparts secular education plus some Deeni classes. Is it OK to give part of Zakaat monies to his School as he keeps insisting that I should give whole of the Zakaat monies to his School? 6)Can I give Zakaat, Sadaqa monies to local Masjid?
1. Zakaat is payable on the excess amount only if you possess the excess amount for one full lunar year. The amount due for basic necessities, rent, car, tax and utilities is not Zakaatable.
2. If the gift cheques are given to you, that will be added to the Zakaatable cash amount. There is no Zakaat on children’s possessions. Therefore, the gifted amount to them is not Zakaatable.
3. Your question is unclear, kindly rephrase.
4. One may give Zakat to a poor and needy person who is eligible for Zakaat. It is not necessary to state that the gifted amount is Zakaat.
5. It is permissible to give Zakaat to the poor and needy Muslims studying at the school. The Zakaat cannot be given directly to the school. The school may be appointed as the representative of the parents of the minor children to accept Zakaat on their behalf if the parents are eligible to accept Zakaat. The parents may also give consent to the school to pay the school fees on their behalf. The monies will now be Lillah and not Zakaat. The school may use the monies for its running expenses.
6. You may give your Zakaat monies to the local Musjid (if they are well versed with the laws of Zakaat) for them to disperse it in the appropriate avenues of Zakaat.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai