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    (3)
    In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
    The Zakâh of Olives
    زكاة الزيتون

    د . أحمد بن عبد الكريم نجيب
    Dr.Ahmad Najeeb


    Question:
    Is it obligatory to pay Zakâh on olives? If so, what is the due amount, and is it permissible to pay it in the form of oil?
     
    Answer:
    Seeking the help of Allah, Exalted be He, I say:
     
    Scholars in the past as well as in recent times have disagreed on the obligation of paying Zakâh on olives and other crops grown on land which is not mentioned in the Sunnah. They disagree about determining the effective cause behind paying Zakâh on the categories mentioned in the Sunnah.
     
    The majority of scholars from the Hanafîs and Malikîs say it is obligatory to pay Zakâh on olives. It is also the opinion of the old madhhab, as well as an opinion attributed to Imam Ahmad. This opinion is also reported from `Abdullâh Ibn `Abbâs (may Allah be pleased with him, as mentioned in Musannaf Ibn Abû Shaybah and others.) In addition, it is narrated from a number of the Tabi`ûn (Successors) and those who followed them in righteousness; may Allah be pleased with them all.
     
    The opinion of the majority of scholars is based on the following evidence:
    First, Allah, Exalted be He, states, "And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess." [(Al-An`âm: 141]
     
    In this verse, Allah, Exalted and Glorified be He, mentions olives as well as other types of crops and fruit, then He says, "…and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest." Hence, no part of these crops should be excluded from the payment of Zakâh unless there is a particular reason to exclude it. There is nothing in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger that excludes olives from the payment of Zakâh on the day of harvest, as mentioned in the Noble Qur'anic verse.
     
      Commenting on this verse, Imam Al-Qurtubî (may Allah have mercy on him) said, "People have differed as regards the explanation of the Arabic word "haqqahu" (due right) in the verse? Anas Ibn Mâlik, Ibn `Abbâs, Tâwûs, Al-Hasan, Ibn Zayd, Ibnul-Hanafiyyah, Ad-Dahhâk and Sa`îd Ibnul-Musayyib said: “It is the obligated Zakâh, i.e. the one-tenth and the half-tenth.” It is also narrated by Ibn Wahb and Ibnul-Qâsim on the authority of Mâlik with regard to the explanation of the verse. This opinion is also maintained by the companions of Imam Ash-Shâf`î.
     
     `Alî Ibnul-Husayn, `Atâ', Al-Hakam, Hammâd, Sa`îd Ibn Jubayr and Mujâhid said, "What is meant by the Arabic word 'haqqahu" is a right other than the Zakâh, that Allah the Almighty has commanded people to pay as a recommended act." This opinion is also narrated on the authority of Ibn `Umar and Muhammad Ibnul-Hanafiyyah. Mujâhid said, "If you harvest the crops and some poor people come, give them some of it (wheat, barely, and so on). When you cut off the dates in bunches give them some of it. Likewise, when you thrash the grain and sieve it give them some, and when you measure it pay Zakâh on it."
     
    The third opinion: The payment of Zakâh on olives has been abrogated by the verse on the payment of Zakâh. This is because Sûrat Al-An`âm was revealed in Mecca while the verse of Zakâh was revealed in Medina. This opinion is narrated on the authority of Ibn `Abbâs, Ibnul-Hanafiyyah, Al-Hasan, `Atiyyah Al-`ûfî, An-Nakha`î and Sa`îd Ibn Jubayr.
    In addition, Sufyân said, "I asked As-Suddî about this verse, and he said, "This verse was abrogated by the payment of one-tenth and half-tenth." I asked him, "From whom did you narrate that?" He said, "From the scholars."
     
    I say, "Whether the due right deduced from the verse refers to the known Zakâh or to what is recommended to be given from the crops other than Zakâh, it is annexed to it and does not substitute it. Rather, it continues to be obligatory. And Allah knows best.”
     
    Second, the generality of the Prophet's saying, "The due amount of Zakâh on the land watered by rain or springs is a tenth. On irrigated land, the due amount of Zakâh is half-tenth."  [Related by Al-Bukhârî and the Compilers of As-Sunan on the authority of Sâlim Ibn `Abdullâh on the authority of his father, `Abdullâh Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both)].
     
    I say, "The explanation of this hadîth is the same as the above-mentioned Qur'anic verse; it is not permissible to particularize a general text except with proof. There is no proof to particularize this.”
     
    Third, the yield of olives can be stored, and people can consume them for one whole year, and some can use them for more than a year. Therefore, scholars who maintain that Zakâh is due on olives compare them to raisins and dates. This is so due to the `illah (effective cause). This `illah allows scholars to make analogical deduction between olives and other stored fruit and grains.
     
    The preponderant opinion is that Zakâh is due on olives as it is supported by general textual proof in the Qur'ân and Sunnah. This opinion was approved in the Eighth Symposium on the Current Issues of Zakâh, which was held in Doha in 1418 A.H. One of the statements mentioned in the recommendations of that symposium is: "It is obligatory to pay Zakâh on all crops, fruit and vegetables that are produced from the land if they reach the Nisâb (Minimum amount upon which Zakâh is due).
     
    Since it has been proved that Zakâh is due on olives, it should be known that Zakâh should be paid as soon as the harvest is reaped. Allah the Almighty states, "…and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest." The due amount of Zakâh on olives is half-tenth of what is irrigated with effort, whether it is irrigated with pumps or spring water that is carried or not carried. The due amount on what is watered without effort is one-tenth.
     
    Zakâh is not due on the amount that has not reached the Nisâb, which is five wasqs.[1] The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "There is no Zakâh due on that which is less than five wasqs." [Al-Bukhârî]. Five wasqs equal sixty-five kilograms when weighed with current measures. It is up to the one who pays Zakâh on olives to pay it in the form of grain or oil. Some scholars have given further opinions that it is permissible to give the price of the due amount in cash. It is appropriate to allow the payer of Zakâh to have the choice of what is easier for him and more useful for the recipients of Zakâh.
     
    In Majmû` Al-Fatâwâ, Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, "The ripe dates that do not become dried, the olives that are not pressed and the grapes that do not turn to raisins.” Mâlik and others said, "The Zakâh on these categories is taken out of the price when they reach five wasqs.” If these categories are nearly ripe and are sold before that, it was said that Zakâh should be paid from its price. It was also said that it is given out of its fruit or oil.
     
    Allah the Almighty is Most Knowledgeable, Most Wise, and it is He Who guides to the Straight Path. May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his household, and all his Companions.
     

    -------------------------
    [1] Wasq: A standard measure that equals 130320 grams.

     

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