Determination of Zakat Nisab for Agricultural Products According to Today’s Units of MeasurementAbdulmelik Kutluay
A condition required for zakat obligation (an obligatory alms-giving in Islam) is that the goods subject to zakat should reach a certain amount (nisab). The nisab of agricultural products, which are among the zakat goods, was determined by the old volume measurement units. The absence of measurement units in the time of the Prophet and the determination of the amount of agricultural products in weight units rather than volume have made it necessary to redetermine the nisab in the present time. In this study, the nisab for different agricultural products was determined according to today’s measurement units. In this context, the equivalents of the old volume measurement units are determined in the modern weight measurement units. The conflict between the Hanafis and other scholars on the issue is mentioned, and the nisab is determined according to the two views. In addition, based on the view that the nisab shall be determined by using the palm, we made some measurements and presented the results. As the density of agricultural products differ, separate measurements were made for each product. The opinions and methods proposed for determining the nisab were evaluated. Further, the nisab of agricultural products that cannot be measured using volume measurement units is discussed, and the results are presented.
Günümüz Ölçü Birimlerine Göre Tarım Ürünlerinin Zekât Nisabının TespitiAbdulmelik Kutluay
Zekât ibadetiyle mükellef olabilmek için aranan şartlardan biri de zekâta tabi malların nisab miktarına ulaşmış olmasıdır. Zekât mallarından olan toprak mahsullerinin nisabı eski hacim ölçü birimleriyle belirlenmiştir. Günümüzde Hz. Peygamber dönemindeki ölçü birimlerinin bulunmaması ve tarım ürünlerinin ağırlık ölçü birimleriyle miktarlarının belirlenmesi, nisabın yeniden tespitini gerekli kılmıştır. Bu çalışmada, tarım ürünlerinin zekât nisabı günümüz ölçü birimlerine göre tespit edilmeye çalışılmıştır. Bu çerçevede eski hacim ölçü birimlerinin ağırlık ölçü birimlerinde karşılıkları belirlenmeye çalışılmıştır. Konuyla ilgili olarak Hanefiler ile cumhur arasındaki ihtilafa değinilmiş ve iki farklı görüşe göre de nisab belirlenmeye çalışılmıştır. Ayrıca avuç hesabına göre nisabın belirleneceği görüşünden hareketle tarafımızca birtakım ölçümler yapılmış, elde edilen veriler okuyucuya sunulmuştur. Tarım ürünlerinin ağırlık miktarlarının birbirinden farklı olması sebebiyle her bir ürün için ayrı ayrı ölçümler yapılmıştır. Nisabın tespitine yönelik ortaya konulan görüş ve metotlar değerlendirmeye tabi tutulmuştur. Ayrıca hacim ölçü birimleriyle ölçülemeyen ürünlerin nisablarının nasıl tespit edileceği tartışılmış ve elde edilen sonuçlar makalede sunulmuştur.
Zakat, which is one of the basic principles and worships of Islam has certain conditions. One of these conditions is that the property subject to zakat should reach the certain amount, which is called nisab. In the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the nisab of the crops from the zakat goods was determined in volume measurement units. At present, the absence of these old measurement units and the determination of the quantities of crops with weight measurement units necessitated the nisab redetermination. In this study, we determine the nisab of crops according to today’s measurement units. The study is based on two assumptions: all crops are subject to zakat and the measurement of nisab is a must for zakat.
A comprehensive study has not yet been conducted to determine the zakat nisab of different agricultural products according to today’s measurement units. The Muslim jurists of the modern period only determined the zakat nisab of wheat according to today’s measurement units, and they were content to state that the nisab of other products was at or close to this amount. However, all agricultural products do not have the same weight for a certain volume; some are heavier, and some are lighter. Therefore, generalizing the same amount of nisab for all agricultural products according to the weight unit is not a proper approach, the nisab should be determined separately for each product.
The jurists agreed that the nisab for crops is determined by wasq. Wasq is an old unit of volume measurement, which is equal to 60 sâ‘, another old measurement unit. A sâ‘ is equal to 4 mudd. The jurists disagreed on their volume. According to Hanafis, except for Imam Abu Yusuf, sâ‘ 8 ratl, whereas according to most jurists, the volume of a sâ‘ is 5.33 ratl. After presenting and discussing the evidence of both views, we conclude that the opinion of the majority is preferable. Because when the measurement of sâ‘ which is used during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) is done by weight measurement units, it is very close to 5.33 ratl. Another point that supports this view is that the practice of the people in Medina is in this direction, and there is no conflict among them on this issue.
The equivalents of the nisab, which was determined by volume measurement units, in weight units were determined by the jurists based on ratl and dirham. The weight of the ratl was determined according to the weight of the corresponding dirham. According to Malikis, a ratl is equal to 128 dirhams, whereas it is 128,57 and 130 dirhams for Shafi‘is and Hanafis, respectively. Therefore, if the equivalent of the dirham in today’s measurement units is determined, it will be possible to determine the equivalents of other measurement units. Scholars of four madhhabs unanimously agreed that dirhams and dinars issued during Abd al-Malik İbn Marwan period were the same as in Islamic jurisprudence. In addition, the scholars agreed that a dirham is equal to 7/10 of a dinar. There is a general consistency among jurists that a dinar is equivalent to 4.25 grams. So, in this case, the dirham is equal to 2.97 grams.
There is a general consistency among the jurists that the dirham is equal to 2.97 grams. Therefore, it is possible to determine the equivalents of other measurement units and the zakat nisab based on the dirham. Najm ad-din al Kurdi and Zakat House Kuwait preferred the opinion of the majority regarding the ratl equivalents of volume measurement units. Accordingly, the equivalents of other old measurement units and nisab in today’s measurements are as follows
After our research, we concluded that this view seems accurate because the measurement units of mudd, sâ‘ and wasq belonging to the period of the Prophet (PBUH) are not used at present. However, the equivalent of a ratl in terms of dirhams has been calculated. Therefore, it would be a correct method to determine the gram equivalents of the old volume measures based on this.
Najm ad-din al-Kurdi and Zakat House Kuwait determined the nisab of wheat according to today’s measurement units. From this perspective, we tried determining the nisab of other agricultural products and conducted measurements with precision scales. The weighted average of the products with different types was taken. The study presents gram equivalents of mudd, sâ‘, wasq, and nisab for different agricultural products.
Qaradâwî, who is one of those who try to determine the equivalents of volume units in today’s weight units, based on the majority opinion determined the kilogram equivalent of sâ‘ based on the Egyptian ratl. He stated that 4.8 Egyptian ratl equals 2.176 kg; therefore, the weight of wheat in one sâ‘ is 2.176 kg. According to Qaradâwî, the equivalents of volume measurement units in today’s measurement units and the nisab of zakat are as follows.
Muslim Jurists such as Majid Abu Rakhiya, Abd al-Razzâq al- Al-Masry, and Lotfi Alyan also reached similar conclusions. Trying to determine the equivalents of sâ‘ in weight units based on mithqal and dirham, Abdullah bin Sulaiman Al-Manea also reached similar results. Based on the results of Qaradâwî, we made measurements to determine the nisab of other agricultural products; the obtained results are presented in the article.
Some contemporary jurists have determined the equivalents of volume measurements in today’s measurement units according to the Hanafis. For example, Ali Gomaa Muhammad determined the equivalents of measurement units according to the Hanafis, as follows.
Some researchers, such as Ghaleb Muhammad Keraim and Walther Hinz, have reached similar conclusions. Based on the results, we determined the nisab of other products according to the Hanafis and presented them in the article.
According to some jurists, mudd should be determined from the amount of grain that the palms of a medium-sized human can handle. In this context, Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta )Saudi Arabia al-Lajna ad-Dâima lil-Buhût al-‘Ilmiyya wal-Iftâ’( stated that a sâ‘ weighs approximately 3 kg of the product. Council of Senior Scholars (Saudi Arabia Majlis Hay’at Kibar al-‘Ulama( stated that the mudd equals 650 g. Accordingly, sâ‘, wasq, and nisab are equal to 2.6, 156, and 780 kg, respectively.
To determine the amount of mudd by palm calculation, we made measurements with 31 people, and the obtained data are presented in the article. As a result, we observed that the average weight of wheat, which can be grasped with medium-sized hands, was around 390 g. Other agricultural products were also measured on the basis of the mudd measurement, and the results are presented in the article.
Consequently, we concluded that it is inappropriate to determine the zakat nisab based on the palm calculation method because the zakat nisab was determined using the mudd, sâ‘, and wasq scales in the time of the Prophet (PBUH). Moreover, medium-sized human hands, which are the bases for determining the mudd, vary among regions. In our study, we found the average volume of mudd of those with medium-sized hands as 390 g, whereas it was 650 g in the mudd measurements made by the Saudi ulema. A significant difference emerged between the two measurements. In this case, there will be uncertainty about which one to take as the basis.
The zakat nisab of agricultural products is determined in volume measurement units. However, some products, such as cotton and saffron, are not measured by volume measures. Different views on how to determine the zakat nisab of such products are reviewed in the article.
According to Abu Yusuf, agricultural products that are not measured with a wasq are subject to zakat when their nisab value reaches the nisab value of the grain with the lowest price. Moreover, for Imam Muhammad, the nisab is determined on the basis of the largest measurement unit in which they are measured. In our opinion, Abu Yusuf’s view on this issue is preferable because the volume measurement units differ among regions. Therefore, based on the opinion of Imam Muhammad, the zakat nisab will vary among regions. In addition, Abu Yusuf’s opinion should be preferred in terms of determining standard amounts for the zakat nisab. However, as Qaradâwî and Zakat House Kuwait stated, it would be more accurate to take the product with a medium value as the basis because Islam observes the rights of property owners as well as the poor.