Zakat on Personal Jewelry





Assalamu alaikum WRWB,

HADITH - 12 CLASS - Fiqh

From Ummu Salamah (RA), who used to wear a bright [jewelry] made of gold. She said: "Oh Messenger of Allah, Is it [the jewelry] a treasure? He (SAW) replied, "If you give out its Zakat, then it is not a treasure". (Abu Dawud, Daraqutniy).

Zakat is paid out on money-gold,silver and according to most opinions paper money. Zakat of gold/silver become necessary with the conditions that:

1.     Their weight has reached a certain minimum, Nisaab.

2.    At least, the Nisaab is fully owned by the individual.

3.    That the Nisaab has been with the individual for at least one year.

The Nisaab for gold is 20 dinars and for silver is 200 dirhams. A dinar of gold equals in weight 72 medium sized wheat grains, while a dirham of silver equals 52.4 medium sized
wheat grains; that is gold Nisaab weight equals 1440 medium sized wheat grains, and silver Nisaab weight equals 10480 medium sized wheat grains. In principle, an individual who satisfies above is mandatorily required to give out 2.5 per cent of the money - gold, silver or paper money equivalent - annually as Zakat. But is the individual also required to pay out Zakat on his/her personal jewelry, used for adornment not for business?

Allah SWT says:

"And there are those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah. Announce unto them a most grievous chastisement....on the day when it will be heated in the fire of hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs. This is the [treasure] which you hoarded for yourselves, taste ye then, the [treasure] ye hoarded". (9:34,35)

In the textual hadith above, Ummu Salamah (RA) clarified on whether personal jewelry is similar to treasure as used in the verse above. Zakat on it is implied by the prophet, in his reply, to be necessary.

In another narration, Amr Ibn Shuaibu reported: "That a woman with her daughter, the latter wearing two gold bracelets in her hand, came to the prophet (SAW). He said: "Do you pay zakat on them". She said: "No". He said: "Do you want Allah to make you wear bracelets of fire on the day of judgement? She then cast them away". The hadith has been brought in other narrations with slight variations.

In a similar theme, A'ishah (RA), herself, reported that she entered upon the messenger of Allah SAW who saw in her hands silver earrings and he asked her about them and she replied: "I made them to beautify myself for you, Oh Messenger of Allah". He said:  "Did you pay Zakat on them" and she replied "No". Then He said: "Their punishment in hell fire is enough for you".

Based on the foregoing, some ulama - Abu Hanifa, Ibn Hazm and Hadawiyah sect, etc. opined that Zakat is necessary on personal jewelry used for adornment. They hold that its Nisaab should be as for gold/silver, as stated above. Yet others agree with the above, but hold that Zakat should be given once only, rather annually.

On the other hand, there are precedents from Sahaba that imply, no zakat is warranted on jewelry. Once Jabir Ibn Abdullah was asked about [zakat] of jewlry; he replied none is needed even if it surpasses 1000 dinars. Similarly, it has been reported that Asmau bint Abubakar (RA) used to adorn her daughters with gold without paying zakat. It is related from Muwatta that A'ishah used to take care of her nieces ,who were orphans under her protection, and adorned them with jewelry without paying its zakat. Also reported from Muwatta is that 'Abdullah Ibn Umar used to adorn his daughters and slave girls with gold without paying out zakat. Malik, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Shafie ,in one of his opinions, hold that there is no Zakat on women's jewelry regardless of its value. In this regard most of the Maliki scholars also contend that no zakat is to be given for jewelry used for adornment by women. Sayyid Sabiq concluded that Al-Khattabi said it is better to pay zakat to be on the safer side.

The prophet SAW is reported to have cautioned a sahabi who had worn a gold ring; He said, "How do I see you with the adornment of Ahl Jannah before you enter it". Islam generally abhors gold adornment for men i.e. rings, watches, jewelry, etc. Scholars have opined that whenever men use gold jewelry, or both men and women use forbidden items like gold or silver utencils [plates, spoons etc.]; Zakat should mandatorily be paid, like the case of gold/silver used for business or held as stock.

Allah (SWT) knows best.



NB: It would be very helpful if someone could provide us with the actual gold weights for Nisaab in grams or ounces, and also the monetary equivalent of the Nisaab in naira and American dollar. There probably should be a periodic update - in both Nigeria and on NMN - on these values, which are not static. Perhaps NMN or the education/awareness
committee of NMF should consider this task as values for related things like zakat, dowry, diya, etc. are dynamic.

1.    Quran 9:34-35.Yusuf Alis translation.
2.    Subulus Salaam [Sharh of Bulugul Maram] by Muhammad Ismail As-sananiyyi, Vol. 2, Hadiths 579-580, pg. 270-1.
3.    Fiqhus Sunnah by Sayyid Sabiq, Vol. 1, pg 330-331.
4.    Ashalil Madarik [Sharh Irshadus Salik] by Abu Bakr Ibn Husain,  Vol. 1, pg 366-9.