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Are you a professional with an income that sufficient to cover all of your and your family’s living expenses? Are you a staff with income above the government poverty line? If yes, you must cleanse your income by giving a portion of the income as a mandatory Islamic charitable giving (zakat). The contemporary scholars in Islamic jurisprudence agreed that one’s income is zakatable if the income is over the threshold (nisab). The zakat will purify the income and bring blessings to the person and his/her family. The zakat on professional income is enacted by using the analogy (qiyas) of zakat on farming income. Our human civilization is growing fast. Jobs and occupations are becoming more specialized and diverse. Therefore, the application of zakat on professional income is expanded.
The main purpose of zakat is to purify one’s possessions by distributing a portion of the possessions to impoverished people. Zakat is an instrument of social-economic justice in Islam. “And, from their possessions were given the right of the needy petitioner and the deprived” (Adh-Dhariyat:19).
Zakat and Social Justice in Islam
Your Zakat Al-Fitr is not Sufficient
These are scholars who state zakat on professional income is mandatory:
1. Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (Egypt-Qatar)
Dr. Yusuf Qaradawi is a famous scholar who made the zakat on professional income became popular. On his magnum opus titled Fiqhu Az-Zakah at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, he wrote a special chapter of zakat on professional income(زكاة كسب العمل و المـهن الحرة). However, Dr. Qaradawi was not the pioneer of this topic. There are Abdurrahman Hasan, Syeikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah, and Abdulwahhab Khalaf who introduced the fiqh of zakat on professional income. Dr. Qaradawi reputation in Islamic jurisprudence makes the fiqh of zakat more well-known in the Islamic world.
His view on professional income is the zakat should be deduct from the income after a paycheck is cashed (if the income is equal or over the threshold (nisab) after the person’s liabilities). Zakat on professional income can be paid daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. This view is different with previous scholars who say that the zakat must reach one year possession (haul) before it is paid.
2. Dr. Abdul Wahhab Khalaf dan Syeikh Abu Zarhah (Egypt)
Oh his Fiqhu Az-Zakah, Dr. Qaradawi states that his view on the zakat on professional income is not the first. Some scholars before him, such as Abdul Wahhab Khalaf and Abu Zahrah, already discussed the topic. At the courses at Al-Azhar University, the scholars said that zakat on professional income is a mandatory for professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, public notaries, journalists, and researchers. In addition, the scholars give the requirement of one year possession of the zakatable income. They say, “Zakat on professional income is deducted if the income is owned for a year and reached the threshold (nisab) (أما كسب العمل والمهن فإنه يؤخذ منه زكاة إن مضى عليه حَوْلٌ وبلغ نِصَبا).”
The scholars view is more likely zakat on savings and investments than zakat on professional income, so they apply one year possession of the income. They do not use analogy of zakat on farming income that does not require a year ownership to the income.
Calculate your zakat by using our zakat calculator!
3. Muhammad Al-Ghazali (Egypt)
On his fatwa, Dr. Muhammad Al-Ghazali, a famous scholar of hadith, states that professionals or employees who get income more than the income of farmers should pay zakat on their income. As a result, physicians, lawyers, engineers, traders, government employees, etc. should pay zakat on their income.
4. Muhammadiyah’s Council of Tarjih (Indonesia)
At their 25th national assembly, the Muhammadiyah’s Council of Tarjih ruled that zakat on professional income is a mandatory, the threshold on the zakat is 85 grams of gold, and the amount of the zakat is 2.5%.
How to calculate zakat on professional income?
Islam in a religion that encourages its believers to manage their personal finances. Calculating all the person’s assets and liabilities is very important to determine how much zakat on the person’s income. Got your a pencil and a sheet of paper to calculate your zakat!
1. Calculate all of your assets and liabilities on your paycheck period. You can calculate the zakat monthly, quarterly, or annually.
2. If you have a positive “bottom line” or net income or net worth and your net worth is equal or more than the threshold (nisab), you should deduct zakat from your income. The threshold (nisab) of the zakatable income is the value of 520 kg rice (or 1,147 lbs). If you consume Jasmine rice on your daily basis, so your threshold is based on the price of Jasmine rice. Let say that the price of Jasmine rice is $1.76/kg (or 80 cents/lbs), so your nisab is $917.60.
If your bottom line is negative or below the nisab, you may be eligible to be a recipient of zakat (mustahik). Please contact local masjids or Islamic charity organization for an assistance.
3. Multiple your bottom line by 2.5%. The result is the amount of zakat that you owe to the impoverished people. Purify your wealth by giving the zakat to them.
4. Pay your zakat directly or to Islamic charitable organizations. If you pay to an organization, you can set restrictions about how your zakat should be distributed. Your zakat is a trust (amanah). The organization should follow your guidance to distribute the amanah.
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