Fruits and Other Crops Counted for Zakah
According to Abu Hanifah and other jurists who stuck to the outward meanings of the related Qur'anic and Sunnah texts, Zakah is due on all crops and fruits grown with the aim of investing the arable land. A Qur'anic verse says, "O ye who believe! Give of the good things which ye have (honorably) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you." (Surah Al-Baqarah No.2, Verse: 267). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "One-tithe is due as Zakah on plantations irrigated by the water of rain or springs, or which draw water from the inner layers of the earth (by its roots), and half of one-tithe is due as Zakah on the plantations irrigated by tools."
However, plants that grow without human efforts, such as wood trees, grass, reeds ... etc. are not counted for Zakah, unless they are intended to be invested in trade. In such case they will be treated in the same way as commercial commodities.
Zakah on Agricultural Products
Agricultural products are not counted for Zakah unless they are intended to be invested in trade. In such case they are treated in the same way as the commercial commodities.
The Amounts of Crops and Fruits Counted for Zakah
According to a genuine hadith, "A quantity less than five Wasqs is not counted for Zakah." Now the five Wasqs equal 653 Kilograms of wheat or other grains. The payer of Zakah should pay attention to the various weights of the different kinds of foodstuff. The Nisab of dried food should be calculated after not before the process of drying is complete.
The Time When Zakah on Crops and Fruits Falls Due
Unlike other kinds of property, Zakah on crops and fruits does not become due after the lapse of a full year since reaching the Nisab. Rather, the determining factor here is the agricultural season and the crop. This is confirmed by the Qur'anic verse, "But render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered." (Surah Al-An`am No. 6, Verse: 141).
Thus, Zakah will be due on each crop produced by the land at the same year.
The time when Zakah on crops and fruits becomes due begins when they are ripe. However, crops and fruits should first be gathered and piled in the threshing floor. Thus in case the yield is wasted before piling, unintentionally or due not to negligence, no Zakah is due on it. Zakah on crops and fruits, however, is due on the owner who sells the ripe yield of his land or gives it in donation or the one who dies after the crops are ripe. But in case the owner dies before the crops are ripe, Zakah will be incumbent on the buyer or the donee or the heir of the owner.
The Estimation of Zakah on Crops and Fruits
The amount of Zakah payable on crops and fruits varies according to costs spent and effort exerted in irrigation as follows:
- In case of costless, comfortable irrigation the amount of Zakah would be 10%.
- In case of irrigation with the aid of a costly method, such as digging a well and bringing up water automatically, or buying water, the amount of Zakah would be 5%.
- In case irrigation includes the two probabilities, the amount of Zakah would be estimated according to the major method of irrigation. But in case of equality, a fixed amount of 7.5% of Zakah would be given.
- When it is difficult to decide, an amount of 10% of Zakah would be paid.
Approximate Estimation of the Amount of Zakah Due on Fruits and Other Crops
Sometimes the owner of fruits and other crops has no time to estimate the yield of his land by measuring. In such case he is permitted to have this yield estimated by an expert and pay the amount of Zakah accordingly. According to Al-Awza`i and Al-Laith, this method of estimation can be applied to all kinds of fruits and crops. Estimating the amount of Zakah is carried out after the fruits and other crops are ripe, while paying it is performed after the process of drying (as in the case of dates and raisins). An amount of one-forth or one-third is to be exempted from the obligation of paying Zakah and left for the benefit of the owner. This is to be left to the expert's discretion.
The Amount of Crops and Fruits Exempted from Zakah
The owner of crops and fruits is not obliged to pay Zakah on the following:
a) The amount consumed by the owner while the crops or fruits are still raw.
b) The amount consumed by the beasts utilized in cultivation.
c) The amount consumed by the wayfarers.
d) The amounts donated as a charity.
Deducting the expenditures of cultivation
According to Ibn `Abbas and other jurists, all expenditures of ploughing, planting, fertilizing, and harvesting are to be deducted from the total amount counted for Zakah, provided that these expenditures do not exceed the rate of one-third.
Zakah on Crops and Fruits Produced on a Leased Land
A lessee of a land has to pay Zakah on its produce of fruits and other crops. The owner of the land, on the other hand, will add the leasing value to other cash money in his possession and pay Zakah on them at the rate of 2.5%.
In case the produce of land is shared due to a contract or crop-sharing (which implies that the owner appoints another person to take care of cultivating or irrigating the land in return for a portion of its yield), the Zakah is due on both parties once the yield reaches the Nisab.
General Rules Concerning Zakah on Crops and Fruits
1. Crops and fruits of like kind are to be added and estimated together, while those of different kinds, like fruits and vegetables, are to be estimated separately.
2. In case the crop varies in quality, Zakah is given on the basis of the average, but not lesser, rate.
3. The value of plantations grown in different soils are to be added together, so long as they belong to the same owner.
4. Though the owner of land should pay Zakah from the crop, some scholars maintain that it is permissible to pay it in cash according to the market value.