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The Fatwas delivered by the First Zakah Conference (held in Kuwait Rajab 29, 1404 A.H. / April 3, 1984 A.D.)

Zakah on the companies capital
Zakah is due on joint stock companies in the following cases:
  • If a law is passed and it obliges the companies to give Zakah.
  • If the main system of the company includes an article which stipulates giving Zakah on its capital.

  • If the general assembly of the company issues a decree in this regard.
  • If the share-holders agree that the company should give Zakah on their behalf.

It is rather better for the company to give Zakah on its capital. If it does not pay, the committee recommends that the company should calculate the amount of Zakah due on its capital and issue an addendum to its balance sheet which states the amount of Zakah due on each share.

Zakah on shares

If a Company pays Zakah on its shares, a shareholder is not required to pay Zakah on his shares once again. If it does not, the shareholder must pay Zakah as follows.

How to calculate the amount of Zakah due on companies' shares?

If the company pays Zakah, it will calculate its amount as an ordinary person would do. Zakah will be calculated according to the nature and type of possessions. If the company does not pay Zakah, a shareholder must pay Zakah due on his shares by following any of these two methods:

If one buys his shares for trade purposes, Zakah is due at a rate of 2.5% of their market value as followed when calculating Zakah due on commercial goods.

If one buys shares in order to make use of their annual revenues, Zakah is calculated as follows:

  1. If one can know from the company the amount of Zakah due on his shares, Zakah is to be given at a rate of 2.5%.

  2. If he cannot know, there are two different opinions:
  • The majority of scholars hold that the shareholder should add the revenues of his shares to the rest of his possessions and give Zakah at a rate of 2.5% on all his money.

  • Some other scholars hold that he should give 10% of the total revenues after receipt as followed in calculating Zakah on crops and fruits.

Second: Zakah on exploited items

Exploited items refer to factories, buildings, cars and machines intended for rent and not for trade. The Fatwa Committee holds that no Zakah is due on these items, but it is due on their revenues. There are different opinions on how to give Zakah on such revenues. The majority of members hold that these revenues are to be added to the other items possessed by their owners such as money and goods. A rate of 2.5% will be paid as Zakah on them.

On the other hand, some members hold that Zakah is due on the net revenues which exceed the owner's basic needs after deducting costs and rate of consumption. Rate of Zakah will be 10% as followed in calculating Zakah on crops and fruits.

Zakah on wages and salaries

Such money is the revenues of a man's work like workers' wages, employees' salaries and doctors and engineers' remuneration etc. Most members of the conference hold that no Zakah is due on such wages upon receiving them. One should add such wages to his own money and pay Zakah on them all if they reach the allotted Nisab and after they remain in one's possession for a complete year. If he receives any wages during the year, Zakah is to be paid at the end of it. Such year starts from the very day on which one's money has reached the allotted Nisab. In such case, the rate of Zakah is 2.5% annually. Some of the conference members hold that Zakah is to be paid on such wages upon receipt if they reach the allotted Nisab after fulfilling one's basic needs and no debt is entailed on him. If one pays Zakah on his wages upon receipt, he is not obliged to pay it once again upon the completion of a year. It is also permissible to calculate Zakah due on one's wages and give it along with his other kinds of property.

Fourth: Zakah on usurious deposits, securities and ill-gotten money

As for usurious securities and deposits, Zakah is due on their original values with a rate of 2.5%. No Zakah is due on the usurious interests because they are ill-gotten money that a Muslim should avoid. Such money should be spent in charitable channels and for Muslims' public interests except for building mosques or printing Qur'anic texts. As for looted or stolen money, no Zakah is due on it, but it should be returned to its real owner.

Fifth: The lunar calendar

The lunar calendar should be taken into consideration when calculating Zakah money. The Fatwa Committee recommends that individuals, companies and financial institutions should adopt the lunar calendar as a basis for preparing the balance sheet, or at least that they should prepare a special Zakah balance sheet according to the lunar calendar. If there is difficulty in this matter and the balance sheet was prepared according to the solar calendar, the difference between the two calendars should be taken into account. As the solar calendar is little longer than the lunar one, rate of Zakah will be approximately 2.577%.

Sixth: Investment debt and Zakah

If a debtor uses debt in trade purposes, it is not to be calculated as part of money on which Zakah is due. If it is used in buying houses or machines for possession, the committee pays the Jurists' attention that the issue should be carefully studied. That is because there is a legal opinion that debt is a reason for not paying Zakah on its equivalent value. Thus, many people, companies and organizations will not give Zakah under this pretext although they achieve good profits.

The committee holds the opinion adopted by jurists who believe that if the debt is postponed, it is not an excuse for not paying Zakah. Yet, the whole affair needs further study.

The committee recommends that next conferences resume their study of the issues that may arise in this regard which have not been studied by this conference.

Finally, the committee calls for paying attention to the importance of Zakah and its rules in all economic and social applications.

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