Nisaab of Zakaat

Q: A young Mufti (scholar) said to calculate zakaat based on gold. Now he changed his ruling and says to give it based on silver. So, based on gold, the zakat was 3000$. Today when he told the people to do it based on silver, todays silver price was 500$. So what must the people do on paid zakaat, count what is paid on gold as okay and from here on pay of silver?

A: One who possesses no zakaatable assets besides gold will obviously calculate his zakaat in accordance to the nisaab of gold. Similarly will be the case of one who has only silver. However, one who possesses both gold and silver or any other zakaatable assets will base his calculation on the nisaab that is the lesser in value. In contemporary times the nisaab of silver is less. Hence, zakaat will be calculated based on the nisaab of silver.
Those who had discharged their zakaat previously based on the nisaab of gold, their zakaat has been discharged and valid. As a precautionary measure, those who had less than $3000 of zakaatable assets but more than $500 should pay their zakaat for the previous years.

( نصاب الذهب عشرون مثقالا والفضة مئتا درهم كل عشرة ) دراهم ( وزن سبعة مثاقيل )، ( الدر المختار 2/295)

وفي البدائع أيضا أن ما ذكر من وجوب الضم إذا لم يكن كل واحد منهما نصابا بأن كان أقل فلو كان كل منهما نصابا تاما بدون زيادة لا يجب الضم بل ينبغي أن يؤدي من كل واحد زكاته فلو ضم حتى يؤدي كله من الذهب أو الفضة فلا بأس به عندنا ولكن يجب أن يكون التقويم بما هو أنفع للفقراء رواجا وإلا يؤدي من كل منهما ربع عشره ( رد المحتار 2/303)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)