Question & Answer

What is the difference between Usher and Zakaat and what r the conditions under which these two become compulsory upon a man or woman?


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

We begin with Allah’s blessed name, we praise him and we glorify him, seek his forgiveness and ask him to guide us. Whoever Allah guides, None can lead astray and whoever he misguides, None can guide. There is no power and no strength except from Allah, The most high, the Most great, the most powerful. We bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers. We pray for peace and blessings on all the noble messengers and in particular on the last of them all “the blessed prophet Mohammad (pbuh)”


Zakah or alms tax can be defined as that portion of a man's wealth which is designated for the poor. The term is derived from the Arabic verbal root meaning "to increase." "to purify," and "to bless." It find its origin in Allah's command to:

"Take sadaqah (charity) from their property in order to purify and sanctify them" [9:103].

That is why this kind of sadaqah is called zakah, for by paying it, one is aspiring to attain blessing, purification, and the cultivation of good deeds.

In the early days of Islam at Makkah, no limit or restriction was placed on the amount to be donated, for that decision was left to the individual Muslim's conscience and generosity. In the second year of hijrah, according to the widely known authorities, both the type and the quantity of zakah revenues were determined, and detailed illustrations were provided.

There is different percentage for various things, but the standard rate of zakah, and this is undisputed in any faction of Islam, is 2.5%. This 2.5% zakat is to be paid on the net worth of an individual after that amount has been with you for one full year. Zakat is due only on the extra wealth that one has accumulated, minus the debts.


Allah has made zakah obligatory on plants and fruit, for He says:

"O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth" [2: 267].

Zakah is called expenditure (nafaqah). Giving the justification for paying zakah on produce, Allah says:

"He it is who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and the date palm and the crops of diverse flavors, and the olive, and the pomegranate, like and unlike. Eat of the fruit thereof when it produces fruit, and pay its due upon the harvest day" [alAn'am 141].

In his explanation of the word haqq (due) in the preceding 'ayah, Ibn 'Abbas says that by haqq is meant both the obligatory zakah and the 'ushr (tithe or 1/10 or 10%) and the half-tithe(1/5 or 5%).

Thus usher is paid on the things that are produced like, fruits, crops etc. and we do not have to wait for full year like that of general zakah but this zakah is given immediately after production of crops, fruits etc.

Malik said, "Mines are dealt with like crops, and the same procedure is applied to both. Zakat is deducted from what comes out of a mine on the day it comes out, without waiting for a year, just as a tenth(10%) is taken from a crop at the time it is harvested, without waiting for a year to elapse over it." MALIK MUWATTA[book:17, Hadith: 17.3.8]

If the land is irrigated by rain or natural water channels or if the land is wet due to a near by water channel then we have to pay 10% as zakah. However if land irrigated by the well then we have to pay 5% as zakah.

Narrated Salim bin 'Abdullah from his father: The Prophet said, "On a land irrigated by rain water or by natural water channels or if the land is wet due to a near by water channel Ushr (i.e. one-tenth) is compulsory (as Zakat); and on the land irrigated by the well, half of an Ushr (i.e. one-twentieth) is compulsory (as Zakat on the yield of the land)." BUKHARI[vol.:2, book:24, Hadith:560]

what r the conditions under which these two become compulsory upon a man or woman?

If the total net worth of any believer (man, woman, or child) is more than the prescribed 'nisaab' of 7.5 'tolas' of gold (app. 85 grams or app. Value US$2,500.00), then the person is liable to pay the obligatory annual 'zakah' of 2.5% on their excess wealth which has been in their possession for a full calendar year.

To determine 'zakah', the 'Net Excess Assets' would be the current market value of all of one's assets (properties, investments, jewelry, cash, etc.) except: Value of house actually one lives in, value of car one uses regularly, value of the furniture and fixtures one uses on a regular basis.

Zakatable asset = total excess net worth at the end of a lunar year -(minus) outstanding liabilities or loans

Zakat=2.50% (zakatable asset).

ushr becomes obligatory when a beliver has land that produces fruits,crops etc. And Allah alone knows the best.

I ask Allah to make this a sincere effort, seeking his pleasure, and I ask him to grant us refuge in him from the evils within ourselves, and that in our deeds. I ask him to grant us success in achieving whatever pleases him; And May Allah Shower His blessings and mercy upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his family and his Companions and on all those who follow him until the final hour.

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