Nisaab gold or silver.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalam Alaikum. In answer to many of your questions, you have mentioned the nisab to be US$1,000 (will vary as per market price of gold) based on price of gold. Some ulema in our place insist that nisab should be based on value of Silver the price of which is much much lower. We are working on a project to give enough zakat money to the poor and needy so that he/ she can use it (through a guidance and monitoring mechanism) to improve his/her family`s economic condition forever. The maximum amount that can be given should be such that the recipient remains below nisab, as insisted by one Alim who concurs with the view that such beneficiaries` nisab should be based on Silver and not gold. What`s the correct opinion about this? 


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Nisaab gold or silver

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Depending on the economic situation of the land, the authorities in the land are well within their rights in Shariah to determine the ‘nisaab’ above which one would be liable to pay their annual ‘zakah’.  There is evidence in the authentic and established Sunnah, and in the practice of the times of the rightly-guided Khalifahs that the ‘nisaab’ for ‘zakah’ determinations were based on either, 7.5 tolas (appx. 85 grams) of gold or 52 tolas (appx. 590 grams) of silver.


Thus if the Islamic government of the land, or in its absence a believer decides or determines to base the determination of ‘nisaab’ upon silver rather than on gold, there is absolutely no harm and perfectly within the boundaries of Shariah.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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