How much is the Nisab for Zakat this year 2017 CE/1438 H
By: Sheikh Aslam Abuismaeel
How much is the Nisab for Zakat this year?
In the time of the Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w) Gold Dinar and Silver Durham were the currency of the people so he set 20 Dinar (85g of Gold) and 200 Dirham (about 595g of silver) as their Nisab. Since today we have a different currency that is neither gold or silver, the Nisab of today’s currency will be the equivalent value of the Nisab of Gold or Silver in our currency. The currency equivalent of the Nisab of gold today is $54/gram x 85 grams = $AUD4590. The currency equivalent of the Nisab of silver today is $0.75/gram x 595grams = $AUD446 rounded off to nearest dollar.
So do we use equivalent Nisab of gold or of silver for currency Nisab since there is a big difference between the two?
Some scholars said use that of gold while others said use that of silver.
Which is the correct opinion?
The strongest most consistent with goals of the Shareeah out of these two opinions is to use the equivalent of the Nisab of silver for currency.
The Reason this is the strongest opinion:
This is because the purpose of Zakat is to benefit the poor without hurting the ones giving it. Taking the Nisab of Silver as the standard for currency is the one that will benefit the poor since more Muslims will own that amount and thus give Zakat to help the poor. Yet at the same time since Zakat is only one dollar in every forty dollars, it will not harm the person giving zakat. So no one gets harmed while more poor people benefit taking Silver Nisab as the standard for currency.
A second important reason to take silver nisab ($446) for currency instead of gold nisab ($4590) is to be on the safe side. Since Zakat is a pillar of Islam, if you only gave zakat for savings above $4590 while zakat was actually meant to be given for the lesser Nisab of $446, then that means you may have missed observing the pillar of Islam and all that to save just a few dollars!! Remember the zakat of $446 is only $11.15 ie less than the price of one Fast food kebab meal!!
For these two reasons, many great scholars have said Nisab of currency is Nisab of silver.
The Nisab of silver today in May 2017 is $AUD446. And zakat on that is $11.15 only.
May Allah bless our wealth and help the poor, Ameen.