Muslim scholars have agreed that Zakah is obligatory on camels, cattle, and sheep that are used as livestock and reach the Nisab (the minimum amount on which Zakah is due), which is five for camels, thirty for cows, and forty for sheep. Livestock refers to animals that graze in the open, as opposed to those that are stall-fed or working animals on which scholars differ about the obligation of paying Zakah. Most of the scholars believe that there is no Zakah due on stall-fed or working animals, as is
Bahz Ibn Hakim from his father from his grandfather who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, "For every forty grazing camels, one Bint Labun (a two-year-old she-camel) is to be given (as Zakah)…"
This Hadith made Zakah obligatory on the camels that are grazing freely, not for the stall-fed ones. As for the working animals, (Part No. 9; Page No. 203) we apply the Hadith related on the authority of
`Aly (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
No Zakah is payable on working animals.
Malik and a group of other scholars were of the opinion that Zakah is obligatory on stall-fed and working livestock, based on general evidence
Anas ibn Malik who said that
Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with them)
wrote him the following words when he sent him to (collect the Zakah from)
Bahrain: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. These are the orders for the Zakah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) made obligatory on every Muslim, and which Allah ordered His Messenger (peace be upon him) to observe. Any Muslim who is asked to pay it should pay it and any Muslim who is asked for more than this should not pay it. If there are twenty-four camels or less, one sheep is to be paid for every five camels; between twenty-five to thirty-five camels, one Bint Makhad (a one-year-old she-camel) is to be paid, and if not, Ibn Labun (a one-year-old he-camel) is to be paid; and if they are between thirty-six to forty-five, one Bint Labun (a two-year-old she-camel) is to be paid; and if they are between forty-six to sixty, one Hiqqah (a three-year-old she-camel) which is ready to mate is to be paid; and if the number is between sixty-one to seventy-five, one Jadh‘ah (a four-year-old she-camel) is to be paid; and if the number is between seventy-six to ninety, two Bint Labun are to be paid; and if they are from ninety-one to one-hundred-and twenty, two Hiqqah which are ready to mate are to be paid; and if there are over one-hundred and-twenty, for every forty (over one-hundred-and-twenty) one Bint Labun is to be paid, and for every fifty camels (over one-hundred-and-twenty) one Hiqqah is to be paid; and any Muslim who has only four camels, has to pay no Zakah, but if the owner of these four camels wants to give something, they can...
This Hadith does not refer to grazing animals. Thus, the sound opinion is that of the majority of scholars, as the Hadith narrated by
Anas (Part No. 9; Page No. 204) includes an absolute ruling while the two Hadith narrated by
`Aly include a restricted ruling and the famous juristic rule says: "The absolute ruling overcomes the restricted ruling."May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.