The basic rule is that Zakah should be paid from the kind of wealth on which it is payable. For example, the Zakah of money should be paid in the form of money, the Zakah of cattle should be of it, and the Zakah of a commercial commodity should be of it. However, when the interest for the poor is verified, it is permissible to pay Zakah in cash, such as paying the Zakah payable on gold in cash after calculating its value at the end of the Hawl (one lunar year calculated from the time a property reaches the minimum amount on which Zakah is payable). The reason for this is that it is more beneficial to the poor and the Council has already issued a Fatwa to this effect, stating:Decision no. 98, dated 6/11/1402 A.H."All Praise is due to Allah. May Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.The Council of Senior Scholars, during the twentieth session, held in the city of
Al-Ta'if from 24/10/1402 A.H. to (Part No. 8; Page No. 7) 7/11/1402 A.H., reviewed the letter of His Royal Highness, Deputy Prime Minister, no. 22848, dated 27/9/1402 A.H. In which His Royal Highness asked about the legal ruling on the payment of Zakah payable on grains and fruits in cash instead of paying it from the same kind of wealth on which Zakah is payable. The Council also reviewed the letter sent by His Highness, the Deputy Minister of Interior no. 42234, dated 22/9/1402 A.H. on the Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) of the judge of
Al-Ghat stating the permissibility of paying (Zakah) in banknotes instead of grains and fruits. The Council also reviewed the letter of His Excellency, Minister of Justice, no. 258/1/F, dated 26/6/1402 A.H. Concerning the case referred to His Excellency by chief of Al-Qasim courts in this regard. The Council reviewed what we mentioned and consulted some statements of scholars, taking into consideration that the obligation of Zakah is enacted for many legal interests, such as supporting the poor, meeting their needs, and purifying the rich. Then, after elaborate consideration and counsel about the practice of the early Muslims during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and during the era of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and their successors, we found that value was accepted in some cases when the due kind of Zakah was not available. Therefore the Council of Senior Scholars unanimously decidesthe following:
The basic rule is that Zakah shall be paid from the same kind of wealth on which it is payable. This is according to the textual evidence reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) concerning the details of the kinds of wealth on which Zakah is payable and the clarification of the amount of Zakah that should be paid according to one's ability. (Part No. 8; Page No. 8) The Council also decides, by the agreement of the majority, that it is permissible to pay the value of the due amount of Zakah when it is difficult for the owner to pay Zakah of the same kind of money on which Zakah is payable, provided that there will be no harm for the poor as a result of this treatment. For example, if someone pays Zakah payable on camels but they don't have sheep and it is hard for them to get them. Likewise, when it is beneficial for the poor to pay the value as when it is inconvenient for them to take Zakah in the same kind of wealth on which it is payable [i.e. taking camels, sheep, or crops as they may not have a place/provision/means of transport, and so on,] such as being in a place where it is difficult for them to take it in kind. Similarly, a farmer may sell the whole harvest, thus, it will be permissible for him to pay Zakah from the price he received."May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.