Q1. How much is nisab of zakat during the year?
According to an announcement made by the State Bank of Pakistan, the nisab had been set at Rs 33,641 for the month of Ramzan in 2015. This amount would be deducted from bank accounts at the start of the month. Basically, 2.5% nisab-e-zakat would be deducted from accounts holding Rs 33,641 or more.
A useful assessment of zakat on some of the assets like gold, silver, property etc can be calculated using the Zakat Calculator. It can be found on the following link:
Followers of fiqh Jafferiya are not under an obligation to pay zakat on assets such as gold and silver, paper currency, life insurance policies, bank accounts, securities and funds as per the provisions of Zakat and Ushr Ordinace 1908. They are required to fill in form CZ-50, which is to be put on stamp paper and duly notarized. This form needs to be submitted to the bank one month before the commencement of Ramzan. The form can be downloaded from the link below:
Q2. What is nisab?
Nisab can be simply defined as the minimum criterion of richness i.e. if a person has money or goods equal to nisab, other than the person’s debts and essential needs, a person is considered to be rich in terms of religion. Such a person is obliged to give fitrah.
A person who has zakat-able assets equivalent to or more than the nisab after deducting liabilities will qualify as a nisab holder.
Q3. When is zakat deducted and by whom is it deducted?
Zakat is deducted on the 1st of Ramzan (every year) on Profit and Loss Sharing accounts. Zakat deducting agencies include the banks offices, centers or financial institutions.
Q4. What is the zakat and ushr system in the country?
The zakat and ushar system is governed by the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 1980 which sets down the procedure.
Various tiers of the zakat system are:
- Provincial Zakat Administration
- Divisional Zakat offices
- District Zakat Committee
- Local Zakat Committee
The Provincial Zakat Council transfers funds to District Zakat Committees and institutions in Punjab. Then, the District Zakat Committee transfers funds to Local Zakat Committees and institutions in the respective district. Finally, the Local Zakat Committees and institutions distribute zakat funds among the deserving people.
Ushr is charged and collected on a compulsory basis from every land owner, guarantee, lessee, lease holder or land holder. An individual is not liable to pay ushr if the person is eligible under Islamic law to receive zakat or if the produce from the person’s land is less than five wasqs i.e. 948 kilograms of wheat.
Ushr has to be collected in cash. The Provincial Revenue Department is responsible for assessing and collecting ushr in respect of a landowner, guarantee, lessee, lease holder or landholder.
Several rules also exist pertaining to zakat and ushr collection, such as:
- The Zakat Collection and Refund Rules, 1981
- The Accounting Procedure for Punjab Provincial Zakat Fund
- The Ushr (Assessment and Collection) Rules, 1994
- The Punjab Zakat Council( Procedure) Rules, 1993
Q5. What is the role of Local Zakat Commitees?
They are responsible for the determination of istehqaq and distribution of zakat funds among the needy Muslim citizens of Pakistan living under the poverty line.
Q6. What are the various programs under which zakat is distributed?
Zakat is distributed under the following programs:
- Guzara Allowance
- Guzara Allowance for the blind
- Educational Stipends (General)
- Educational Stipends to the students of madrassas
- Health Care
- Marriage Assistance
- Educational Stipends (Technical)