Assessing the Nisaab of bank notes

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  • Publish date:05/01/2011
  • Section:FATWA FOR ALL
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How do we make Nisaab on paper money? What I searched is that you have to pay Zakat on paper money equal to 606 gram of chandi (silver). Now, I am confused regarding Nisaab. I am getting a monthly salary of 80,000 rupees. Suppose now I have 150,000 in the bank (without ribaa) and I spend my money for my daily needs and during the year sometime it has been more than 150,000 and sometimes less than that and after one lunar year I have only 45,000 (at start of year it was 150,00 rupees). How would I make my Nisaab to give Zakat. Thank you.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam is His slave and Messenger.

We have already issued many Fataawa clarifying that the Nisaab (i.e. the minimum amount liable for Zakat) for bank notes is the equivalent of 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver.

Determining the Nisaab based on gold is preferred over determining it based on silver, that is because the scholars  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them though they agreed that the Nisaab for silver is 200 Dirhams, they differed in determining the weight of a Dirham and subsequently differed in determining the final value of Nisaab for silver by grams. On the other hand, the scholars  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them agreed that the Nisaab for gold is 20 Mithqaal (a measure which is equivalent to 85 grams of pure gold, 1 Mithqaal = 4.25 grams), and they agreed about the weight of 1 Mithqaal, and thus, made it easy to accurately determine the Nisaab for gold by grams.

Therefore, it is more appropriate for you to assess the Nisaab for your bank notes based on gold rather than silver.

Furthermore, the best way of paying the Zakat on money is by determining a time for paying the Zakat of one’s wealth annually, starting after a whole lunar year passes from the time of owning the Nisaab. Then, every year, he pays his Zakat in the same time, upon all types of wealth which are liable for Zakat and met Nisaab requirements. 

One should pay Zakat on the entire amount whether it increased, during that year, or decreased from the start up amount. What really matter is fulfilling the prerequisite of Nisaab even if one gets more money after the beginning of the lunar year. This method of calculation is to the benefit of the poor and easier in calculation.

Allah knows best. 

Answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb


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