Date : 22-11-2011

Question :

I`m a trader and I lease a citrus farm for five years in return for (1000)JDs per year, and I make (20000)JDs as annual profit. However, I pay for expenses such as fertilizers, security, irrigation, pesticide, and the like. Could you clarify the amount of Zakah due on me, and whether I should deduct the costs before I calculate the Zakah or not?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
There is a consensus among jurists that dates and grapes are liable for Zakah(obligatory charity), but they disagreed about other fruits. The majority said that fruits, such as oranges and the like, aren`t liable for Zakah because there are Prophetic narrations that support this view. One of these is what Imam Ahmed narrated in his {Musnad, (16/314)} : Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari and Mu'adh (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to them, “Do not take any Zakah except on these four crops: barley, wheat, raisins and dates.”{Related by At-Tabarani and Al-Hakim}.
In addition, it was stated in {Moghni al-Mohtajj, (2/82)}:" Products that are consumed for sustenance, such as peaches, pomegranate, figs, almonds, coconut, apples, and apricot, aren`t liable for Zakah." Moreover, it was stated in {Al-Modawanah, (1/341)}: "Malik stated: all types of fruits as well as their value aren`t liable for Zakah/ not Zakatable." Also, Ibn Qodamah stated: "All kinds of fruits, such as peaches, pears, apples, apricots, and figs, aren`t liable for Zakah."{Al-Moghni, (3/4)}.
On the other hand, the Hanafi jurists are of the view that Zakah is due on what comes out of land: crops and fruits. Al-Imam Al-Zai`laie stated: One-tenth of the production should be given for Zakah on what comes out of land, whether it was watered naturally or with equipments, and Nissab (minimum amount liable for Zakah) isn`t a condition , nor if the product can`t be stored. Not only that, but Zakah is also due on vegetables."{Tab`ieen al-Haqai`q Shareh Kanz al-Daka`ik, (1/291)}.
Based on the view of the majority of the Muslim jurist, citrus fruits aren't liable for Zakah, but if you give some of it then it is considered voluntary charity, and Allah will reward you for it. However, if the production was meant to be sold then it is liable for Zakah due on items of merchandise. And Allah knows best.