Nisab of zakat on livestock, cows, and camels


Sa’imah, refers to that animal (livestock) which is left to graze freely for most of the year, and the aim is to only acquire its  milk and to  breed (i.e. take) its offspring, or to fatten it. [Tanweer, vol.2, pg.20]


If one brings home grass (hay) to feed it, or if the aim is to keep it (the animal) to carry loads, or for ploughing (etc.) or for any other such work, or to use it for riding, then in this case even if it spends its time grazing, it will not fall under the category of a Sa’imah, and Zakaat on it is not Waajib. Similarly, if it is kept to use its meat for eating, it is not Sa’imah, even though it may graze in the open (pastures etc). Likewise, an animal which is for trade purposes (business purposes), is also not counted as being Sa’imah, but its Zakaat will be paid based on its price (value). [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.20]


Law 1: If it grazes (freely) for six months and is fed hay for six months, it is not counted as Sa’imah, and if the intention was to feed it hay or to use it for some work, but one did not do this, and the year was completed, then the Zakaat on it is Waajib. Alternatively, if it was for trade (business) purposes, and it was kept grazing for six months or more, then until one does not make the Niyyat that it is Sa’imah, simply leaving it to graze (freely) will not qualify it as a Sa’imah. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.176/177]


Law 2: If it (the animal) was purchased for trade purposes, and was then made Sa’imah, the time of Zakaat is calculated from that time (when it was intended as Sa’imah), and not from the time when he purchased it. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.21]



Law 3: If before the completion of the year, the Sa’imah was sold in exchange of something, then if this commodity is something on which Zakaat is Waajib, and he did not have the Nisaab of that thing from previously, then the Zakaatable year for that commodity will commence from that time (when it came into his possession). [Durr-e- Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.21]


Law4: There is no Zakaat on an animal which is made Waqf (i.e. a Shar’i endowment), and on horses used for Jihad. Similarly, there is no Zakaat on a blind animal or an animal whose fore or rear legs are cut off (severed). However, if a blind animal lives on grazing, (Zakaat) on it is Waajib. Likewise, if there is shortage in the Nisaab, and one has a blind animal, that if adding it (to his assets) it will complete the Nisaab, then the Zakaat is Waajib. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.177/178; Shaami, vol.2, pg.21]


Zakaat is Waajib on three types (i.e. categories) of animals, on condition that they are Sa’imah:


  1. Camels
  2. Cows (Cattle)
  3. Goats (sheep fall in same category)


Hence, the remaining rules will be explained after explaining their Nisaab in detail.



It is in Sahihain (i.e. Bukhari & Muslim) from Abu Sa’eed Al Khudri ؓ

that Rasoolullah ﷺ said, ‘There is no Zakaat on less than five camels.’


The detailed explanation of this is present in that Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, which is reported by Hazrat Anas ؓ.


Law 1: Zakaat is not Waajib on less than five (5) camels, and when one has more than five (5) (camels), but less than twenty-five (25), then for every five (5), one (1) goat is Waajib (as Zakaat). In other words, for every five camels (below twenty-five) is one (1) goat, and if one has ten (10) camels then it is two goats (as Zakaat), based on this analogy. [General Books, Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.177]


Law 2: The goat (sheep) given as Zakaat must not be less than a year in age. One may give a buck/billy (i.e. male goat) or a doe/nanny (i.e. a female), the choice is his. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.22]


Law 3: That which is between two Nisaabs is ‘Afu’ (absolved, i.e. not Zakaatable), in other words, there is no Zakaat on that. For example, if one has seven or eight camels, the Zakaat is still one goat. (Meaning that if it is between five and ten it is still one goat. It will only become two after it reaches ten). [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.22]


Law 4: If one has twenty-five (25) camels then he will give (in Zakaat) one (1) Bint Makhadh, in other words, a baby she-camel which has reached one year of age and is in its second year. This ruling is applicable for up to thirty-five (35), meaning one Bint Makhadh will be given. If one has thirty-six (36) to forty-five (45) camels, then the Zakaat is one Bint Labun, meaning a baby she-camel which has



reached the age of two years, and is in its third year. For forty-six (46) to sixty (60) camels, one must give one ‘Hiqqah’, meaning a she- camel which has already reached the age of three and is in her fourth year. For sixty-one (61) to seventy-five (75) camels, one must give one Jaz’ah, meaning a four year she-female camel, which is in its fifth year. For seventy-six (71) to Ninety (90) camels, one must give two Bint Labun. For ninety-one (91) to one hundred and twenty (120) camels, he must give two Hiqqah. Thereafter for up to one hundred and forty- five (145), one will give two Hiqqah, and for every further five (5) one will give one (1) goat. For example, for one hundred and twenty-five

(125) camels, he will give two (2) Hiqqah and one (1) goat, and for one hundred and thirty camels (130), he will give two (2) Hiqqah and two

(2) goats, and so on and so forth, based on this analogy. Then, for one hundred and fifty (150) camels, he will give three (3) Hiqqah. If he has more than this, then he will do as he did in the beginning, meaning for every five (5), he will give one (1) goat, and for every twenty-five (25) he will give one (1) Bint Makhadh, and for every thirty-six (36) he will give one (1) Bint Labun. This is the ruling for up to one hundred and eighty-six (186), and actually right up to one hundred and ninety-five (195). In other words, for this many he will give three (3) Hiqqah and one (1) Bint Labun. Then, for one hundred and ninety-six (196) to two hundred (200), is four (4) Hiqqah, and he also has a choice of giving five (5) Bint Labun. Then, after two hundred (200), the same system will be used which is the system used after one hundred and fifty (150), meaning for every five (5), is one goat, for twenty-five (25) is one (1) Bint Makhadh, for thirty-six (36) is one Bint Labun.



Note: In other words, for one hundred and thirty-five camels are two Hiqqah and three goats, in one hundred and forty are two Hiqqah and four goats, and in one hundred and forty-five are two Hiqqah and one Bint Makhadh. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.23]



Then from two hundred and forty-six (246) up to two hundred and fifty (250), is five (5) Hiqqah, and the rest is based on this analogy. [General books, Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.22/23]


Law 5: In (paying) the Zakaat on camels, when a one year, two, three or four year old baby camel is given, it is necessary that it should be a she-camel (i.e. female). If a he-camel (i.e. male) is given, then it should be equal to the value of a she-camel, if not it will not be taken (i.e. it will not be accepted as payment).





Abu Dawud, Tirmizi, Nasa’i and Daarimi report from Muadh ibn Jabl ؓ that when Nabi Kareem ﷺ appointed and sent him as the Governor of Yemen, He ﷺ said (to him), ‘For every thirty cows (cattle) take one ‘Tabee’ or ‘Tabee’a and for every forty take out one Musin or Musin’na.’


A similar Hadith is mentioned in another narration of  Abu  Dawud from Ameer ul Mo’mineen Maula Ali وﺟہہ اﷲ م� and in that narration it is also mentioned that there is no Zakaat on work animals (i.e. animals used for work purposes like carrying loads etc.).


Law 1: If there are less than thirty (30) cows, then  Zakaat  is  not Waajib (compulsory, i.e. payable) on them, and when one has  full thirty (30) cows, then the Zakaat for them is one (1) Tabee’, meaning a one-year old calf (male i.e. bull), or one (1) Tabee’a meaning a one- year old calf (female i.e. cow). For forty (40) cows, the Zakaat is one (1) Musin, in other words, a two-year-old calf (male, i.e. bull) or one (1) Musin’na, meaning a two-year-old calf (female, i.e. cow). This rule applies for up to fifty-nine (59). Then for sixty (60) cows, the Zakaat is two (2) Tabee’ or two Tabee’a. Then for every thirty (30) thereafter there is one (1) Tabee’ or one (1) Tabee’a, and for forty (40) there is one (1) Musin or Musin’na. For example, in seventy (70) there is (Zakaat of) one (1) Tabee’ and one (1) Musin, and in eighty (80) are two

(2) Musin, and thereafter based on this same analogy. In which there can be both thirty (30) and forty (40), one has the choice of either giving the Tabee’ or the Musin in Zakaat. In other words, in one hundred and twenty (120), one has the choice of either giving four Tabee’ or three Musin. [General Books, Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.24]



Law 2: A water-buffalo (i.e. which is called ‘Bhens’ in the Indo-Pak sub-continent) falls within the same ruling (i.e. category) as cows. If one has both cows and water-buffalos, they will be combined in (calculating) Zakaat. For example, if one has twenty (20) cows and ten

(10) buffalos, Zakaat has become Waajib. Whey paying their Zakaat, the calf of the one which is more in number will be taken. In other words, if the cows are more, the calf will be taken from the cows and if the water-buffalo are more in number, then it will be taken from the water-buffalos. If neither is more in number, chose the one which is of medium quality, i.e. not as good as the best quality, but one which is better than the lowest quality. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.178]


Law 3: One has a choice when dispensing the Zakaat of cows and water-buffalos. He may either pay the Zakaat using a male or a female, but it is Afdal (more virtuous) to give a female calf if the cows are more, and if the bulls are more, then a male calf should be given. [Alamgiri, vol.2, pg.178]




It  is  in  Sahih  Bukhari  Shareef  from  Anas  ؓ  that  when  Siddique  e Akbar ؓ  appointed and sent him to Bahrain, he wrote the obligations  of Sadaqa (charity) which were stipulated by Rasoolullah ﷺ. In it is also the Nisaab of goats, that neither an old female goat,  nor  a defective goat, nor a male goat should be taken. However, if the Musad’diq (one who is collecting the Sadaqa, i.e. Zakaat) wishes to, then he may accept (i.e. take) these. Also, due to the fear of (paying Zakaat), neither should the individual ones be combined, and nor  should the combined be separated.


Law 1: If one has less than forty (40) goats, then the Zakaat is not Waajib, and if one has forty (40) goats, the Zakaat for it is one (1) goat, and this is the ruling for up to one hundred and twenty (120). In other words, for up to one hundred and twenty (120) goats, the Zakaat is one

(1) goat, and if one has one hundred and twenty one (121) goats, then the Zakaat is two (2) goats. In two hundred and one (201), the Zakaat is three (3) goats; in four hundred (400), the Zakaat is four (4) goats, and thereafter, there is one (1) goat on every one hundred (100) goats, and whatever is between the two Nisaabs is exempted. [General Books, Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.25]


Law 2: In Zakaat, one has the option of either giving a male goat or a female goat, whichever it may be, it should not be younger than one year in age. If it is less (than one year in age), then it will be given according to the value. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.25]


Law 3: Sheep are considered in the category of goats, so if the Nisaab is not completed by one, the other can be mixed to make up the Nisaab, and it can be given as Zakaat as well, but it should not be



younger than a year old (i.e. if there are thirty-eight goats and two sheep available, you can combine the sheep with the goats, to make up the Nisaab of forty). [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.25]


Law 4: In animals, the lineage is from the mother, so if a young is born from a buck and a goat, then the child will be considered to be from the goats, and if there is one animal short in completing the Nisaab (of the goats), then this young will be mixed with them to complete the count. If the young is from a male goat and a deer, then this will not be done. Similarly, if the young are the offspring of a female white antelope1 and an ox, it will not be counted as a cow. However, if it is from a male white antelope and from a cow, it is counted as a cow. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.176]


Law 5: Those animals on which Zakaat is Waajib should be at least a year old. If all of them are younger than a year old, then the Zakaat is not Waajib (on them), but if even one of them is a full year old, then all of them will be counted according to that one, and Zakaat will become Waajib. For example, if one purchased forty young goats that are each less than a year in age, then from the time of purchase until they reach a year, there is no Zakaat on them, because at that time they did not qualify to be counted for Nisaab, but the year will be counted from the moment the first one of them reaches a full year in age.







1: White Antelope is also known as the Asian Antelope, and commonly known as the Nilgai. [Razvi Noori]



Similarly, if he (the owner) already had in his possession goats which equal the Nisaab, and after six months passed, they had forty young ones, and the goats then diminished (in number) and only the young were left, then now on completion of that year, these young ones do not qualify in Nisaab, so the Zakaat on them is not Waajib. [Jauhira]


Law 6: If a person has camels, cattle and goats, but all of them are less than the Nisaab, or if some are less in Nisaab, then in this case they will not be mixed (with the others) to complete the Nisaab, and the Zakaat will not be Waajib. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.46, etc.]


Law 7: In (paying) Zakaat, the average animal (i.e. the average sized animal) will be taken. One should not pick and take the best (quality animal). However, if he has all good animals, then this should be taken. A pregnant animal and the one which has been fattened for eating purposes should not be chosen. Neither should that female be chosen which is suckling its young. A male goat should not be taken. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.177; Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.30]


Law 8: If one does not have the animal of the age which is Waajib upon him to give, but he has an animal which is older than that, he should give that away, and take in return whatever is extra. However, it is not Waajib upon the person who is collecting the Sadaqa (Zakaat) to accept it. If he does not accept it and he demands the animal which is Waajib on him, or if he asks for its value, then he has a choice in this matter. If one does not have the animal of the age which is Waajib upon him, but he has younger than that, then he should give that away (as Zakaat) and whatever is less, he should give the value of it, or he can give the amount of that animal which is Waajib upon him. He may do either of the two. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg. 177]



Law 9: There is no Zakaat on horses, donkeys and mules, even if they are kept grazing. However, if they are kept for business purposes, then in this case their value (amount) must be calculated and one-fortieth must be given in Zakaat (i.e. 2.5 %). [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.25/26 etc.]


Law 10: There is no Zakaat on that which is pardoned (exempted) between two Nisaabs. In other words, if after the completion of a year, if that which is in-between (i.e. the exempted number) is even lost, it will not make any impact or difference on the Zakaat, and if after it (Zakaat) becomes Waajib, if the Nisaab is lost, then even the Zakaat for this falls away (i.e. is waived). Also, the loss will first go towards that which is pardoned, and if something remains after this, then it will be from the Nisaab which is similar to it. Additionally, if it is still remaining (i.e. if is still due), then it will be from that Nisaab which is similar, and so on and so forth, based on this analogy. For example, if a person had eighty goats and forty died, so even now one goat is still Waajib (as Zakaat), because the next forty after the initial forty is exempted. If from forty camels fifteen died, then one Bint Makhadh is Waajib, because in forty, four are exempted, so this will be subtracted, and thereafter is the Nisaab of thirty-six, and even that is not sufficient, so eleven more should be subtracted, then twenty-five will remain, thus the ruling in this case is of one Bint Makhadh, and it is this which will be given (as Zakaat). [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.27, etc.]


Law 11: If two goats are Waajib in (payment of) Zakaat, but if one gave one fat goat which in value is equivalent to two (average) goats, then the Zakaat is fulfilled. [Jauhira]



Law 12: If on completion of a year, if the Maalik e Nisaab himself destroyed his Nisaab, the Zakaat will not be waived. For example, he did not give the animals’ food and water and they died, then in this case he will still have to pay the Zakaat. Similarly, if someone owed him money and the person who owes him is wealthy (solvent), and after completion of a year, if he forgave the debt, then this is also regarded as destroying your own Nisaab, so he will still have to give Zakaat. However, if he was insolvent (poor) and he forgave the debt, then in this case the Zakaat is waived. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.50]

Law 13: After the year has ended (i.e. after completion of the Nisaab year), if a Maalik e Nisaab gave a loan, or gave something on loan or if he sold the trade goods in lieu of trade goods, and the one whom he has given this to has rejected this (i.e. he is saying it never happened), and he (the Maalik) now has no evidence (to prove this), or if he died and did not leave behind any inheritance (i.e. estate), then this does not fall within the category of destroying it (i.e. self-loss). Hence, the Zakaat has fallen away (i.e. it is now waived); alternatively, if after the completion of the year (Nisaab year), he sold the trade goods in lieu of non-trade goods, meaning the item which he took in lieu of it, was not for a business purpose; for example, he bought a slave for his services, or clothes to wear, or if he sold a Sa’imah in exchange for a Sa’imah, but the person is refusing this (i.e. he says the sale never happened), and he also has no witnesses (to this sale), or if he died and did not leave behind any inheritance, then this too is not counted in the category of being destroyed (i.e. lost), but it is something in which he caused the loss, so the Zakaat in this is Waajib. If on completion of the year (Nisaab year), he gave the trade goods as Mahr (Dowry) to his wife, or if a woman took Khula from her husband in lieu of her Nisaab, Zakaat must still be given. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.28/29]



Law  14: He had Rupees/Ashrafis (i.e. money) in his possession over which a year has passed, but he has not given the Zakaat on it as yet, and in exchange for that he purchased some item for business, and that item is lost (i.e. he incurred loss), then in this case the Zakaat is void, unless he bought it at such a high price, that due to such loss, people will not purchase it, then the extra amount which he paid, over and above its actual price will still be Zakaatable and the Zakaat for that will not fall away, because in this case he actually caused the loss. If it is not intended for business purposes; for example, if he bought a slave for serving him and he died, then the Zakaat on that amount (money) will not be void. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.28]


Law 15: If the Muslim Ruler (even though he may be unjust or a dissident) takes the Zakaat of the Sa’imah, or if he collected the Ushr, and he used it for the appropriate purpose, then there is no need to repay it. Alternatively, if it was not used for the appropriate purpose, then it must be repaid, and if he collected Khiraj, then there is absolutely no need to repay it. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.32]


Law 16: If the Sa’imah was sold in front (i.e. in the presence) of the ‘Musad’diq’ (one who collects the Sadaqa/Zakaat), then the Musad’diq has the choice of taking from it the amount which is for Zakaat, and in this case the sale will be complete. Alternatively, if he wishes he may take that animal which is Waajib (in Zakaat), and the animal which he took at that time will cause the sale to become ‘Bai’ Baatil’ i.e. an annulled sale (i.e. an improper sale) for him (i.e. for the buyer). If the Musad’diq was not present there, but he arrived after both of them (i.e. the buyer and the seller) have left the ‘Majlis Al Aqd’ (i.e. the session of the contract i.e. sale), then in this case he is not permitted to take the animal. He should now take the value of the animal which is Waajib (as Zakaat). [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.181]



Law 17: If one sold grain on which Ushr (one tenth is due) is Waajib, then in this case the Musad’diq has the right, to either demand the price of it from the ‘Baa’i,’ i.e. the seller or he may take that amount of grain from the ‘Mushtari,’ i.e. the buyer. This will apply whether the transaction took place in the presence of the Musad’diq, or whether he arrived after they separated. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.181]


Law 18: If there are eighty goats (80), then one (1) goat is for Zakaat. It cannot be such that they are made into two flocks of forty each, and then two goats are taken as Zakaat, and if two separate persons have forty goats each, then it is not allowed to put them together as one flock and then take only one goat as Zakaat. One will be taken from each of them as Zakaat (for his forty). Similarly, if one person has forty goats and the other person has thirty nine, then nothing will be taken from the one who has thirty nine goats. In brief, neither will that which is a single flock be separated, and nor will individual flocks be combined. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.181]

Law 19: Partnership in an animal does not influence the Zakaat, no matter what category it may be. If the share of each one of them (the partners) is equal to the Nisaab, then both will have to give their full Zakaat for which they are liable, as this is Waajib. If the share of one of them is equal to the Nisaab and the share of the other is not; for example, if one has forty (40) goats and the other has thirty (30) goats, then the one who has forty (40) goats must give one (1) goat as Zakaat and the other will not give any Zakaat. Alternatively, if neither of them has equivalent to the Nisaab, but if the animals are put together, it will make up the Nisaab, then in this case there is no Zakaat on either of them. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.181]



Law 20: If eighty-one (81) people are partners in eighty (80) goats, in a manner whereby one person (from amongst them) has a share of half (i.e. a fifty percent share) in every goat (sheep), and for the other half of every goat, different individuals are the owners (to each of this half share), so all his (the first person’s) shares put together equals forty (40 goats), and all (the rest) of them are only shareholders of half a goat each, then none of them (i.e. the owners of only half share each) will be liable for its Zakaat. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.47]


Law 21: If Zakaat is paid on those animals which are shared, then each person is liable according to his share, and whatever has been paid more than the share, should be recovered from the partner. For example, if one has forty-one (41) goats and the other person has eighty-two (82) goats. The total of all the goats is one hundred and twenty-three (123), and if two (2) goats were taken out as Zakaat, meaning one (1) goat was taken from each, but because one is the shareholder of one-third, and the other is shareholder of two-thirds. Hence, in every goat, two-thirds of the two-third shareholder has gone (as Zakaat), the total of which is one-third and one goat. Additionally, in every goat one-third of the one-third shareholder has gone (as Zakaat), which in total is two-thirds, and one goat is Waajib upon him (as Zakaat). Therefore, the two-thirds shareholder is allowed to take one-third from the one-thirds shareholder. If there are eighty (80) goats and in them, one person is a two-third shareholder, and the other is a one-third shareholder, and if one goat was taken as Zakaat, then the shareholder of one-third, may recover the value of one-third of the goat, from his partner, as the Zakaat is on not Waajib upon him (on that one-third). [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.47]

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