When was it that the zakat was sanctioned?
Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The popular opinion according to sunnah stated that zakat fitrah was obligated in the second year of Hijrah which is the same year when fasting was sanctioned. This is in accordance with the hadith of the Prophet PBUH:
أَنَّ رَسولَ الله صَلَّى الله عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَرْضَ زَكَاةَ الفِطْرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ عَلَى النَّاسِ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ أَو صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ عَلَى كُلِّ حُرِّ أَوْ عَبْدٍ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) prescribed the payment of Zakat-ul-Fitr (on breaking the fast) of Ramadan for people, for every freeman, or slave, male and female among the Muslims-one sa' of dried dates, or one sa' of barley.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (1433) and Sahih Muslim (984)
Here, we include two other opinions as to the date zakat was sanctioned:
- Ibn al-Athir concluded in his book al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, zakat was obligated in the ninth year of Hijrah. Some scholars supported the opinion presented by Ibn Athir based on the story of an incident which happened to Tha’labah bin Hatib which stated: When the verse regarding charity (zakat) was revealed, the Prophet PBUH sent an amil who said: “This is none other than jizyah or the brother of jizyah.” Jizyah was obligated on 9th Hijrah the same year zakat was obligated.
However, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said the hadith used as the evidence for this opinion is dhaif (weak) and cannot be used as an argument.
While Ibnu Khuzaimah in his Sahih stated his opinion saying zakat was obligated before hijrah based on the hadith of Ummu Salamah when she narrated the incident of hijrah of the Companions of the Prophet PBUH to Ethiopia (Habsyah). The argument made based on the hadith is disputable for prayer and fasting have yet be made obligatory at the time. In Tarikh al-Islam it is stated that zakat was obligated in the first year of Hijrah.
May Allah SWT make us from among His slaves who always fulfil their zakat obligation and subsequently receive Allah SWT’s blessings in our lives and sustenance for doing so. Amin.