Indonesian Ulama Council’s Fatwa on Professional Zakat

MUI’s fatwa on professional zakat stipulates that all halal incomes that have reached the nisab are liable for the zakat of 2.5 percent.

professional zakat
Illustration. The income zakat we pay support Muslim preachers and students in Indonesian remote areas happy. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, SOUTH JAKARTA – The Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) has issued a fatwa regarding professional zakat 18 years ago, on June 7, 2003. What does the fatwa say about professional zakat?

The basis of MUI’s fatwa is Surah Al-Baqarah verse 267 in which Allah says, “O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.”

In addition, the fatwa is also based on Surah At-Tawbah verse 103 in which Allah says,” Take, [O Muammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah's blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

The fatwa is also based on hadith or Prophetic traditions, one of which is narrated by Imam Ahmad: From Abu Hurairah, the Messenger of Allah said, “Charity is only taken when you are self-sufficient, and the upper hand is better than the lower hand, and start with those for whom you are responsible."

Your professional zakat makes orphaned students and Qur’an memorizers happy. (ACTNews)

In addition, the Indonesian Ulama Council also based their fatwa on the opinion of a contemporary Muslim scholar Yusuf Qaradawi who stated that Islam does not require zakat on all wealth. Rather, the obligation is when one’s wealth reaches the nisab (the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to give zakat) after due debts and a muzakki and his or her dependents’ primary needs are subtracted. The nisab of professional zakat is 85 grams of gold.

MUI’s fatwa further explains that what is meant by zakat-eligible income is any income such as salaries, honoraria, wages, services, and others that are obtained in a lawful way, both regularly (such as that of state officials and private employees), or non-regularly (such as that of doctors, lawyers, consultants, as well as income derived from other freelance work).

Furthermore, the MUI fatwa stipulates that zakat must be performed on all forms of halal income is on condition that it has reached the nisab and has been kept in one full hijri year. which is worth 85 grams of gold or 2.5 percent. Income zakat can be issued at the time of receipt if the nisab is sufficient.

MUI proposes two ways of deducing professional zakat. The first is that the zakat is deduced every month if the estimated total amount of salary in one lunar year reaches the nisab. Second, if the estimated total salary does not meet the nisab, then the zakat is paid once the wealth that one owns reaches the nisab and is kept for one lunar year.

Digital platforms make zakat payment easier and more accessible 

Global Zakat-ACT continues to encourage people to pay zakat on their wealth. Technological advancement makes zakat payment easier.

Sutaryo from the Global Zakat-ACT team explained, Global Zakat-ACT makes professional zakat payment easier and accessible to everyone. Through Indonesia Dermawan website and app, paying professional zakat can be done anywhere, anytime.

“The system managed by Global Zakat-ACT facilitates those who want to pay their zakat through digital platforms that makes zakat payments easier and more accessible to the wider community," he concluded.[]