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Section II: The Conditions for Charity on Commercial Goods

Firstly: Intention of Commerce at Ownership Intention as a condition at ownership
Scholars have differed over the ruling of intention of commerce at the time of ownership of the goods according to two views:
The first: is that it is a condition for charity. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
The second: is that it is not a condition. This is a narration from Ahmad, the position of al-Karabisi from the Shafi`is, chosen by Ibn ‘Uthaymin, and it is the verdict of the Permanent Committee. Charity being no longer applicable at the intention of personal use
Whoever purchases some goods for commerce then intends to acquire them for personal use, there is no wajib charity required for them any longer. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.

Secondly: Intention of Undertaking the Commercial Transaction
Scholars have differed over the necessity of intending to undertake the commercial transactions for the goods involved to have charity payable over them. This is according to three views:
The first: is that the goods are defined as owned once there is a commercial transaction undertaken over them, like renting or buying them, and this transaction must include an exchange. This is the position of the Malikis, Shafi`is, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan from the Hanafis, a position among Hanbalis, and the choice of al-Tabari.
The second: is that the goods are owned by the owner’s undertaking a business transaction over them, but it does not have to be contractual nor in exchange of something else. Examples of this include gifts, war booty, and acquiring that which is mubah like hunting and collecting firewood. This is the position of the Hanbalis, Abu Yusuf from the Hanafis, and it is chosen by al-Kamal ibn al-Humam.
The third: is that the owner’s ownership over the goods is not necessarily established through transaction, and the intention suffices. This is a narration from Ahmad and the position of al-Karabisi from the Shafi`is. It is also chosen by Ibn `Uthaymin, as well the verdict of the Permanent Committee and the fourteenth symposium from modern legal charity matters.
Thirdly: Reaching the Nisab The nisab of commercial goods
The nisab of goods is the nisab of gold and silver. This is the position of the vast majority of scholars. Methodology of calculating the nisab
The nisab of commercial goods is the nisab of gold and silver, and it is calculated using that which is most needed by the destitute from among the two; meaning if the nisab is reached through one but not the other, then charity is payable based on the calculation of the lower nisab. This is the position of the Hanafis, Hanbalis, the verdict of the Permanent Committee, and the choice of Ibn `Uthaymin. Joining between the value of goods with gold and silver to reach the nisab
The value of goods is joined to gold and silver – and money, which takes their ruling – such that the nisab is reached through them. Consensus has been quoted over this by: al-Khattabi, Ibn Qudamah, and al-Kamal ibn al-Humam. The period the nisab is considered over
Scholars have differed over the period of time over which the nisab is considered for. This is according to three views:
The first: is that it is considered at the end of a calendar year only. This is the position of the Malikis, Shafi`is, and the choice of al-Qaradawi.
The second: is that it is considered over the full calendar year, such that if what is owned falls below the nisab for a moment over this time, it is interrupted. This is the position of the Hanbalis and Ibn Surayj from the Shafi`is.
The third: is that it is considered at the start and end of the calendar year, and if it falls below it in that time then it is irrelevant. This is the position of the Hanafis and a position among Shafi`is.
Fourthly: The Passing of a Calendar Year for Charity on Goods
The passing of a full calendar year [862] The majority of scholars did not differ between the independent businessman (defined as one who sells at a set, present price, then follows it up with another for another time, and so on, like a grocer) and the monopolist (defined as one who affects the prices of the market in raising and lowering them with his goods). They are the same in ruling for the majority of scholars, calculating what they own at the start of a calendar year and then paying the respective amount of legal charity on an annual basis. The Malikis on the other hand hold the position that the monopolist does not have to pay charity on his goods, even if he owns them for many years. If he sells it, however, he would pay its charity for a single year. is a condition for charity on commercial goods to be payable. Consensus has been quoted over this by Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Qudamah.
- Building upon the nisab of goods over the nisab of gold and silver
If a person buys a good with some nisab, or with another good that has a value of some nisab, then he builds over the calendar year of the second with that of the first, and this is by agreement of the scholars of jurisprudence.
Fifthly: If Another Reason for Charity Applies
If both commercial and individual legal charity apply in a scenario, then the scholars have differed over which one of those two is wajib and therefore takes effect according to two views:
The first: is that commercial charity is wajib. This is the position of the Hanafis, Hanbalis, the old position of al-Shafi`i, and it is the decision of concurrent legal charity symposiums.
The second: is that individual charity is wajib from livestock and crops. This is the position of the Malikis and the correct position of the Shafi`is.


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