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Section I: Livestock: Definition, Ruling on its Charity, and its Conditions

Firstly: Defining Livestock
An`am: are camels, cows, and sheep.
Secondly: The Ruling of Charity on Livestock
Charity is wajib on livestock holistically. Consensus has been quoted over this by: Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Hazm, Ibn Qudamah, and al-Nawawi.
Thirdly: Wildebeest
There is no charity payable on wildebeest, and this is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi`is, a narration from Ahmad, and the majority of scholars.
Fourthly: The Offspring of Domestic and Wild Cow
Scholars differed over the offspring of wild and domesticated cow according to many views, the strongest of which are two:
The first: is that charity is not wajib on it unconditionally. This is the most common position of the Malikis, the position of the Shafi`is, Dawud al-Zahiri, and the choice of Ibn Qudamah.
The second: is that it is wajib unconditionally. This is the position of the Hanbalis, and a position among Malikis.
Fifthly: Charity on Buffalo
Charity on buffalo is wajib since it is considered to be a type of cow. Consensus has been quoted on this by: Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, and Ibn Qudamah.
Sixthly: Charity on Other than Livestock Such as Horses
There is no charity payable upon anything other than the aforementioned defined livestock, unless it is intended for commerce, in which case horses are the same as other animals in that sense. This is the position of the majority: Malikis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, Zahiris, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hassan, and the majority of scholars.
Seventhly: Conditions of Charity on Livestock
1. The passing of a calendar year
Livestock must be in their owner’s possession for a full calendar year as a condition for charity to be payable thereupon. Ibn Hazm and Ibn Qudamah have quoted consensus over this.
2. To be free-roaming (sawm)
- The meaning of sa’imah
Sa’imah linguistically: is what a flock, herd, or a group of grazing animals is referred to when it performs sawm. This is if it is free to graze wherever it may wish, and is not artificially given feed.
Sa’imah terminologically: is livestock that grazes from wild growing plants in natural lands (kala’ mubah), [873] Ibn `Uthaymin said: “Mubah here is not the opposite to haram, but it refers to plantation that has grown naturally without human intervention.” Al-Sharh al-Mumti` (51/6) and is solely herded without being artificially fed.
- Being free-roaming as a condition
It is a condition for the livestock to be free-roaming for it to have charity paid on it. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and the majority of scholars.
- Specifying the period of being free-roaming
It is a condition for the livestock to be free-roaming for a full year, or most of it. This is the position of the Hanafis, Hanbalis, and a position among Shafi`is. It is chosen by Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
3. Non-labour
It is a condition for livestock when paying charity upon it that it is not used for labour. [874] `Awamil is the plural of `amilah, and it refers to an animal that is used for agricultural labour, like irrigation and ploughing the land. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, a group of the Companions, and the majority of scholars.
4. Reaching nisab
- Reaching nisab as a condition
It is a condition to pay charity on livestock that it reaches the nisab. Consensus has been quoted over the nisab of camels, cows, and sheep by Ibn Hazm; and over camels and sheep by: Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Qudamah, and al-Nawawi; and over cows by Ibn `Abd al-Barr.
- Joining animals of the same type together to complete the nisab
Animals of the same type are grouped together in order to reach the nisab, like lamb, mutton, and sheep with each other, and different types of cows together, likewise with camels. Consensus has been quoted over this by: Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Hazm, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Qudamah, and Ibn Taymiyyah.


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