Besides, Urf also plays an important role in solving the problem of zakat in modern world. Almsgiving or zakat is an ‘urf which is compulsory to be practiced by the Muslims. This was stated in the Holy Quran, “O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah. announce unto them a most grievous penalty. On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs – “This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!” ” Zakat is derived from an Arabic word which means to purify or to grow. It is required to be pay by those who have wealth beyond a certain amount to meet their nisab (basic needs). It was usually a minimum amount of 2.5% of the person’s “extra” wealth. Zakat can be paid in any time during the Islamic lunar year, most of the people would prefer to pay it during Ramadan. The person who is entitled to receive Zakat is stated in the Quran, “Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah. and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.” There are eight kinds of people, the poor people, the destitute people, zakat collectors, Muslim converts, slaves, debtors, wayfarers and those who is working in the path of Allah.
According to the traditional ‘urf, wearing gold for women in public is a custom. However, gold worn jewellery is not imposed as zakat, stated by Shafi’I Madh’hab. The ‘urf is modified to prevent wastage, it is imposed as zakat if it exceeds the wastage limit but the limit is not specified. The purpose of new ‘urf of imposing zakat to gold jewellery is to prevent wastage of sources and wealth. This could prevent the people to escape from tax imposition. For example, what if they invest excessively in jewellery to escape tax imposition of government. In Malaysia, each states had their own practices of Fatwa Zakat for gold jewellery (Referred to Figure 2 in Appendix). The usage of ‘urf of zakat for gold is also differ in each states (Referred to Figure 1 in Appendix). The calculation of gold for zakat in Malaysia is stated in Figure 3 in Appendix.
There are also scholars agreed that jewellery made by metals other than gold and silver is not imposed as zakat, even though the metal is more expensive than gold and silver. However, there are two views concerning to the issue of jewellery worn by women. The first view is provided by Imam Abu Hanifah, all kinds of gold and silver which are made of jewellery such as chains, bracelets, earrings and others shall be imposed as zakat. This view is based on the report of Amr Ibn Shu’ayb: “Two women with gold bracelets on their wrists came to the Prophet. The Prophet said: ‘Do you want Allah to make you wear bracelets of fire on the Day of Judgement?’ They answered: ‘No.’ He said: ‘Then pay the zakat which is due to what you wear on your wrists.” On the other hand, it is reported by Asma binti Yazid concerning to the first view: “My aunt and I, while wearing gold bracelets, went to the Prophet. He asked: ‘Did you pay their zakat?’ She related that they had not. The Prophet said: ‘Do you not fear that Allah will make you wear a bracelet of fire? Pay its zakat.” It is clearly proved that all gold and silver jewellry shall be imposed as zakat.
The second view is provided by ‘Jumhur Fuqaha’, which is supported by Syeikh Dr. Yusuf al-Qardhawi in his book ‘Fiqh Zakat’ and the fatwas of the states in Malaysia and the Egyptian fatwa. They state that gold and silver jewellery worn by women is not obliged to be imposed as zakat unless it falls into these two situations. First, when the particular jewellery is made not for worn only, but to be saved as a saving asset. Then, it needs to be issued zakat as its objective is shifted from jewellery to savings. The second situation is when if the posession of jewellery had exceed the rates commonly worn or used by the local women, then it shall be issued zakat.
In sum, the ‘urf of gold jewellery is practised generally in Malaysia although there is still confusion about the usage of urf pertaning to zakat on gold jewellery as each states had different usage.