in category Fiqh (Jurisprudence)

Is zakat payable on rental income?

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There is considerable confusion about this matter itself as Muslim scholars hold differing opinions.

The existing arguments are as follows:

Traditional Jurists

If the property is not stock for trading then there is no zakat upon it. As there is no text about it nor is it something we can derive a ruling for by analogy or qiyas it is not subject to zakat.

Buildings for renting existed in the past, though on a small scale, and the jurists did not consider them subject to zakat.

Contemporary Scholars

Others saw rental property as wealth that is invested, which differentiates between the rich and the poor so it is zakatable.

The general principle comes in Surah Al-Tawbah and there is is an authentic hadith saying zakat is a duty upon the rich. Therefore, it is subject to zakat.

These scholars hold zakat is calculated from either the net rent (after payment of expenses) at 10%, (akin to agricultural products watered by rain), or on gross rent (before expenses) at 5%.

Others argue rental property is an investment asset akin to capital, livestock or stock of traders or merchants. So zakat is payable at 2.5% after expenses have been deducted.

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