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Are printing materials subject to zakah?

Question

There is a man who owns a printing press. Is zakah due on the materials and equipment in the printing press and on what he produces, or is zakah due only on the products?.

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

In the answer to question no. 74987 we have stated that manufacturing equipment, materials and tools which are intended for use and not for sale are not subject to zakah. Rather zakah is due on the profits that result from using these tools and equipment, if it reaches the nisaab and one full hijri year has passed. 

Based on that, these materials in the printing press are not subject to zakah. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked a similar question and he replied: 

zakah must be paid by the owners of printing presses and factories etc on the things that are prepared for sale; as for the things that are prepared for use, no zakah is due on them. The same applies to cars, furniture and vessels that are prepared for use; no zakah is due on them, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (may Allah have mercy on him) with a hasan isnaad from Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allah have mercy on him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to command us to pay zakah on that which we had prepared for sale. End quote.

Majmoo’ Fatawa Ibn Baaz, 14/186-187 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked about a man who had a laundry, and some people said to him: You have to pay zakah on the equipment that you have. Is this correct? 

He replied: zakah is to be paid on trade goods, which are things that a person buys and sells, and whenever he thinks he can earn something he sells it and whenever he thinks he will not earn anything he does not sell it. Laundry materials are not regarded as trade goods, because the owner of the laundry wants to keep them with him, so they come under the same heading as what a man keeps in his house such as furniture, vessels and so on. So zakah is not due on them. Whoever told him that zakah is due on them is mistaken. 

Majmoo’ Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 18/207 

Secondly: 

zakah is due on the profits of this printing press if they reach the nisaab and one full hijri year passes; one quarter of one tenth must be paid, i.e., 2.5 %. 

Thirdly: 

There are some of the goods owned by the printing press that are regarded as trade goods; this includes everything that the printing press buys with the aim of re-selling it after making some changes to it, such as paper, ink, materials used for binding books, and books owned by the printing press which they print in order to sell, etc. 

All of these things are regarded as trade goods, so their value should be calculated at the end of every year, and zakah paid at a rate of 2.5 per cent. 

See Majallat al-Majma’ al-Fiqhi, 4/1/735, article by Dr. Wahbah al-Zuhayli.

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Source: Islam Q&A