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Ruling 1927

There are two niṣābs for cows.

  1. Thirty cows; when the number of cows a person owns reaches thirty – and if the other conditions that were mentioned are fulfilled as well – he must pay one calf that is in its second year as zakat; and the obligatory precaution is that it must be a male calf.
  2. Forty cows, and the zakat payable is one female calf that is in its third year. Paying zakat is not obligatory on the number of cows between thirty and forty. For example, if someone has thirty-nine cows, he must pay zakat on only thirty cows; and if he has more than forty cows, then as long as the number does not reach sixty, he must pay zakat on only forty cows; and after reaching sixty, as it is twice the number of the first niṣāb, he must give two calves that are in their second year. The same applies if the number of cows increases; i.e. he must either calculate in groups of thirty, forty, or both, and he must pay zakat in accordance with the rule explained earlier. However, he must calculate the zakat in a way that there is no remainder, or if there is, it must not exceed nine cows. For example, if he owns seventy cows, he must calculate them in groups of thirty and forty because if he calculates only in groups of thirty, there will be ten cows remaining on which he will not pay zakat. In some cases, such as 120, he has the choice.