We were told that the Prophet peace be upon him lived an extremely humble and poor life. He hardly have food at home for the next day. This is what we were told. Now that I have researched, I find that the Prophet could not have been that poor because

  1. Quran allowed the Prophet to keep 1/5 of the war booty
  2. He had gifted the mount of Fadak to Fatima, which was captured in a battle.
  3. He had many wives himself, which would be hardly possible, if he was such a poor man. Each wife lived in a seperate home (AFAIK). Apparently he gave a good amount of Mehr to his wives according to this answer

Now I do understand that there were times when the Prophet did not have enough resources, that was in the early and middle time of Islam. But in the last 3 years of his life or so he must have been well off because he was the ruler, he kept the largest part of war booty and People used to send gifts to him which he would accept.

My question, In what forms did the Prophet pay Zakat. Did he pay it little over the year or at once at the end of year? If he paid it at one time, does it give the estimate of his wealth?

My related question is, why dont we follow the Prophet in Zakat related issue while follow him in every other possible way? Could this be because he never paid Zakat?

While searching online, I cam across this similar question. May be one can highlight the authenticity of that answer as well.

7 Answers 7


It is not that the prophet was exempted from the Zakat , but the more apt question would be to ask whether he reached the Nisaab level (the minimum amount) required to become eligible to pay Zakat. He may receive war booty, gifts etc but at the same time he donated most of what he got in charity, there are many examples throughout his life for this.

The following hadith proves that the family of prophet was in abject poverty :

Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha says: "Till the demise of Rasulullah sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam, his family never ate a full stomach of bread made of barley for two consecutive days".

lbn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports that: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam and his family spent many consecutive nights without food, because there would be no supper. The bread of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was mostly made of barley". (Sometimes bread made of wheat was also available).


The houses of the wives were made up of Mud and are equivalent of modern day tents which could be easily built by limited available resources on the vast freely available plains. Moreover there is a Sahih hadith which says that Prophets do not leave inheritance , which means that their entire wealth would goto the Islamic treasury after their demise.

Allah knows best

  • It would be acceptable to me if you clarify that the prophet never reached the wealth level that would make him eligible for Zakat and that's why he did not pay Zakat. You mentioned, he donated most of his share in charity. I am assuming 1/5 is quite a bit share, do we have any example of it?. Or may be War booty/gifts are exempt from Zakat. Could that be a seperate question?
    – muslim1
    Sep 15, 2013 at 18:46
  • You are the claimant that Prophet pbuh , never paid zakat, hence you first need to prove your claims. What I answered is that that he could not have reached the Nisaab level and hence if someone is not paying Zakat , then it can also mean that he does not yet have enough wealth. Finances are highly personal matters which one cannot judge about others personal income. The prophet pbuh ruled the arabia by the end , yet his lifestyle was as simple as before, what did happen was that poor people became wellof due to just wealth distribution
    – user940
    Sep 17, 2013 at 4:10
  • I am not saying he never paid Zakat. I am asking, how did he pay zakat if he did any?
    – muslim1
    Sep 18, 2013 at 3:09
  • @Ifoundthetruth I answered that he was not eligible to pay zakat due to not reaching the nisaab level because of excessive charity for beyond what can be given in zakat.
    – user940
    Sep 20, 2013 at 9:46

Zakat is obligatory, when ever one keep the required wealth over a year. In last three years of our prophet, although he had much wealth, but he used to give it in khairat or sadqat as soon as he got it. This is why he did not left any wealth, when he died and did not pay any zakat, as record says.This is the conflict between Hadhrat Abu zer Ghaffari and Hadhrat Uthman. When in the reign of later, arabian muslims start depositing halal wealth from their business and from war booties and making big houses, Hadharat Abu zer Ghaffari had the view point, that excess wealth should be given in khairat, as our prophet did, where as Hadrat Uthman had the view point, that after paying zakat, excess wealth can be utilized b y oneself as per his halal requirements.


All Fraiz like Salath, Soum, Hajj and Jihad are performed in public but Zakat is the only Farz which is to be performed in private an is supposed not to be paid in public. This might be the reason that we do not know much how, how much and when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) paid Zakat but Ahkame Elahi about zakat are very clearly mention in Quran and it is our belef that Prophet followed all Ahkam-e-Elahi by himself before asking Muslims to follow them.

  • There's certainly some truth in this, but you must be aware that Muhammad himself used to collect or order to zakat and give it to the poor and this is witnessed, by hadith narration so it was at least partly a public matter.
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 29, 2019 at 11:31

Prophet SAW did not give his share of fadak to Fatimah RAA. That's why, it was not given to Fatimah by Abu Bakr RAA, but Abu Bakr RAA continued to do with it as Prophet SAW did, Prophets AS are not inherited. 1/5 of booty was not only for Prophet SAW, there were other shares as well in it, also Prophet SAW was the most generous and used to spend all in the path of Allah, also Prophet SAW chose to live a poor life, otherwise Allah SWT would have made the mountain of Makkah into Gold for him as mentioned in the Hadith, Prophet SAW had no interest in this worldly life, He lived like a traveller in it, His Life was so noble and High that we can not even imagine, All his concerns were about this Deen and things related to it.


It is a very important question. Did our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ever paid Zakat. So far the answer is no , unless someone comes with strong reference, to answer this question. Among five pillars of Islam Zakat is one of them. Apart from Zakat, all other pillars are completely followed by Our Prophet. Zakat is the only " Fars" which does not have any record of Sunnah , so far . What is the significance of this , what lesson our Prophet wanted to teach us. The three main forms of giving in the name of Allah are : 1) Karat ; 2) Sadka ; 3) Zakat. It is a well known fact with a multiple strong references that our Prophet gave karat and sadqa all the times. Infect whatever he had after his needs he gave away to others in karat and sadqa . What it means for us.

  • Would you explain in your answer the meaning of "Fars" and "Karat"? Some of us might not understand what they mean. Thank you!
    – Atata
    Mar 3, 2016 at 12:46

In the last few years of the life of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) he had a lot of money at his hands. Our Prophet Muhammad( peace be upon him) gave preference to karat and sadqa over zakat. The question is why ?. This aspect of our Prophet 'life needs to be studied very carefully . My hero in my life is Muhammad (peace be upon him). The book , I think is the only real book, is Quran. The only true religion is Islam. Our Ulemas needs to focus on formulating rules and regulations for paying Zakat. Not only paying zakat but most importantly calculating zakat. For example on what income should one pay zakat: Gross income or net income. If the answer is on net income then what deductions are allowed.. house rent telephone bill ,electric bill school fees.... what about the money you spend on karat and sadqa.... Can zakat be paid in installments or in one go...can one pay zakat to the state or can give of his own. When you see that your rulers are corrupt and dishonest ,then you can pay zakat of your own...


Momin pays zakaat for purify his/her wealth Prophet Muhammad pbuh never earned impure wealth hence Nabi pbuh didn't need to pay zakaat. There is law in sharia that one can not give zakaat to his family or slave and each n every ummati is slave of Prophet Muhammad pbuh hope u got the answer.


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