Monday, November 29, 2010

Paying and Calculating your Zakat

Many have asked me this is what I wrote down..and since those idiots at HELIUM can’t understand… so I might as well share this with you.

The payment of Zakat or Tithes are mandatory in Islam as how taxes are due in the modern world today. Being part of the 5 pillars of Islam which are "To recite the Shahadah or Oath of Allegiance" , "Pray 5 times a day" , "Fast in Ramadan", " Pay your Zakat" and perform the Hajj (if permissible), Zakat plays a very important role in the social and spiritual aspect of one's faith to Allah, the One God of the Universe.

Although it is MANDATORY, Zakat is only payable should the "Nisab" or literally means Calculations are met, similar to the personal allowances in a tax return and not just be paid during Ramadan itself (in which the Zakat Fitrah is payable for all). There are many kinds of Zakat, namely the Fitrah (paid during Ramadan), Salary, Business Profits, Gold and Jewellery, Agriculture Harvests and Savings. Although calculations for Zakat are complex, it is broken down to the following:

·          Zakat Fitrah - 2.7 Kg of Rice payable per person (in cash or grain) alive in Ramadan and Syawal ,including newborns.

·          Jewellery : At the rate of 2.5% of the excess of any jewellery worn kept for a year which is more than 800grams of gold and / or 200 Silver Dirhams  or 595 Grams of Silver with a purity of more than 75%,where there are precious stones embedded, 0.05grams are deducted per small stone and 0.5 grams for big ones ( more than 1 Karat )

·          Bullion : The excess of 20 misqals or about 85 grams of gold (20 Gold Dinars) at the rate of 2.5%, and whereupon there is a mix of gold and silver, at the rate 7 Dinars to 10 Dirhams where one Gold Dinar is 4.5Grams of Gold of 22K (91.6 Pure Gold) and the worth of one Dirham is 3 Grams of Pure Silver , as related by Umar Ibn Al-Khattab ( A right hand man of Prophet Muhammad ).

·          Cash Savings : The excess of the currency equivalent of Gold Bullion. (Convert all cash and Gold Bullion to the above rate, there is no promissory credit notes to be paid for Zakat). This includes any dividends and share holdings at value of 1st Muharram of the Hijrah Year.

·          Business or Agriculture Harvests: At the rate of 2.5% of the NET PROFIT for Business, Rents / Leases, Herding, Farming or Breeding of Animals and 5% for agricultural activities next to a water source (river) and the GROSS ACQUISITION rate at 20% of any bullion or precious stones mining activities.

·          Personal Working Income : At the rate of 2.5% of the NET DISPOSABLE INCOME (money you can save) above 20 dinars, where your nett income is derived from the total of all your gross pay, less your commitments such as housing,food,education, transport, necessities such as decent clothings (not flashy or extravagant means), home furnishings and the such. You must also pay off ANY DEBTS FIRST before deriving to your net disposable income.

Where you have many income,savings, shares and businesses, then the payable rate is 2.5% of the TOTAL AMOUNT (less any debts which you must pay first) above the 20 dinars threshold. At today's rate 2.75 Oz of Gold simply put it, for those who have a headache calculating the dues. Or approximately USD4000 at 2010 Thanksgiving rate of USD1400/oz.  In mathematical terms, total sum of Zakat payable is 2.5% of the sum of [all Gold Jewellery-800Grams] + [all Silver Jewellery – 595Grams] + [Net Amount of {Income+business+normal agriculture}+shares+savings – 20 Dinars / 85Grams/ 2.75 Troy Oz ] and 20% for mining activities plus the agriculture surcharge is next to a waterway.

If one is poor and don’t reach the savings threshold of 20 Dinars or still owes people money (deficit), the Zakat is not due to them.

MEN ARE PROHIBITED FROM WEARING JEWELERY and as such, any jewelery of a Single UNMARRIED Man is to be assessed TOGETHER with his CASH ASSETS.Where he is a widower and these are assets at trust for his children by inheritance of their mothers, no Zakat is due and he should invest their savings so that there are profits for them.

There are rules for Zakat (other than Fitrah) payment which are from HALAL MEANS (does not include anything related to interest taking, pigs, gambling, criminal activities,bribery and those that cause harm such as tobacco,drugs, vice,fortune telling and blasphemous activities including witchcraft and in the terms of Business and Property transactions, must not be related or rented or leased out to NON HALAL ACTIVITIES), FREE MAN (independent), Free Holding of Assets to be used to pay for Zakat (not owned by someone else or on loan) and of Sound Mind.

As a social aspect, Zakat acts just as how tax are collected. Revenues for the government and in terms of Islam, it is just a Socialist and Communal system where the collections of Zakat are pooled together and divided into 8 different purposes, similar to a payable accounts, for which in this case are the Destitute (Extremely Poor / Fakir ), In need or the poor ( Below the taxable band / Miskin ), Traveler or someone on a voyage and ran out of funds or supplies ( such as going on the Hajj and got stranded / Musafir) , Newly Converts ( Mualaf ), Collector of Zakat ( the 'Amil' does need to eat right? ), Slaves who is in need to gain independent or in the new age those heavily in debt ( they were sold as slaves if they can't pay in those days ), Orphans / Widows and Single Parents and those working for the path of Allah or Jihad or Fisabillilah.

Don't get the wrong idea that Zakat is paid to fund terrorists claiming Jihad, where in those days, Jihad is to work for Allah , similar to the nuns and defenders of the religion and in the modern day aspect, claiming for Jihad is to find others who have strayed and convert them or show then to the Path of Allah (Missionaries), Teaching, Leadership (Iman, Khatib, Khalifah), Saving other people's lives and for the women, to perform the Hajj.  In the social aspect in comparison to other religion such as Christianity or Judaism, these are similar values preached by many, for humanity.

Even such a thing that if one is wanting to start his own business and don't have the money to start it up, the Baitulmal or Administrator of Zakat will approve such a dispersement to start the business as this falls under Miskin where one must be in hardship to better themselves, and if they do have the money to have their own business, why they come after the zakat for assistance, correct? The social welfare system of the 620AD is a well governed and lubricated machine such that many Zakat administration bodies have too much money with little to do as many don't wish to lose face when faced with problems for the fear of negative stigma and that the money they are asking for is not theirs to enjoy as it's more of a heavier responsibility for it's God's Money! Similar to the Vatican, the British Islamic communities have saved up over 2.1BILLION POUNDS in saving trusts for the Mosques or Khairats (Community Grievance Trust Funds to manage deaths in the community among members) within the United Kingdom alone and assets of nearly 5 Billion Pounds in Property and Gold Depositories.

With so much money, no wonder the Muslim communities are thriving everywhere as the assistance is available anywhere. It is always nice to give to others than to receive and it's a taboo not to donate to the mosque when coming in for congregation such as Eid, Friday Prayers, Tarawih and Special Prayers as Allah promised to return the act of faith 49 times or even up to 700 times for those who are married, men or women. But those who are stingy will always have ill betrothed upon them such as ILL HEALTH, and many other means and an act of Faith of Jihad is to give all you can for the cause , for the Path of Allah. Zakat is not just about Islam but humanity and community action for sometimes, a church may ask for donations for a community even, such as inter faith get together like on Independence Day  or someone who had an accident for all these kind gestures are alike to Missionaries back then, and those who are in need always remember the act of kindness of those who provided help.

However, Muslims have to be fearful of Allah's wrath for those who do not wish to pay their Zakat is promised with Hell Fire and that "on the day of Judgement , the Gold and Silver will be melted and poured into their throats, and this is what they have been saving up on Earth, so taste of your doings" and sometimes, Allah sends His collectors in these world, to test out our faith, for it is said that if someone comes to you for alms,give something for you may not know that what you gave away is what could have brought you to Hell and that you will see that Allah will return the money back to you in many other ways that one cannot even think of, for He is All Knowing, All Wise, Truly Merciful.

It's always nice to see you are being appreciated when you  give help to others, and in many places, Zakat money is used to buy kidney dialysis machines, life support equipments, hospital kits and during disasters, food, clothes , shelter and many more. Some countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and most Muslim countries allow the Zakat being paid in lieu of normal income taxes due as opposed to Charitable Relief Deductions.


Sources: FSA UK, 2010 (Sukuk and Islamic Finance Reports), Holy Quran, Sunnah Rasul



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gettig ready for Black FRIDAY

Yes. I am snagging many deals for you on BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND for HOSTING, DOMAINS and SUCH. One of them is FREE HOSTING FOR ONE YEAR, and a few others, well I can only advise when the deal is up tomorrow.

Anyway, many deals are such a time waster like the YES 4G by YTL where their customer service sucks big time and despite their claims, the devices are limited, service coverage is just in main downtown areas and they don't have shops that have the products. What the heck when you have service in JB,SEREMBAN and no one to sell your device?

You expect your customer to drive all the way from JB and PENANG to KL for the item and do the registration and stuff? Come on man YTL.. you guys think it's fun? And that how on earth did your ISP WEBHOST allow you to get DDOSed? Didn't you want to try Cloud Computing by AZURE or AWS..otherwise this would not happen.

Sack those in the company....honestly. not doing any great news to your branding.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Using freelance websites.

Somewhat, I have been trying many ways to find some extra cash over the weekend and yes, at times, it's frustrating since blogging for money is literally dead unless you are counting on the Google Adsense and the White Hat SEO tricks people been trying to con to get high bids on their advertising space.

But no, I did something during the Thanksgiving Holidays (Eidul Adha or Festival of the Haj Pilgrims) and snagging a few jobs that require technical and consultation expertise.
You see, I do play with affiliate programs and sometimes I do get jobs which I am not fully competent to work on.

Of which, I tend to sub contract the job out myself for a quick buck! So if you want some of the pickings, please look out for those jobs.
I have about 5 jobs which are running right now, but I won't tell you which ID it is on, until you register and let me see your passing credentials.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Our International arm is now expanding into the middle east and now require someone to be a partner and manage our business arm in Saudi Arabia.

We strongly recommend that Saudi Women bid for the job with REALISTIC Pricing.

Job description:

Please adhere to the site's requirements and if you think you have someone who can do so, please forward this over.

This is for our ongoing projects, with many other investments and jobs for everyone.

Thank you 
and Salam Aidil Adha.

Something is dead wrong

I have been getting complaints that the blog is not viewable properly over the gray background, which I find it quite amusing because I did it to deter any screen grabber or autobots that love to leech people's content to say that it's theirs.

Anyway, Thank you for your comments and will try tweak them as soon as I can get my bandwidth up again. Like I said.. bandwidth cost money....

And to all my friends

Safe Driving to where ever you may be going.

From me


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Making that extra bit in Helium

I am seriously surprised that getting $7.02 a month based on 109 articles in Helium is such a real deal to the writers, where on average, it just yield 6.5 cents per month on the adsense earnings alone.

The thing is, I blog for a living and even at "low tides" such as now where we tend to focus into selling products on the internet for a living and making a killing from affiliate programs such as those on Commission Junction, Share-a-sale or other program. But then, even at these lows, my adsense clicks and conversions far exceed the $7 a month! This is totally crazy where if I am to follow that trend, it would take me over 18 months to cash out my earnings from Google.


Is there some sort of foul play at helium? I was asking the other day so that I can directly insert my analytics instead with my publisher id where they can take the 50% share of the earnings directly instead as opposed to the current field of play. I've no qualms of them managing things but prefer if they can just pay the earnings, how small it is via Paypal at the end of the month.

Coming back to earning more, as a publisher and active affiliate, I have to keep with the trends and checking out new toys and stuff to sell is an important part of the research, not just SEO itself. It's no use writing articles that are not being weighed properly on the search engines, as you can try Google your topic and see how low your listings goes down the list.

Checking what is being paid by advertisers like me on Adwords is a key aspect of Google Analytics. Every high paying keywords (over $25 per click bids) include Web Hosting, Business Setup, Banking, Technology and mid range will include players from eBay, Amazon and such for products like iTunes, Apple iPhone 4, Blackberry Torch and iPad. These high value items including gold coins, jewelery and bullion.

As such, you should research, using 3rd party applications, of what advertising will come up on your advertorials. This will play a huge part in your daily earnings and not just paying peanuts of 2 cents per month.

According to the trends this weekend, Technology products, software are on the top list along with Business and Finance, especially about Home Refinance and Foreclosures in the US, managing the finances in the UK and Credit Cards, and not to forget Debit and Prepaid Credit Cards in the US for the financially unstable.

Apart from meeting the word requirements, putting in more information and repeating the keywords you are emphasizing will draw better advertising in place of the normal low bids.

I'm seriously fed up with the business model of Celcom Axiata Malaysia where they think that 3GB is such a fair usage policy that 3GB is nothing compared to the needs of the country Broadband demands. Heck, come on, even the basic low end user slurps up 300MB of data by just checking emails, Facebook and a few online news papers for information.

Honestly, what kind of business model are they thinking of, demanding RM50 which is almost a months rental for another few GB of data? Somewhat, despite the lacking and problems of their parent company, Telekom Malaysia, their wired service, Streamyx is without any throttle limits and I am seriously contemplating on going back into prepaid plans if not for the lack of coverage by Digi and Maxis and that my modem is network locked which is a real bummer.

It's bad enough the fees are far more than their neighbour where RM100 will get you speeds of 7.2M without any cuts *(they do say 5GB, but it's never enforced due to SLA and other bad PR they try to avoid) , filters and disabled towers problem. With a penetration of 42% of broadband and coverage of 35% of the outskirts of major cities, I mean seriously they need to rework their business attraction model.

YTL is introducing YES or short for YTL Enhanced-communications Systems which is done on 4G LTE network with voice and data speeds of 5x the speed of the current 3G networks, surpassing P1 Max. But being 4G they have a WiMAX inter operatability system in place where you should be able to roam into AMAX, P1 and RedTone. It should but I've not yet seen it done since Singapore is keeping their 3G still as they are leap frogging into OpenNET fiber optics by the Gigabits.

OK, that's for now..try and see if this email Blogger works.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spring Cleaning of Facebook

Did you know you can only have so much of a friends list in Facebook? Yes..the 5000 limit is the given maximum of any Facebook user that can connect and upon hitting 3000, the system will try to stop you from doing so, accepting new friends and such due to spamming and abuse of the system.

Being a developer, I find that the limits is a good thing but we tend to circumvent the system by harvesting the email addresses and connecting them and filtering through email address systems. Yahoo offers a great way to import the current user list with email addresses and then post export them into other services such as LinkedIn or other mailing list to make greater contact.

I have had over 16000 contacts over the past 2 years and that is a large sum, and pruning , triming them will keep the limits far from being breached and me from getting a red card from the administration. Overall, these connections are just actually, 400 over real people other than spam, game clones and such evil derived from Zynga's Mafia Wars and the like.

400 People out of 16,000 actually exist, with 1100 validated email addresses.So it's ok to prune occasionally but do import the contact list and mail merge them before hand. Having said that, LinkedIn is a great way to know people, professionally and not just plain kids on the block pretending to be 30 year olds.

Other than that, do have fun and keep your real friends who you comment and talk about on the lists.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wise Disk Cleaner Free 5.71

I downloaded from CNET recently many things and one I need to say is that I don't regret testing out applications for my own laptop. Some are bugsy and some are just plain OK.

One of the things downloaded was the WISE Disk Cleaner Free 5.71 which is a freeware but if you upgrade, there will be some extras on top. It reminds me of the old Norton Speed Disk Doctor (SDD) which works fine with XP but does not have that feature for Vista or 7 but the GUI looks the same.. it will scan and check the system and recommend if it wants to defragment or optimise it.

However, it does not wipe or optimise the free slack space where in Norton it compacts the files so that the free space is all at the end of the drive. It also can't move the system files, MFT and stuff to priority level one so it's loaded upfront such as the registry files.. but I can't expect much from a free-shareware right.

Other than's great tool if you prefer to see what is going on rather than just the status report of microsoft's defrag.

One GREAT feature is that it can CLEAN OFF all the unwanted files and junk that Disk Clean up will forget, like log files and such, so that is one of the strong points... so try Disk Cleaner Free out.

Download is swift at CNET since it's just 4MB only... a few mins off ADSL or Wireless Broadband and you are into it!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Understanding Islamic Finance

May people don't understand that Islamic Finance is not Islamic Banking. There is no Banking in Islam as trade of Money is Riba and Haram just that Investment and Finance, which is all based on the trade of a commodity such as property, project or bullion.

I wrote an article the other day on Helium and this is what I said...

There are not much differences in conventional or Islamic banking but typically, there is no such thing as Islamic Banking, just a figure of speak, but more of a Trade and Finance. Going back to the days of Christianity, Usury or Charging Interest was a practice by the Jewish community for things sold or trades where payment was to be made at a later date, thus started the Banking System, where the community will pool their money to someone who they know, a company or sort for a portion of their profits, whom by lending money to others at a higher rate.
In Islam, this is forbidden as it causes much pain and misery to the borrower where in those days, rates can be as high as 20% per week as how it's still happening today, going by the name of loan sharks. Borrowers in those days who default are being sold as slaves for the rest of their lives along with their families.
The act of Riba or literally "Increasing" causes the fall of the financial institutions going way back to the Barings Bank scandal by Nick Leeson and other institutions like the recent AIA , ABN AMRO, Royal Bank of Scotland and all thanks to the domino effect by the Lehman Brothers.

However, in Islam, there won't be such a problem as the risk factor is shared among the depositor who is called the investor based on an agreement between the institution and the financer. Of course, just as how you run a business, you won't like it if your silent partner is taking more than he should, since you have to cover the costs and other overheads, and thus, in a savings account, the expected rate of return normally works to about 5-8% of the investment amount. This is normally called the Mudharabah account.  Literally, this is the instant access account based on the bank's speculation on the markets and other projects. The equivalent are the Cash Instant Access ISA accounts in UK or even your current account.

Fixed deposits or Term Deposit Account (Certificates of Deposit) are Haram in Islam as they promised a fixed amount of return in terms of percentage or anything that is certain. In Islam, everything has no certainty as that is the will of Allah, thus why Muslims are to say Insyallah or God Willing in anything that is to be done in the future. However, in a General Investment Account , which is similar to a Fixed Term Depository, the depositor agrees to the percentage of profits they expect out of the investment pool. This is a shared risk between the depositor and the financial institution where the bank will take up insurance plan (takaful) to back the investment plan. 

Normally, the bank will invest in property or low risk, high return investments such as sukuk or bonds, Gold Bullion, Foreign Exchange or Leasing plans. These are usually advertised by the bank of their investment holdings and works similar to a unit trust fund. However, the investment managers are prohibited from taking on risks that are haram or even makhruh (hated) by the Prophet. These includes Pig Farms, Brewery, Winery , Vineyards (for wine) and try to refrain from property leasing or investment related to the tobacco industry and anything that causes harm to humanity including firearms, military and likewise.

As for financing schemes, they come in many forms, such as SUKUK which are bonds, Ijarah which literally means leasing, Musyarah Mustaqinah with Ijarah for home loans where it shares the equity with the bank, with decreasing equity amount as stated in the agreement. You will hear or see these terms in an Islamic financial agreement.

Ijarah - (Operating Lease) - which means the act of leasing of an asset pursuant to a contract under which a specified permissible benefit in the form of a usufruct is obtained for a specified period in return for a specified permissible consideration. It is a manfaah (usufruct) type of contract whereby a lessor (owner) leases out an asset to its customer at an agreed rental fee and pre-determined lease period upon the `aqad (contract). The ownership of the leased equipment remains in the hands of the lessor. Works just like any other hire-purchase agreement.
Ijarah Muntahiah Bi Tamlik (Financial Lease) - works just like an Ijarah but after the completion of the lease, the equipment or item in particular is transferred to the lessee by means of a gift or norminal sale agreement, usually in place for Project financing, Asset acquisition or Contract Financing (Factoring).

Ijarah Mausufah Fi Zimmah (Forward Lease) is particularly used for property under construction, even when the property or asset is not owned by the lessee, such as a property developer or strata title. During the construction period, the lessor (bank) can ask the lessee to pay a portion of the normal lease or rent that has been agreed upon during the 'aqad. The forward lease rental payment is considered a debt till it is completed (agreement term) and then forth will the property be delivered to the lessee as a debt satisfied. This is usually in place for property financing and the lease cannot be increased or otherwise during the term of agreement.

Istisna’a (Purchase Order) - which means a purchase contract of an asset whereby a buyer will place an order to purchase the asset which will be delivered in the future. In other words, the buyer will require a seller or a contractor to deliver or construct the asset that will be completed in the future according to the specifications given in the sale and purchase contract. Both parties of the contract will decide on the sale and purchase prices as they wish and the settlement can be delayed or arranged based on the schedule of the work completed.

Musyarakah (Partnership / Profit And Loss Sharing)  - Musyarakah means partnership. Musyarakah refers to the commingling of capital provided by the partners for the purpose of sharing in profit. Musyarakah is established by means of an agreement or arrangement whereby two or more persons agree that each of them contributes to the capital of the partnership either in the form of cash or in kind and shares in its profit and loss.  Any profit derived from the venture will be distributed based on a pre-agreed profit sharing ratio, but a loss will be shared on the basis of equity participation.

Musyarakah Mutanaqisah (Diminishing Partnership)  - Musyarakah mutanaqisah or diminishing partnership is a form of Musyarakah (partnership) in which one of the partner promises to purchase the equity share of other partner gradually until the title of the equity is completely transferred to him. This transaction starts with the formation of partnership, after which buying and selling of the equity take place between the two partners. One partner may lease his share of the asset to the other partner on Ijarah (lease) basis. The partnership will come to an end with one partner being the sole owner of the asset or business venture.

Kafalah (Guarantee) - The Shariah principle of guarantee whereby the guarantor will guarantee the performance, action and undertaking to 3rd party. The guarantor will underwrite any claim and obligation that should be fulfilled by the principal. This concept is also applicable to a guarantee provided on a debt transaction in the event a debtor fails to fulfill his debt obligation. The same definition can be applied for Dhaman

In terms of Savings and Investments these terms come to play, which goes by a few terms.

Mudharabah (Profit Sharing) which goes in Finance and Investment plans.Mudharabah means partnership in profit whereby one party provides capital (rabb al-mal) and the other party acts as an entrepreneur (mudharib) who solely manages the project. If the venture is profitable, the profit will be distributed based on a pre-agreed ratio. In the event of a business loss, the loss shall be borne solely by the provider of the capital unless it is due to the misconduct or negligence of the mudharib.

Qardh (Benovalent Loan) - Qardh means non-interest bearing loan or benevolent loan which refers to a loan given by a person (lender) to the borrower without any expectation of extra returns.  The borrower is only obliged to pay the loan at its original amount to the lender within the agreed stipulated period of time.Current Accounts are part of a Qardh.

Another funny term which many sees in Divorce and Court settlements are Wakalah, which is a contract of agency which gives the power to a person to nominate another person to act on his behalf as long as he is alive based on the agreed terms and conditions. Some also term is as Power of Attorney.

In terms of economics, the Bank shares the risk with the investment account holder, similar to what the Building Societies, Cooperatives and Mutual Societies in the British Banking System where they do micro lending and calculated risk with customers they can trust. Islamic Financing is all about trust and that is what makes it strong as trade of money without anything backing it is wrong. Even now, investments of Gold are common nowadays but it's what makes Islamic Bonds stronger. Some banks even offer Instant Access Qardh accounts based on real physical gold, where they deposit cash to exchange for real gold, held by the bank within the vaults plus a small handling fee and when the investor wish to sell when the gold is higher, they can sell it to the bank directly at the rates they agree on or they can take out physical gold bars.

Not an acrostics of Divorce

A situation down the road Of once who we are lovers and great friends 
Broken Promises, Hardships and Pain Joy, Health and Memories 
Now is just a sweet and painful memory Of what is left,  
Of a divorced Me, No more We.
Much the pain is now fallen upon me
Of what to happen not just me,
But the bigger part of me, 
Our Kids, Our Lives, and of Our Families.

Now what I am now.. 
A Single Me.

The smell of Pine

Smell of freshness of Spring Pointing upwards, 
That of heavenly heavens pointing towards the sky above, 
Greens and Whites of the seasons, 
Such as nothing to stop it, 
The feeling of being alive, 
Pines, Needles and all Live.

Such that I feel that spring is not just of Pine,
Of cheap bunks of IKEA and you know what,
For it reminds me of how much I miss that smell,
That brought me much joy, not just being a Lone One.