What do the scholars and muftīs of the mighty Sharī’ah say regarding this case that after bulūgh I did not deliver several years of zakāh, what is the method of paying this Zakāh now?

Questioner: Adnan from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

It is necessary upon you that you immediately pay however much Zakāh you owe. Whatever delay has occurred up until now you must repent from it with a true heart and make a binding commitment that you will not do such a thing in the future.

The way to pay the Zakāh of the preceding years is to calculate the wealth of the first year in which you didn’t pay Zakāh, meaning stock merchandise, the value of gold and silver at that time and currencies and divide all of this by 40. The answer that you get from this will be the Zakāh of that first year. Now the amount of Zakāh payable from the first year will be subtracted [from the total assets] when calculating the Zakāh for the second year i.e. having subtracted this amount if the person is sāhib e nisāb [owner of the threshold amount of wealth which makes a person liable for Zakāh] he will pay Zakāh over all the remaining amount. If there is currency, then this and if there is any gold or silver then this in accordance with its value will all be divided by 40 and the answer will be the Zakāh of the second year. Repeat this process in the same way until no Zakāh remains liable upon oneself.

Each year when the wealth has reached the nisāb amount, anything beyond this which does not reach a fifth [of the nisāb], Zakāh upon that is not necessary. It has been said that the wealth should be divided by 40 and this is because the fard of Zakāh is one fortieth [2.5%]

Just as it has been mentioned in a Blessed Hadīth,

فَإِذَا بَلَغَتْ مِائَتَيْنِ فَفِيهَا خَمْسَةُ دَرَاهِمَ

“So when it has reached 200 [dirhams] then there is 5 dirhams from it.”

[Sunan al-Tirmidhī, Hadīth 620]

Five dirhams is one fortieth of 200 dirhams.

My master A’lā Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Dīn-o-Millat Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān, may Allāh shower him with mercy, says in answering a question regarding Zakāh that it will be necessary each year until the wealth does not remain below the nisāb. This is because when the first year’s Zakāh was not given, then the person is in debt by that amount for the second year, so by reducing the total by this amount he should pay Zakāh over the rest [i.e. for the second year]. For the third year he will be in debt concerning the Zakāh of the first and second year, so by deducting those amounts he will be liable for Zakāh over what remains. Similarly, after subtracting the Zakāh amounts liable from the previous years, then if what remains reaches the nisāb itself or by adding to it other Zakāt-able wealth, then Zakāh must be paid over that, otherwise [if it does not reach nisāb] then it will not [need to be paid].

[al-Fatāwa al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 10, pg. 144]

Summarising from Fath al-Qadīr, it is mentioned that,

یلزم بتأخیرہ من غیرضرورة الاثم کما صرح به الکرخی والحاکم الشھید فی المنتقی، وھو عین ما ذکرہ الفقیة أبو جعفر عن أبی حنیفة رضي تعالٰی عنه انه یکرہ ان یؤخرھا من غیر عذر فان کراھة التحریم ھی المحمل عند إطلاق اسمھا عنھم وکذا عن أبی یوسف وعن محمد ترد شھادته بتأخیر الزکوٰة حق الفقراء فقد ثبت عن الثلث وجوب فوریة الزکوٰة

“There is sin associated in unnecessarily delaying the payment of Zakāh as Imām Karkhī has clearly stated and al-Hākim al-Shahīd in al-Muntaqā and that is exactly what al-Faqīh Abu Ja’far has related from al-Imām Abū Hanīfah, may Allāh be pleased with him, that it is disliked (makrūh) to delay it without an excuse. So indeed prohibitive dislike (makrūh tahrīmī) is what it [i.e. karāhah – dislike] denotes upon when it [karāhah] is mentioned in generally by them. It is similarly reported from Qādī Abū Yusuf, and it is also mentioned from Imām Muhammad that the testimony of a person is rejected by delaying the payment of Zakāh as it is the right of the poor. Thus the necessity of immediate payment of Zakāh is established from all 3 Imāms.”

[Summarised from Fath al-Qadīr, vol. 2, pg. 114]

My master A’lā Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Dīn-o-Millat Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān, may the mercy of Allāh be upon him, has also stated that this is the relied upon view in the Hanafī Madhab. It is mentioned in al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah that according to the correct and relied upon opinion in the Madhab, the payment of Zakāh is immediately necessary. Thus the one who does not pay his Zakāh, such that the next year passes on, then he is a sinner. Similarly is the obligation of Hajj [being immediately necessary] according to the most correct and outweighed opinion. Thus that year in which one has the capability to do so, he should travel for Hajj, otherwise he will be sinful.

[al-Fatāwa al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 16, pg. 559]

Furthermore, one should remember that the first ever year of reaching nisāb, then its date; month, day and time should be specified and then in accordance to the Islamic [lunar] year, the calculation of Zakāh should be undertaken. This is because it is the Islamic [lunar] year which is considered in relation to Zakāh.

کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri

Translated by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0207] I’ve not paid Zakat for many years, how shall I pay now?

Also see:

[Q-ID0286] Who has to pay Sadaqah tul Fitr and at what age?

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