I am a salaried person. Eversince I have got a job 18 years ago, I am trying to collect money from my savings to buy a house for me and my family.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

I am a salaried person. Eversince I have got a job 18 years ago, I am trying to collect money from my savings to buy a house for me and my family. I am trying to pay Zakat @ 2.5% of what I have been able to save but every year the value of property is increasing so fast that it appears that I will never be able to make it. Now the situation is that I have to pay more in Zakat than what I can save in one year. This way my saved amount is even going down. Do I still have to pay Zakat?

Surprisingly, the people who are sometimes receiving Zakat have already got a house of their own (though small).

 

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Answer:

 

Zakah clarifications

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Listed below are the two underlying principles when determining ‘zakah’:

 

1. If the total net worth of any believer (man, woman, or child) is more than the prescribed ‘nisaab’ of 7.5 tolas of gold (app. 85 grams or app. Value US$2,100.00), then the person is liable to pay the obligatory zakat of 2.5% on their excess wealth which has been in their possession for a full calendar year.

 

2. For the purpose of determining ‘zakah’, the ‘Net Excess Assets’ would be the current market value of all of one’s assets (properties, jewelry, cash, etc.) except:

  1. the value of the house one owns and actually lives in
  2. the value of the car/vehicle one uses on a regular basis
  3. the value of the furniture and fixtures one uses on a regular basis.

 

Your Question: Now the situation is that I have to pay more in Zakat than what I can save in one year. This way my saved amount is even going down. Do I still have to pay Zakat?

Beloved brother, if the value of your net excess assets is more than the prescribed ‘nisaab’, then indeed you will be liable to pay your obligatory ‘zakah’ on your cash savings, absolutely regardless of the purpose of your savings, or whether or not the annual ‘zakah’ dues are more or less than what you intend to save for that particular year.

 

Amr ibn Shu'aib reported from his father from Abdullah ibn Amr that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "One who becomes the guardian of an orphan with property must trade on his behalf and not leave it passive in order to avoid depletion of the property by zakah."

Related by Muslim.

 

Respected brother, rather than keeping your savings idle and thus depleting it through the payment of annual zakah, it would only be prudence on your part to invest or trade with your savings and earn a lawful return on them, until you have enough to purchase your intended house. 

 

Your Question: Surprisingly, the people who are sometimes receiving Zakat have already got a house of their own (though small).

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 60:

60      Alms are for the poor, and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds), for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the Truth), for those in bondage and in debt, in the Cause of Allah, and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.

 

The ownership of one’s own house is absolutely irrelevant for being eligible to receive zakah; if one falls in any of the above eight listed categories, it would be lawful for the believers to spend on them from their zakah dues.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 

 

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