Assalamualaikum ustaz. I want to ask is it permissible for a person to expedite his zakat payment before the haul due to a certain maslahah such as in situations where there is an asnaf who are in dire need?
Hope for an explanation. Thank you.
Waalaikumussalam w.b.t. Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
First, basically it is wajib to pay the zakat when it has fulfilled the nisab and duration of haul (a qamari year). Thus, the obligatory conditions of zakat are:
- Muslim, zakat is not wajib for non-Muslims.
- Fulfils the nisab set, which means the amount of wealth that has reached the value where it is wajib for a person to pay zakat.
- Fulfils the haul (a qamari year), which means it has completed a whole year of which the wealth is in his possession. (Refer al-Fiqh al-Manhaji fi Fiqh al-Syafie, 2:8)
This is also based on the hadith of the Prophet PBUH which was narrated by Saidina Ali Ibn Abi Talib RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:
وَلَيْسَ فِي مَالٍ زَكَاةٌ حَتَّى يَحُولَ عَلَيْهِ الْحَوْلُ
"Zakat does not have to be paid on the property until a year has elapsed over it."
Sunan Abu Daud (1573) and Sunan Ibn Majah (1789)
Thus, it is understood that if the property does not fulfil the haul, then it is not wajib on the property to be paid zakat for. However, a question arises, is it permissible to expedite the payment of zakat before the haul because of certain maslahah, such as the dire need of the asnaf?
This situation has happened previously and the majority of scholars hold the opinion that it is permissible to expedite the payment of zakat before the haul, especially if there is a maslahah for it to be paid in advance such as a dire need of the asnaf.
They supported their opinion with a hadith where the Messenger PBUH gave a rukhsah (facilitation) for his uncle, Saidina ‘Abbas to expedite the payment of zakat before the haul. The hadith which narrates this is as the following:
فعَنْ عَلِيٍّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، أَنَّ الْعَبَّاسَ سَأَلَ النبي صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ في تعجيلِ صَدَقَته قبل أنْ تَحُلَّ، فرَخَّصَ في ذلك
From Saidina Ali RA, Al-Abbas asked the Prophet (ﷺ) about paying the sadaqah (his zakat) in advance before it became due, and he gave permission to do that.
Sunan Abu Daud (1624)
This is also stated in fiqh books such as Nihayatul al-Muhjat Syarh al-Minhaj:
يجوز تعجيلها في المال الحولي قبل تمام الحول فيما انعقد حوله ووجد النصاب فيه؛ لأنه صلى الله عليه وسلم أرخص في التعجيل للعباس
It is permissible to expedite the payment of zakat on a property even before the completion of the haul and the nisab is fulfilled. The reason is the Prophet PBUH gave rukhsah this advance payment of zakat to Saidina ‘Abbas RA. (Nihayatul Muhtaj Syarh al-Minhaj, 3:141)
The same matter is concluded by Ibn al-Qudamah in his book, al-Mughni where it is stated:
وجملته أنه متى وجد سبب وجوب الزكاة وهو النصاب الكامل جاز تقديم الزكاة
To conclude, when the main prioritized reason that obligates zakat is fulfilled which is it has reached the nisab, then it is permissible to expedite the payment of zakat. (Refer al-Mughni Li Ibn Qudamah, 2:499)
However, the scholars have set certain conditions if a person intends to expedite the payment of zakat before the completion of haul. The conditions are :
- It must fulfil the sufficient nisab in the ownership of the person paying the zakat when he wants to expedite the payment of zakat. The zakat is invalid if the nisab he owns is insufficient.
ولا يجوز تعجيل الزكاة قبل ملك النصاب بغير خلاف علمناه
It is impermissible to expedite the payment of zakat before he owns the sufficient nisab and scholars do not have any khilaf on this opinion according to what we know. (Refer al-Mughni Li Ibn al-Qudamah, 4:80)
- It is permissible for him to pay his zakat in advance for only the duration of a year, and it is impermissible for him to pay zakat for years ahead which is more than a year. The reason is the second year has not even started which means he intends to pay zakat before he owns the nisab as stated in the first condition.
- The condition for his advance payment of zakat to be valid is his property has fulfilled the nisab and it is sufficient until the end of the If his property is destroyed or he sells it, thus, the advance payment he made previously is not considered as zakat.
- The recipient of the zakat must be from among the asnaf who are eligible to receive the zakat until after the end of the If he becomes rich before the end of the haul then the payment made to him is not considered as zakat.
According to the above discussion, we would like to conclude that the advance payment of zakat before the completion of haul is permissible and valid. This is according to the opinion of the majority of scholars following the dhawabit and conditions stated above.
Thus, in our opinion if there is a need for the maslahah of the asnaf in dire situations, then it is permissible for people who want to expedite their zakat payment without waiting for the completion of the haul. This is a form of an initiative to help ease their burden and a form of charity towards them which will be greatly rewarded by Allah SWT. Allah SWT states:
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
“And establish prayer and give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing.”
Surah al-Baqarah (110)
May Allah SWT give us a sahih understanding in understanding His commandments and guide us to perform worship sincerely for Him. Amin.