Islamic Finance Questions and Answers

(May Allah bestow on Ethica Institute more wisdom and knowledge)

President, Philippine Association of Islamic Accountants

Second Series


Giving Total Zakat To Single Person. – May I give all my zakat to a single person?

It is permissible to give all of one’s zakat to a single person, but this becomes offensive, though no less valid, if the recipient exceeds the nisab minimum as a result of having received this amount.

Distributing Zakat In One’s Area – Is it necessary to distribute zakat only in one’s area? 

It is recommended to give zakat in one’s area (and offensive not to), unless recipients in another area are more deserving (such as victims of war, zakat eligible relatives, students of Sacred Law, military jihad soldiers fighting intruders, etc.).

Obligation Of Zakat On Non-Muslims. – Is zakat obligatory upon non-Muslims?

Non-Muslims and apostates to Islam do not pay zakat, even in Muslim lands, nor do they pay zakat for the time spent out of Islam if they later decide to become Muslim.

Zakat Of One Unable To Pay In Person – Who is responsible for the zakat of one unable to pay in person?

A guardian or trustee must pay zakat from the wealth of a qualifying individual who is unable to pay in person, such as a traveler, prisoner or incapacitated person.

Zakat On Behalf Of Insane Individual Or Minor – Is it obligatory to pay zakat on behalf of an insane individual or a minor?

There is difference of opinion about the obligatoriness of zakat payment by a guardian on behalf of an insane person or a minor. Imams Shafi’i and Malik hold that it is obligatory while Imam Abu Hanifah holds that it is not.

Unpaid Zakat Of Deceased. – Should unpaid zakat be deducted from the estate of a deceased?

Unpaid zakat is not taken from the estate of the deceased unless a bequest specifies that the zakat should be paid posthumously, in which case zakat is paid on one-third of the estate, regardless of whether this amount covers the zakat obligation or not; it is permissible, though not obligatory, for the inheritors of the remaining two-third of the estate to fulfill the balance of the zakat obligation from their portion.

Obligation Of Zakat On Children. – Must children pay zakat?

Children do not pay zakat; neither is the guardian obligated to pay zakat on behalf of the child from the child’s wealth, nor is one expected to pay zakat for one’s childhood; zakat is only obligatory on the zakat-eligible child upon puberty, where actual payment is due one lunar year after puberty.

(To be continued)

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