Zakat on jewelry
Acquired gold in 2005. Didn’t pay zakaat on it under the impression that we had borrowed money to buy a house and so we were in debt. The house was paid off by both me and my husband but we never established whose debt it was. I can’t remember when the house was paid off but it was around 2012-13. In 2017 we sold the first house and bought another one again borrowing money some of which we still owe. This debt has been taken on by my husband. I have paid zakaat on and off over the years but never kept a record. For the past three years, I have been paying on my gold regularly. I want to know when I would have been liable to pay zakaat. Would I have paid during the period we owed money for the first house and after that as well? Answer: ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Whoever signed up for the loan will be considered the one in debt. This is something you and your husband need to clarify among yourselves. Nonetheless, if it was a joint loan, both of you would be liable for paying off the debt. It is advised that you maintain clarity when doing business even if it may be with your husband. Many a time, such ambiguity leads to confusion and dispute. If the loan is under your husband’s name, it will be considered his responsibility, thus you would not have to worry about counting it as a liability when calculating your Zakat. When your husband is calculating his Zakat, he should deduct the amount owed for 1 lunar year. If it was a joint loan, you and your husband will each deduct the amount which you both intended to pay individually for 1 lunar year. For example, in one lunar year, you intend to pay $10,000, and your gold is worth $20,000. You will subtract $10,000 and give Zakat only on $10,000.
Zakat is necessary for a sane, Muslim adult who possesses wealth which reaches nisab (after deducting one’s liabilities), and one lunar year passes over that wealth. In addition, wealth is surplus to their basic necessities of life. On the basis thereof, for all the years that passed, if the above-mentioned conditions applied to you, you will have to pay Zakat for all the years missed. It is suggested that you keep a written record of how much Zakat was paid and unpaid in order to facilitate calculation and avoid any mistakes when discharging your Zakat.
Sharhul Wiqaya: v. 2, p. 200-201 [Al-Warraq]
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham