Zakaah on money that is set aside for buying a house


My husband and I are employed and since I started working, I started to save a small portion of my salary with the aim of buying a house. Up till now, fifteen years later, I have not been able to save half the amount of money needed to buy a house, because of the high cost of living and the high costs of real estate in major cities. My question is: how should I pay zakaah, even if that will affect the amount of money?.

Praise be to Allah.

If a person owns the nisaab (minimum amount of wealth at
which zakaah becomes due) and one full hijri year has passed since he
acquired it, then he must pay zakaah on it, even if he has set that money
aside to build a house or get married or go for Hajj and so on, because of
the general meaning of the evidence which states that paying zakaah on
wealth is obligatory. 

The nisaab for cash is the equivalent of 597 grams of silver,
and the rate that must be given is 2.5%, i.e., one quarter of one tenth. 

Zakaah has been enjoined by Allaah in order to purify wealth,
make it grow and bring blessing, and to help the poor and needy. It is a
great obligation and it is not permissible to neglect it, for wealth belongs
to Allaah and He is the One Who has enjoined zakaah and has warned against
neglecting it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give
Zakaah, and bow down (or submit yourselves with obedience to Allaah) along
with Ar‑Raaki‘oon”

[al-Baqarah 2:43] 

“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify
them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allaah for them. Verily, your
invocations are a source of security for them; and Allaah is All-Hearer,

[al-Tawbah 9:103]

“And those who hoard up gold and silver (Al‑Kanz: the
money, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way
of Allaah, announce unto them a painful torment”

[al-Tawbah 9:34]

Kanz refers to all kinds of wealth that is subject to zakaah
but on which zakaah has not been paid. 

Muslim (987) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be
pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no owner of gold or silver who does not
pay what is due on them, but when the Day of Resurrection comes, there will
be beaten out for him plates of fire which will be heated in the Fire of
Hell, and his sides, forehead and back will be branded with them. Every time
they cool down they will be reheated for him, on a day the length of which
is as fifty thousand years, until judgement is passed among the people. Then
he will be shown his path, either to Paradise or to Hell.” 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
told us that wealth does not in fact decrease because of zakaah, rather it
is blessed and increases. He said: “Wealth does not decrease because of
charity.” Narrated by Muslim, 2588. 

Many people neglect the issue of blessing on wealth. A person
may own huge amounts of wealth but it is not enough for him, and it does not
bring him what he wants; he does not feel any sense of ease or happiness
because of it. But someone else may own a small amount of wealth that has
been blessed for him, so he is happy and content with it. This is something
that is well known. 

So do not hesitate to pay zakaah on your wealth, and do that
willingly and cheerfully. Remember that the pleasure of Allaah is what we
are seeking, and this world is transient and passing, and a pleasure that
will soon fade. 

“The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception
(a deceiving thing)”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:185]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
What the Muslim should do is pay his zakaah in full, in obedience to Allaah
and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),
fulfilling the pillars of Islam and protecting himself from punishment and
protecting his wealth from loss and being deprived of blessing. Zakaah is a
bounty, not a penalty. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify
them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allaah for them. Verily, your
invocations are a source of security for them; and Allaah is All-Hearer,

[al-Tawbah 9:103]

The one to whom Allaah has given wealth must work out the
zakaah precisely. 

Wealth is of three kinds: 

1 – Wealth on which zakaah is definitely due, such as cash in
gold and silver or the notes and bills that have taken their place. Zakaah
is due on this whether it is set aside for trade, spending, buying a house
to live in or a dowry with which to get married, etc. 

2 – Wealth on which zakaah is definitely not due, such as the
house in which one lives, the car which one drives, the furnishings of one’s
house, and so on.  

These two matters are clear. 

3 – Kinds of wealth concerning which there is some difference
of opinion, such as debts that are still owed. What you should do is ask the
scholars about this so that you will understand your religious duties and
worship Allaah properly. 

It is not permissible for a Muslim to be careless about the
matter of zakaah, or to be lazy about giving it to those who are entitled to
it, because of the stern warning concerning that which is mentioned in the
Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him). 

End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen,

May Allaah help us and you to do that which He loves and
which pleases him. 

And Allaah knows best.

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