I have some questions regarding my Zakat I hope you can answer, specifically I would like to know what deductions are permissible from the amount owed due to the liabilities I have. I have listed the potential deductions I believe I can make, or have questions about and Insha’Allah, I hope you can clarify which can be deducted and which cannot be deducted:
For context, my Zakat became due on the 1st Rajab this year (23rd January 2023.)
•I am not a homeowner, I rent a flat and my rent is due to the landlord on the 1st of every month (Gregorian calendar.) Can I subtract the monthly rent amount from the Zakat owed for only that month of January 2023, or may I subtract the amount owed for the whole lunar year (Rajab 1444 to Rajab 1445?)
•I have a student loan and pay back a set amount on the 30th of the month (Gregorian.) Due to this being a debt, can I subtract the amount I paid in the month of January from the Zakat due? Or, may I subtract the amount owed for the whole lunar year?
•My road tax was due before the 1st Rajab in Jan. Can I subtract my road tax fee from Zakat owed? Or, is it the case that since it was due before the 1st Rajab, I cannot count it as a deduction?
•I pay my council tax on the 1st of the month. Am I able to deduct my monthly council tax fee from the Zakat owed for only the month of January or for the whole lunar year?
•Likewise, my car insurance was paid before the 1st Rajab but in January. But, the payment and cover was for the period covering 1st January 2023 to 1st January 2024. Can I subtract my car insurance fee from Zakat owed? Or, is it the case that since it was paid before the 1st Rajab, I cannot count it as a deduction?
•I had a private medical appointment before 1st Rajab in Jan., but was invoiced for the appointment after 1st Rajab. Can I deduct this sum from the Zakat owed?
•Lastly, I had another medical procedure carried out after 1st Rajab in Jan. Am I correct in assuming that since it took place after 1st Rajab, I am not able to deduct this sum for the Zakat owed for this year?
Your input would be greatly appreciated as I am confused on what I can deduct and how much.
JazakAllah for your assistance.
The principle when it comes to deducting debts is that only those debts can be deducted which are already binding at the time of one’s zakat date. Hence, if a contract is going to be signed after one’s zakat date or in the case of instalments the next payment will be due after one’s zakat date, then in both scenarios the sums which are going to be due after the zakat date cannot be deducted.
Another rule is that long term debts that are paid back over many years can be deducted in full if one is actively trying to pay off the entire debt as soon as possible. If however, the individual is going by the monthly payment plan then they can only deduct one years liability.
Please see the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbMkUhyt4ag&list=PLTgDm4XwxaRJ1-UwfRKrKqVzmAKUOsrkD&index=17&ab_channel=ZamZamAcademy
After these rulings have been explained the response to your specific questions are as follows:
- You can deduct any rent that is already outstanding and needs to be paid to the landlord prior to your zakat date. You cannot deduct the rent for future months.
- As a student loan is a long term debt that is paid in monthly instalments, if you are going to be paying on a monthly basis then you can deduct the equivalent of one years payments as explained above.
- If you have not paid your road tax and it is still a debt on you at your zakat date then you can deduct that amount. If you have already paid your road tax then it is no longer a debt.
- Council tax is charged on a yearly basis, however, you are only accountable to pay council tax up to the point that you have rented the property. If you were to move out next month, you will no longer be responsible for that council tax. Hence, you can only deduct the unpaid council tax that has become due up to the point of your zakat date.
- The car insurance has already been paid hence it is no longer a debt.
- As you have already attended the appointment and the payment has become due, you can deduct the invoice amount.
- You cannot deduct invoices for treatment that took place after your zakat date.
الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 260)
فارغ عن دين له مطالب من جهة العباد) سواء كان لله كزكاة وخراج أو للعبد، ولو كفالة أو مؤجلا، ولو صداق زوجته المؤجل للفراق ونفقة لزمته بقضاء أو رضا، بخلاف دين نذر وكفارة وحج لعدم المطالب
قوله: ولو كفالة) مبالغة في دين العبد. قال في المحيط: لو استقرض ألفا فكفل عنه عشرة ولكل ألف في بيته وحال الحول فلا زكاة على واحد منهم لشغله بدين الكفالة لأن له أن يأخذ من أيهم شاء بحر. قال في الشرنبلالية: وهذا الفرع ظاهر على القول بأن الكفالة ضم ذمة إلى ذمة في الدين، أما على الصحيح من أنها في المطالبة فقط ففيه تأمل. اهـ.
قلت: لا شك أيضا على القول بأنها في المطالبة يكون لرب المال أخذ الدين من الكفيل وحبسه إذا امتنع فيكون الكفيل محتاجا إلى ما في يده لقضاء ذلك الدين وإن لم يكن في ذمته دفعا للملازمة أو الحبس عنه، وقد عللوا سقوط الزكاة بالدين بأن المديون محتاج إلى هذا المال حاجة أصلية لأن قضاء الدين من الحوائج الأصلية والمال المحتاج إليه حاجة أصلية لا يكون مال الزكاة تأمل (قوله أو مؤجلا إلخ) عزاه في المعراج إلى شرح الطحاوي، وقال: وعن أبي حنيفة لا يمنع. وقال الصدر الشهيد: لا رواية فيه، ولكل من المنع وعدمه وجه. زاد القهستاني عن الجواهر: والصحيح أنه غير مانع
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel