Q: What is the Shar’ee ruling regarding a person who did not discharge the zakaat of his jewellery, wealth and stock in trade for many years? How should he discharge the zakaat of the previous years?
A: It is compulsory upon one to discharge the zakaat during the year the zakaat became compulsory. After calculating the zakaat on the zakaat date, one should begin discharging the zakaat. Before the following years zakaat date, all the zakaat should be discharged. If one delays in discharging the zakaat until the following years zakaat became compulsory, one will be sinful. The law pertaining to zakaat of the missed years is that one will evaluate his zakaatable assets and discharge 2 ½ % of the total for each missed year.
E.g. A persons zakaatable assets are evaluated at R100 000. He will discharge 2 ½ % of R100 000 (R2 500) for the first year. He will be left with R97 500. Thereafter he will discharge 2 ½ % of R97 500 (R2 437,50) for the second year. He will be left with R95 062, 50. He will discharge 2 ½ % of that amount for the third year. In this manner he will discharge the zakaat of the remainder years. This is in the case where one did not spend the wealth.
In the case where the person spent the wealth or sold the stock in trade and he is unable to ascertain the exact amount of wealth he possessed for each year of the missed years, he will apply his mind to the best of his ability in trying to work out the amount which he possessed for each year and accordingly pay 2 ½ % of that amount for the respective years.
If he is true and honest in working out his zakaat for the ten missed years and sincerely repents for the sin of delaying the zakaat, then Insha Allah, Allah will forgive him.
(فتاوى محمودية 14/153)
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