Opinion Editorials, April 2004, To see today's opinion articles, click here: ww.aljazeerah.info




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Zakah on Investment and Its Accumulation

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 4/4/04

Q. Someone has deposited an amount of money with an Islamic bank for 8 years, which means that the money will be tied for this period, but it gives him an annual return, which he spends on his family needs. What zakah is liable on this arrangement? May I also ask whether it is permissible to save one zakah for a few years so as to finance a project that helps the community, or an individual family?

R. Chowdhury, Jeddah

A. For an investment of this type, scholars have given a fatwa saying that the returns which the investor receives are liable to zakah at the rate of 10%, which is payable immediately on receipt. The principal investment is not liable to zakah since it is tied up. Even though the amount received is spent immediately, it is still liable to zakah on the day of receipt, at the rate indicated.

You cannot save zakah for a period of a year or more, even though the purpose is very useful. The point is that when zakah is due, it no longer belongs to the person liable to pay it. It belongs to God and it has to be spent as He directed. What you can do is to pay your zakah for more than one year in advance and finance your project in this way, setting off your zakah for the next year or two against what you have already paid. But your intention should be clear at the outset. A better alternative may be to persuade a few people to join up with you, paying their zakah for the same project. You could agree on financing a project every year.

Another point which should be considered is that when you hold your zakah for a couple of years, you cannot be sure that you will live long enough to see your project being fulfilled. If you die in the meantime, your heirs might not know of your intention, or might not carry out your instructions, which means that you would have fallen short on your zakah payments.


Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

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