Father Refuses to Pay Zakah: What to Do?
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Father Refuses to Pay Zakah: What to Do?

Questioner

A. Rahman

Reply Date

Dec 03, 2018

Question

As-Salamu alaykum. My father has some money in a bank in one of the Arab countries. He gets interest on the account and does not pay Zakah on this money. We try to advise him to pay the Zakah but he says that the money is not his and it belongs to us (his children). We have no access to the money as the account is still in my father's name. The question: is can we use the money that he gives us knowing that Zakah was not paid? Since my father said that the money belongs to us and we have no access to it, whose fault is it that the Zakah is not paid? Please tell us how to advice our father to pay the Zakah on this money.

Mufti

Answer


Father Refuses to Pay Zakah What to Do

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- The father’s refusal to pay Zakah claiming that the money belongs to his children is not valid as long as he does not give his children the ability to spend it if they are adult, or unless he gives it to them as a gift if they are still young.

2- He has to pay Zakah on this money, i.e. the Zakah of the capital money saved in the bank and on the benefits, if he deposited it in an Islamic bank.

3- If this money is deposited in a non-Islamic bank, then he has to pay Zakah on his capital money and the interest is riba and there is no Zakah on it.

4- There is no harm in benefiting from the money that your father gives you even if he is a person who refuses to pay Zakah, as long he has halal money.


Answering your question, the Fatwa Center at Islam Q and A, states:

Saving money in banks which deal with interest is not permissible. One should get rid of the interest immediately. It is not permissible to keep this interest.

No Zakah is to be paid on this interest because one should not possess it in the first place and one of the conditions of Zakah is complete possession of wealth.

With regard to depositing money in Islamic banks, there is no harm in it, and the benefits obtained from the partnership with the bank are permissible.

The father’s refusal to pay Zakah claiming that the money belongs to his children is not valid as long as he does not give his children the ability to spend it if they are adult, or unless he gives it to them as a gift if they are still young.

Therefore, he has to pay Zakah on this money, i.e. the Zakah of the capital money saved in the bank and on the benefits, if he deposited it in an Islamic bank.

But if this money is deposited in a non-Islamic bank, then he has to pay Zakah on his capital money and the interest is riba and there is no Zakah on it, and it is not permissible to benefit from this money (interest). It should be spent on the general benefits of Muslims like schools, roads, and so on.

He is the person who will be held accountable for that. But you should advise him about the Zakah that he should pay, and that he should give up dealing with interest. You should advise him with wisdom to give up what Allah has forbidden, and remind him of the importance of Zakah and the danger of not paying it. Remind him also of the punishment that Allah has prepared for the people who do not give Zakah.

Allah says:

“O you who believe! Verily, there are many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks who devour the wealth of mankind in falsehood, and hinder (them) from the Way of Allah (i.e. Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism). And those who hoard up gold and silver, and spend it not in the Way of Allah, -announce unto them a painful torment.” (At-Tawbah 9:34)

Allah also says about those who eat riba:

“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from riba (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:278)

There is no harm in benefiting from the money that your father gives you even if he is a person who refuses to pay Zakah, as long he has halal money on which Zakah is obligatory.

The people of knowledge state that it is permissible to eat from the money of a person whose halal earnings are mixed with haram earnings.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.




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