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:
In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:
I believe that Zakah is on the net worth of business. Therefore, on the day of your Zakah you calculate your net worth and make some adjustments that include: pricing assets and inventory at market price on that day, removing accounting adjustment assets such as prepaid expenses, etc.
You then calculate Zakah at 2.5% on the adjusted balance of net worth. If you don’t have sufficient cash at that moment, you may delay all or a part of the amount due until you have sufficient liquidity without sin because this is a Shari`ah valid excuse.
But you must remember that any non-paid amount of due Zakah, for any reason, remains a debt on you until you pay it out.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.