Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi 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:
Zakah is imposed on trade goods as with liquid assets where there are items for sale that are transferred from one hand to another. For example, if the merchandise that is for sale is deposited in containers, then these containers are not subject to Zakah.
This is because these containers are not for sale. The same rule applies to a building or an office with desks, scales, shelves, etc. All these are not accounted for when inventoried as capital that is subject to Zakah.
Zakah in trade is imposed on liquid assets in trade (merchandise planned for sale), and the payable debts. Concerning fixed assets that are not planned for sale, these are not included in the accounting.
The salient point then is whether the items are deemed for sale or not. If the containers in which the merchandise is stored or housed are not for sale, then there is no Zakah due on them.
If these containers are sold together with the merchandise in them, then there is Zakah due on them. As such, warehouses and showrooms are not subject to Zakah as explained previously.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.