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:
Delaying Zakah till you have enough liquidity of cash money should be only under certain necessity. From your message, it seems that you are not under such necessity, so you should not delay it as it is the right of the poor and the needy.
In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:
As a principle, Zakah is due on the day 354 after nisab is acquired. Delaying it simply for making business is not permissible. Here, the suggested delay is to complete an investment (in fact business) property. I don’t see that point as normal.
Of course, I know that while conducting your own business, it happens sometimes that you may be in short of liquidity because of lack on sale or delay in collection of debts or many similar real reasons. It is then permissible to delay paying Zakah to the poor and the needy until one has adequate liquidity for that.
But delaying the right of the poor simply to make our business better is not part of that. If you fall under any such necessity, it is then permissible to delay its payment without sin until cash is available.
But if delaying payment is simply to keep money for investment (and it seems from the question that this is the case, of course you know your needs and situation better, it is not permissible.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.