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If I am saving money for sole purpose to buy home in order avoid interest loan, do I have to pay zak

Last updated: 16th November 2019
Question ID: #4323
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Assalamualaikum, I live USA. It is impossible to buy house here with all cash unless I save money for long time which could take 5-10 years. I sincerely want to avoid taking interest paying loan to purchase house. But if I save money and pay zakat 2.5% every year, after 10 years I would loose significant portion of that money. In this circumstance, if I am saving money for sole purpose (let's say keep money designated ONLY for the purpose of buying house) to buy home in order avoid interest loan, do I have to pay zakat on that saving money that are designated to buy house and not for any other purpose? Zajakallah, Hossain

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

Zakāh is compulsory on a sane, mature individual who is sāhib al-nisāb (an individual who possesses the amount of money/‘zakātable’ assets (money, gold & silver, goods/merchandise etc.) that qualifies them to discharge zakāh). 

Zakāh becomes wājib on the sāhib al-nisāb, exactly one lunar year from the time the individual first becomes the owner of the ‘zakātable’ assets, equivalent to or more than the nisāb value of 612.35g of silver or 87.479g of gold. Any currency equivalent to, or more than, any one of these nisāb values will make zakāh binding. If this amount of wealth remains in a person’s possession for a complete year, then on the expiry of this year it will be wājib on him to give zakāh of 2.5% of the total. 

If one’s wealth is less than the nisāb value of 612.35g of silver or 87.479g of gold, at the end of the lunar year, then zakāh will not be wājib on him. If one’s wealth decreases below the nisāb value during the year, but before the expiry of the year, it reaches the nisāb value, zakāh will be binding. However, if one loses his entire wealth, a new lunar cycle will begin after reaching the nisāb again for the second time.

Your zakāh due date (calculated according to the Hijri calendar, not the Gregorian calendar) is the day of the year on which you first became owner of nisāb. Zakāh is payable on the total value of goods, money, gold & silver that are in your possession on the day your zakāh is due, even if some currency/zakātable assets came into your possession a few days prior to your zakāh due date. 

For example, if you initially became the owner of money equal to or above the nisāb value (612.35g of silver), on the 1st of Ramadhān, then your zakāh due date is the 1st of Ramadhān, and you will calculate your zakāh based on the goods, money, gold & silver that are in your possession on the 1st of Ramadhān every year. If you receive a sum of money on 26th Sha’bān, this is included in the total on 1st of Ramadhān.

In light of your question, zakāh is due on the accumulated savings on your zakāh due date, annually. 

You will pay 2.5% (1/40th) of the total amount accumulated. For example if you have saved $1000, you will pay $25 zakāh.

Zakāh should be discharged as soon as it becomes due, without delaying it.

There are ways in investing your money, for example on non-trading investments where you would pay zakāh on the dividends from the rental income, and not the capital. Seek advice locally on sharī’ah compliant investments and halāl financing. Do not involve yourself in contemporary house-financing and mortgages, as they entail ribā (interest/usury) and are impermissible.

Note: You are not losing anything. Zakāh is an obligation on the wealth that your creator has given to you. 1/40th or 2.5% of the wealth is nominal, however there is only blessing and barakah in fulfilling the obligation and discharging the zakāh. Be sincere in your intention when discharging the money and be content in completing this virtuous act of ibādah (duty & worship) and pillar of Islām.  

May Allah assist you in reaching your goal.

And Allah Ta’āla knows best

25 December 2019 / 28 Rabī’ul Ākhir 1441 AH

Answer last updated on:
26th December 2019
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 17