Q: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
(first paragraph omitted)
I am a college student. I do not work and I earn my money from my parents, scholarships, and other sources. I have about 6,200$ that I have been saving since April 2010 for my school, I want to pay my Zakah at the beginning of this Ramadan, and I am aware that the Hawel (one year) has not gone around, but I want to pay it in advance just to build a habit, start learning how to calculate my Zakah, and purify the money. However, my father is opposing me, he is not letting me do that because he thinks the year has to go around the money I have so it becomes obligated. I tried to discuss it with him and told him that if I waited until next year, I won’t be able to pay it in Ramadan 2011 for doubled reward, but rather I will have to pay it in April 2011. Off course, I always become the loser when arguing with my parents.
1-Is it okay to pay my Zakah in advance?
2-Should I do what my parents are telling me, or should I just give my Zakah without letting them know?
3-If I do not give my Zakah by 2011 April? Will I be sinful? Can I extend the Hawel to Ramadan 2011 for the better Reward?
4- If I calculated my Zakah and I found out theoretically that 100$ is my given Zakah, can I ask my father(since he is in a different country) to pay the 100$ from his money to the poor who he knows and then I give the 100$ (Zakah amount)to him later??
Jazaka Allahu Khairan
Time: Saturday August 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm
Answers: The first paragraph has been omitted, for it is remains irrelevant for the general public. Your kind words remain inspirational for me and our website. I wish you and your family the same as well, ameen.
Your question has placed us in a quagmire. We want to help you make a wholesome decision wherein, not only are you correct with matters of zakah, but at the same time, you do not hurt yourself with respect to keeping up with parental obligations/rights. We do agree, each has a unique place in the life of a believer.
Q:1-Is it okay to pay my Zakah in advance?
A: 1) Yes, one can pay zakat in advance. More so if a worthy person came by, it may prove more beneficial in some instances. However, one is not obligated to do so.
Q:2-Should I do what my parents are telling me, or should I just give my Zakah without letting them know?
A:2) If you are indeed the owner (maalik) of the wealth, then you (alone) are responsible for payment of the zakah due on it.
Allah has placed it in your heart to do good deeds. One must thank Allah for this ability. Whenever the thought of good comes, we should act upon it without contradicting those that surround us. Those who surround us must also inspire us to do good deeds (Derived from Quran). ‘There is no obedience to the creation, when this creation (be it parents, children, etc.) demands that we disobey the Creator. We should, however, be civil about our differences. We must not behave incorrectly with those who choose a life choice that is not entirely befitting the noble pathways. You are undergoing a test between monetary and social relations. Making a good choice would give you greater reward in both, Insha’Allah.
Q:3) 3-If I do not give my Zakah by 2011 April? Will I be sinful? Can I extend the Hawel to Ramadan 2011 for the better reward?
A:3) Yes, if you did not pay your Zakah on the Islamic date equivalent in 2011 (1432) you would be sinful.
To intentionally extend this date from the time one has become sahebe nisab would warrant one being sinful without a valid reason even though extending the ‘Hawel,’ is logical and to make it occur in Ramadaan is easier for people accustomed to the secular calendar. (See scenario) It may be better to keep your original Islamic date and pay it throughout the year and give greater portions of it in Ramadaan. This can also benefit the poor in the long run, for following the Islamic calendar would give better accountability in the long run in comparison to the secular calendar, as the Islamic calendar is shorter by ten days (approximately) versus the solar year (Gregorian – as used in the US.) Also, if done with the intent of gaining the greater reward in Ramadaan, then this too would be beneficial. The following method has been outlined on how it can be done.
Estimate as accurately as possible the amount owed between the Islamic date of April 2010 (1431) and a date you have fixed to pay your zakat in Ramadan (1431). Thereafter, start your new cycle from the Ramadan (1431) date and use this given new Ramadan date each year from 1431 onwards. When paying for the first time next year (1432) in Ramadaan, add the approximated difference between April 1431 and the Ramadaan of 1431 to compensate the difference of the first year shortfall (The year of 1431.) From next year (1432) onwards, it would get much easier inshaAllah for you, as you have now fixed your yearly cycle.
Q:4- If I calculated my Zakah and I found out theoretically that 100$ is my given Zakah, can I ask my father(since he is in a different country) to pay the 100$ from his money to the poor who he knows and then I give the 100$ (Zakah amount)to him later??
A:4) Yes, you can make your father the wakeel (representative/trustee of assets) of your zakat and you can pay him back later.
Your questions imply you really want to do the right thing. I applaud you in these challenging times when people want to avoid social and economic responsibility. May Allah bless you and make for of us like you Ameen.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.
p.s. One cannot change the date that is fixed. However, we hope the above ruling used in conjunction with our advice would help you circumvent problems with the above modifications in mind would help. Send us a followup if we are not clear at all. Its you zakah, its your deen, so act wisely. Ask!
p.s. You are welcome to give to any poor person what is called sadaqah — supererogatory charity. This you can give at any time. To give it in Ramadan would derive you greater reward (as derived from hadith) One cannot obey a person in doing something that is wrong. In this case, since zakat is not obligatory upon you, you would not need to give it. However, if the money is indeed yours, you can pay it in advance. Giving it in advance should not create greater chaos in your home. If you are indeed a mature, rational, sane human being, then it would be unfair for your parents to limit your giving of charity as depicted by you.