Paying zakat on savings

Q: For the last five years, a direct monthly deduction goes out of my salary to my children’s saving accounts, which has now mounted to over AED 12,000. Do I have to pay Zakat on this amount?

 A: Alhamdulillah. There are two conditions to be met when the matter involves cash, or gold and silver: (1) To reach the Zakat’s limit; and (2) To have 12 Hijri months pass by. The amount you’ve mentioned is beyond the required limit, and as such you do have to pay zakat. Any amount set aside as savings and a cycle of one year has passed by, the Zakat is then due for it.


Q: I joined an investment portfolio with a certain amount of money, two months ago, in which the amount should be kept for three years, after which I retrieve my investment with the profit. Do I have to pay Zakat although the amount is frozen?

 A: Alhamdulillah. The zakat for this particular amount in the portfolio is due once a year passes by. But this should be added together to the rest of your wealth be it a bank account or business asset. If for instance the investment in that portfolio is AED 10,000, you still count it as part of the overall wealth you need to pay zakat on, even if you did not make a profit on it yet. Now, if this portfolio is designed and is intended to be a capital, for which you are not free to touch, then the zakat is only due on the profits generated after a cycle year passes.


Q: Can I use my zakat funds to assist someone who plans to get married? Ahmad

A: Alhamdulillah, the types of recipients for the zakat does not include those who intend to get married. Allah [swt] says: «Alms are for the poor and the needy and those employed to administer the (funds); (and) for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); (and) for those in bondage and in debt; (and) in the Cause of Allah; (and) and for the wayfarer. (Thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom» [9:60].  These are the (8) eight types of eligible recipients. If the fellow who intends to get married happens to be poor, or needy, or fell into debt, then it is permissible for you to give him from the zakat’s funds because he’s poor, needy or in bad debt, but not because he intends to get married or to compensate for what he was spent for the marriage.


Q: Which of the two has more priority, paying off a debt or travel for an Umra?

A: Alhamdulillah, no doubt paying off a debt has a priority over making an Umra, especially if the creditors are after him demanding payment. But if he has a slack in time for paying off the debt, then he may in such a case.

Q: The Hadith states that whoever provides a fasting person with the means to break his fast, he shall receive an equal reward. Can it be just water, or should it be a meal?

 A: Alhamdulillah, what is meant by the Hadith is to give the fasting person what is sufficient as a meal, be it water with dates or food, but it again goes back to the ability of the person, you don’t go beyond your means.


Q: Sometimes I pray with my feet covered, and sometimes uncovered, not sure if I have to cover them or not.

A: Alhamdulillah, as a matter of fact this is an issue that is disputed among the scholars. The majority of scholars believe the feet of the woman must be covered. Some scholars say only the top of the feet are to be covered, but not necessarily the bottom. Still some others say it is fine to be uncovered. The truth in this matter is that the feet are not part of the areas to be covered, but to be on the safe side, you may cover your feet, and if you didn’t you don’t have to repeat the prayer.

Q: When the Prophet of Allah [pbuh] said: I and the sponsor of the orphan are like this in paradise (joining the index and the middle fingers together) did he mean to care for the orphan in an orphanage or wherever the orphan may be, or is it to physically raise the orphan in one’s home?

A: Alhamdulillah, there’s no doubt that taking the orphan in and physically raise him up and taking care of his needs is of a huge reward but with one condition, that is not to adopt him, because adoption is prohibited in Islam, unless he’s breast fed, in such a case the woman becomes his suckling mother and he’s her son by suckling. There’s another type of caring and that is to pay a sum of money to an orphanage or a charity center, or to a particular orphan somewhere in the world who is taken care of by a relative, this is also part of it. Therefore, it is not a prerequisite to physically raise and nourish the orphan in your own home, but it is surely the best.

Q: Sometimes when I do my prayer at home, I recite the Qur’an in a low breath but enough to hear my own voice, is this ok? Also, is it permissible to use skin creams containing vitamins while fasting?

A: Alhamdulillah. For the first question, there’s no issue with you reading the Qur’an with a voice, loud or moderate, unless there is a stranger in the house then in such a case it is not permissible. But if you are with your family members then there’s no issue. For the second question, there’s no issue with the woman or even the man using these skin creams or moisturizers while fasting.

Q: I had a quarrel with my husband, during which I informed him of my intention to go back to my home country. He said: If you leave you’re a divorced [woman]. I, however, insisted on leaving but instead I went to my neighbor’s house. Am I in this case divorced?

A: Alhamdulillah, it all depends on your husband’s intention. If his intention was that you’re divorced if you travel back to your home country, then there is no issue as you did not travel. But if his intention was for merely leaving the home whether or not you travel to your homeland, or simply to your relatives or your neighbors, then, according to the vast majority of the scholars, yes divorce has occured. The determining factor here is the “intention”.

Q: My husband is addicted to gambling, which really hurts me, and I don’t know what to do to make him stop.

A: Alhamdulillah. Gambling is no doubt one of the major sins to the point Allah has mentioned it along with drinking liquor. He said: “O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination – of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?” [5:90-91] So as you see Allah has mentioned the liquor and gambling together because the brain in both cases is intoxicated. Your role is to persist in advising him in a nice way to cease gambling because it is unlawful. Secondly, do your best not to eat from his earning. Rather find yourself a job to support you and your kids. The Apostle of Allah [pbuh]: Any body nourished by unlawful earning, hellfire is a better claimant for it. There are many examples you can find on the net about homes and societies destroyed due to this evil you can remind him of. In many cases also some gamblers commit suicide for losing in a short time millions. Keep advising and praying for him in your prostration.

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