Question # 201: Is Zakat applicable on the savings amount accumulated over the years to buy a suitable house for his family? In case if individual doesn’t own any house and started saving some amount from his monthly income for an intention to buy a permanent house for his family, then this savings amount be eligible for Zakat?
Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: If the conditions of zakah being due are met with regard to the saved money, such as it reaching the nisaab (minimum threshold at which zakah becomes due) and one full (hijri) year having passed since it was acquired, then zakah must be paid on it, even if this money is being saved to meet a specific need such as accommodation, education, marriage, maintenance or like.
Long Answer: Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) [replied to a similar question] in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa: “Wealth that is being saved to get married, to build a home or for other purposes is subject to zakah if it reaches the nisaab and one full year has passed, whether it is gold, silver or cash, because of the general meaning of the evidence which indicates that zakah is obligatory on that which reaches the nisaab and one full year has passed, with no exceptions…”
He (may Allah have mercy on him) also [replied to another similar question] in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa: “Zakah is not waived if one has the intention of getting married; the same applies to one who is collecting money to pay off a debt or to buy real estate to set up as a waqf or to buy a slave in order to set him free. Rather zakah must be paid in all cases, if one year has passed since the money was collected, because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has enjoined zakah on the accumulated amount, and He has not stated that such purposes could mean that it is waived. Zakah increases wealth and does not decrease it; it purifies it and purifies its owner, as Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it” (Soorah at-Tawbah, 9:103) And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Wealth does not decrease because of charity.” (Narrated by Muslim)”
In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, it says: “Zakah is due on money that has been saved for building if one full year has passed and it reaches the nisaab by itself or when added to other wealth that is subject to zakah, such as cash or trade goods.”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “…zakah is due on money no matter what it is, even if a person prepared it to pay zakah or to buy a house or food; so long as a year has passed and the amount of money reaches the nisaab, then zakah is due on it.” (Fataawa al-Zakah)
(The above reply is based on various answers by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.