As salaam u alaykum
I have no difficulty discharging the zakaat but I am a little confused with regards to the Zakaat obligation and my late fathers estate.I will appreciate some clarity on this matter if you are able to assist me.
My father passed away in March 2016.He left a shariah will. My senior siblings are the executives of the estate and are in the process of winding it down.A list was made and We were aware that there were funds to be distributed between the heirs but until the legal matters were not settled we were not able to to do a division.
Soon after his death a small amount of cash was handed over to me.My zakaatable date is in Ramadaan, which was 2 months after the death.I paid the zakaat due on the small amount of cash I received in Ramadan 1437 (2016) as I was liable of paying zakaat.
Some shares were transferred into my name later in that year (2016)and subsequently in Ramadan 2017 (1438) I was under the impression that I must back pay for 2 years. Hence in Ramadan 2017 (1438) I worked out an amount due for two years and paid on it.
In 2018 again , on whatever new funds I received as part of the inheritance in ramadaan 1439. I backpaid it for 3 years.
In 2019 July , I was given a pay out again . ( with regards to this figure, the amount was much higher at his death but due to taxes that were required , in order for it to be made legal, the figure dropped substantially )on this new figure Am I liable to back pay now for 4 years?
Most of his affairs that we listed are now settled, with just a little left for distribution.
My question to you is each year I back paid zakaat to the date of death taking responsibility for the funds assuming that as a heirs we are automatically the owner of the funds on the death of the deceased.Is that correct?
My second question to you is – if in 10 years time perhaps some funds are brought into the estate (some assets found or something is paid backto him) will I then be required to back pay for ten years?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
In principle, inheritance that one does not have access to is defined as a weak debt. The ruling on weak debts such as inheritance is that there is no Zakat due on it for those previous years when one did not have any access to it.
In the enquired scenario, you were only required to pay Zakat on inheritance once it had come into your possession and access.
The Zakat you paid in Ramadan 1436 (2016) for the small amount of cash was correct as your Zakat year ended after taking possession of it.
As for the shares received at the end of 2016, you will only pay Zakat once in Ramadan 2017 and nothing for the previous year (2016). Similar is the case for funds received in 2018 (nothing is to be paid for 2016 and 2017).
As for the wealth received in July 2019, you will only pay Zakat on it once in Ramadan 2020.
Accordingly, if any wealth is received ten years from now, you will only pay Zakat once in the Ramadan of that year (nothing for the previous 10 years).
The excess amount given as Zakat in Ramadan 2017 and 2018, maybe considered as an advance payment for Zakat provided:
1. You do not loose all your money at any point during the year.
2. You own the Nisaab amount at the end of the Nisaab year (i.e. in Ramadan)
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
(1/ 170)النتف في الفتاوى للسغدي
واما الضعيف فهو مال غير بدل عن مال مثل مهر المرأة والصلح من دم العمد والسعاية والميراث والوصية ونحوها فهذا ليس عليه زكاة ما مضى فاذا خرج منه ما يكون نصابا ثم حال عليه الحول فعليه الزكاة وهي سواء كلها عند ابي حنيفة ومحمد فإذا خرج منه شيء فانه يزكي لما مضى بعد ان يكون الدين نصابا كاملا وحال عليه الحول
(2/ 10) بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع
وأما الدين الضعيف فهو الذي وجب له بدلا عن شيء سواء وجب له بغير صنعه كالميراث، أو بصنعه كما لوصية، أو وجب بدلا عما ليس بمال كالمهر، وبدل الخلع، والصلح عن القصاص، وبدل الكتابة ولا زكاة فيه ما لم يقبض كله ويحول عليه الحول بعد القبض
زكوة کے انسائيکلوپیڈیا (ص179)
حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح شرح نور الإيضاح (ص: 715) 
قوله: “ولو عجل ذو نصاب لسنين صح” صورته له ثلثمائة درهم دفع منها مائة عن المائتين لعشرين سنة جاز بشرط أن يكون عنده النصاب الذي عجل عنه كما في الصورة فلو كان في ملكه أقل منه فعجل خمسة عن مائتين وتم الحول والنصاب تام لا يجوز وأن لا ينقطع جميع النصاب أثناء الحول وأن يكون النصاب كاملا في آخر الحول وتمامه في كتابة الدر
فتاوى دارالعلوم زكريا (ج2 ص186)
كتاب النوازل (ج6 ص564