Q: What are all the liabilities and debts that I must include when calculating zakaat?
A: 1. Any debt that can be demanded immediately by the creditor, is deductible from one’s assets when calculating zakaat. Hence, if one is paying off a loan or a debt by instalments, the one can only deduct the current instalments from one’s assets, not the entire loan or debt. So if one is paying zakaat in Ramadaan, then the instalment that is due for that month will be deducted.
2. One will also deduct light account bill, telephone bill, cell phone bill (if on contract), rent payable for that month, grocery account if any, etc. In short, whatever is owed for the month that one is paying zakaat is deductible for zakaat purposes.
Mufti Siraj Desai