Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
I have been married for 7 years and in these 7 years I have never paid Zakaat for the gold I received from my family for my wedding because I haven’t financially been stable. The first few years of my marriage I have had to borrow money from family and friends just to get by because my partner came to live with me from Pakistan and was not able to get a job straight away to support me. I could not sell my gold to pay the debts off or the zakaat as it was a gift from my mother and she would not allow me to do this and the gold was with her for safe keeping and out of my control. Now I am financially stable and can afford to pay my zakaat, my question is do I have to pay zakaat for the 7 years I didn’t pay even if I was in debt or do I just pay for the years I can afford to pay.
If one is Sahib Nisab (i.e. possess that amount which makes zakat onligatory) but also has debts outstanding. At the end of the year he or she has to deduct his or her debt amount from his or her assets and if there is still nisab remaining, 2.5% from there will be given for zakat. (Fatawa Rahimiyah p.155 v.5)
Regarding your question, in principle you don’t have to give Zakat for the past seven years on your gold as you were in debt. However, as I mentioned above, the amount you owed to people if by subtracting it from the value of your total gold, the amount remaining is equivalent to the Nisab (which is about £366) then you would be required then to give Zakat for that year.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.