If you owe money to zakat is it haram for you to spend your money on things such as a car
( I am asking can you can spend money on things before paying your zakat you owe for over 5 years)
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,
It is a major sin to delay in discharging ones Zakah. There are several warnings mentioned in Quran and Hadith. By way of example, Allah Ta’ala says in verses 34 and 35 of Surah Tauba:
“… وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ ، يَوْمَ يُحْمَى عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ هَـذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُون.”
“And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah. announce unto them a most grievous penalty. On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs – “This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!” (Surah at-Tauba, 34, 35)
And in a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim it is stated,
“من آتاه الله مالا فلم يؤد زكاته مثل له ماله شجاعا أقرع، له زبيبتان، يطوقه يوم القيامة ، يأخذ بلهزمتيه – يعني بشدقيه – يقول: أنا مالك أنا كنزك” (متفق عليه واللفظ للبخاري)
“Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and doesn’t pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure’ “. (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Hence, you should discharge your Zakah as soon as possible. Have firm conviction that Allah is our provider, and Allah will most definitely replace whatever we have given to the poor. Allah says in verse 39 of Surah Saba,
“وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ”
“But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” (Surah Saba, 39)
This world is a test; and if you discharge your Zakah, Allah will make the means for you to get whats best for you.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .