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Gold and silver nisab and changing zakat date

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by FatwaCentre.org
Question

Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahee wa Barakahtuh,

I have a question concerning the nisab as well as the annual zakah payment date.

Alhamdulilah, this Islamic year will be the first year I will pay zakah inshallah. I crossed the nisab, based on the gold standard, on the 1st of Jumada Ath-Thani 1442.

My question is twofold:

1:
• As nowadays there is a huge gap between the silver and gold standards of nisab, I have heard some discussion on which one we should go off of, but to this day I am still unsure if it was valid to base it off of the gold nisab instead of the silver one. Can you advise me on this?

• If this was not the correct decision and I should have gone based on the silver nisab, then I probably unknowingly crossed the silver nisab years ago and have no idea when that date is. Can you advise me if that’s the case?

2:
• In any case, the second part of my question is about whether or not it is permissible to move my annual zakah date forward from the 1st of Jamada Ath-Thani to a set annual date in Ramadan so that I can have the multiplication of reward?


Answer

In response to your first question please read this post:

Basis of fixing silver in calculation of zakat

Going by the silver nisab is the most cautious approach. Even if you are unable to determine the exact date at which you first reached the silver nisab you should make an estimate as best as you can and then stick to that date.

It is not permissible to change your zakat date. Zakat is payable according to the wealth that you have on your zakat date. If you want to make payments in Ramadan there are two options:

1. Delay the payment of zakat until Ramadan. In such a case, the zakat will be a debt on you until you pay it, hence, you should have it in writing that you owe a certain amount in zakat so that if you were to pass away before Ramadan that can be paid from your estate.

2. You can pay zakat in advance by paying in the Ramadan before your zakat date. In such a case you will have to make an estimate of what your zakat amount might be and make the payment. When your zakat date comes, based on how much wealth you do have you will then work out how much zakat you should have paid and make up for any difference.

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel

This answer was collected from FatwaCentre.org, which is overseen by Dr. Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera.

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