Q: If it is known that the deceased has not paid zakaah for several years although he was eligible, can one of the heirs pay the zakah from the estate before distribution?
A: If the deceased did not make a wasiyyat that the missed zakaat be paid from one third of the estate then it will not be permissible to use one third of the estate for the missed zakaat. The entire estate will have to be distributed among the heirs in accordance to the stipulated shares of inheritance. However, if any adult heir wishes to pay for the missed zakaat of the deceased from his share of the inheritance (or from any other wealth), it will be permissible for him to do so.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)