Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Does the husband have to pay the zakaat of the wife?
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray that this finds you well, and in the best of health and spirits. May Allah grant you all good and success in this life and the next.
No, it is not obligatory upon the husband to pay the wife’s zakat or vice versa. This is not something entailed by the marriage relationship, nor can it be demanded.
However, if either spouse willingly gives zakat on behalf of the other with their approval, it is valid and they are rewarded for this.
What if a spouse has to pay zakat but they don’t have the money to pay on time?
1. One should also remember that:
(a) zakat becomes due once you have possessed a zakatable amount above and beyond your debts and immediate expenses for one lunar year;
(b) the zakat year starts once you possess a net zakatable amount;
(c) zakat is due at the end of this year, on the amount you have at the end of the year, regardless of any fluctuations during the year, and regardless of when you acquired different amounts of the money and wealth during this year. (So, if your grandfather gave you 100,000 Euros a day before your zakat year ends, adding to the 5,000 Euros net zakatable amount you had before that, you will have to pay zakat on the final 105,000 Euros.)
2. Zakat can be paid in cash, and also in kind–such as giving 2.5% of one’s jewellery (based on current market value) or other items.
3. It isn’t sinful to delay paying zakat slightly (i.e. less than a year), and it isn’t disliked to do so when there is need–such as when one is waiting one’s pay check or other inflows of funds.
And Allah alone gives success.