Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Rather than pay my Zakat on an annual basis, I wish to invest the funds every year until I die. I intend to state in my Will that the Zakat I have accumulated be paid before I am buried. My intention in this is to maximise the amount of Zakat I can give and in doing so, to increase my contribution to the poor and hopefully gain increased mercy from Allaah Almighty. Is this permissible in the Quran and Sunnah?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his folk, companions, and followers
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
May Allah reward you generously for those high intention and resolve. It would not be permitted for you to delay payment of zakat until your deatheven if your delaying would have resulted in paying a relatively greater amount.
The reason for this is that Allah Most High Has commanded us to pay zakat from our excess wealth, and the Qur’an and Sunna have made it clear that the purpose of zakat is to fulfill the needs of the poor and needy. Given that these needs are immediate, then the basis is that one cannot unduly delay payment of zakatin the Hanafi school, such that one delays it to the next zakat year. This is the position of the overwhelming majority (jumhur) of Islamic scholarship. Even those who disagreed did not permit delaying payment excessively. [Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni; Nawawi, al-Majmu`; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
This meaning is confirmed by the words of Allah Most High regarding the zakat on crops: “ pay the due thereof upon the harvest day” [Qur’an, 6.141]
The scholars, such as Imam Ibn Hajar in his Zawajir, mentioned delaying the payment of zakat as one of the sins established to be enormities by the texts of the Qur’an and Sunna. [Ibn Hajar, al-Zawajir]
From Imam Nawawi’s Riyad al-Salihin (tr. Bewley)
1214. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There is no one who has gold or silver and does not pay what is due on them without them being turned, on the Day of Rising, into slabs of Fire and being heated in the Fire of Jahannam and his side, forehead and back being branded with them. Every time they cool they will be heated again throughout a day whose length is fifty thousand years, until people’s fates have been decided and he sees his way open either to the Garden or to the Fire .” [Agreed upon]
And Allah alone gives success.