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Can zakat be deferred for three to six months in order to pay off a permissible loan?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I have a certain amount of money and the month came in which I usually pay zakat. However, I would like to wait for some things and hold on to my money for three or six months so that I can pay off a permissible loan, so should I calculate the amount of zakat on all of my money, including the amount that I will use to pay off the loan? 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

If the money has reached the nisab [s. miminum wealth upon which zakat must be paid] and a lunar year has passed upon it, the owner must pay zakat and it is not permissible for him to delay it to pay off a debt or any other kind of need, because the right of the poor is connected with the amount of zakat on that money, so they take precedence before anyone else. Whoever must pay zakat and also has a debt to pay off, he does not subtract the amount of the loan from his money, rather he pays the zakat on the entire amount on which it is obligatory.

Amjad Rasheed

(Translated by Shazia Ahmad)

السؤال: لي مبلغ من المال وجاء الشهر الذي أخرج فيه زكاة مالي عادة ، لكن أريد أن انتظر بعض الأمور وأمسك على المبلغ لمدة ثلاثة أو ستة أشهر لأقضي ديناً مباحاً ، فهل عليّ أن أحسب الزكاة على مالي كله بما فيه ذلك المبلغ ؟ الجواب : إذا بلغ المال نصاباً ومر عليه سنة هجرية كاملة وجب على صاحبه إخراج قدر الزكاة منه كاملاً ولا يجوز له تأخير إخراجه لأجل قضاء دين عليه ونحو ذلك من الحاجات ؛ لأن حق الفقراء قد تعلق بقدر الزكاة في ذلك المال فهم مقدمون على غيرهم . ومن وجبت عليه الزكاة وعليه دَين فلا يخصم قدر الدَّين من الزكاة بل تخرج الزكاة عن كل المال الواجبة فيه .

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