Zakat avoidance schemes!?

This may sound blasphemous and preposterous, however even in 2021, this is unfortunately a reality.

Over the past 8 – 10 years, I have encountered and answered innumerable Zakat related questions in parallel to partaking in other Islam related matters. One key observation I have identified over the years includes the following: when it comes to financial matters – especially Zakat payment – I have witnessed the feeling of hesitation from some people when it came to paying Zakat. With the intent of attempting to pay less or not pay at all, I have observed individuals trying to find excuses, and sometimes, even loopholes! This is unfortunately a distasteful trend that is rising. That being said, I cannot commend enough nor neglect the many that pay their zakat diligently and with genuine intentions. However, a ‘considerable’ number try to use their intellect to mischievously avoid paying their dues despite falling into the category of those who are obliged to pay – committing a crime not only towards the poor, but a crime against themselves and Allah.

We must understand that no matter what we do, we will never escape the Invincible, All-Encompassing knowledge of Allah. He knows, sees and hears everything. He knows our intentions, our actions – the concealed and unconcealed.

Through understanding the above, we are all bound by the Lord of the Worlds – the One who blessed us with health, wealth and children. It is thus unthinkable for a believer to even attempt to transgress the limits and instructions regarding the payment of Zakat. The one who attempts to do so, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alihi wassalam) gave a stern warning: ‘’Individual property cannot be separated in order to break free from the duty of Zakat’’ (Bukhari).

We must avoid the misconception that Zakat is tantamount to conventional tax – it is not. Some may try to avoid paying tax by employing legal loopholes. Zakat, however, is more than tax; it is a debt we repay on Earth to Allah. No avoidance scheme or loophole may be employed to avoid paying Zakat.

May Allah azza wajal keep our hearts sincere, and allow us to pay our Zakat correctly and accurately.

Sheikh Abdullah Hasan (Zakat & Fiqh specialist)

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