Payment of Zakah

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Payment of Zakah
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When the payment of Zakah is due

The prompt payment of Zakah is compulsory when the means are available and it is not permissible to postpone its payment except in cases of necessity e.g. if the money is in a country that is far away, or he is serving a jail term etc.
Evidence for the prompt payment of Zakah is in Allah's statement [...but pay the due thereof on the day of its harvest.] (Al-An'am: 141), [...and give Zakah] (An-Nur: 56); (being a Qur'anic order), while an order necessitates prompt compliance.


Ruling concerning advance payment of Zakah

It is permissible to pay Zakah two years and less in advance if the Nisab was complete at the time of advancing the payment.

Where Zakah should be paid
Although, it is preferred to pay Zakah to the people of the country wherein the property lies, it is also permissible to transfer Zakah from its country of origin to another, which is near or far for a specific reason. For example, if the country afar is experiencing extreme poverty, or if the payer of Zakah has relatives there who are poor (similar to those in his own country). Indeed, paying Zakah to ones relations who are in need is of benefit, i.e. charity (sadaqah) and strengthens the bond of kinship.
The saying of the permissibility of transferring Zakah is correct, Due to the statement of Allah Almighty: [As-Sadaqat (Zakah) are only for the Fuqara'(poor), and Al-Masakeen (the needy) ] (At-Taubah: 60), i.e. the poor and the needy everywhere.

That which is taken for Zakah and that which is not.

Zakah is taken from the middle of the wealth, not from its best, nor from its worst. It is therefore, not obligatory for one paying his Zakah to give the healthiest of his cattle or the pregnant one or the Billy goat. Nor should he give the finest of his fruits; unless it so pleases him and he is satisfied with that.
He may not also give the bad instead of the good, unless all his wealth is bad or all his cattle were sick, in that case he may pay his Zakah from that.
Allah Almighty says: ]...and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein.] (Al- Baqarah: 267). Furthermore in the Hadeeth: (Al-Harema55 (an old goat), one with defect in the eye56 or a male goat57 is not to be accepted in sadaqah (Zakah) unless the collector wishes.)58, and he also said (to Mu'ath: refrain from picking up (as a share of Zakah) the best of their wealth.)59

Instructions

1. The Zakah payer must investigate regarding his Zakah those who are eligible to receive it. It should not be an annual custom that he does giving it to those who does not deserve it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "But no rich man or one who is strong and able to earn has a share of it."60
2. The Zakah payer must strive to find those who rightfully deserve the Zakah and are most in need of it. The more a person shows the characteristics of being rightfully deserving to get that Zakah the more he should get it; such as a poor relative or a poor seeker of knowledge, and so on.

Those who deserve Zakah most
It is important for the payer of Zakah to investigate concerning those who are most deserving of Zakah and who are in dire need of it. The more characteristics of eligibility one finds in an individual, the more deserving he is of Zakah, e.g. a poor relative or a poor student of knowledge and so on, in this manner.

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