Do I have to pay Zakah on the orpha...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Do I have to pay Zakah on the orphan’s wealth?


Assalamu alaykum, which verses or hadiths talk about the zakat obligation on inheritance, especially an orphan who has not reached age of puberty but inherited wealth. Any reference that obligates his wealth to be due for zakah even though he has not reached the age of puberty?


The majority of scholars have maintained that zakat is obligatory on the property of a minor, the fool the insane or the one declared legally incompetent. This is the opinion implemented for fatwa. Since it is a right enjoined on the property itself, it is not waived by the ward's young age. His guardian must pay it on his behalf.

Textual evidence

The Qur`an

Scholars have based their opinion on the evidence derived from the general implication of primary texts on the obligation of zakat on property which has reached nisab (minimum amount upon which zakat is owed) and which has been in a person's possession for one lunar year. Allah the Almighty says

Take, oh Muhammad, from their properties, charity in order to cleanse and purify them. [Qur'an 9: 103The sunnah)

• When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sent Mu'adh Ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) to Yemen, he told him, "Inform them that Allah has commanded them to pay charity on their
property; it is to be taken from the rich from among them and given to their poor" [Muslim).

• Since poor minors are eligible to receive zakat, they must likewise pay it if they are wealthy. Scholars have relied on Al-Shafi'i's report through Yusuf Ibn Mahak who narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Invest the funds of orphans so that they may not be consumed by zakat."

• Al-Tabarani wrote in Al-Mu'jam Al-Awsat that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Trade with the funds of orphans lest they be depleted by zakat" [Al-'Iraqi, the hadith scholar, declared it authentic).

• Amr Ibn Shu'aib reported from his father who reported from his grandfather that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever is entrusted with the money of an orphan, is to trade in it lest it be consumed by zakat" [At-Tirmidhi).

Zakat—an obligation

Had not zakat been obligatory on the property of a minor, it would not have been permissible for a guardian to pay it from his charge's wealth since he is not allowed to spend his money or make donations from it towards non-obligatory matters. For this reason, the Prophet (pbuh) commanded guardians to invest the property of minors so they would not be consumed by the zakat owed on them. This opinion was authentically reported from 'Umar, 'Ali, Ibn 'Umar, 'A`isha and Jaber Ibn 'Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with them). It has not been reported that any of the Companions contested their opinion on this matter except for one weak report from Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) that is not used as evidence.

This is the opinion that most conforms to the legislation of zakat in Islam as a financial obligation payable to its deserving recipients. This is based on the words of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, "Zakat is a financial obligation on one's property." Moreover, since minors must also fulfill the rights of Allah's servants with regards to their properties, a minor's guardian is responsible for compensating any sum he loses from his ward's funds.

The ruling

Zakat is obligatory on a minor's fool's or insane's property and his guardian pays it on his behalf from the former's wealth. It is a condition that the funds exceed the minor's expenses and basic needs, it must reach nisab, and one year passes over its possession. The value of zakat is one quarter of a tenth i.e. 2.5% of the property's worth.

Allah the Almighty knows best.

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