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Irsyad al Fatwa 38



My wife died and left some gold jewelry but since none of the heirs need or want to wear the jewelry, we just kept them, is it obligatory for us to pay zakah for the jewelry?


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi stated in Fatawa al-Mu’asirah (Current Fatwa): “It is a known matter, where the jurists have differing opinions regarding the obligation of zakah on the ornaments of women if the ornaments are from gold and silver.

Madhhab Abu Hanifah states that zakah is obligatory when the nisab is sufficient, whether the nisab is on its own or if other property is combined with it.

As for madhhab Maliki, Syafie and Hanbali, for permissible adornments that are used and worn, then zakat is not obligatory on them.

This is the opinion we are inclined to and the fatwa that we issued according to the evidences that we have discussed in detail in the book Fiqh al-Zakah.

In this issue, we observe that adornments can be divided into two types:

  • Ornaments such as jewels and precious stones. Originally, these types of ornaments are exempted from zakat if they are owned only to be kept.
  • Ornaments made from gold, here, we analyse the ornaments explained in the question as being kept and not used or worn. Thus, these ornaments are just kept just like cash and not used or worn.

It is also owned by the heirs, which also include the husband. When the nisab for each portion of the heir is sufficient, whether the nisab for the ornaments are enough on its own or combined with other property, and the renown nisab for gold is 85 grams, then it is obligatory for the heir to pay the zakat according to their portions. Undoubtedly the zakat meant here is according to its haul. Thus, for each qamariah year (according to the Islamic calendar), the gold should be valued. How much is the value if it is to be sold and a 2.5% of zakat is paid for it. This situation will continue for every qamariah year.

This means, every heir is obligated to pay the zakat for the jewellery not worn or used, until the jewellery is worn or used. It is prioritized or beneficial if the jewellery of the deceased is sold and the profit from the sale are used to donate to charity for the deceased. The reason is, the rewards from the donation is continuous for the deceased as long as people benefit from it till the day of Judgement. The husband and heirs will also be rewarded for the donation or wakaf performed according to the good deed that they did. Allah SWT will never forsake the good deeds of anyone.