Scholars say from the hadith that any Missed Zakat must be paid immediately to the deserving.
This certainly applies to a person who is still alive and has outstanding Zakat from previous years. In the case of a dead person, the inheritors are at the discretion to pay the deceased’s Zakat from their inherited portions. It is not obligatory.
Ibn’ Abbas (Allah be pleased with both of them) reported: A woman came to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: My mother has died, and fasts of a month are due from her.
Thereupon he said: Don’t you see that if the debt was due from her, would you not pay it? She said: Yes (I would pay on her behalf). Thereupon he said: The debt of Allah deserves its payment more than (the payment of anyone else) (Muslim, Book 6, No. 2554).
Never think that I am paying my income tax to the government, and that is my Zakat. No, this is not acceptable, as this does not fall in the Rules of Zakah for the Poor and Needy. This is one fear that we all should be made openly aware of.
One should estimate the amount of Zakat as best he/she can, and Allah does not burden any soul beyond its scope.
So if it is £12000, for example, how much is the Zakah for one year? £300 is owed. If the amount of Zakah is £300, then he/she should pay £300 for each of the past years, unless in some of those years he/she had more or less than twelve thousand, in which case he should pay extra. If it was less in some years, then he should pay less Zakah, accordingly.
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