For several years, I used to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr from unlawful money as I am an employee in a government authority and did not go to work. The question is: should I pay Zakat-ul-Fitr for these years again? They are three years.
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.
If you were always absent from work, then all the money that you attained is unlawful because it is a wage for work that you did not perform. Therefore, if you have paid Zakat-ul-Fitr from this money, it does not avail you because unlawful money is not to be owned; rather, all of it must be gotten rid off. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Allah Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good.” [Muslim]
If you did not have anything but this unlawful money on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr in the previous years, then you did not have to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr. The people of knowledge stipulated that no zakah should be paid for unlawful money and no Hajj may be performed from it, as transmitted and approved by An-Nawawi from Al-Ghazali: “If he does not have except completely unlawful money, he is not required to perform Hajj or pay zakah. He does not have to pay financial expiations.”
However, if you sometimes attended work and sometimes were absent, then your money is mixed and its lawfulness is doubtful in proportion to the period in which you were absent from work. We clarified the ruling on paying Zakat-ul-Fitr from doubtful money. In principle, it is valid and availing.
Allah knows best.
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