Zakah on land
Fatwa No: 90450

Question

It is said that if plot of land is bought as business there is Zakaat. What if we buy a plot of land (with the aim of selling it) and kept it for more than one and half lunar year without selling? Do we have to pay Zakaat by calculating the value of land after 1 lunar year? What if we do not have any other income? Or we have just income for our daily living? Do we have to immediately sell the plot of land and pay Zakaah? Hope you will answer this question.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

If one buys land with the intention of trading with it in order to get a profit, then it is considered as a tradable item, therefore Zakah [obligatory charity] has to be paid on it when a complete lunar year elapses on the capital money with which the land was bought if it reached the minimum amount liable for Zakah and it was cash money, that is, gold or silver or other currency that has the same value. So, 2.5% has to be paid when Zakah is due, regardless of the price with which the land was bought.

Indeed Zakah has to be paid on this land even if one keeps it for many years as long as his intention is to trade it and expect a profit. Hence, you have to pay out Zakah for each lunar year during which it is in your possession.

In case one does not have money to pay out the Zakah for this land, the author of Al-Muntaqa  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “If one has a profit less than an amount that is liable for Zakah, or he does not have any profit at all, according to those who are of the view that it is an obligation on him to pay the Zakah, then it is reported that Imaam Maalik  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said that in such a case a person has a choice either to sell a tradable item and then pay Zakah, or to give out any tradable item [of the items that one has] of the same value due on him to the people who are eligible for Zakah.”

Finally, if you are unable to do one of the above options, then Zakah remains as a debt and a burden on you that you have to pay whenever that is possible as clarified in Fatwa: 90055.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa