HAWL - Islamic Relief USA

What is Hawl?

Hawl is the length of time that an individual must possess the wealth that they will pay Zakat on.

What does Hawl mean?

In explanations of Zakat, Hawl means a lunar year and therefore, a hawl (lunar year) is approximately 354 days long.

If one has not yet possessed his/her wealth for a Hawl (lunar year), can s/he still pay Zakat?

Yes s/he can pay Zakat, but they would need to factor in any expenditures or liabilities when calculating how much they would need to pay.

My wealth dipped below the Nisab during the course of the year, do I still have to pay Zakat?

Yes, but please discuss with a Scholar.

I received a large amount of money just before my Zakat was due for this year. Do I include it in this year’s Zakat?

Yes, you need to include it in your calculation.

I have a pension fund, do I pay Zakat on the savings in this fund?

This depends on the nature of the fund. We would suggest you consult a scholar about this as the issue of pension schemes can be quite complex.

A group of us have set up a fund to pay for any emergency needs that we may have. Is this liable for Zakat?

It sounds as if the mentioned fund would count as a Waqf. The general rule is that a Waqf is not liable for Zakat. As long as, there is no personal ownership, or nobody is personally benefitting from this fund, and also depending on the nature of the fund, Zakat may/may not be liable. However, you would need to check this with a scholar.

Visit our Zakat page or watch this YouTube video series for answers on frequently asked questions around Zakat.

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We ensure our content is reviewed and verified by qualified scholars to provide you with the most accurate information. This webpage was last reviewed by Sheikh Saalim Al-Azhari.

Page last reviewed: 25 February 2022

Next review due: Within 12 months

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