Fatwa: # 40052
Category: Charity, Obligatory (Zakaat)
Country: United States
Date: 7th December 2018


Zakaah on the funds kept in overseas bank



I am busy finalising family matters and estate matters and will really appreciate it if you can let me have a fatwa or otherwise opinion on the following.

The family opened Bank accounts abroad during the apartheid years due to various personal reasons.

The accounts were kept secret and could not be traded with as in normal accounts.

This was because of the restrictive and apartheid laws.

At any time we did not know exactly how much monies were held in the accounts.

The family is deciding to apply for amnesty and pay the government between 20-30% so as to be able to legalise the matter and to be able to freely deal with the monies to buy and sell or do investments with the money or bring back the money to SA.

Can you please advise me the position of zakat for the prior years and whose liability it is.

During the past years - most of the family members - who are the beneficial owners proportionately did not know of the amount- or the type of the assets - or where it was.( Except one family member who dealt with it but did not keep records in SA for fear of repercussion from SA Government - Things were kept secret to protect being found out by the authorities )

In between in some of the account some minor investments were made initially but later this did not continue.

The above is a brief outline- if need be can send more detailed 



In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We apologise for the much belated response.

Zakaah will be due on all the shareholders/beneficiaries of the account.

You may request the bank to issue a Bank Statement of the previous years, and accordingly Zakaah will be discharged.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Muhammad I.V Patel

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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