Answered by Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat
My father is past retirement age, 70 years old. He is still working, but we don’t know how long he will be able to continue to work given his age and health. He has some money saved over the nisab amount.
Would it be permissible for him to subtract one year’s worth of necessary expenses for him and my mother before calculating zakat? This would include utilities, groceries, and medical bills. So that if he has to quit working, he has enough for himself and his wife for a year.
Unfortunately not. We are permitted to deduct the costs of our immediate essential needs. The immediacy here is understood for the coming month. Some scholars would also include a large payment that is slightly more than a month away – such as a payment for an operation, etc. But utility bills, etc, for the coming year would not come under this. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Allah Replaces What You Spend
Go ahead and calculate the zakat normally, and get him to pay it without any concern. Allah has promised us in the Quran, “Whatever you spend He will replace it.” [Quran, 34:39]
Allah will take care of you all. See the payment of zakat as a means of there being an increase – not a decrease – in your wealth.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.