Can One Prioritize Paying Past Due Zakat Over Disposing of Accrued Interest Money?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


There was some interest amount in my account that I failed to dispose of, and now I have two burdens on my shoulders. One is to complete the past 29 years of zakat, and the other is to dispose of this interest amount.

If I had some money at home that I intended to give away as interest but realized I needed it for my expenses and zakat, can I change my intention over this money?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

You may prioritize paying your Zakat for the previous years. Estimate how much you owe and keep a note of it as you pay each time and how much is left. You may then dispose of your interest money which has accrued in your account later. However, you may also dispose of the interest money first if it is a much smaller manageable amount.

As long you have repented and sought forgiveness for not paying your Zakat due and accruing interest, it will not impact the validity and acceptance of your Zakat.

If you had some money to give away as interest, you can change your intention and spend it elsewhere.

Zakat Should Be Given Without Undue Delay

Zakat is supposed to be given without undue delay, and delaying it unduly without excuse is sinful, according to the relied-upon position.

An undue delay is delaying payment beyond a year. Delays that are reasonable or for a greater benefit are not blameworthy. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction, in sha’ Allah.

Repent and Seek Forgiveness

Allah Most High says, “Turn towards Allah, O believers, every one of you, so that you may be successful.” [Quran, 24:31]

The best repentance is to resolve not to return to such matters and to turn to Allah, expressing one’s remorse with one’s own heartfelt words.


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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.