When Should a New Muslim Pay Zakat?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I recently reverted to Islam and have savings above the silver nisab. I have had these savings for over a year, but I am still determining what day, as I only reverted a couple of months ago. Do I pay the zakat a year after the day I reverted, or pay it right now? I am confused about this, so your advice is greatly appreciated.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.

We pray that Allah continues to guide you on His path. You are not obliged to pay Zakat until a full lunar year passes from the day you embraced Islam. And Allah knows best.

Zakat is obligatory:

  • for every free Muslim (male, female, adult, or child);
  • who has possessed a zakat-payable amount (nisab – the minimum that necessitates zakat)
  • for one lunar year. [Nawawi, Minhaj]

Zakat of Non-Muslims

Non-Muslims are not obliged to pay zakat, nor are apostates from Islam (murtadd) unless they return to Islam, in which case they must pay for the time they spent out of Islam. However, if they die as non-Muslims, their property is not subject to zakat because their property is considered to belong to the Muslim common fund (Bayt al-mal) from the moment such people leave Islam. [ibid.]

Zakat of New Muslims

When a non-Muslim embraces Islam, he is not duty-bound to pay zakat to make up for the time he was not Muslim, just like Prayer and Fasting. [Bayjuri, 1:272]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.