What is Hawlaanul Hawl?
In Arabic there is a terminology that occurs commonly when discussing Zakaat. This terminology, Hawlaanul Hawl, literally means the passing of a year. In the context of Zakaat, it refers to wealth being in a person’s possession for the duration of an entire lunar year.
In our experience, this terminology is perhaps the most misunderstood concept when it comes to Zakaat calculation. Many people, based on the incorrect understanding of this concept, believe that wealth attained during the course of the year will not be Zakaatable unless one entire year passes with that wealth in one’s possession.
An example to illustrate this is, Abdullah pays his Zakaat every year on the 10th of Ramadaan (which falls on 27 June 2015 this year). In January 2015, Abdullah received a lump sum of R150 000.00 from a deceased relative’s estate. When Abdullah calculated his Zakaat on the 27th of June 2015, he excluded the R150 000.00, which he had saved, as according to his understanding, that amount was not Zakaatable. Abdullah’s understanding is incorrect.
Hawlaanul Hawl merely means that a person should have excess wealth that is more than the Zakaat Nisaab for the entire year. If this is found, then all wealth that accumulates during the year will be added to one’s Zakaatable assets and Zakaat will have to be paid on it. Therefore, as Abdullah was already paying Zakaat, he will add the R150 000.00 in to his Zakaat calculation and pay Zakaat on that amount as well.
This ruling applies to all monies received prior to the date of one’s Zakaat calculation as well as monies received on the day one calculates his Zakaat.
In essence, one will pay Zakaat on all money that one possesses on day of Zakaat calculation, irrespective of when that money was received.
Simply put, the Zakaatable amount is whatever amount you have at the time of Zakaat calculation.