Al-Albānī: Is Zakah Due upon a Child’s Wealth?
O Shaikh, may Allāh bless you. Is having reached puberty among the prerequisites for [being required to pay] zakah?
Yes. No person is held responsible for any act of worship until after he’s reached the age of rushd [Islamic maturity, usually occurring at puberty—Tr.], as you said, due to the [Prophet’s ﷺ] saying: “The Pen is raised from [recording the sins of] three: a child, until he reaches puberty; a sleeping person, until he wakes up; and a person who has lost his mind, until he comes back to his senses.”
. . . Scholars have differed with regard to the guardian of an orphan who hasn’t yet reached the age of rushd: is [that guardian] tasked [in Islam] with making sure that zakah is taken out of this orphan’s gold if it has reached the niṣāb [an amount of wealth upon which zakah is due after being held in possession for a lunar year, in this case, 85g of gold—Tr.], or not?
There are two sayings [from the scholars with regard to this]: one of them is what you’ve previously heard, [i.e., that zakah is not due upon the wealth of prepubescent children]; the other is that it is binding upon him, i.e., the orphan’s guardian, to make sure zakah is taken from his wealth [if that wealth were above the niṣāb and had been held for a lunar year]. [These scholars hold this opinion] because there is a ḥadīth that Al-Tirmidhī and others narrated with the wording: “Put the wealth of orphans into business and trade before zakah [payments] consume it.” But the ḥadīth is ḍaʿīf [weak and unacceptable to use as a proof].
Silsilah Al-Hudá wa-l-Nūr, 406, as quoted by Jāmiʿ Al-Turāth Al-ʿAllāmah Al-Albānī fī-l-Fiqh, p. 415.