Can I give zakah in advance before a year is completed?

The Details of the Question

I deposit a certain amount of my salary in a bank. However, before this, I give one-fortieth of my salary as zakah. I sometimes draw some money from that account and in some months, I cannot deposit any money. How should I pay zakah when one year passes? In addition, I earn some money from my crops (hazelnuts) once a year. I pay zakah (tithe) from it. How should I pay zakah for this money when one year passes?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Zakah is given after it becomes fard. A rich person writes down the date when he starts to own nisab amount of money based on lunar calendar. For instance, if he becomes rich enough to pay zakah on the third of the month of Rajab, he gives zakah next year on the third of the month of Rajab if he still has nisab amount of money and goods. He does not wait for the month of Ramadan. There is no drawback to giving zakah before it is due; it is very good to do so.

It is even permissible to give zakah for a few years before. If a person miscalculates the zakah he has to give and gives two gold coins to a poor person instead of one, and if he notices it later, he can regard that extra gold coin for his zakah the next year.

However, if he has more goods at the end of the next year, he can give zakah for the extra amount only.

Zakah for the money that is saved is given after a year passes. If a person gives zakah before a year passes as soon as he obtains enough money for zakah, that is, before it becomes fard, he can pay the next zakah in two years’ time. For, he has paid the zakah for next year and zakah for the following year will be fard a year later; therefore, he can give the second zakah in two years’ time.

Zakah for the additional money you obtain will be calculated and given based on the time you obtain it.

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