I have some questions regarding payment of Zakah. Please clarify them for me.
1. Last year I saved $ 40,000 and paid my Zakah according to the law of the land. I have not used this amount still and have saved another $10,000. Do I need to pay Zakah on the accumulated amount (i.e. $50,000) or only on the new saving (i.e. $10,000)?
2. I have a provident fund scheme in which my employer contributes 15% and I contribute 5% from my monthly salary towards this fund. The purpose of this scheme is to accumulate money that will be given to me upon retirement or upon termination of my contract with the company. I have limited access to this fund i.e. it is under the control of employer but I am given a chance of borrowing 75% of this fund if I intend to construct a house. Do I really need to pay Zakah on the amount of this fund from my pocket? If so, do I need to pay the Zakah annually?
3. According to my country's rules, I can only buy a piece of land if I can pledge some money in the bank that will be released when I have finished laying the foundation of the house. Thus, I have blocked some money in the bank and for many reasons the house could not be built and the bank still has the money. Do I really need to pay Zakah from my pocket on the money pledged with the bank? If so, do I need to pay on the same fund annually?
My response to your questions follows:
1. Zakah is calculated on all assets at the date fixed for the yearly determination and payment of Zakah both on the opening balance and the additions made thereto during the year. Thus, Zakah is also paid for the wealth on which already a similar payment in the previous year had been made.
2. The money is accumulated in the account kept with the company and practically you cannot freely use it. Therefore it cannot be considered your wealth at the moment and therefore is exempted from the Zakah until it is transferred to you. As long as we do not acquire the right to use money, we are not obligated to pay Zakah on it. This is different from the money we keep with a bank from where we can draw an amount and redeposit it as and when desired.
3. We understand that the case is analogous with the lent amount where we are not obliged to pay Zakah. Therefore, it does not seem necessary to pay Zakah on the money that you have pledged against the land unless the money is released or you become potentially able to withdraw it on your discretion.