Q 4: We own a land on which public facilities, such as schools and post offices, were built. We cannot offer the land for sale, except with the approval of the authorities if they do not want to buy it. However, if they want to buy it, they may do so by paying the full value of the land; otherwise we may offer it for sale. We have been waiting for the authorities' approval for many years now. Should we pay Zakah (obligatory charity) during this waiting period? If we sell the land, should we pay Zakah for one year or for all the previous years? There are two situations: (Part No. 9; Page No. 341) First: The authorities can buy it according to an agreed upon price.Second: The authorities agree to leave the land and give us a letter confirming this. They then need to give their agreement for us to convert the buildings into residences, so we can offer them for sale and sell them for their market price.We have already calculated the Zakah due on this land from the time we have bought it until the time of offering it for sale either to the authorities or to individuals.
Should we pay Zakah during this forced waiting period?
If you have been forbidden from having control over the land, there is no Zakah due on it until you have regained control. You will have to pay the due Zakah on the land after you have had control over it for a lunar year. You should not try to get the money back that you paid to the poor as Zakah nor should you consider it as a payment of the Zakah due on any other wealth in the future.