Sell a commonly owned share

Q: A piece of land was granted to a group of people by the government. Is it permissible for these people to sell their shares to each other if each person's share of the land is known? If this sale is in fact legal, is Zakah (obligatory charity) due on each person's share of the land if two or three years have passed since the time they took ownership of the land? Is Zakah due on this land every lunar year; or does one only pay the Zakah on the value of his individual share of the land if he sells it? May Allah guide you to what is right.

A: If these people have taken ownership of the land they were granted and each one of them knows the percentage of the land that is his share, then it is permissible for him to sell his share and the sale will be valid. Also, he must pay Zakah on the value of his share upon the passage of one lunar year from the time he decides to sell it. However, if each of the partners cannot determine his share of the land - not even as a percentage - then the sale is not valid due to the fact that the land which is being sold is unknown, and likewise, if ownership cannot be established, then the land cannot be sold, and thus there is no Zakah due on the land. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.