To pay Zakah retroactively

Q: I would like to ask you about a problem I have regarding Zakah. I have been working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for about five-and-a-half years and since then I have not paid Zakah, in the true meaning of the word according to Shari`ah (Islamic law), which is 2.5% on wealth that has been owned for a lunar year. I gave a large sum of money in charity, which might be more than the amount of Zakah due on my money, but I did not calculate the money I gave in charity as I gave this money out when we visited our relatives during our annual holiday with them - and we usually spend them with relatives. It is difficult for me to now calculate the money that I earned over the past few years precisely to pay the Zakah due on it. Please, tell me a simple way that I can compensate for not paying my Zakah over the past years. I am going to make a clean start from the beginning of this year, and I will start paying the 2.5% of the value of my wealth in Zakah after I have had it for one lunar year.Can I be excused due to my ignorance? Should I pay Zakah on the money I have kept aside to build a house for me and my family, no matter how many years I keep it, because we are living outside our homeland now and we would need to supervise the building of the house. I deposited some money in the Faysal Islamic Bank of Egypt; should I pay Zakah on the original deposit and then also on the profit (Part No. 9; Page No. 397) from this deposit? Enlighten us, may Allah enlighten, bless and protect you!

A: You must pay Zakah on the money you had over the last five years that you kept for a lunar year. You should estimate the amount of money that you had every year and pay the Zakah on it.As for the money you saved to build a house, you must pay the Zakah on that as well as on its profits after a lunar year. However, if you use this money to buy a piece of land to build a house on for you and your family, no Zakah will be due on the land. Regarding your savings in the Faysal Islamic Bank, you must pay Zakah on it and its legitimate profits a lunar year after making the deposit.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.