Q: When will zakaat be obligatory?
A: The first day a person acquires wealth (upon which zakaat is compulsory) which equals the nisaab and the wealth remains with him for an entire lunar year, zakaat will be waajib on that wealth.
E.g. Zaid acquired R3, 000 (which is the nisaab amount) on the first day of the lunar year (1st of Muharram 1434). This wealth remained with him for an entire lunar year. On the 1st of Muharram 1435 zakaat will be waajib upon the wealth. It should be noted that if the amount decreased during the course of the year e.g. R3, 000 decreased to R1, 000 but at the end of the zakaat year (1st of Muharram 1435) the amount returned to R3, 000 or more, zakaat will be waajib. However, if during the year all the money was spent, then despite the full amount (R3, 000) being possessed at the end of the lunar year, zakaat will not be waajib. Instead one year will be calculated from the date that he once again acquired the nisaab amount.
وشرط كمال النصاب ولو سائمة في طرفي الحول …. فلايضر نقصانه بينهما، فلوهلك كله بطل الحول (شامي 2/302)
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