Is it permissible to pay zakah on a monthly basis instead of all at once? Appreciate your input. Jazakallah
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Your concern for proper practice of religious tenants is admirable.
Your question relates to discharging zakah in advance (taking out zakah prior to being fardh at the conclusion of one's fiscal lunar year).
To discharge zakah in advance is permissible. Both methods (instalments or lump sum) would be permitted.
"It is reported by Ali (ra) that Abbas (ra) asked the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the advance payment of zakah, prior to it becoming fardh (obligatory), so he granted permission to him for that"(Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmed, Hakim, Kanz Al Ummal)
Ali (ra) narrated the Prophet (pbuh) stated, "Our people were in need (of basic necessities), so we requested Abbas (ra) to take out the zakah in advance for two years"(Baihaqi, Talkhees)
It may be important to note that if one is discharging zakah in advance, one should ensure, the amounts should be adjusted and discharged appropriately, especially if there is a shortfall, after calculating one's assets and savings at the end of the lunar fiscal year.
And Allah Knows Best.