Can you pay Zakaat on a monthly basis? If yes, then how?
Yes, you can pay Zakaat on a monthly basis. This can occur in two ways.
One is that a person, after calculating his goods, stock of trade or any other zakaatable item, realizes that he does not have sufficient cash to pay out the Zakaat. In this situation he may see that it will be easy for him to pay a portion of the total amount on a monthly basis until he pays out the full amount. This is a case where the person is trying to pay out a fixed amount of Zakaat which has become compulsory upon him and it is permissible.
The second situation is the case where a person wishes to pay his Zakaat in advance, in order to make it easy upon himself and that he will updated with his payments. Businessmen may view this as an ease seeing that it may be difficult to pay a huge amount of money at one and the same time, especially when there isn’t much cash. If a person wishes to pay it in this manner then he must do a calculation and evaluation of the expected amount of total zakaatable goods, assets, wealth he may possess at the end of his zakaat year. Then from this total amount he may deduct what is expected to be paid from this wealth in debts and other expenses which will be essential upon him at that time. Having done so, he must now calculate the value of 2.5% of the surplus and after arriving at a figure he may now pay a portion of that total amount on a monthly basis until he pays the complete figure. This is the case of a person who pays Zakaat in advance and it is also permissible.
Since most of my finances are done as per the calendar year can Zakaat be calculated for this period also?
Yes, Zakaat can be calculated based on the calendar year. However, it must be understood that the Zakaah year begins from the time a person owns a Nisaab. From this time, a person must now look to see when a year comes to an end. Whatever month and date this year ends, Zakaat will become compulsory upon him at this time. When he pays his Zakaat at that time, the year begins again and upon its end he must pay Zakaat, provided that he is in the possession of a Nisaab.
Sometimes a person may pay his Zakaat before the year actually comes to an end and sometimes he may pay it shortly after it comes to an end.
Both are permissible, however it is not good to delay its payment.
If interest is accrued in a bank account but my Zakaat period has come around before I payout the interest, does the interest need to be included in the Zakaat calculation?
No, the interest will not be included in the calculation of Zakaat.
What is the best way to disburse interest if there is no way to completely prevent its accrual in an account?
The best way to disburse interest is that it be given to the poor and needy. It is not permissible for one to use it.
Can interest be given to Muslims as Sadqa or Zakaat?
It is not permissible to give interest to Muslims as Sadaqah or Zakaat.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.