Upon the expiry of the year, zakaat should be given immediately. It is not a good habit to delay in carrying out good deeds because it is possible that death may overcome a person and this duty will still remain on his shoulders. If the paying of zakaat is delayed to such an extent that the second year also expires, the person will be a sinner but he can still repent for this sin and pay the zakaat immediately. In other words, he should pay the zakaat that is incumbent upon him at some time or the other in his life and should not leave it out.
Zakaat is wajib on 1/40th of all the wealth which a person possesses. That is, R2-50 for every R100 or R1 for every R40.
At the time of giving the zakaat to a poor person, one must have the intention in his heart that he is giving this money as zakaat. If he merely gives it without making any intention, the zakaat will not be fulfilled. He will have to give the zakaat again, and he will be rewarded separately for the money that he had already given.
If the person did not make the intention of giving zakaat at the time of giving it to the poor person, then as long as that money is still in the possession of the poor person, he will be able to make the intention. By making the intention at this stage, his zakaat will be fulfilled. But if the poor person has already spent that money, then the intention that is made at this stage will not be considered. He will have to repeat the payment of his zakaat.
A person set aside R2 to be given as zakaat and decided that when he comes across a deserving person he will give it to him. However, when he gave it to the poor person he forgot to make the intention of zakaat. In this case, zakaat will be fulfilled. But if he did not make the intention of zakaat at the time of setting it aside, his zakaat will not be fulfilled.
A person has taken out his zakaat for distribution. He has the choice of giving all his zakaat to one person or distributing it among several persons. He also has the option of giving all the zakaat on one day or distributing it over several months.
It is better to give one poor person an amount which will be sufficient for him for that day so that he will not have to ask anyone else.