We have a house which is closed; we are not using it. We have been wanting to sell it for two years, but it has not been sold yet, so do we have to pay zakah for 1 year or for 2 years?
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You are not obliged to pay zakaah for the mentioned house, not for two years or even for one year, because the mere intention to sell it does not make it a tradeable item subject to zakaah.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen wrote:
“If a person has a piece of land that he bought to build a house on it (not with the intention to trade with it) and then changed his mind and decided to sell it and buy another, it is not considered a tradeable item subject to zakaah because it was not meant for trade. He wanted to sell it not to gain a profit but because he does not want it anymore. There is a difference between someone who takes it as capital that he invests and trades with and someone who changed his mind about it and decided to sell it because he does not want it anymore...” [Sharh Az-Zaad]
If this house is sold, you start counting a new lunar year (from the time you receive the price), and when a lunar year has passed since the price reached the Nisaab (i.e. the minimum amount of wealth liable for the payment of zakaah), you should pay zakaah then.
For more information, please refer to fatwa 329530
Allah knows best.
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