Can I pay Zakat before my Zakat anniversary?
A: Zakat can be paid before one’s Zakat anniversary in advance .
The wisdom behind this is to encourage people to increase in worship and capitalise on blessed times like Ramaḍan or the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
Once, al-Abbas came to the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) and asked if he could pay Zakat in advance. The Prophet permitted him making an advance payment. (Sunan al-Tirmiẓi)
The scholars agree that one must have a Zakat anniversary and a yearly cycle in order to pay in advance. Whilst the Shafi’i school permit only one year’s payment in advance, the Hanafi school does not limit the years for which one can pay in advance.
However, if a person does pay Zakat in advance, it is necessary to recalculate Zakat on the actual Zakat anniversary to ensure the advance payment offsets the actual Zakat liability one had.
And Allah knows best!
Mufti Faraz Adam