Q: Please elaborate on the intention needed for Zakah.
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: When giving Zakah to the recipient one must make the intention that what he/she is giving is being given as Zakah. Without this intention, the money given will be a form of optional charity and not Zakah. However, when calculating Zakah if one was to calculate and set aside the amount of Zakah payable and make the intention that this is Zakah, then one does not need to repeat the intention when giving it to the recipient. E.g., If one’s Zakah anniversary arrives on the first of Ramadhan and on that date one calculates and sets aside the amount due with the intention that the money set aside is Zakah, then at a later date distributes that same money amongst eligible recipients one does not need to make an intention now that this money is being given as Zakah. The previous intention will suffice.