I am saving money for house; shall I give zakat?

I have been a government official for thirty years. I live in a place that can be called as privation. I have no real estate or moveables apart from a '95 model cheap car. I have a daughter with me who is a high school student and my other children are married. I started saving some money to help me buy a house when I retire. I think about retirement in a couple of years. I have monthly expenditures like rent, credit cards, food, clothes, school and expenditures, etc. Shall I give zakat for the gold I own in this case?

The person to give zakat, should have the wealth which is more than amount of nisab after subtracting basic needs and debts. Zakat is not fard on the people who do not have this amount of wealth. “Nisab” means the specific amount and measurement set by shariah. This amount is 85 grams and more for gold. If you own this amount of gold or equal amount of money or goods after subtracting your basic needs (rent, credit cards, monthly bills, school expenditures of your daughter) and your debts,  you should give 2.5% of this wealth as zakat. Gold or money is not exempted from zakat just because they are saved for house.

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Date: Sep 2, 2011