The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari) Also, we’d like to commend your pursuit of Islamic counselling.
As soon as Zakah is due on one’s wealth, that portion of the wealth belongs to the poor who are to be considered its rightful owner. One, therefore, should not feel comfortable with any amount of Zakah that has not been distributed. If Zakah is lost before its distribution, its owner should pay it again if the delay of its payment was due to negligence on his part. It is agreed that if Zakah is delayed until after the harvest is finished and subsequently the harvest is damaged before Zakah is paid on it, then that does not absolve the owner of the crop from paying what is due and he must pay based on the original harvest.
According to some scholars, Zakah remains due, whether the loss occurred is due to negligence or not. In that case Zakah becomes a debt that must be paid even if the owner does not have sufficient money to pay it. According to this opinion, even if one sets aside the Zakah and then it is lost, the obligation to pay remains since it is still the responsibility of the Zakah payer to disburse it. This is the opinion of Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq who quotes the following report narrated by Ibn Hazm: “Whoever sets aside Zakah from his property and then it is lost, his obligation to pay Zakah remains to be fulfilled, and he must set it aside again.” According to other jurists, liability to pay Zakah remains in case of loss or damage of the due amount to be paid, only if the delay of payment was due to negligence and not to any valid and justifiable cause. Quoted, with slight modifications, from: Mushfiqur Rahman, Zakah Calculation, published by The Islamic Foundation.