zakah zakat 3

zakah zakat

Sheikh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz


Zakaah on Loans

Q. By the Grace of Allah and his Guidance, I worked for twenty years, and I saved three sums of money. I lent a relative of mine an amount for a fixed time period, and time is passing and I have no hope of reimbursement. The second amount I lent to another relative in order to do some business, but years have passed without him doing anything with it. The third amount is in my possession.

What is the ruling regarding the Zakaah on the amount which was not reimbursed, the amount which was given for business purposes but was not used, and the amount from which I personally spend? Enlighten us, may Allah enlighten you.

A. You must pay Zakaah for the amount which you have in your possession as well as the amount which is with your relative for business but did not use it whenever a year passes upon it, except if your relative spent the amount you gave him [for business] for some personal need and is unable to return it. In this case there is no Zakaah upon it until he reimburses you and a year passes with it in your possession.

As for the amount which is with your first relative, the matter requires some further clarification.

- If he has wealth and is able to pay you back, you must pay Zakaah upon the amount whenever a year passes upon it. There is no harm in delaying the Zakaah until he reimburses you and paying for all the previous years, but it is safer and better that you pay it every year as a precaution against forgetfulness or death.

- If he is unable to reimburse you, or he is able but is constantly deferring payment or is refusing to pay, it is not obligatory upon you to pay the Zakaah according to the correct of the two stances of the scholars, until he reimburses you and a year passes with it in your possession. Zakaah is meant as a consolation (to the poor), and this consolation is not obligatory upon wealth which you do now know whether you will obtain. (Majmoo’-ul Fataawaa, Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz, v.14, p,42)


Interest-based Dealings with Banks and its Zakaah

Q. Many people deal with banks, and it may be that they get into impermissible dealings like interest. Is Zakaah to be paid on this amount, and how is to be offered?

A. It is impermissible to deal in interest, whether with banks or anything else, and all the profits gained from interest are impermissible. They are not considered his wealth, and if he took possession of it knowing the ruling of Allah in its regard, it is obligatory that he disposes (of that wealth) by giving it to charitable purposes. If he has not taken possession of it, he is only allowed to take back his capital amount, as Allah (I) said:

﴿ * 

“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from interest, if you are (really) believers. * And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums).” [Surah al-Baqarah (2):278-279]

If he had taken the interest before knowing the ruling of Allah in its regard, he may keep it and it is not obligatory upon him to dispose of it, as Allah said:


“Allah has permitted trading and forbidden interest. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating interest shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns [to dealing in interest)], such are the dwellers of the Fire - they will abide therein.” [Surah al-Baqarah (2):275]

The person must pay Zakaah on that portion which is not from the profits of interest, as he does for all his other wealth upon which Zakaah is due. But if he did not have knowledge of its impermissibility, Zakaah must also be paid upon the profits made from interest before, for it is like the rest of his wealth due to the verse mentioned above, All Guidance to Correctness is from Allah. (Majmoo’-ul Fataawaa, Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz, v.14, p,153)



Giving Zakaah to Islamic Centers

Q. There is a charitable center for teaching Qur`aan to women which will soon be open, by the Will of Allah (I), and this center, like other charitable projects, needs much money to meet its expenditures, like salaries for the teachers, office furniture, buses for the teachers and students, etc. Is it permissible, O respected sheikh, that Zakaah be spent on this center?

A. It is not permissible that Zakaah be spent on it except on those teachers who are needy and whose husbands do not spend on them, and those who have no well-to-do guardians which are able to spend upon them. Salaries should be only be given [from the Zakaah] to those of them who require money for their necessary expenditures. As for office furniture and buses, money other than Zakaah should be spent on them, like charitable donations, endowments, and general charity. And Allah knows best. (Abdullah ibn Jibreen,



Is Zakaah required of one who is in debt?


Q. If a person is in debt that is equal to all the wealth that he has in his possession, or more than that, is he required to pay zakaah on the money that he does have, if one year has passed since he acquired it?

A. Praise be to Allah. The one who has any “zakatable” wealth must pay zakaah on it, when one year has passed since he acquired it, even if he has debts, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, because of the general meaning of the evidence that zakaah is obligatory upon everyone who has wealth on which zakaah is due, if one year has passed since he acquired it, even if he has debts. The Prophet (r) used to command his agents to take zakaah from those who owed zakaah, and he did not tell them to ask them whether they had any debts or not. If having debts meant that one did not have to pay zakaah, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would have told his agents to ask the people who were paying zakaah whether they had any debts or not. (Majmoo’-ul Fataawaa, Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz, v14, p.51 )

“…But if you pay off the debt with cash in hand before one year has passed, there is no zakaah on what you have spent to pay off the debt; rather zakaah is due on whatever is left, if one year has passed and it reaches the minimum threshold (nisaab).”

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a person who has capital worth two hundred thousand riyals and owed a debt of two hundred thousand riyals, and was paying it off at a rate of ten thousand per year – does he have to pay zakaah?

He replied:

Yes, he has to pay zakaah on the wealth that is in his possession, because the texts which speak of the obligation of zakaah are general in meaning, and do not make any exceptions. No exception is made for one who is in debt. As the texts are general in meaning, we have to follow them.

Moreover, zakaah must be paid on wealth, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):


 “Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them; and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Surah at-Tawbah (9):103]

And according to the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from Ibn ‘Abbaas (t), when the Prophet (r) sent Mu‘aadh to Yemen he said:

“Tell them that Allah has enjoined zakaah from their wealth.”

So Allah and His Messenger have stated that zakaah has to do with the wealth itself, not with the person’s obligations towards others; debt has to do with personal obligations towards others. They are two separate issues, so zakaah must be paid from the wealth that is in your possession, and the debt is a personal responsibility.

Each person must fear his Lord and pay zakaah on the wealth that is in his possession, and seek the help of Allah to pay the debt that he owes, saying: O Allah, pay off the debt that I owe and make me independent of means.

Perhaps if he pays zakaah on the wealth that is in his possession, that may be a means of bringing blessing to this wealth and causing it to grow, so that he may discharge his duty of paying his debts. If he withholds zakaah, however, that may be a cause of his becoming poor, so that he always sees himself as being in need and not able to pay zakaah. Praise Allah if He makes you one of the givers and not one of the takers. (Majmoo’ ul-Fataawaaa, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, v.18, p.39)

And he said, in another Fatwa on the same issue (v.18, p.38):

If the debt is currently due and repayment is being demanded, and he wants to pay it off, in that case we say: Pay off the debt, then pay zakaah on what is left after that if it reaches the minimum threshold at which zakaah becomes due.

That is supported by what the scholats of the Hanbali madh-hab said about zakaat al-fitr. They said that being in debt does not mean that one should not pay it.

Similarly, it is reported that ‘Uthmaan (t) used to say during the month of Ramadaan:

“This is the month of your zakaah, but whoever is in debt, let him pay it off.”

This indicates that if a debt is currently due to be paid, and the debtor wants to pay it off, that should take precedence over zakaah. But if a debt is not yet due to be paid off, the zakaah must still be paid, beyond a doubt.

And it says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, v.9, p.189:

The correct scholarly view is that being in debt does not mean that zakaah should not be paid. The Prophet (r) used to send his agents to collect the zakaah, and he did not tell them to see if the people were in debt or not.

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Date : 2/5/2010
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