A Person Who Is Indebted

Question:

What is the Shariat’s ruling regarding a person who is indebted? The debts are to be paid annually at a fixed amount. Would the total indebted amount be taken into consideration thereby preventing him from paying Zakaat or would the annually fixed amount be taken into consideration thereby allowing his annual savings to exceed the Nisaab of Zakaat?


Answer:

There are differences of opinion amongst the Jurists in this regard. Some are of the opinion that such debts prevent one from paying Zakaat, and others are of the opinion that these does not. After due consideration, it can be concluded that the most suitable opinion that would be more precautious and be more beneficial for the poor and needy, is that these debts which are not due do not prevent one from paying Zakaat.

(Bida’a Sana’a, Pg.6, Vol.2 / Fiqhu Zakaah, Pg.102 / Shami, Pg.261, Vol.2 / Imdaadul Fatawa, Pg.9, Vol.2)

And Allaah Knows Best
Mufti Waseem Khan

Institute of Higher Islamic Studies & Secondary Education