Monday, March 28, 2022

A poor person owes me a debt. Is it permissible to waive the debt and...

Question: A poor person owes me a debt. Is it permissible to waive the debt and consider it as part of my Zakat?


     All praise is due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah.

     It is permissible to give Zakah to the aforementioned person because two of the reasons for deserving Zakat are fulfilled- poverty and debt.

      Allah Almighty says, “Surely, the poor-dues are only for the poor, the indigent, the ones collecting them, the ones whose hearts must be won over, the ransoming of slaves, the ones in debt, for the Cause of Allah, and the traveler in need. This is an ordinance from Allah. Allah is All Knowing, All Wise” (Qur’an, 9: 60).

     Ibn Muflih said, “It is permissible for any person to give his Zakat to his debtor to pay the debt, whether the paying of the Zakat was before or after taking his debt back.”

     It is also permissible for the questioner to absolve the debtor of his debt, and consider it part of his Zakat according to one of the two views of the Shafi’is, and Ashhab, the Maliki scholar since this benefits the poor, provided that the debt is not used to disobey Allah.

     Here, we want to point out that one of the greatest deeds of goodness is to help the needy and those in distress.

     Allah Almighty says, "Whatever you expend in charity, He will compensate it for you. He is the Best Provider” (Qur’an, 34: 39).

Categories: Fatwah