Zakat on debts

A Guide to Zakah - Understanding & Calculation, Fiqh

Debts can be classified into two types:

  1. Receivables i.e. owed to oneself e.g. Loans given to somebody.
  2. Payable to others e.g. Money borrowed from somebody.

Debts receivable from others

There are different types of debt receivables. The ruling of Zakah for each kind of debt receivable is different from the other. It is therefore pertinent to first understand all these types of debts receivable.

Types of Debts Receivable

Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) has classified debts into three categories, namely:

  1. Trade Debts
  2. Non-Trade Debts
  3. Other Debts
August 17, 2011

Etiquette in Muamalaat

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 6-Etiquette and Manners, Reformation of the Heart, Deeds and their Retribution

1. Do not be so greedy for wealth that you forget to distinguish between halâl and harâm. Furthermore, do not waste the halâl wealth that Allah has blessed you with. Instead, spend it sparingly and on occasions of true necessity.
2. If a person who has been afflicted with a certain calamity decides to sell something of his because he is forced to do so (i.e. because he is desperately in need of the cash), then do not oppress him thinking him to be in extreme need. Nor should you ask him to reduce the price of the item. You should either help him or purchase that item from him at an appropriate price.
3. If your debtor is poor, do not distress him further. Instead, grant him a respite. Waive a certain amount of the debt, or better still, waive the entire debt.
4. If you owe money to a person and you have that amount to pay him, then it is extremely sinful and oppressive for you to delay in fulfilling this debt of yours.
5. As far as possible, do not take up any debt upon yourself. If there is no alternative, then always be concerned about paying it back. Do not become neglectful in this regard. If your creditor tells you something (with regard to your debt), keep quiet and listen. Do not counter-attack him nor become angry.
6. It is a very evil habit to conceal something that belongs to someone jokingly and which thereby causes him great distress.
7. Once a labourer has fulfilled his task, do not display any shortfall in paying him.
8. At the time of famine, some people sell their children. It is harâm to turn these children into slaves.
9. If you provide fire-wood (or anything else such as a stove, coal, etc.) to someone in order that he may prepare a meal, or you provide salt to the person in order that she may use it to prepare a meal, it is as if you have provided them with the entire meal.
10. There is great reward in providing drinking water. If you provide drinking water in a place where water is easily obtainable, it is as if you have freed a slave. And if you provide this water in a place where water is scarce, it is as if you have given life to a dead person.
11. If you have to give or receive something from someone or you have someone’s amânah in your possession, then mention this to several persons. Alternatively, have this written down so that if you pass away, (all this will be paid) and you will not be owing anything to anyone.

December 6, 2010

Giving guarantees

Bahishti Zewar, Economics, Fiqh, Part 5-Principles of Business

1. Na‘îmah (name of a woman) was owing money to someone. You went and gave a guarantee that if she does not fulfil this debt, the person must come and collect it from you or that you are responsible for her, or that she owes you as well (i.e. since you have trusted her and lent her money, it is okay for the other person to trust her as well), or you mention some other words which could be regarded as a guarantee. The person to whom the money was owed also accepted this guarantee of yours. It now becomes wâjib on you to fulfil this guarantee which you gave. If Na‘îmah does not fulfil this debt, you will have to fulfil it and the creditor has the right to ask for the money from whomsoever he wishes, i.e. either from Na‘îmah or from you. As long as Na‘îmah does not fulfil her debt or does not have it waived, you will continue being her guarantor and being responsible for the fulfilment of the debt. However, if the creditor waives your responsibility and says that you are now completely absolved from this agreement and that he will not ask you to fulfil the debt, then this guarantee of yours will no longer remain. If the creditor does not accept your guarantee from the very beginning and says that he is not going to take your guarantee into consideration, you will not be responsible.

June 10, 2010

Miscellaneous Masa’il on Zakât

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 3-Fasting, Zakaat, Qurbani, Hajj etc.
  1. If a person mixes
    his halâl wealth with harâm money, zakât will have to be given on
    the total amount.

  2. If a person passes
    away without paying the zakât which was wajib on him, zakât will not be
    taken from his wealth. But if he makes a bequest that his zakât must be paid
    from his wealth, then this zakât will be taken from one third of his wealth
    irrespective of whether this one third will be sufficient for the payment of his
    zakât or not. If his inheritors agree to give from the balance of his wealth
    (i.e. more than the one third), it will be permissible to take from this balance
    according to the amount that the inheritors specify.

August 31, 2008

Conditions which make Jama’at Wajib

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 2-Salat and its virtues

1. To be a male – jama’at is not wajib on women.

2. To be mature – jama’at is not wajib on children who have not reached the age
of puberty.

3. To be a free person – jama’at is not wajib on a slave.

4. One must be in one’s senses – jama’at is not wajib on a person who is
intoxicated, unconscious, or a lunatic.

5. To be free from all excuses – in the presence of these excuses, jama’at is
not wajib. However, it will be better if he offers his salaat with jama’at
despite having an excuse. If he does not offer with jama’at, he will be deprived
of the reward. The excuses for leaving out jama’at are fourteen:

August 31, 2008


Fiqh, The Legal Status of Following a Madhab

In the times of the Sahabah, taqleed was observed much. Those of them who could not give much time to acquire knowledge, or could not decide a particuir issue on their own ijtihad, consulted other jurist Sahabah and conducted themselves on that. We find that they observed both Absolute Taqleed and Taqleed Shakhsi, the examples of the former could fill a whole volume. Here are some examples of ‘taqleed mutlaq’ (Absolute Taqleed):

August 18, 2008