Can Zakaat be used to pay off a poor persons debt?
The more precautious solution would be to give the poor person who is eligible to accept Zakaat complete unfettered posession and ownership of the Zakaat funds and thereafter allow him to pay his debts. Alternatively, the person eligible to accept Zakaat could appoint a third party to accept Zakaat on his behalf and also discharge his debt thereafter.
Mufti Shafiq Jakhura
Iftaa Department, Darul Ihsan Islamic Services Centre