What is the Ruling on Mal al-Dimar?

Question:

As salamu alaikum, what is the ruling on money which is owner does not have possession of to benefit from; does one need to pay zakah on it?

Country: Egypt

Answer:

Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

Perhaps what is being asked about is “mal al-dimar,” which is mal that its owner is incapable to benefit from due to it not being in his possession. In Minhaj, Imam Nawawi mentioned it, “…and in the usurped, lost, and disputed, according to the relied-upon opinion [zakah is obligatory], and it is not obligatory to pay it until returned…” (See: Kanz al-Raghibin v. 1, p. 436-37)

If the zakatable wealth in the question is from what has been mentioned by Imam Nawawi here, then there is zakah with the mentioned detail. Imam Shafi’i also has a qawl qadim in regards to mal al-dimar, that zakah is not obligatory as there is no benefit from it for the owner when it is not in his possession and he is prevented from transacting with it. This is the Madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifah and his two students and narrated from the Hanbalis too.

It is most prudent that one takes the first view; it is mufta bihi according to the Shafiyyah. And it is permissible to make taqlid of either.

And Allah knows best.

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.

وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته ،

لعل ما سئل عنه مال الضمار يعني المال الذي مالكه غير قادر على الانتفاع به لكون يده ليست عليه ، ذكره الإمام النووي رحمه الله تعالى في المنهاج وقال : وفي المغصوب والضال والمجحود في الأظهر (أي تجب في كل مما ذكر) ولا يجب دفعها حتى يعود انتهى كما في كنز الراغبين 1/ 436-37 . لو يكون المال الزكوي في السؤال واحداً مما ذكر في كلام الإمام النووي ففيه زكاة بالتفصيل المذكور . وعند الإمام الشافعي قول قديم في مال الضمار ألا تجب الزكاة فيه لتعطيل فائدته على مالكه بخروجه من يده وامتناع تصرف المالك فيه . وهذا مذهب الإمام أبي حنيفة وصاحبيه ورواية عن الحنابلة .

الأحوط أن يأخذ بالقول الأول وهو المفتى به ، ويجوز تقليد كل منهما .

والله تعالى أعلم بالصواب .