A man is in R18 000 debt for a long time. He is unable to pay it, and wants to have it remitted. He is even ready to receive Zakaat for it. He earns R5 000 a month. However, because he lives in a small town where there only exists a school that provides education through the Africaans medium, and he does not wish that his children should learn through the medium of africaans, he therefore sends his children to a private school. This costs him R2000 of school fees, and R1000 transport to the school per month. He also owns a property that he is renting out. When asked about selling it, he says that he wants nothing under R80 000 for it; where-as the most that a buyer would pay for it is R50 000. Is such a person Zakaatable.
If the person does not have any surplus assets or surplus cash exceeding the
minimum amount of Nisaab or if his liabilities of R18,000 and monthly school
fees exceed the value of his surplus assets (if any) and surplus cash (if
any), then he is eligible to accept Zakaat.
If the monthly salary of R5000 and revenue from the rentals is used in
fulfilling his basic needs, then that is not regarded as surplus.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai