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Zakat and Marriage (Maintenance)

Question

Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat Allahi wa barakatuh

I would like to know the Islamic rules in case of the following issues:

1. In case if a person borrowed money (which is a good amount) and become unable to return the money (his main source of earning has almost stopped because of the pandemic since the last year, the other sources are not enough for maintaining his livelihood), the person has property on which he lives with his family,
– will it be okay for the loan provider to consider that given amount of money as zakat, which he gave to the borrower earlier? The loan provider is not rich and depends on her limited income.
– will it be okay to provide the person more zakat as he does not have the ability to buy food and medicines.

2. What is the Islamic ruling of helping an old widow with zakat, she lives almost on her daughters’ money (what they give to her) and some money which came from bank (or from a similar source) every month; her departed husband saved some money as fixed deposit and she received (I don’t know if its bank interest on not), but should we help her as a charity (our income is also not enough to support many people giving as charity), or, can we give her zakat, her departed son’s wife and children lives with her, none of them earn.

3. If a husband stays far from his wife, isn’t it mandatory for him to provide his wife needed maintenance? What are the Islamic rules for this case? Can he give excuse of not giving maintenance as her not living/being with her?

Zazakallah khair.


Answer

1. If a person gave out a loan, it will not be permissible to forgive the loan and consider the forgiven amount to be zakat. Rather, if the creditor is liable to pay zakat and the debtor is a valid recipient of zakat then the creditor must pay the debtor their zakat, and this payment must be independent from the loan given previously. The debtor may then use this sum to pay the creditor’s loan back. There is no harm in giving the recipient of zakat as much wealth as is needed to fulfil their needs.

2. If the lady is a valid recipient of zakat then it would be permissible to give her your zakat. She would be a valid recipient if the value of her zakatable assets (cash, gold, silver, trade stock) and her non-zakatable assets (any other assets) fall below the value of nisab which is £366.92 (correct on the 19/04/2021). This is excluding the value of her essentials such as the value of her accommodation, car, clothing, essential household equipment and furnishing. She may also deduct any debts she owes. For example, if the value of her assets excluding her essentials are £1000 but she owes £2000 in debts then she is a valid recipient of zakat. If after excluding her essentials the value of her assets reach the value of nisab then she cannot take zakat, however, you can help her through optional charity.

3. If the husband has chosen to live separately from his wife then she will still be entitled to receive maintenance. If the wife chose to stay separate from the husband without the husband’s consent then he will not have to pay her maintenance.

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 270)
واعلم أن أداء الدين عن الدين والعين عن العين، وعن الدين يجوز وأداء الدين عن العين، وعن دين سيقبضلا يجوز. وحيلة الجواز أن يعطي مديونه الفقير زكاته ثم يأخذها عن دينه

وفي صورتين لا يجوز الأولى أداء الدين عن العين كجعله ما في ذمة مديونه زكاة لماله الحاضر، بخلاف ما إذا أمر فقيرا بقبض دين له على آخر عن زكاة عين عنده فإنه يجوز لأنه عند قبض الفقير يصير عينا فكان عينا عن عين

البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري (2/ 228)
وَالْأَصْلُ فِيهِ أَنَّ أَدَاءَ الْعَيْنِ عَنْ الْعَيْنِ وَعَنْ الدَّيْنِ يَجُوزُ، وَأَدَاءُ الدَّيْنِ عَنْ الْعَيْنِ، وَعَنْ دَيْنٍ سَيُقْبَضُ لَا يَجُوزُ، وَأَدَاءُ الدَّيْنِ عَنْ دَيْنٍ لَا يُقْبَضُ يَجُوزُ كَذَا فِي شَرْحِ الطَّحَاوِيِّ وَحِيلَةُ الْجَوَازِ أَنْ يُعْطِيَ الْمَدْيُونَ الْفَقِيرَ خَمْسَةً زَكَاةً ثُمَّ يَأْخُذَهَا مِنْهُ قَضَاءً عَنْ دَيْنِهِ كَذَا فِي الْمُحِيطِ

This answer was collected from FatwaCentre.org, which is overseen by Dr. Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera.

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