Is Zakāh Mandatory While I Have a Student Loan?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by
Answered by Shaykh ʿOmar Subedār


I have a question regarding zakāh. I am a university student who has some savings through part time employment, and in-shā’Allāh I shall be graduating this year. I do not have a full-time job yet and I have to repay my loan that I have borrowed to study, which is far greater than my own saving. Do I still have to pay zakāh? Also any gold I have is a small amount, which is paid by my parents along with my mother’s gold. Who is actually obligated to pay zakāh, is it anyone who is 15 years old?


بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

May Allāh make you successful in your studies and ultimately in your career.

Regarding your query on zakāh, if you have a surplus amount of wealth that is equal or exceeds the nisāb of silver, which happens to be 612.36 grams, you will be obligated to pay zakāh provided your debt is not greater than your surplus and you’ve possessed the funds for a complete lunar year. If your debt is greater than your surplus then you will have to determine the type of debt it is first. If you are repaying your debt through monthly instalments over a period of time, as is normally the case with OSAP, then you will just deduct the payment due on the month you pay your zakāh (and according to some jurists the whole year’s payments) and pay zakāh on the difference. If however the debt must be repaid immediately then you will not be compelled to pay any zakāh whatsoever.

As for your gold, if it does not amount to 87.84 grams then neither you nor your parents have to pay any zakāh on it.

Regarding the 15 year old issue, 15 is the age when a person is deemed religiously responsible (mukallaf), hence all the regulations of sacred law (sharīʿah) are enforced upon him or her. Thus, if this individual meets all the requirements of zakāh, they will be obligated to pay zakāh.

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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