Becoming eligible for zakaat due to debts

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: Whilst running my business I incurred huge debts in the past few years, and for this reason I had to close my business and was forced to leave my home country for safty reasons. Now for almost two years I’m in a foreign land with my family. Both my wife and I are working. Some of the people who I owe are in the hope that I will one day pay them Inshallah. Now that I’m working and thus the salary what we both receive does not suffice our monthly expenses which includes house rent, school fees, and other day to day expenses. Expenses are more than double the amount we receive as salary. My wife has almost 250g of gold jewellery which was left in my home country which is still belongs to her. And over here where we stay now, we do not own anything unnecessary. Now Mufti saheb my question is

(a) In this scenario am I allowed to collect zakaat funds to overcome my monthly expenses?

(b) I’m I allowed to collect zakaat funds to clear my past business debt?


A: After deducting your debts and liabilities, if you do not have any wealth or you have wealth that is less than the zakaat nisaab, it will be permissible for you to accept zakaat.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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