Is zakaat compulsory upon a person who is in debt?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by


1. Zaid bought a house on mortgage, he owes the bank a lot of money, about 70 thousand pounds, he has to pay at least 5 thousand pounds to the bank every year. Zaid has 5 thousand pounds savings in his account (kept the money for daily family usage) does he have to pay zakat on this amount (5 thousand pounds) at the end of the year because his debt is more than his savings?

2. Is there a difference of opinion amongst scholars regarding the above situation if zakat is fardh or not?

3. Will it be permissible for Zaid to take zakat money to pay of his mortgage to the bank? 



1. Zakaat is not compulsory upon him.

3. Since he is eligible for Zakaat, he can be assisted with Zakaat.

He should sincerely repent to Allah Ta’ala for getting involved in the grave sin of ribaa and make a firm resolve that he will never repeat the sin in the future. Hadhrat Jaabir (Radiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) cursed the one who consumes ribaa (interest), or feeds it to others, the one who records it (i.e. the transaction) and those who are witness to it (i.e. the transaction). And he said: “All of them are equal (in the sin of ribaa)”. (Muslim)

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


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)