Q: If a man is in debt (for example R100 000 debt), is he allowed to accept zakaat to pay off the debt?
Bear in mind that the man has no assets in his name (his father has assets such as properties and a business, but the son himself has no wealth or assets). The debt is in the name of the business that the father owns, but the responsibility of the debt is the son’s (the father is unaware of the debt). The son however, is in possession of stock to the value of his debt, but the stock is not selling. Can the son receive zakaat in order to pay off his debts?
A: If the son does not have any other wealth beside the stock which reaches the nisaab of zakaat then he can accept zakaat to pay off the debt.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)