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Collecting Zakaat While Debts Are Owed To Oneself

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I have a problem with regards to a person whose owing money to me and I don’t know how else to handle the situation according to how Allah would expect me to. About 2 years ago, I was selling used motor vehicles and was closing down the business and getting rid of the stock that I never sold.

I took a few vehicles to a friend (Mr X) who is currently still in the trade and asked him if he could sell the vehicles for me.
Upon my asking, he agreed but asked me to take one of the vehicles to another dealer (Mr Y) and leave it by him.
I made it clear that my dealings are strictly with him (Mr X) and no third party because I had dealt with Mr Y in the past and had a bad experience with collecting monies.
He agreed that he is doing the deal with him and I proceeded to deliver the vehicle.
Our agreement was on 2 vehicles and the total payable to me was supposed to be R45 000 vehicle A which was left in his care was agreed upon for the price of R10 000 and vehicle B which was taken to Mr Y was agreed upon for the price of R35 000
To date I have received only R12 000 from Mr Y Via Mr X for vehicle B which leaves an oustanding amount of R23 000
Mr Y refuses to pay the monies and Mr X refuses to answer my calls.
I last made contact with Mr X in February this year and he refuses to take my calls.
With regards to vehicle A an amount of R10 000 was agreed upon and when I went to meet with Mr X in February he told me there was penalties and outstanding amounts due to Department of transport.
We then Agreed upon R8900.00
To date I never received any monies from him either nor can I get hold of him.
The total outstanding amount= R31900.00
I took a loan from a family member and I am owing them this amanaat.
It’s gone 2 years since this deal took place. I don’t know what to do or how to repay the loan I am owing.
Please advise if I can collect Zakaat to that amount and pay the loan back or if you could suggest something to remedy to my situation.

A: If you seem to be quite sure that you will not get your monies back and you know that you do have a problem in settling your debts i.e. you do not have sufficient wealth to settle the debts then you can be supported with zakaat.

( سببه ) أي سبب افتراضها ( ملك نصاب حولى ) نسبة للحول لحولانه عليه ( تام ) بالرفع صفة ملك … ( فارغ عن دين له مطالب من جهة العباد ) سواء كان لله كزكاة وخراج أو للعبد ( الدر المختار 2/258)

باب المصرف  أي مصرف الزكاة والعشر وأما خمس المعدن فمصرفه كالغنائم ( هو فقير وهو من له أدنى شيء ) أي دون نصاب أو قدر نصاب غير تام مستغرق في الحاجة

و قال في رد المحتار : قوله ( مستغرق في الحاجة ) … والحاصل أن النصاب قسمان موجب للزكاة وهو النامي الخالي عن الدين وغير موجب لها وهو غيره فإن كان مستغرقا بالحاجة لمالكه أباح أخذها وإلا حرمه وأوجب غيرها من صدقة الفطر والأضحية ونفقة القريب المحرم كما في البحر وغيره ( رد المحتار 2/339)

قوله ( وهو من يملك ما لا يبلغ نصابا ) أو يملكه وهو مستغرق في حاجته فمن تحقق فيه هذا أو هذا فهو فقير ومن له دين مؤجل على إنسان إذا احتاج إلى النفقة يجوز له أن يأخذ من الزكاة قدر كفايته إلى حلول الأجل وإن كان الدين غير مؤجل فإن كان من عليه الدين معسرا يجوز له أخذ الزكاة في أصح الأقاويل لأنه بمنزلة ابن السبيل وإن كان المديون موسرا معترفا لا يحل له أخذ الزكاة (حاشية الطحطوي على مراقي الفلاح ص719)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, 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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