I am heavily in debt. Is it permissible for me to take zakaat?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: I am a 32 year old married muslim male with 2 kids. I have been unemployed for 3 years and struggling to earn an income to match my living expenses (water/lights share, food, school fees etc).Also, I am in debt in the region of about R500 000 due to previous business debts. My Family and I are currently living with my parents and I have no possessions to my name (property,stock, car etc). My wife buys and sells goods as well to supplement whatever little income I am currently bringing in. Is it permissible for me to collect Zakaah to cover my living expenses and to repay my debts to Creditors?


A: If your debts and liabilities are more than your assets, then it is permissible for you to accept zakaat.

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

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿التوبة: ٦٠﴾

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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