Q. If A takes a loan from B and a long time goes by and the loan is not paid back, So B makes an intention of sadaqah or lillah or zakaat on the debt. When the money comes , what’s the ruling on the intention for 1) sadaqah 2) lillah 3) zakaat?
A. In terms of Zakaat, the intention made at the time of B giving money to A will be taken into consideration. If B made an intention of a loan when giving the money to A, the intention of considering it as Zakaat will be invalid. In such an instance, B cannot change his intention to Zakaat. B may only do so after receiving the money/loan repayment from A.
In terms of Lillah, B may forfeit the repayment of the loan and consider it as Lillah whether or not A repays the loan.
In both of the above cases, the difference between the two is that the loan cannot be considered as Zakaat until ownership is fully established (Tamleek) i.e. when A repays the loan to B, whereas, it is not necessary for ownership to be fully established for the loan to be considered as Lillah.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.