Giving Charity While in Debt

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

Is it permissible for one with educational loans to give charity? Are there any other avenues that are forbidden for such a person to spend his money in?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمالحمد لله رب العالمين و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و صحبه و سلم أما بعد

It is permissible for a debtor to give some of his wealth in charity if:

1. he expects to be able to pay off his debt using his other wealth, and
2. the source [m: of this other wealth] is clear, such as him having a monthly salary.

As for if his giving charity would cause him to be unable to repay his debt, then it is forbidden for him in this case because using [m: his wealth] for payment of the debt is obligatory, which takes precedence over the recommended. Similar to this [m: i.e., payment of debts] is supporting one’s dependents: it is impermissible to give in charity that which one needs to support them, as explained in the Tuhfa, [m: a commentary] on the Minhaj (7.181).

Amjad Rasheed
Amman, Jordan
(Translated by Moustafa Elqabbany)

السؤال: هل يجوز للمديون بقروض ربوية من أجل الدراسة أن يتصدق ؟ وهل هناك أبواب أخرى لا تجوز له الإنفاق فيها ؟ الجواب : يجوز للمديون أن يتصدق بشيء من ماله إذا كان يرجو وفاءَ الدين من غير المال الذي يتصدق به إذا كان له جهة ظاهرة كالراتب الشهري مثلاً ، أما إن كان إذا تصدق بماله لم يجد ما يقضي به الدين فيحرم عليه التصدق به حينئذ ؛ لأن صرفه إلى الدين واجب فيتقدم على المندوب . ومثلُ ذلك نفقةُ العيال فلا يجوز له التصدقُ بما يحتاجه لنفقة عياله . كما هو مبيَّن في “التحفة” مع “المنهاج” (7/181)


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