Date : 20-04-2009

Question :

I have 300 JDs in my bank account, but I have taken a 5000 JDs loan to be settled over a period of three years. Is the former amount liable for Zakah? If it is, how should it be calculated?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of The Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Shafie jurists along with the majority of the Muslim scholars are of the view that debt doesn`t prevent the liability for Zakah of gold and silver as well as other types of Zakatable property. Whoever owns a thousand JDs, for example, and is indebted for a thousand JDs, or more, or less,is required to give the Zakah of that amount if one full lunar year passes over possessing it. This is based on the following: the general meaning of the Sharia texts concerning Zakah, the fact that Nisaab (Minimum amount liable for Zakah) is in his possession, he is free to do whatever he wants with that amount, and the fact that debt doesn`t prevent liability for Zakah. This is because Zakah is all about the item of wealth itself.

It is stated in the Shafie book Moghni al-Mohtaaj, Vol.5:P.118: "Debt doesn`t clear the debtor from the liability for Zakah, whether it (Debt) was due immediately or not………….This is the strongest opinion of the Shafie scholars based on the general meaning of the Sharia texts indicating liability for Zakah, and since the debtor owns Nisaab and can do whatever he wants with it.

Moreover, it is stated in E`anat at-Talibeen Vol.2: P.199: "It is imperative to give Zakah even if the giver is indebted and required to pay it off immediately-be it a debt to another person or to Allah (Expiation, fast..)- since debt doesn`t clear one from liability for Zakah."

Zakah of wealth is estimated as 2.5% from the total of that wealth. This provided that it reached Nisaab and a full lunar year has elapsed over possessing it. Accordingly, the Zakah due on the amount of 3000 JDs is 75 JDs. And Allah the Almighty knows best.