Zakat Expert

Q: Someone is struggling to pay off her debt, can I help her with my Zakat?

A: Yes you can help her if she is eligible to receive Zakat in the first place see link.

The Hanafi school permits the payment of Zakat to any person whose liabilities exceed his Zakatable and surplus assets. Such a person is in debt. Other schools of Islamic law consider the eligibility based on the Kifayah criteria where a person would need to prove that they have entered into a financial agreement which they cannot fulfil and has indebted them, burdening them in such a way (thoroughly monthly repayments/charges) that they are unable to finance their most basic needs 

The other school of jurisprudence i.e. the Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis have also added a condition; that the nature of the debt must Islamically lawful.
Hence according to them, if the debt was incurred due to a sinful reason such as gambling, then giving Zakat to such person would not be permissible unless they have repented from this sin in which case the Zakat can be given to them.



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