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Zakat / Repaying a deceased person’s debt from Zakat

Repaying a deceased person’s debt from Zakat

publish date : 2014-09-07 12:08 PM | Views : 1091
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. A woman whose mother died while she was indebted wants to give Zakat. Is it permissible for her to give this Zakat as payment for the debts? قضاء دين الميت من الزكاة


Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions. Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. As to what follows: In response to your question, we say:   The majority of the scholars from the Hanafites, the Shafi’tes,  and the Hambalites are of the view that a deceased person’s debt cannot be repaid by Zakat funds. Their proof is that Allah the Exalted mentioned that Zakat can be given to those in debt but this does not apply to repaying debts on their behalf.  According to the Malikites, and an opinion from the Shafi’tes and a narration from the Hambalites which was chosen by Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, it is permissible to repay a deceased person’s debt with funds from Zakat. These scholars’ proof is the generality of the verse that allows giving Zakat to indebted people, and logical analogy (qiyas) to the fact that it is valid repay a debt on behalf of a living person. What is apparent to me is that it is permissible to repay the deceased person’s debt from Zakat funds because Allah the Exalted stated that indebted people can get Zakat. He said, “Zakah expenditures are meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer them, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves and help those in debt, for God’s cause, and for travelers in need. This is ordained by God; God is all knowing and wise. [at-Tawbah 9: 60].  In Majmoo’ al-Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “(Repaying a deceased person’s debt is allowed) because Allah the Exalted said, “and those in debt” and he did not say “for those in debt”. It is not conditional that the debtor should possess the money, thus it is permissible to pay the debt on behalf of the deceased.” This is even more applicable if the deceased is a relative to the Zakat-giver. And Allah knows best.   Dr. Khalid al-Muslih 30/12/1424 H    

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