Settling The Debts Of The Deceased With Zakaat Funds


We are 7 brothers and sisters – 2 brothers have passed away.

One of my brothers passed away approx. 10 – 15 years ago, leaving behind his wife and 3 children. A few years ago the eldest son passed away in an accident, leaving the wife and 2 children.

In February 2020 this year my marhoom brothers wife passed away suddenly from a heart attack, leaving the two children behind. Since the wife passed away suddenly, she left behind unsettled monetary loans from various people and amounts overdue to city council for lights and water and rates and taxes.

Q1 Can we brothers and sisters settle her debts with zakaat money? 

Q2 Can nephews and nieces settle her debts with zakaat money?

Q3 She left behind a gold kruger coin. Upon her death this automatically becomes the 2 children inheritance. Are we brothers and sisters allowed to sell the coin and repay her debts?


1. It is necessary that the recipient of Zakaat takes possession and ownership of the Zakaat funds for one’s Zakaat to be discharged. The deceased person is unable to take possession of the Zakaat funds, hence it will not be permissible to discharge the debts of a deceased person using Zakaat funds, as taking ownership of the funds is a requisite for the validity of discharging Zakaat. 

2. The same ruling explained in #1 is applicable here as well. However, one way of overcoming this issue is by implementing the following procedure; a poor family member (preferably a recipient of Zakaat) takes a loan in his personal capacity and thereafter discharges the debts of the Marhooma voluntarily using the loan funds. Due to being indebted (as a result of taking the loan) the said family member qualifies as a recipient of Zakaat. He may then accept Zakaat funds (from you or anyone else, provided that the person giving the Zakat is not an ascendant or descendant of the indebted family member) and utilize it then to repay the loan (that was taken to settle Marhooma’s debts). In this way the debt of the Marhooma could be offset using Zakaat funds. 

3. The executor of the estate should sell the Kruger coin and settle her debt immediately after settling burial expenses. In other words, first the burial expenses will be settled and thereafter the debts will be settled with the funds accrued from the sale of the Kruger coin. If the funds accrued from the sale of the coin are not sufficient to settle the debts in full, then the plan of action proposed in #2 may be implemented, otherwise there is no need to implement the proposed plan of action explained in #2.  

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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