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Zakaat On Debts Not Waivered

Question

There are some outstanding monies that someone owes me (around R7000). This is monies owing from 2 or 3 years. At that time, I knew that he cannot and is not in a position to pay me back. We had an agreement that he will pay back R500 monthly. It never happened for even one month.  

All of a sudden, last year, towards the end of the year, he started paying R500 monthly. It lasted 3 months. Then came all of the virus and lockdown etc. he stopped paying. How does one calculate Zakaat with such a debt? One mind tells us that ” the debt is waived ” because, we know that he won’t pay. But another mind says don’t waive it, what if he does pay eventually. This is a mixed mindset. Do we consider it a debt owing that must be included in Zakaat calculation?  There is absolutely no clue of a time frame of when he will pay and how much he will pay. What happens if we do “waive it in our minds only” and thereafter,  he does make payment?

Answer

Until one does not explicitly forgive the debt owed to him, that debt will not be considered forgiven. Therefore, your ‘mixed mindset’ will not be considered as waiving the debt and it will be permissible for you to take the money owed to you. As your debt is repaid, you will have to pay Zakat for the previous years, but only for the money which has been received. 

For example, according to your query, you received R1500 and this amount had been outstanding for approximately two years. You will first have to calculate the Zakat for the first year, which will be R37.5 (2.5% of R1500). Thereafter, you will calculate the Zakat for the second year; to calculate this you will firstly have to deduct the Zakat for the first year (R37.5) from the total amount (R1500); therefore, the Zakat for the second year will be R36.6 (1500-37.5=1462.5; 2.5% of 1462 is 36.6). The total Zakat for the last two years will be R74.1. You will only be required to give Zakat for the remaining R5500 when it has been repaid with the detail mentioned above. 

Note: Paying Zakat for the above-mentioned debt will only be necessary if you own Nisab (i.e. enough wealth to make Zakat incumbent upon you).

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

وهنا قد قرن الفعل بالقصد في قوله: الأمور بمقاصدها، فعليه: النية التي لا تقترن بفعل ظاهري لا تترتب عليها أحكام شرعية. 

فلو طلق شخص زوجته في قلبه أو باع فرسه ولم ينطق بلسانه لا يترتب على ذلك الفعل الباطني حكم؛ لأن الأحكام الشرعية تتعلق بالظواهر. (درر الحكام في شرح مجلة الاحكام ١٩/١) 

ابراء کے لئے ہبہ یاترک، یا کوئی ایسالفظ استعمال کرے جو صر احتاس کی ذمہ داری سے سبکدوش ہونے کو بتاۓ ( قاموس الفقہ ۱ / ۴۷۰ از خلاصة الفتاوی ۴ / ۱۱۹)

” فالقوي وهو بدل القرض ومال التجارة إذا قبضه وكان على مقر ولو مفلسا أو على جاحد عليه بينة زكاة لما مضى ويتراخى وجوب الأداء إلى أن يقبض أربعين درهما 

ففيها درهم لأن ما دون الخمس من النصاب عفو لا زكاة فيه وكذا فيما زاد حسابه (نور الإيضاح مع حاشية الطحطاوي ١ ٧١٥) 

(و) اعلم أن الديون عند الإمام ثلاثة: قوي، ومتوسط، وضعيف؛ (فتجب) زكاها إذا تم نصابا وحال الحول، لكن لا فورا بل (عند قبض أربعين درهما من الدين) القوي 

كقرض (وبدل مال تجارة) فكلما قبض أربعين درهما يلزمه درهم (الدر المختار مع رد المحتار ٢ ٣٠٥) 

ولو أدى من خلاف جنسه يعتبر القيمة بالإجماع كذا في التبيين (الفتاوى الهندية ١٧٩/١) 

(قوله: إذا تم نصابا) الضمير في تم يعود للدين المفهوم من الديون، والمراد إذا بلغ نصابا بنفسه أو بما عنده مما يتم به النصاب (رد المحتار ٢ ٣٠٥) 

(قوله: عند قبض أربعين درهم) قال في المحيط؛ لأن الزكاة لا تجب في الكسور من النصاب الثاي عنده ما لم يبلغ أربعين للحرج فكذلك لا يجب الأداء ما لم يبلغ أربعين 

للحرج. (المرجع السابق) 


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