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Can you give zakat to a businessman once affluent but now under serious debt burden?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Can you give zakat to a businessman once affluent but now under serious debt burden?

Can you combine zakat and sadgah e zariah, i.e. treat zakat as sadgah?

 

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Answer:

 

Zakah to businessman

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: Can you give zakat to a businessman once affluent but now under serious debt burden?


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 60:

60 Alms are for the poor, and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds), for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the Truth), for those in bondage and in debt, in the Cause of Allah, and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.

 

Allah Subhanah has prescribed that zakah should be paid to any of the above eight listed categories:

  1. To the poor
  2. To the needy
  3. To those who are employed to administer the zakah funds
  4. To those whose hearts have recently been reconciled to the Truth of Islam (new-muslims)
  5. For those in bondage
  6. For those in debt
  7. In the Cause of Allah
  8. To the way-farer or traveler

 

Allah Subhanah has Commanded and Guided the believers that Zakah must be distributed to any of the above absolutely vast eight categories only; for all other categories, one may help them through voluntary and supererogatory charity or sadaqah but not through Zakah funds.

 

If one finds a believer who was once a affluent businessman but now under serious debt burdens, it would indeed be lawful and permissible to spend on such a needy person from ones zakah dues.

 

Your Question: Can you combine zakat and sadgah e zariah, i.e. treat zakat as sadgah?

Every form of charity, including the obligatory zakah, is part of sadaqah; and if one spends from their zakah dues on an eligible sadaqah jaariyah (continuous charity) there is absolutely no harm.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan


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