Two questions on Zakaat
Answered by Dr. Manjur-e-Elahi
1. if one’s servant, guard or driver takes a loan from his master/ boss and promises to return back gradually and later on he/she asks to waive it as a zakat, is it permissible? is there any way around.
Alhamdulillah wassalatu wassalamu ‘ala Rasulillah
Shaykh al-Islam said in this issue that letting someone off a debt does not relieve one of the obligation of zakaah”. So you can give this needy person some of your zakaah and he can meet his needs using what you give him as zakaah; and Allaah will help him to pay off his debt in the future, in sha Allaah. The hadeeth of Mu’az suuports this opinion, as the prophet PBUH said to him, when he sent him to Yemen: “Teach them that Allaah has enjoined upon them zakaah on their wealth, to be taken from their rich and given to their poor.”
But some scholars opined that waiving debts with zakah is valid if the persons are eligible for zakah and also willingly ready to accept zakah as weiver of their debts. Al-Shafi’i said it is permissible to forgive the debt of a poor person with the intention of it being zakah, in one of his positions, as did Ashhab from the Maliki school, and Ibn Hazm from the Zahiri school, and it is related as the position of al-Hasan al-Basri and ‘Ata. This is because if he were to give him zakat and then take it back from him to cover the debt it would be permissible, so this is permissible as well.
However, The first opinion is more safe to follow.
Allah knows the best.
2. Secondly, a person is in need of money for his treatment and it is taking a lot. In that case, people around him ask if Zakaat can be given to him as they cannot give any more Sadaqaah? the question arises as that guy may have a regular income or other properties which can be sold for his treatment.
Zakah money can be given to him for his treatment, although he may have a regular income, if his own income is not enough for the treatment. He can be given zakah money only to meet his expenditure of the treatment. It is not necessary to sell his necessary properties for the treatment. But if the person has a big business properties from which he can bear the expenditure, then he is not eligible for receiving zakah. Because he is in this position is a Ghani (richman).
Allah knows the best.