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Can I pay zakat to a person who owes me some money and free him from owing me.


I want my business to remain outstanding in the market.
So can I pay zakat to a person who owes me some money and free him from owing me.
He stands clear from debit with me hear and also in the hearafter.


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

According to Shia aspect the following are the things regarding Zakat and Khums.

Zakat is wajib (obligatory) on the following nine items:

Coins: silver; gold

Cattle: cows; sheep and goats; camels

Crops: wheat; barley; dates; raisins

So, money is not amongst the Zakaat whereas Khums is wajib on the surplus to annual expenses. If your income exceeds the annual expenses of yourself and your family, Khums (20%) should be paid from the excess.

Zakat according the Ahl al-Sunnah:

Is it permissible to deduct the debt of a poor from zakat?

Al-Shafi’i, in one of his opinions, the As-hab from the Maliki school, Ibn Hazm from the Zahiri school, and Al-Hasan Al-Basri and ‘Ata all maintained the permissibly of this. This is because, just as it would be permissible to give an indebted person zakat, it is permissible to take it back from him to cover a debt. According to the opinion of the majority of scholars and one position in the Maliki school, it is permissible if a creditor pays his zakat to his debtor and the debtor returns it to him [in settlement of his debt]. Or if the debtor borrows money to pay his debt and the creditor returns to him the money from his zakat. However, this is only permissible when it does not involve any attempt to evade the payment of zakat. But if it does, it is impermissible according to Maliki and Hanbali scholars but permissible according to the Shafi’is provided it is not based on a condition and an agreement.

Can Zakat Be Used to Pay Debts?

  1. The Hanafis permit Zakat payment of debts for anyone who has debts they cannot meet and whose wealth falls below the threshold for paying Zakat (nisab).
  2. Malikis, Shafi’is, and Hanbalis distinguish one’s Zakat eligibilty for debt payment based on two different causes of one’s debt accrual.
    1. Personal reasons
    2. In the service of communal or civic duties done for the good of society

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider