Can the Debt of the Deceased be payed off with Zakat?

Fatwa ID: 03790

Answered by: Maulana Muqtaur Rahman

 

Question

Salam,

If someone passes away not leaving enough behind to pay off his debts, is it permissible for someone else to pay the debt using zakat money?

 

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

Answer:

The Messenger of Allah said: "The believer's soul is suspended by his debt until it is settled for him."[1]

No one is responsible to pay the debt on behalf of the deceased. If the deceased left behind wealth, then the debt should be paid from it before dividing the estate. If the entire estate is used and still there are outstanding debts, then none of the inheritors are obliged to pay. Yes, if they do so on their own accord, in the hope that the deceased is not punished, they will be rewarded and that will be a kind gesture on their part. However, they cannot be compelled to do so.[2]

In regards to your query, it is not permissible to pay the debt of the deceased using the money of zakat according to the Hanafi school of Islamic Fiqh.[3]

Therefore, if someone desired to pay the debt of a loved one who has passed away with other than zakat money, this will be permissible.

 

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Muqtaur Rahman

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

 

 


[1] Tirmidhi 1078

 

[2] Fatawa Hindiyyah, v.4 p.450

 

[3] Tafseer Qurtubi, Surah Tawbah, Ayah 60

 

 

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