Is it necessary to pay the zakat of the goods that one has lent to others?
Submitted by on Mon, 21/12/2009 - 12:52
Dear Brother / Sister,
The ownership of goods and having them at hand at the same time
There are some conditions for the zakat of the goods to be wajib and it is also necessary to have them at hand. Then, along with owning some goods, it is necessary to have them at hand or at one’s proxy’s hands in reality or by default. It is not necessary to pay zakat of the goods that belong to the owner but that have been held by others and that are not expected to receive again. (1) Let us give some examples:
a) A debt that is denied,
b) Goods or money that have been grabbed by others
Even if the grabber accepts that he has grabbed the goods, it is not necessary to pay the zakat of them unless they are returned to the owner.
c) Goods or money that have been lost,
d) Goods or money that have been dropped into the sea,
e) Goods or money that have been buried in the desert but the place where they have been buried has been forgotten or has become uncertain,
The goods or money that have been buried in one’s house but that have been forgotten are excluded because it is possible to find them through a thorough search. (2) However, if the goods or money have been buried in the garden or field but have been forgotten, there are two views about it: According to some scholars, it is necessary to pay zakat of them because it is possible to find them. According to others, it is not necessary to pay zakat of them because it is very difficult to dig the whole field or the garden.
Similarly, it is necessary to pay the zakat of a debt to be received even if the person to pay it denies it if there is strong document or witnesses confirming it. If there is no document or witness, then it is not necessary. That is the sound view. (3)
If some documents or witnesses appear about a debt after years pass, it is not necessary to pay zakat for it. However, when one year passes after it is paid, the zakat of it is paid. According to some fiqh scholars, when the money is received, the zakat of that year is paid; the zakat for previous years is not paid. However, if the qadi (judge) of that period knows about that debt, that is, if it is confirmed through official documents, then the zakat of previous years is paid too. (4)
If the debtor has gone bankrupt :
If a debtor goes bankrupt and after some years improves and if the qadi knows about the state of bankruptcy, it is wajib to pay the zakat of the previous years if the debt is paid according to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf. (5)
If the debtor accepts that he owes when there is nobody else around but denies when other people are present:
If the debtor denies that he owes when other people are present and accepts that he owes when he is alone with the creditor, then it is not added to the amount of the money out of which zakat is paid; it is not necessary to pay zakat for it.
If the debtor accepts that he owes but denies it when he is in the presence of a judge, then it becomes necessary to listen to the witnesses; if the judge decides in favor of the creditor after listening to the witnesses, then the zakat of that debt is calculated beginning from the date of the decision. (6)
If the debtor flees: If the debtor flees so as not to pay his debt and if the creditor can catch him or makes a proxy catch him, then it is necessary to pay the zakat of that debt. If he cannot catch him, then it is not necessary to pay zakat for it. (7)
Debts are divided into three:
1- Strong debts. 2- Medium debts. 3- Weak debts
1- Strong debts: Money and commercial goods lent to someone are regarded as strong debts. If they are not denied by the debtor, or if they are denied but the creditor has bonds and witnesses about it, it is necessary to pay zakat of them. It is also necessary to pay the zakat of the previous years. However, the zakat can be delayed till the payment is received. Accordingly, if the gold you will receive is more than the amount of nisab (minimum number, quantity or amount of assets the possession or ownership of which makes a person liable to pay zakat), you need to pay zakat for each year.
2- Medium debts: The goods that are not commercial are medium debts: like used clothes, the rents of the houses, etc. The zakat of them is calculated beginning from the date they are received; zakat is not paid for them unless they are more than the amount of nisab.
3- Weak debts: They are the values that have no equivalents in terms of goods; like the inheritance, mahr (dowry) and diyya (blood money or ransom). Zakat is paid for those kinds of goods beginning from the date they are received only if they are more than the amount of nisab and after a year passes.
1- Al- Muhit- Sarakhsi- Al- Badayi’- Qasani.
2- Bahr ar-Raiq - Ibn Nujaym.
3- Al-Kafi - Hakim-i Shahid Al-Marwazi.
4- Al-Kafi - Hakim-i Shahid Al-Marwazi - At-Tabyin - Zaylai.
5- Jamius-Saghir - Qadihan.
6- Fatawa-yi Qadihan.
7- Al-Muhit - Radiyuddin Sarakhsi - - Fatawa-yi Hindiyya.
Reference: Celal YILDIRIM, İslam Fıkhı
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