Should I Include Loans When I Calculate My Zakat?

Question: Assalam alaykum

I needed money, and one of my relatives helped me out. He is happy to get the money back (if I can ever repay), and he is happy if I don’t repay.

Is zakat calculated on this? It is a confusing matter as I’m not financially well off, and while I pray I can repay, it is possible I may never be able to. If Allah opens my income gates, I may be able to. No clue. It is a very very large amount.

Time passes. What to do about this?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

If he loaned the amount of money to you, it would be considered a debt owed to him.

If he merely gifted the amount to you, or forgave the “loan,” then it would be owned by you fully. Consequently, you would add it to your other financial assets and pay zakat the next time your due date comes around.

If you did not own the zakatable minimum (nisab) before this gift, or you did not have a zakat due date, the date the money was received would be your new zakat due date, assuming you have no other debts and the like. Hence, you would owe zakat the following lunar year.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (2.391)]


[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

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