Offsetting a debt as zakaat

Q: My mother's brother is old and jobless. I gave him some money as debt, but he is unable to return it. Can I forgive his debt as zakat for the coming years?

A: Through offsetting the debt, your zakaat will not be discharged. However, if you wish to discharge your zakaat through the debt, then you should give him the same amount of money as zakaat, and ask him to give it back to you as repayment of his debt. In this way, your zakaat will be discharged and his debt will also be paid. You do not need to inform him that the money you are giving him is zakaat.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

 

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)