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$700,000 debt and wife’s gold zakaah

Fatwaa ID: 972

Asalaamualaikom Mufti Sahab

If a husband has a debt of about $700,000 and he is the one who normally pays the zakat of his wife’s gold, do they still need to pay the zakat as the wife is not earning?

JazakumAllahu khairan

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

  1. It is not clear what kind of debt you are referring to. If it is a long term debt which is payable in installments, then the entire amount will not be deducted from the zakaah calculation. You will only deduct that amount which is payable in the next twelve lunar months. Some jurists opine that only that amount payable in the next month will be deductible, not that of the entire year. If your zakaatable wealth reaches the nisaab after this deduction, you will have to pay zakaah on the balance.
    It should be noted that interest payments, which are haraam, are non-deductible.
  2. The zakaah of every person is calculated on an individual basis. The husband’s zakaah and the wife’s zakaah are completely separate. One does not affect the other. Furthermore, although valid if paid by someone else with express permission, each person is encouraged to pay his own zakaah.
  3. Zakaah is not based on whether one is earning or not. Zakaah is based on one’s zakaatable wealth and assets.

In the enquired situation, the wife’s zakaatable assets, which include gold, silver, cash in hand, savings, bank balances, etc., will all be added together. If the total is equivalent to the nisaab or more, then she will have to pay zakaah on the total, 2.5%. Her not earning would not make a difference. Similarly, her husband’s debts and financial condition are irrelevant.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

09/06/1444 AH – 03/28/2023 CE | AML1-7437

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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