Does debt affect the Zakah of agricultural products and fruits?
Fatwa No: 135828

  • Fatwa Date:22-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 21, 1435
  • Rating:

Question

He yielded agricultural products and fruits while in debt. Should he first pay Zakaah from these agricultural products and fruits or must he pay the debts due from him first and then pay the Zakaah for the rest if it reaches the Nisaab?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

The issue of whether debts release one from the obligation of Zakah is a well known debate among scholars. Those who adopt the view that debts release one from the obligation of Zakah differed whether this applies in general to all kinds of wealth or only on cash (i.e. liquid money). Concerning in kind wealth like agricultural products, fruits and freely grazing livestock, debts do not release one from paying Zakah on them.

Based on the opinion that debts release one from Zakah in the case of in kind wealth, which is the opinion of the Hanafi school and one narration from Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him the owner of these agricultural products should deduct the debt due from him, then pay Zakah for what remains if it reaches the Nisaab.

Based on the other opinion, which is that of the Shaafi‘i school and the other narration from Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him he should pay the Zakah on the agricultural products he yields regardless of the debt due from him. This opinion is safer and better to free one from liability. Its proof is that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to send people to collect the Zakah of in kind wealth and they did not ask people whether they were indebted or not.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa