Fatwa: # 25519
Category: Zakat
Country: South Africa
Date: 25th May 2013




I have 2 wives that I am supporting and I have 4 children. 2 of them are in school while the other 2 are still babies and have not yet started schooling. I also support my parents who have retired recently.

My expenses are such that I have barely wnough to cover them. I have a situation where I am paying for school fees for 1 child but cannot afford the school fees of the 2nd child. The school has advised that I qualify for zakaat to pay for the fees of the 2nd child. Please advise if this is the case as I am not in a position to borrow money to pay for the fees. 


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, if one does not possess the Nisaab amount of Zakaat, then one is eligible for Zakaat. Moreover, if one’s liabilities exceed one’s assets, then one is also eligible for Zakaat.[1]

You state that you cannot afford to pay for the fees of your second child, if you do not possess the Nisaab amount of Zakaat or your current liabilities exceed your assets, then you are a valid recipient of Zakaat.

Kindly refer to the following Zakaat table for more details:


Personal Wealth


1.   Amount of Cash and Savings at home or in the bank

R 10,000

2.   Current value of any gold and silver jewelry, coins, utensils etc

R 5,000

3.   Value of  assets and merchandise for trade

R 20,000

4.   Receivables and loaned amounts to others

R 5,000

Total these amounts here:

R 40,000

Amount Debts to be paid:

R 20,000

Subtract the total amount of debts for the year from the above amount.


Nett Total of Zakatable Wealth

R 20,000

if the net total of Zakatable Wealth is more than the Nisab amount then…


Multiply the net total by 2.5% (nett amount x 0.025)

R 500


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best                                       

Ismail Desai,
Student Darul Iftaa
Durban, South Africa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

  1رجل له علي انسان مائتا درهم، هل يحل له أخذ الزكوة؟ فهذا علي وجهين: اما ان كان من عليه الدين معسرا، أو موسرا، ففي الوجه الأول: تكلم المتأخرون، و المختار أنه يحل الأخذ، لأن يده زائلة عن ماله، فصار بمنزلة ابن السبيل ( كتاب التجنيس و المزيد، كتاب الزكوة، ج 2، ص 343)

و المديون (كنز الدقائق، كتاب الزكوة، باب  المصرف، ج 1، ص 224)

و الغارم من لزمه الدين (الفقه النافع، باب من يجوز دفع الصدقة اليه و من لا يجوز، ج1، ص 356)

و اما الغارمون: فهم الذين لزمهم الدين، فهم محل الصدقة، و ان كان فيي أيديهم مال اذا كان ذلك المال لا يزيد علي الدين قدر مائتي درهم فضاعدا، لأن مقدار الدين من ماله مستحق بحاجته الأصلية، فيجعل كالمعدوم (المحيط البرهاني، كتاب الزكوة، ج 3، ص 210- 211)

و من كان عليه دين محيط بماله لا زكوة عليه عندنا (الفقه النافع، ج 1، ص 326)

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