Giving zakaat to people who are in debt

Q: My sister and her husband have fallen on hard times. They had a thriving business but are now in debt for millions. Her husband is extremely unwell and requires constant care and assistance doing basic things e.g. taking a shower, dressing, etc.

Living with them is their son and his wife and 2 minor children. The daughter in law works as a rent collector and gets a meager income. The son is able, but does not work.

They have 2 vehicles. The one is free, the sons is not as yet paid for, so every month he borrows money from a variety of people in order to pay this vehicle off. They have dstv and WiFi.

I feel as if they expect to maintain their previous lifestyle without cutting down on unnecessary things.

1. If I am giving zakaat to them, is my zakaat properly discharged?

2. Is there any organization that can advise/help them with proper money management/out of this situation?


1. You may support them with zakaat money, and also insist on them to do away with all their extras, especially that which is not required and in fact corrupting them and a waste of time and money.

2. We are not aware of any such organisation.

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


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)