Will one be eligible for zakaat if he owns properties over and above his needs?

Q: Please advise with regards to the following situation:

1. Yusuf is indebted for R1 million. Currently he has no means to pay the amount. He is working and earning a salary of R20000 pm. However this merely suffices for his monthly household expenses. He is therefore unable to pay anything towards the debts owed.

2. He owns a twenty five percent share in a property which is vacant. The value of his share is approximately R1 million.

3. He owns a share in a business wherein he is a sleeping partner. He is currently not earning any income from this business though there is expected capital growth. His share is worth approximately a million rands.

4. He has another freehold property which he lives in, worth approximately R2 million.

QUESTION: In light of the details above, is he eligible to RECEIVE zakaat? (Some persons are prepared to help him with zakaat so that he can settle his debts).

A: When he has a share in the business worth one million, that means including the assets, cash, etc. and the vacant property worth one million is not for his basic needs then he will not be eligible to receive zakaat.

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


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)