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Stats: 17,469 members, 69,351 Topics, 15,454 Comments. Date: Jun 18 2019, 5:53 pm

Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.

Assalaamu alaikum, A sister from our forums
is asking the following question. We hope
that you will be to answer it: "If a person
owns a small amount of jewelry (a couple
hundred dollars worth), and the same person
has thousands of dollars of debt (owed from
before accepting Islam), and the person
doesn't have any wealth that has been sitting
for 1 year, so, does the person have to pay
zakat for the jewelry or not since he/she is
drowning in debts? Another question, If that
person is married, but the debts are only
under one person's name (accrued by one of
them only), but both feel responsible to pay
it back, then does the other spouse need to
pay zakat for his/her wealth/assets? I guess
really my question is, Are the finances
considered combined or separate for the
purposes of calculating Zakat?" Jazak Allah

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the
Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah, and that Muhammad
is His slave and Messenger.

You did not clarify to us whether this gold is
possessed for saving and trading, or for
using as an adornment.
The predominant opinion is that of the
majority of the scholars who believe
that there is no Zakah on gold if it used for
adornment. However, some of them believe
that Zakah must be paid on it if it reaches
the Nisaab (i.e. the minimum amount liable
for Zakah) and a whole lunar year elapses on

According to the view that Zakah must be
paid on this gold, the majority of the
scholars are of the view that if one
has debts he is not obliged to pay Zakah on
items like gold, silver or cash money unless
the debtor has other wealth on which one
should pay Zakah, and is enough to cover the
amount of debt. In this case, he must first
pay the debt and then pay Zakah on the
remaining money if it reaches the Nisaab .
Therefore, if the question is about a
woman's adornment, then according to the
view that Zakah must be paid on the gold
that is used as an adornment or saved for
use, then she must pay her debts from the
gold which she possesses. After this, if
nothing remains of it, or what remains of it
is less than the Nisaab , she is not required
to pay Zakah.

However, it cannot be imagined that the gold
that a man possesses is for adornment and
use, as he is religiously prohibited from
wearing it. Hence, if the owner of this gold
is a man, then he should repay his debts
(from the gold) and then pay the Zakah on
the remaining gold in any case if it reaches
the Nisaab since he possesses that gold.
Zakah must also be paid on the gold that is
saved or used in trade (after paying the debts
and provided it reaches the Nisaab ),
whether the owner is a man or a woman.

A husband is not obliged to pay the Zakah
which is due on his wife; likewise, a wife is
not obliged to pay the Zakah which is due on
her husband. Moreover, the spouses are not
obliged to add together the money that they
possess in order to calculate the amount of
Zakah due. Rather, each one of them is
required to pay Zakah on his own money if it
fulfils the conditions of Zakah. Each one of
them has a separate monetary entity.

Allah Knows best.


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