Zakat to family Members
can zakat be given to a family member who has bank loan to pay off in order to help them to pay it off?
If the loan was through Islamic based finance then it would be permissible to give zakaat money to such a person as he falls under the category of غارمين .
Assuming that it was an interest based loan the Hanafi school still allows that zakaat can be given to him on the basis that he is in debt and owns insufficient wealth to cover his debts.
However opinions of other schools is that if one who incurred a debt for a haraam purpose then afterwards repented to Allah, there is nothing wrong with giving him zakaah funds with which to pay off his debt.
Assuming that it was an interest based loan and the person has repented from this riba-based transaction and has resolved not to do it again, and regrets having done it and it is not possible to avoid paying this interest because the system obliges one to repay loans with interest, then there is no reason why you should not help him to pay off this debt, and there is no sin on you in doing so, because that comes under relieving someone in distress.
However if he has not repented and had no regret then one should not aid people into doing further haraam, because in that case it is helping in something haraam and it’s likely if we help him he will go into an interest based debt again.
قال في شرح المنتهى )في الفقه الحنبلي( في الغارمي ن :
أوْ( تَدَيَّنَ )لِنَفْسِهِ( فِي شَيْءٍ )مُباحٍ، أوْ( تَدَيَّنَ لِنَفْسِهِ )فِي( شَيْءٍ )مُحَرَّمٍ، وتابَ( مِنهُ
)وأعْسَرَ( بِالدَّيْنِ لِقَوْلِهِ تَعالى: ﴿والغارِم ينَ﴾ ]التوبة ٦٠ ]
وقال النووي الشافعي في منهاج ه :
والغارم إن استدان لنفسه في غير معصية أعط ى .
* قلت: الأصح يعطي إذا تاب والله أعل م *
والأظهر اشتراط حاجته دون حلول الدين .
قلت: الأصح اشتراط حلوله والله أعل م
Answered by Shaykh Mohammed Shakeeb with consultation of other scholars.