Should Zakat Be Paid on a Loan That Was Taken for Medical Bills?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


My sister took a loan from my family members to pay for surgeries. She took approximately €20,000. What is the nisab for money?

Also, what should she do if she never paid zakat for it out of ignorance and now doesn’t have the means to pay it? Can she delay paying it until she gets a job?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him.

Zakat is not automatically owed upon taking a loan, one who needs to take a loan would likely be eligible to receive Zakat to pay off the debt, and Allah knows best.

Zakat is only obligatory:

  • for every free Muslim (male, female, adult, or child);
  • who has possessed a zakat-payable amount (nisab, the minimum that necessitates zakat);
  • for one lunar year.


Please look at our handy free Zakat calculator for current Nisab rates in your currency.

I pray that this benefits and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.