Should I Avoid Pursuing Islamic Studies While Paying My Parents Mortgage?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

If a person indulges in major sin, should he avoid to pursue Islamic studies?

My parent have a lot of debts on mortgage and I am hoping to get a job and help them. But I would have to pay interest which is a sin. I would love to study Islam and become a scholar too but I fear that I will become a much greater hypocrite.

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah,

1. It is not sinful to help your parents financially. Rather, this would be a tremendous act of kindness and generosity towards them. And you aren’t responsible for the debts incurred, even if interest bearing.

2. Study Islam for Allah. Study so that you can practice it in your life and become a beloved, grateful servant. And do the best you can in the situation in which Allah has placed you. Fears of becoming a hypocrite are simply the devil’s way of ensuring you learn nothing about your religion.

Please also see: Knowledge: What, How and Why We Study and: On Sincerity and Avoiding Excessiveness – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Can I Deduct up to a Year Worth of Long Term Debt Payments When Calculating Zakat?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum.

There seems to be conflicting opinion regarding zakat on long term debt.
On one hand I have found that I can deduct up to a year worth of long term debt payments when calculating zakat but there is a position saying that long term debts are not deductible – only immediate payments are.

I would like to follow the opinion of the first one but feel conflicted, which one is correct?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Both are correct.

Deducting only the immediate, upcoming payment is better for the poor because it enables more zakat to be given. Yet it is also permitted to deduct the entire year’s worth of payments, as this is the original position of the school, in the context of some contemporary nuances.

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Dealing With a Terminal Illness and Impending Death

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I have a family member who is suffering from a terminal illness and does not have long to live. I would like to know what a person in this situation should focus on with regards to their Islamic worship during the last months of life e.g seek forgiveness, making up fasts???


Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Thank you for your question. I ask Allah Most High to make it easy for your loved one and the family.

A person with a terminal illness should prepare to meet Allah. This means rectifying themselves and their life by doing whatever Allah has enjoined on them that they had not been doing thus far, and refraining from what He has prohibited against that they haven’t yet left off. They should keep up what good they were doing with even more sincerity and focus as best they can.

They should take account of and fulfill any outstanding duties owed to Allah (such as making up missed prayers, compensating for missed fasts, zakat, Hajj, etc) and to people (debts, trusts, borrowed items, etc). If these cannot all be fulfilled, they should still intend to do so while striving their utmost, and seek forgiveness for what remains from Allah, and from the people they owed to.

Such a person should make tawbah (repentance) from all previous sins and resolve never to return to them. They should make peace with everyone around them, apologize to those they ever hurt, and completely forgive those who ever hurt them. Not a grain of negativity against any human or selfish desire from the world should remain in their heart.

They should prepare inwardly by increasing in remembrance (dhikr), gratitude and intimate discourse with Allah. They should work to free their hearts of any bitterness or complaint against what Allah had decreed for them in life, thinking only the best of Allah, and hope for the best from Him in what is to come. They should strive to understand the wisdom behind what they are going through, and approach Allah with serenity and peace of heart.

If possible, they should not leave off being productive in their daily lives: they should continue to pursue constructive endeavors with excellence, maintain a good appearance and diet, and enjoy Allah’s blessings. We are only on this earth for some time to please Allah in whatever we do.

Finally, we must remember that everyone’s life is terminal: the end is near for all of us. Allah Most High says, “Every soul shall taste death,” [Quran 3:185] and so this is a reminder for each of us. I ask Allah Most High to make things easy for your loved one, and your family, and keep everyone strong.

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

How Do We Deal With the Death of a Loved One?

How to Deal With a Non-Muslim Relative’s Death

Advice to a Young Cancer Patient

Calculating Zakat With Long Term Debts

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Zakat and Long Term Debts

Question: I have an Islamic mortgage for $150,000 over a period of 25 years, plus, a loan from a family member amounting to $100,000. Currently, I have at hand $10,000 in savings. I am repaying $1900 per month to cover the outstanding debt. I wish to know how much Zakat is owed if any.


Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

If one has long terms debts, it would be permitted to deduct up to a year’s worth of repayments, and not the entire debt.

As such, one would: [1] calculate all of one’s zakatable assets — gold, silver, cash/savings, money lent out, trade goods, stocks, and so on — and [2] deduct one’s debts and immediate expenses (up to a month). Thereafter, if one was in possession of the zakatable minimum (nisab), it would be obligatory to pay zakat.

[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Kasani, Badai` al-Sanai`]

Please see: Zakat: How to Calculate and Who to Give It to

And: Zakat & Long Term Debts

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Paying Off Debts of the Deceased

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: It is a question about paying off debt for the dead. I am sorry that the question became too long to explain.

My sister’s husband passed away two days ago at the age of 46, leaving behind two kids(age of 2 and 5).

After hearing from my friend about the importance of paying of all debts of the dead – i came up with a handful of people from whom my brother-in-law borrowed money.

He borrowed a pretty big amount of money from my mother. And i cannot advise her to withdraw her ownership from it – neither i can tell my sister to pay off the debt to my mother(as my sister does not have any income).

What should i do? I am in need to sort it out quickly as the soul will not be in rest until the loans are paid off.

To explain more, my brother-in-law purchased a property from the money he borrowed from my mother(where he lived since March 2011). With the 50 – 50 ownership between the two. With an agreement that – he will keep paying a lump sum money every month (50% of the supposed rent income) until he is able to pay off the total borrowed money all together.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Aside from basic funeral expenses, the first financial priority of the deceased’s estate is to pay off all debts, even if their payment takes up the entire estate.

So use all of his estate to pay off the debts. If this is not sufficient and there are still debts remaining, then the debtors will simply not receive their money due. If one or more of the deceased’s heirs volunteers to pay off the remaining debts, then that is a good deed that will be rewarded by Allah. However, it is by no means an obligation on the part of the heirs, but rather a recommended act.

[Maydani, Lubab]

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Women, Debts, and Marriage

In this video, Shaykh Faraz relates an interesting anecdote relating to marriage contracts during the question and answer session at the 23rd Annual conference hosted by the Islamic Council of New England at Boston University. This years conference centered on Islamic Finance and Shaykh Faraz presented two sessions: one on the definition of riba and the other on the question of the permissibility of conventional insurance.