Assalaamualykum wwb Respected Mufti A. Elias
With reference to question 5274.
The elderly Haji in question is now in “hiding” and can only be reached via sms, and even so he may, or may not reply.Usually he does not.
I am told that when he is telephoned at home and his wife gives him the phone he refuses to talk.
In fact his entire family,i.e. wife and working professional children have distanced themselves from him and this matter-rather inexplicably.
1. Is it permissable to send him an sms something to the effect- “..you have been promising for several months to pay the money you owe. I am told that you are heavily in debt. Only you know the truth. If you are indeed in debt, which I believe you are, then allow me to collect zakaat on your behalf and discharge your debt. I will assume you agree unless you tell me otherwise-(this to give you some self-respect)”
2. If it is permissable, and he does not reply to the contrary, can I proceed with my plan to collect the zakaat on his behalf?
May ALLAH SWT reward you for your service to the deen and the ummah, may you always be amongst the rightly guided, and may your duas be accepted. Please remember us in your best duas and pray that we all derive the most benefit out of this blessed month.