Massallah pertaining to the recipients of Zakaah

Question ID: 30471

Assalaamualykom wwb-Respected Mufti A. Elias
A considerable sum of money was given to somebody to get a job done.
He was to use his influence and some of the money to accomplish this, the rest of the money being his “fee”.
There was an undertaking that if the service was not provided the money would be returned. Now a few months later it is clear that the job cannot be done.
The monies have not been returned in spite of repeated unkept promises.
The situation now is that this elderly Haji who just completed Haj a year or two ago, is being hounded and threatened for the money and has resorted to persistent lying, ducking and diving, and the whole situation has become very undignified, for all concerned.
It is very likely that he is very heavily indebted, and taking from “Peter to pay Paul” according some of his relatives. As you can imagine, at this stage nothing he says can be accepted at face value.

1.The question is that if it can be established that he is indeed heavily indebted, can he be given zakaat? and
2.Can the person the money is owed to ask him if it is acceptable to collect the zakaat on his behalf and pay off his debt? and
3. As he owes money to several people can they all act as the Hajis agents-with his permission- and offset the debt to each other in so far as is possible, and hopefully resolve this wretched situation, and restore some dignity to this whole affair.
May Allah(SWT) reward you and continue to bless you with the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of this magnificent deen.
We pray that Allah(SWT) accept your efforts and raise your status, and honour in this world and in the hereafter, and save us all from debt.
Please remember us in your duas.

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Asked on April 22, 2010 12:00 am
Private answer

1) Yes
2) Yes
3) Provided they all take the necessary permission of agency.

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Answered on April 22, 2010 12:00 am