What is the Ruling on Mal al-Dimar? [Shafi’i School]

Particularly to Shafi’i school, what is the ruling on money which is owner does not have possession of to benefit from; does one need to pay zakat on it?


Perhaps what is being asked about is “mal al-dimar,” which is mal (wealth) that its owner is incapable to benefit from due to it not being in his possession. In Minhaj, Imam Nawawi mentioned it, “…and in the usurped, lost, and disputed, according to the relied-upon opinion [zakat is obligatory], and it is not obligatory to pay it until returned…” (See: Kanz al-Raghibin v. 1, p. 436-37)

If the zakatable wealth in the question is from what has been mentioned by Imam Nawawi here, then there is zakat with the mentioned detail. Imam Shafi’i also has a qawl qadim in regards to mal al-dimar, that zakat is not obligatory as there is no benefit from it for the owner when it is not in his possession and he is prevented from transacting with it. This is the Madhhab (school) of Imam Abu Hanifah and his two students and narrated from the Hanbalis too.

It is most prudent that one takes the first view; it is mufta bihi according to the Shafiyyah. And it is permissible to make taqlid of either.

And Allah knows best. Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.

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Author: Abu Tariq

https://muhsinnorpaizin.com Abu Tariq Muhsin is a zakat officer for Zakat Centre of Federal Territory of Malaysia. A writer, researcher and publisher of various writing focusing on Zakat & Islamic studies.

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