Zakah on Non-Current Bank Debts: Evaluation of the Theoretical Framework

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In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Ever- Merciful

Although the issue of zakāh on non-current banking debts has been repeatedly treated by fiqh councils and in zakāh conferences, the final word on it has not yet been spoken. That is because the modern approach to dealing with it has to take into account the massive expansion of the Islamic finance industry, the size of the institutions operating within it, the long-term nature of the debts they deal with, and the complexity of the contractual relationships involved. This led the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) to deem further research on the subject necessary. ISRA’s research team decided to make the first focus of the study the theoretical problems associated with non-current banking debts. This will be followed by an examination of the operational aspects and selection of an accounting treatment that will ensure justice to both sides of the zakāh relationship (those who must pay and those who have a right to receive). The main problems dealt with in the study are the conflicting contemporary juristic opinions on the issue of zakāh on non-current banking debts as well as the conflicting ways that these opinions have been implemented. The study has identified the most important causes for the controversy regarding zakāh on non-current banking debts to be the jurists’ differing opinions on two of the major conditions that make zakāh obligatory: 1) the wealth’s potential for growth, and 2) full ownership.




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