Gharimin is a person who has a debt and is entitled to receive Zakat

Gharimin is – Sinaumed’s friends , Zakat is one of the obligatory acts of worship for Muslims because it is the fourth pillar of Islam. The payment of zakat is obligatory for everyone whose wealth has reached the nishab, haul, and other conditions.

Quoted from the book Everyday Muslim Guide by DR. KH. M. Hamdan Rasyid, MA and Saiful Hadi El-Sutha , Zakat comes from the word zakaa-yazkuu-zakaatan which means holy, growing, good and developing.

While the concept of zakat according to the term is a collection of funds that must be issued by every Muslim whose wealth has reached the nishab for those who are entitled to receive it. Zakat orders are listed in paragraph 11 of At-Taubah letter.

But if they repent and establish prayer and pay the zakat, then they are your brothers in religion. We detail the verses for people who know.

Meaning: ” If they repent, pray and pay zakat, then (they) are your brothers in the same religion. And We explain its verses to those who know them.”

Payment of zakat fitrah is obligatory for Muslims except for 8 people who are included in mustahiq. Because, there is a verse in the Qur’an that discusses the group of people who are entitled to receive zakat, which is the word of Allah SWT in Surat At Taubah verse 60 which means:

“Indeed, zakat is only for the poor, the poor, amil zakat, people whose hearts are softened (converts), to (free) slaves, to (free) people who have debts (Gharimin), for people who are fighting in God’s way and for those who are traveling, as an obligation from God. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”

However, not all Muslims who are in debt are called gharimin. There are several criteria for determining gharim based on the purpose of debt. Then what exactly is Gharimin and what are the provisions for Zakat Gharimin? Check out the full explanation below.

Meaning of Gharimin

Gharimîn is an Arabic term that means people who have debts. Etymologically, gharimin means a person who owes money. As one of the recipients of zakat, scholars differ in determining who is gharim. Here are some opinions of scholars in interpreting gharimin.

According to the Hanafi and Maliki schools

According to Hanafi and Maliki, gharimin is a person who owes money but does not have nisab (property) greater than the debt. Defining gharimin in this sense is relevant to the poor.

Because according to Hanafi and Maliki, poverty is a condition for all definitions of zakat, except for amil and ibnu sabill. So if he has property that can be returned, he is not included in the ghārim.

The condition of ghārimān to be able to receive zakat is that they are Muslim, independent, not Bani Hashim and the debt is not for immoral purposes such as drinking, gambling and so on.

According to the Syafi’i and Hambali Sects

According to Syafi’i and Hambali, gharimin are Muslims who are in debt. These two sects divide the ghārim into two groups, namely:

People who owe money for the benefit of their family or loved ones. That is, he borrows other people’s property to calm slander (upheaval and chaos) that occurs between loved ones, whether the slander is between two groups or individuals. The proof is in a hadith narrated by a Muslim from Qabishah bin Mukhariq, which means:

Regarding Qabishah Bin Mukhariq, he said: “I was carrying a heavy load, so I went to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, to ask what the load was.”

He said: “Wait O Qabishah come to us in zakat and we will give it to you. He said again: “O Qabishah, his zakat is not halal except for three groups, first, the person who carries the burden, then it is halal for him to ask until he is done, until he stops begging.” (HR Muslim)

The first group is divided into two groups, namely:

People who bear the death penalty. Zakat is given to him, rich or poor, to cover debts in order to remove the disorder (fitnah) that exists in the family and among the followers of Islam. In this regard, there are two opinions, namely:

Zakat is given even if he is rich. Because he owes for the good of the family. This is like a murder debt. This opinion was expressed by imam Syafi’i, zakat is not given by a rich person. But, because the debt is property that he incurred not for murder. That equates to taking ownership of goods when buying and selling.

This opinion was expressed by the followers of the Imam Shafi’i sect, but it is not mentioned who thought so. A person who owes money for his own good. As long as he is poor and will not be used for immorality.

Unlike the two previous schools, two. This school understands Lafadh Ghīrim in two groups. First, people owe for their own sake. Condition, they must be poor.

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This first group is the same as the opinion of the two previous schools. Two people who are committed to the good of Muslims, such as enduring a murderous death and reconciling two warring groups.

There are no strict poverty requirements for this second group which, as explained above, depend on the level of benefits received. This shows that Shafi’i and Hambali understand the meaning of the word ghīrim more broadly. They are included in the concept of gharim people who under certain conditions owe something for themselves and for the benefit of others.

According to Scholars of Tafsir

According to al-Tabari

According to al-Tabari, ghīrimān is a debtor who is unable to pay his debts because he has no assets. The condition is that the debt is not intended for immoral and redundant purposes.

With reference to the causes of the debt, Tabari cites several traditions that corroborate his opinion. The stories he tells contain the predestined relationships of people who are in debt. These narrations are primarily based on companions. These histories are:

Many people are in debt due to natural disasters such as house fires and floods. They are in debt to support themselves, not people who are in debt because of extravagance.

According to al-Qurthubi

Al-Qurthubi said, the scholars have agreed that what is meant by ghārim is the inability of the debtor to pay off his debt. According to him, the term ghīrim also includes rich people who are in debt. If someone has a debt and has no wealth to pay it, then he is classified as ghārim and fakir.

He can get zakat from two seniors. This provision is based on the hadith of Rasulullah saw, which means, from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, he said:

In the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, there was a man who had a misfortune with the fruit he bought, causing him to be deeply in debt, so the Prophet, peace be upon him, said to him:

“Do charity for him. “People give him alms, but the amount of alms available is not enough to pay off his debts.”

The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said to the person who gave a loan: “Take what you have, there is nothing left for you except that.” (HR. Muslim)

The above explanation of ghārim is for those who owe money for personal gain. Furthermore, according to Al-Qurthubi, zakat can also be given to someone who has a debt for the benefit of two people or two conflicting groups.

He receives zakat according to the burden of debt he carries. Because if he repays the debt from his wealth, then his wealth will run out. In this matter, he followed the opinion of Shafi’i and Ahmad bin Hambal.

Based on the explanation above, it can be concluded that the meaning of gharimin according to Al-Qurthubi includes two groups, namely:

People who are in debt for personal gain, even though they are unable to pay debts or rich people who are in debt. People who lack money to reconcile two people or two conflicting groups.

Based on the explanation above to find out the meaning of the word gharimin, Qurtubi uses the hadiths and opinions of the scholars. Thus, it can be concluded that the reasoning method used is bayani reasoning.

According to Muhammad Rashid Ridha

Muhammad Rasyid Ridha divides Gharimin into two parts, namely:

People who cannot pay their debts because they have no assets. The condition is not guilt for immorality and waste, but guilt for eliminating the conflict between the two groups.

It was common among the Arabs, that there was a war between them that required that he be killed or someone would come to help; donate by supporting all the above, so the fighting will end.

It is strongly suspected that this second group is not limited to the poor, but seems permissible for the rich. This means that gharim in surah al-Taubah verse 60 includes rich people who are in debt, with the stipulation that the debt is to eliminate quarrels between two people or two groups.

Because a person cannot bear the cost of reconciling two conflicting parties if he is not rich.

Muhammad Rashid Ridha bases his opinion on two hadiths, namely the hadith of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, narrated by Ahmad bin Hambal from Anas and the hadith by Muslim narrated by Qatīdah bin Mukhīriq as mentioned above.

Based on the description above, it can be seen that the reasoning method used by Rashid Rida to determine the meaning of ghārimin is the bayānā proposition. He uses hadith to explain the meaning of ghārimin. In addition, he also uses ‘urf of the Arab community to emphasize the meaning of gharimin which is defined

Menurut Muhammad Ali Al-Sayis

Muhammad Ali Al-Sayis in establishing the meaning of gharimin by quoting the opinions of Hanafia and Syafi’iyah scholars and the arguments put forward by the two schools of thought. Hanafia and Shafi’iyah scholars differ in opinion, but Muhammad Ali Al-Sayis strengthens an opinion against the two opinions of scholars.

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Conditions of a Person Called Gharimin

According to Al-Hafidz Ibnu Katsir, he mentions several conditions of people called Gharimin, the following is the argument:

First , the person who repents from immorality and that causes him to be involved by many debts.

Lajnah Daimah added that those who are entitled to zakat, including al-Gharim, are those who owe it to meet their family’s needs, including food, clothing, and shelter.

In one of his fatwas it is stated:

Like his father, his children, or his wife, or a car that he labors (works on) to spend from his earnings on himself. For example, if someone is obliged to spend on him, and he does not have anything to pay off the debt, he deserves to be given from the zakat money what he can use to pay off his debt.

“When a person is in debt because he has to build a house to live in, or buy clothes to wear, or to support someone who is his obligation, such as a father, son or spouse. 

Or he buys a car to use for work so he can support himself and his family even though he has no assets to pay off his debts, then he is entitled to zakat assets to pay off his debts. (Fatwa Lajnah Daimah, 10/9).

Second , people who bear debts for resolving disputes, so that they spend their wealth. Such people are entitled to zakat.

The proof is the hadith of Qabishah bin Mukhariq al-Hilaly,

“I incurred a debt, then I went to the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to ask for help.”

“Wait, until the zakat is available, let me order it to be given to you.”  Answered Prophet Muhammad Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

Then when the zakat money came, the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said:

O Qabisah, the matter is not permissible except for one of three men who carry a burden, and it becomes permissible for him until he reaches it and then he catches it.

“O Qabishah, begging is not lawful, except for one of the three, (among them):

The person who is in charge of settling disputes can ask, and when he can pay it, he can’t beg anymore.” (Narrated by Muslim 2451 and Abu Daud 1642)

Third, people who go bankrupt because of business and have to get into debt.

Abu Said’s best friend, radhiyallahu ‘anhu, said that during the time of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, there was a merchant who experienced an accident, his merchandise was damaged. In the end, he was in debt. Then the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered his companions: “ Give him zakat.”

Many friends gave zakat, but the amount was not enough to cover his debt. So the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam asked the person who owed him.

Take what you find, and you have nothing but that.

“Take that person’s, and you have no right to take anything else.” (Narrated by Muslim 4064, Abu Daud 3471 and others).

Gharimin’s position in Fiqh

Zakat is a way for Muslims and worship to strengthen human relations by helping other people’s difficulties, including those who cannot afford to pay their debts.

According to fiqh, helping people who are in debt with zakat assets means that they have achieved two main goals, namely:

  • Build friendships with people who have debt.
  • The existence of debt makes the person confused about how to solve it. Therefore, Islam helps him by covering his debts and fulfilling his needs.
  • Establish friendly relations with people who have debts and help them for their benefit.
  • On the other hand, the purpose of zakat gharimin is to eliminate usury from someone who has a debt. So that he does not need to sell his basic needs which will make his life even more difficult.

In Islam, the position of gharim is important to note. This is because the effect of debt is not only related to personal peace, but also to one’s moral progress and life.

Nonetheless, Islam has always advocated avoiding debt, for example by doing the following:

  • Train your child or family to live simply and avoid extravagance.
  • Always try not to be in debt.
  • If you are in a debt emergency, then try to really keep your promise to pay it off.
  • Basically, a gharimin is a person who is unable to fulfill his obligation to pay zakat due to debt. Therefore, they are entitled to gharim zakat. However, not all Muslim debt cases can be classified in this category.


Thus a review of the meaning of gharimin and its criteria.