Zakah on an Access Bond

Question

Aslm Mufti A few years ago I had unfortunately taken out a home loan with a certain bank which is interest bearing. I had recently lost my job and thus gained access to my provident fund. I took this opportunity to settle my home loan which has an access bond facility as to avoid paying interest. Although I do not owe the bank any more money, I do have access to the funds I inserted into the access bond. Therefore, if I withdraw any of the funds, the interest will start being payable again. Therefore, my question is, should I pay zakah on the lump sum currently in my access bond which I do not intend on using in the future? Shukran

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

 

1. There is no zakāh on the amount available to you in terms of an access bond.
2. Zakāh is levied on money which one (1) actually possesses, and (2) has been in one’s actual possession for a full lunar year. The funds available to you under the access bond neither belong to you, nor have you possessed them for a full lunar year.
3. The moment you settled the outstanding debt with the bank after your retrenchment, ownership of the money with which you settled it changed: what was your money now became the bank’s money. Needless to say, there is no way in which you could be held responsible for zakāh on the bank’s money.
4. All that the access bond represents is the bank’s willingness to lend to you, once again, an amount of money similar to the amount which it originally lent you.
5. By enabling you to settle this loan, Allah has freed you from the curse of Ribā. By no means should you entrap yourself into it once again by making use of the funds available to you in this access bond.

والله تعالى أعلم

And Allāh knows best

(Issued: February 2020)

MJC (SA)

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