Combining an intention of Zakaat and a Loan

Q. There is a brother at the masjid who is asking me for a R10.000.00 loan so that he can invest in his business and return the money back in 2 weeks. In the past, I had very bad experiences in lending money to our brothers. They take money from you and never pay back and they even stop talking to you. I want to avoid this situation to happen to me again so I decided Not to lend money to anybody again in the future. My question here is:

Can I pay Zakat in advance since my Zakat is due in Ramadan 2022? SO, basically, I will lend the R10.000.00 with the intention of Zakat but at the same time I want to test the sincerity of the brother. If after 2 weeks, he returns the money as promised, I will just tell him to keep it. Because, initially, it was for Zakat. The brother is in need and I feel I should help. At the same time, I want to protect myself. Can I do this in Islam?

A. In the enquired case, it is permissible for you to discharge your Zakaat before payment on your Zakaat date is due. However, it is not permissible for you to discharge your Zakaat with a combined intention of discharging Zakaat and giving a loan. The intention at the time of discharging your Zakaat must be purely to discharge Zakaat without any condition or expectation of the money being returned.  

Nonetheless, it is permitted at the time of handing over the money to tell the recipient that the money is a loan while your intention is of Zakaat. Once given, your Zakaat will be discharged. If the person thereafter wishes to return the money, you will inform him that you have waived the loan and the money is his to keep.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa