Definition of "Al-gharim"
Lit: Debtor. Tech: Relating to the law of zakah, a debtor who does not own a nisab over and above his debt. It is one of the eight heads of account on which zakah can be expended. It means that the zakah can be expended to pay off the debt of a person, who if he pays off his own debt from his assets, is left with less than the nisab. All such persons can claim help from the zakah. According to some jurists, it includes not only those who are unable to pay off their debts they incurred for their personal needs, but also covers those who incur debts for some social purpose, such as in making reconciliation and peace between feuding persons or tribes or in standing security in the lawful interest of another person. According to some, it also includes those on whom a calamity has befallen such as destruction of property by fire. In the Islamic banking model, it has been suggested by some, that the zakah can be utilized to compensate such bad debt losses to the bank which have been caused by genuine inability of the debtor to pay back the amount taken.