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Islam, Ummah Global Relief, Zakat

Ummah Global Relief “Giving zakah to deviant sects”

Ummah Global Relief: There are two kinds of deviant sects. The first kind are those sects which deny essential principles of Islam. Those are outside the limits of this religion and are considered disbelievers. The second kind are those sects which differ with mainstream Sunnites on certain basic issues, without exceeding the general boundaries of Islam. Sunnites, out of their forgiving spirit toward other sects, only exclude from the benefits of zakah sects classified as disbelievers, and allow giving zakah to all Muslims regardless of any sectarian classification.47 Obviously, the more righteous in deed and creed is preferred. In contrast, other sects are generally strict about distributing zakah only inside their own sects, Ja’fari Shi’ites quote their Imam as saying, “Do not give sadaqah and zakah but to your peers.” The only exception of this rule they make is giving for reconciliation of hearts. In his Fiqh al Imam Ja’far, Mughniyah states that “zakah must only be given to individuals within the sect, while voluntary charities may be given to any person who is in need.”48

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi – Ummah Global Relief

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In al Hada’iq, al Bahrani says a man came to Muhammad al Baqir and said, “May the mercy of God be upon you, take from me these five hundred dirhams and spend it where it belongs. It is the zakah of my wealth.” Al Baqir answered, “You take it and give it to your needy and orphaned neighbors and your Muslim brethren.”49 This indicates that al Baqir does not preach any discrimination and believes brotherhood in Islam is above all other considerations.
Abadis do not totally agree as to whether zakah may be given to Muslims who do not subscribe to their school of thought. Some of their jurists permit giving zakah to any poor person, as long as he is not known to differ with their view. Some even allow giving zakah to people who belong to opposing schools of thought.50 As for Zaidis, they forbid giving their zakah to certain deviating sects.
Some of our predecessors believed zakah must be given on the sole criteria of need and poverty, with no other questions asked. Ibn Abi Shaibah reports that Fudail asked Ibrahim about giving zakah to deviating people. He said, “Our ancestors asked nothing except about poverty.” This is the opinion of al Mu’ayad Yahya, and al Shafi’i are reported to forbid helping individuals whose wrongdoing harms Muslims or the Islamic state, such as those who fight Muslims.51

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Islam, Ummah Global Relief, Zakat

Ummah Global Releif “Can wrongdoers be given zakah?”

Ummah Global Releif: Scholars generally permit giving zakah to wrongdoers, as long as they maintain the faith of Islam, on humanitarian grounds and to reconcile their hearts. Zakah is collected from wrongdoers so they must be covered in the general terms of the saying ” … to be taken out of the rich among them and rendered to the poor among them.”40 The only exception is that wrongdoers may not be given zakah in a form that helps them do what is condemned, such as buying alcoholic beverages. Some Malikites go as far as stating that if there is suspicion that wrongdoers may use zakah paid them for evil purposes, it must not be given to them.41 According to Zaidis, it is not permissible to give zakah to wrongdoers, unless they are workers in the zakah agency, or for the purpose of reconciliation.  
I think wrongdoers who do not harm Muslims or challenge the tenets and rites of Islam may be helped with zakah. There is no doubt at all that giving the righteous poor is much better. As for transgressors who openly challenge Islamic values, zakah must not be given to them, because Muslims are ordained to establish righteousness and prevent evil, and giving such persons in no way helps prevent evil, for God says, “The

Zakah  Distribution – Ummah Global Releif  

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believers, men and women, are protectors one of another, they enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil.”43 This requires that the Muslim community must withhold its help to those who oppose its values, try to destroy its rites and openly challenge its laws. As for families of such transgressors, zakah must be given to them, if they are in need, in accordance with the verse, “No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another.”44 Ibn Taimiyah supports this view, saying, “One must search for poor and needy righteous men and women who follow the steps of Shari’ah. How can a Muslim help those who challenge Islamic values and rites by their wrongdoing or transgression?”45 He continues, “The person who does not fulfill the obligation of prayers must be advised to pray before being given zakah; if he accepts, zakah may be given to him, and if not, it may not be given.”46 

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Ummah Global Relief “Analysis and weighing”

Ummah Global Relief : The argument of the majority depends mainly on the saying from Mu’adh, which is agreed upon as correct. However, this saying does not clearly exclude non-Muslim poor, since it may simply mean zakah should be collected and distributed in the same area.

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi – Ummah Global Relief 

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This saying is often quoted to support the policy of non-transportation of zakah from one land to another.  
On the other hand, the generality argument forwarded by Hanafites with regard to the sadaqa of al fitr is very strong. It is supported by ‘Umar, al Zuhri, Ibn Sirin, ‘Ikrimah, Jabir bin Zaid, and Zufar. It is further supported by the verse “God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for your faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them.”38 After comparing these arguments, one may conclude that zakah must first be given to poor Muslims, since it is taken from Muslim rich alone. But there is nothing to forbid giving zakah to the poor people of the Pledge, as long as such action does not harm the privileges of the Muslim poor.  
Obviously, the above discussion refers to giving zakah to poor non-Muslims because of their poverty. As for giving zakah to people of the Pledge for reasons other than poverty, such as reconciling their hearts and bringing them closer to Islam, the Muslim community, and the Islamic state, the matter is different. Earlier in this book, I argue that it is permissible to give non-Muslims for heart reconciliation, such an action must be done at the discretion of the Islamic government, and not of individuals.  
It should be added that scholars who do not allow giving zakah to people of the Pledge do not mean that the poor people of the Pledge must not be helped. Rather they believe such subsidies must come out of sources other than zakah, such as war booty, fai, and kharaj. Abu ‘Ubaid quotes ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al Aziz’s letter to his governor in al Basrah [an area in the south of Iraq], “. . . and look after the people of the Pledge. Find those of them who are elderly, weak, and those who do not earn, then give them regular salaries from the treasury in amounts sufficient for them.”39 This shows that the Muslim ruler must feel responsibility toward the people of Pledge.  

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Ummah Global Relief ” The view of the majority “

Ummah Global Relief: The majority of scholars believe zakah must not be given to any non-Muslims. Ibn al Mundhir claims this is unanimous.25 This view is founded on the saying reported from Mu’adh, “God prescribes zakah on their wealth, to be taken from the rich among them and rendered to the poor among them”. “The pronoun” them refers to Muslims.  
The claimed ijma is disputed. Ibn Sirin and al Zuhri reportedly allowed paying zakah to unbelievers.26 In al Mabsut al Sarakhsi notes that Zufar, a disciple of Abu Hanifah, allows giving zakah to the People of the Pledge. Al Sarakhsi adds, “This is implied by analogy, since the objective of zakah enriching the poor – is fulfilled by giving any poor persons regardless of their faith.” This is refuted by virtue of the above saying from Mu’adh.27  
Ibn Abi Shaibah reports that when Jabir bin Zaid was asked to whom sadaqah was to be distributed, he replied, “To people in your area, Muslims and People of the Pledge,” and continued “The Messenger of God (p) gave the People of the Pledge from sadaqah and the one-fifth.”‘ The question is obviously about zakah, but it may mean voluntary sadaqah as well although only zakah was collected and distributed at the time of the Prophet (p). At any rate, the saying is only mursal . Ibn Abi Shaibah also reports Umar’s comment that the verse “The sadaqat are only for the poor…”29 includes People of the Pledge who are chronically ill.30 Abu Yusuf reports that ‘Umar assigned a regular subsidy for an elderly Jewish man from the treasury of the Muslim state, on the grounds that the old man was covered by the above verse.31 The author of al Rawd al Nadir comments that these stories indicate ‘Umar believed it was permissible to give zakah to the People of the Book.32 A similar opinion is quoted from Zaidis by the author of al Manar. The author of al Bahr quotes al Zuhri and Ibn Sirin as saying the same; the latter adds “this action is done because of the generality of the term” the poor “in the verse.”33   

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Al Tabari reports that ‘Ikrimah believes the word “needy” in the verse refers to poor people of the Book.34 ‘Ikrimah says, “Do not call poor Muslims needy. The needy means poor people of the Pledge.”35 Some jurists argue giving zakah to people of the Pledge is only permissible if no deservant Muslims are found, as reported by al Jassas, from ‘Ubaid Allah bin al Hasan.36 Some Abadis believe the same.37  

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Ummah Global Relief “Apostates and hostile unbelievers cannot be given zakah”

Ummah Global Relief: Muslims unanimously agree that zakah cannot be paid to unbelievers who fight Muslims.12 This ijma’ is based on the verse “God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for your faith, drive you out of your homes, and support others in driving

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi  – Ummah Global Relief

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Ummah Global Relief

you out, from turning to them for friendship and protection. It is such as turn to them in these  circumstances that do wrong.”13 Financial help to such enemies would be used against Muslims in one way or another. Unbelievers who deny the existence of God, the principle of Prophethood, or faith in the Hereafter likewise cannot be given zakah, and neither can apostates who turn their backs on Islam and the Muslim community after having tasted faith.  
Giving zakah to People of the Pledge  
As for People of the Pledge, i.e. the people of the Book, and all who like them, live within the Muslim society, pledging their sincerity to the state, and obeying its laws, their are differences among Muslim scholars regarding giving them zakah and charity.

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Ummah Global Relief “Zakah provides regular help”

Ummah Global Relief: It is essential to observe that the preceding discussion leads to the view of zakah as regular and continuous relief to the poor, whether newly impoverished or disabled and handicapped, whereby people who need to be removed from poverty are given what satisfies their needs, while people who cannot earn are given regular relief at certain intervals. Let us look at an incident from the time of ‘Umar, which provides insight into the distribution of zakah. ‘Umar was napping at midday in the shade of a tree. A bedouin woman came and looked around, then approached him. She said, “I am a needy woman and I have children, ‘Umar, the Prince of the Believers, sent Muhammad bin Maslamah to distribute zakah in our area, but he did not give us any. Would you please talk to him on our behalf?” ‘Umar told his servant Yarfa’ “Bring me Muhammad bin Maslamah.” The woman, not knowing to whom she was talking, said, “It would be more helpful if you went with me to Muhammad bin Maslamah.” ‘Umar said,. “He will come, God willing.” Then Yarfa’ came with Muhammad to ‘Umar, and said, “Peace be upon you, O Prince of Believers . . . .” The woman felt embarassed upon discovering she had been addressing the Caliph. ‘Umar said, “By God, I have always selected the best of you as officers. What will we answer God when He asks about this lady?” The eyes of Muhammad were filled with tears, and ‘Umar continued, “God sent to us His Prophet, and we believed and followed him as he was doing what God ordained him to do. He distributed the sadaqah to its deservants among needy people until God took his soul; then God gave us Abu Bakr as a ruler, who followed the tradition of the Messenger until he died. Then God made me ruler, and I did my best to select the best of you as my officers. When you go next time to her area, give her the sadaqah of last year and the year before. I don’t even know whether I want to send you any more.” Then ‘Umar asked for a camel to give her along with some flour and oil, and addressed the woman, “Take these and meet us in Khaibar, for we are heading there.” When the woman met him in Khaibar, he gave her two more camels, saying, “This might sustain you until Muhammad bin Maslamah reaches you. I have ordered him to give you your right from last year and the year before it.”76  

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi   (Ummah Global Relief)

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This story is rich in lessons on the purpose and manners of zakah distribution. It tells how deep is the feeling of responsibility a Muslim leader has toward his people. It also illustrates how well citizens were educated about their rights and how freely they could approach the state and its officers to pursue their rights. It also shows that zakah is the basic pillar of solidarity in Muslim society, in addition to being a regular and continuous relief for the person who is in need. Lastly, this story indicated that ‘Umar’s policy was to give enriching amounts and that he felt in so doing he was following the tradition of the Messenger and Abu Bakr.  

 

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Ummah Global Relief “The opinion of al Ghazali about Zakat”

Ummah Global Relief: In his al Ihya’ al Ghazali selects giving what is sufficient for one full year and argues that this has its origin in the fact that the Messenger (p) used to keep food sufficient for one year for his own family.69 Moreover, one year is a reasonable span of time for estimating the needs of the person. Al Ghazali adds:There are different opinions as to how much should be given. Some scholars say as little as sustenance for one day and night, arguing that this is indicated by the saying reported from Sahl bin al Hanzaliyah that the Prophet (p) prevented begging for the rich, whereupon he was asked what was richness, and answered “Dinner and supper.70  Others argue that payment must be up to the limit of richness, as determined by nisab, since God obligates zakah on the rich only. These scholars add that the poor may take from zakah an amount equal to nisab for each person in the family. Yet other jurists determine richness at fifty dirhams or its equivalent in gold, on the grounds of the saying reported from Ibn Mas’ud that the Messenger 16 (p) said, “He who begs while he has what makes him rich will appear on the Day of Judgement with cuts on his face.” The Prophet was asked, “What is richness?” He answered, “Fifty dirhams or its equivalent in gold.”71 It is argued that the chain is not strong enough. Some others also say the Limit is only forty dirhams, as quoted by ‘Ata’.

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi   (Ummah Global Relief)

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At the other extreme, we find jurists going on the high side. Some say the poor person should be given what is needed to buy a farm that would enrich him for the rest of his life, or business capital for the same, in accordance with ‘Umar’s statement, “When you give, you must enrich.” Some people go as far as saying that a person who is impoverished must be given to the extent that brings him back to his previous standard of living, be it ten thousand dirhams, unless it is uncustomary. When Abu Talhah was so occupied with working in his orchard that he missed prayer, he decided to give the orchard away as charity, but the Prophet said, “Give it to your kindred, that is better for you , . . .” Abu Talhah then granted it to Hasan and Abu Qatadah. An orchard for two men is a whole lot of enrichment . . . .   
The claim that one day’s food is enough in zakah distribution looks unacceptable. The supportive saying refers only to the matter of begging and not to zakah distribution. If one has to choose between this opinion and that which provides for the price of a farm, the latter is more sensible, although it is inclined toward extravagance. I believe that the most rational is to be moderate in giving one year’s sufficiency of sustenance, since giving more is extravagant, while giving less is too restrictive.72   
Interestingly, al Ghazali makes this argument in a book devoted generally to the manners of modesty and Sufism.

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