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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 21 October 2011 at 12:17am

To Possess Is To Share

It is impossible to make the testimony of faith, pray, fast and go to pilgrimage only, far from men and worrying about no one except oneself. To be with God is tantamount to being with men; to carry faith is tantamount to carrying the responsibility of a continuous social commitment. The teaching that we should extract from zakat is explicit: to possess is tantamount to having to share. It is impossible here, in the name of freedom, to shamelessly increase one's property at the price of exploitation, and social injustices. It is also impossible to forget the interests of the entire society such that one counts only one's interests. Man is certainly free, but he is responsible for this freedom before God as before men. This responsibility is inevitably moral. In the order of this morality, to be free is to protect the freedom of others and their dignities.

The four practical pillars of Islam hold this double individual and collective dimension. It is a difficult balance, but this project is the only one capable of responding to the requirement of the Creator who expects of man to carry alone the responsibility of his community life. On the economic level, this is the only path which allows man to live humanely; his nature cannot do without such exchanges. Islam reminds through the means of all the moral energy of its message, that a human economy without duties is an inhumane economy which organises, produces, and structures injustices, exploitation and famine.

Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity - Dr.Tariq Ramadan
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 29 November 2011 at 1:25pm
What is Zakah?

Is it like Income Tax?


Dr. Altaf Husain answers in this Why Islam video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjiLy5LJrsw

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 February 2012 at 11:25pm

Zakah – Obligatory Charity: Purifying Wealth

In the glossary of The Noble Quran, the term Zakah is defined as follows:

“A certain fixed proportion of the wealth and of every property liable to Zakah of a Muslim to be paid yearly for the benefit of the poor in the Muslim community. 

The payment of Zakah is obligatory as it is one of the five pillars of Islam.  Zakah is the major economic means for establishing social justice and leading the Muslim society to prosperity and security”.

Thus we can see that Zakah is not a tax levied by a government nor is it a voluntary contribution to a charity.  It is a command enjoined upon the Muslims by God and as such it is a form of worship.  In fact it is worship of such a high and commendable standard that in the Quran it is frequently coupled with prayer.  Prayer is an act of worship through words and action, while Zakah is an act of worship involving wealth...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/worship/zakah-and-charity/455766-zakah-obligatory-charity-purifying-wealth.html


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 17 March 2012 at 12:30am
Toward Establishing Social Justice

Zakah and its Important Role in Islam

In economic terms, the Muslim seeks to establish a society where social justice and distributional equity would prevail so that a section of the society does not discriminate and prosper at the expense of the rest of the society.

As a matter of fact, an ideal Islamic society strives to abolish all forms of discrimination, prejudice, class differentiation and provide equal opportunity to all members of the society although, according to some Islamic scholars, Islam does not envision absolute equality insofar as distribution of economic resources among individuals is concerned because, operationally speaking, this simply would not be feasible...


http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/research-studies/politics-and-economics/456192-zakat-and-its-role-in-islam.html


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 20 March 2012 at 12:20am
Zakah for Social Justice

Zakah awakens the individual’s social spirit with the truest practical expression of brotherhood. When Muslims pay Zakah, the society behaves exactly like a family, the able helping the incapable, one upholding all. Said the Prophet:

"The believers—in their kindness, compassion, and empathy for one another—are as a single body. When one limb is afflicted, the whole body responds to it with sleeplessness and fever." (Al Bukhari and Muslim)

Zakah spreads tranquility and peace in society because it secures the weak and their dependents with the guarantee of certain provision, shelter, and access to essential communal facilities. The magic of Zakah is not only that it links one to others by a sense of personal responsibility, but that it binds everyone to the individual through an obligation of sufficiency. There is no greater bulwark against social disintegration.

Zakah as a Kind of Welfare System

Zakah is the first known system of community-wide welfare regulated as a social support network for those in need. It is a meaningful institution with a clearly defined religious-social-economic mandate. Its rules, regulations, structures, standards, and specific functions are well-established. It does not depend on voluntary charity, and its collection is enforceable by society...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/worship/zakah-and-charity/456271-zakah-for-social-justice-.html


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 28 March 2012 at 12:01am

Islamic Economy and Social Justice (Folder)

Today's modern world suffers from the near absence of social justice, which has become a rare feature of most national economies. We are also witnessing a deep recession affecting most countries mainly due to a major crisis in the world's banking and financial system.

Major public unrest, demonstrations, protests and revolutions have been spreading from one country to the next in the past few years, especially in Europe, America and the Middle East.

Experts are searching for an alternative system that offers the best of two worlds: the efficiency of production of the capitalist system, and the fairness of distribution of the socialist system. Does such a system exist?

We believe that Islam offers this delicate balance through the divine guidelines that encourage investors to invest in the real economy to make real profits that benefit all people while creating new jobs needed in society, and taking good care of the less-privileged and the weak through a comprehensive social security safety net centered around Islam's third pillar: Zakah.

This folder, Islamic Economy & Social Justice, sheds light on some of the main Islamic guidelines on finance and wealth distribution, and presents some of the problems associated with interest-based finance, while describing the functioning of an ideal banking system in an Islamic economy, in addition to answers to a selection of questions on alternative investment and consumption loans, and different aspects of Zakah for an ideal social structure that is sound, fair and that leads to sustainable social relations.

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/in-focus/456371-islamic-economy-a-social-justice-folder.html




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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 24 July 2012 at 11:10pm

Cherishing Charity in Ramadan

Ladling Out Lasting Livelihoods

The Best Zakah: Investing in Means of Livelihood for the Poor

It is highly praiseworthy to give zakah money to someone who is not getting by, and living hand-to-mouth on an insufficient income. Many a time, our family has personally handed over wads of zakah money to extremely needy people on the streets, and has felt the true joy of giving: witnessing their faces and eyes lighting up with almost euphoric glee upon unexpectedly receiving the money.

However, the wisdom from the Prophet’s sunnah dictates more farsightedness and prudence. After all, we do not know if the poor person will dispense the money wisely or foolishly. It is therefore, more advisable to help the needy by providing them with a permanent and easy means of livelihood, than to just hand over some cash that will alleviate their poverty in the short term...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/worship/zakah-and-charity/458101-cherishing-charity-in-ramadan.html


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 02 September 2012 at 11:54pm

Toward a More Just and Caring Society

Zakah and Achieving Socio-Economic Justice

Muhammad Zarqa ascertains that Zakah doubles the income of the poorest 10% of the society every year since most of it is taken from the rich and given to the poor.

Monzer Kahf also argues that since Zakah covers both income and wealth and its spending is not limited to providing subsistence living for the poor but it rather aims at the poor's enrichment, it influences the distribution of wealth in the long run let alone the short run redistribution of income.

The above expectations are based on estimating the Zakah proceeds at around 2.5% to 3.5% of national income per year in any Muslim society...

http://onislam.net/english/reading-islam/research-studies/politics-and-economics/458829-zakah-and-achieving-socio-economic-justice.html
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 18 September 2012 at 7:11am

Our Needy People

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent an envoy to a tribe that had converted to Islam, he asked the envoy to teach them the five pillars of Islam. Speaking about zakat, he told him to explain to them that it had to be deducted from the money of the rich among them and distributed to “their needy people” (‘ala fuqara’ihim). The scholars, in all the schools of law and through the ages have, thus, always insisted on the necessity of spending the zakat locally first, for the poor and the needy people of the place, the locality or the society within which it has been collected. It is only when the local needs have been satisfied, or in exceptional situations such as natural catastrophes or wars etc., that the spending of zakat abroad can be done.

Not only does the zakat shape the social conscience of the Muslim but it also directs him/her towards his/her immediate environment in order to build this conscience by facing up to the difficulties and dysfunctions of his/her society, its poor or/and marginalised people. Zakat, unlike the voluntary alms (sadaqa) is first intended for the Muslims and our faithfulness to its teaching demands of us to observe what is going on around us, within our nearest spiritual community. This "priority to proximity" is fundamental: it imposes a requirement to know one’s society, to care about the state of the Muslims in one’s area, town and country.

We are very far from living up to this teaching today. In the majority of the Western societies, in the United States, in Canada, in Britain, in France as in Australia, one finds women and men who give zakat to charitable organisations in the Third World or to their countries of origin. They care very little about the situation of those who live near them and they are convinced they are doing right since those from "over there" are poorer than those from "around here". The mistake consists in forgetting that the poor from around here have rights (haqun ma’lum) over the rich from around here. Nothing prevents the latter from sending voluntary alms (sadaqat) to the deprived people of the entire world or to their countries of origin but they have an established duty, from which they cannot escape, towards the needy people of their country of residence: once again it is, before God, the rights of "their poor people".

One can but be sad, and sometimes disgusted, when observing how the Muslims care so little about the local realities: obsessed by the international scene and the situation of the Muslims "from over there", they no longer see the reality of the education’s deficit, unemployment, social marginalisation, drugs, violence and prisons in their own society. Though the awareness of their brothers’ misfortune elsewhere is positive, per se, it has had the very negative consequence of making them very passive, neglectful and unaware of the appalling situation of brothers at their own doorsteps. This is a tragedy, an error and, in fact, a betrayal of the fundamental teaching of zakat.

The Muslim organisations have a great deal of responsibility in this failure since they have difficulty proposing programmes and priorities for the zakat's collection and distribution at the local level, in the towns and the regions. A correct understanding of this dimension of zakat would shape the individual’s spiritual and his/her citizen's conscience with which one understands that one has to be involved in one’s environment. This means one has to study it and to find the best, fairest and most coherent means to spend the purifying social tax in one’s own society, in Britain, France, the United States, Canada, Australia or elsewhere.

 
"One day, our poor people will ask" –Dr. Tariq Ramadan
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 16 April 2013 at 3:50pm

Differences of Zakah in Islam and Other Religions

Zakah means to grow and to increase.

When it is said about a person, it means to improve, to become better.

Consequently zakah is blessing, growth, cleanliness, and betterment.

In Shari'ah the word zakah refers to the determined share of wealth prescribed by God to be distributed among deserving categories.

It is also used to mean the action of payment of this share.

The Main Differences between Zakah in Islam and Zakah in Other Religions

Firstly, zakah in Islam is not a mere charity left to the righteousness of individuals, as part of their good deeds. It is rather an essential pillar of this religion, one of its major rituals and the second of its main four forms of worship. Not paying it is like going astray. He who denies its obligation is considered disbeliever. It is an obligation supported by the ethical values of Islam as well as by the power of law in the Islamic state.

Secondly, zakah is a right to the poor in the wealth of the rich, a right decided by the true Owner of wealth, God and imposed on those who have been given control of that wealth by Him...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/research-studies/comparative-religion/462246-differences-of-zakah-in-islam-and-other-religions.html



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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2013 at 1:54pm

Towards a Just & Caring Society:

Zakah: Spending for the Sake of Allah

When discussing this topic, most people would emphasize on the social aspect of giving alms; the believing man or woman who gives from his or her wealth to the poor and the needy.

There should be no need for an Islamic ‘Robin Hood’ as it is mandatory for the rich to give to the poor. This also means that there is no fundamental objection against becoming very rich, as the end result of this should be that one’s positive impact on the surrounding society only increases.

Difference Between Zakah and Charity

When talking about the concept of ‘zakah’ we often also mention the concept of ‘sadaqah’, which is regularly translated as ‘charity’. Both concepts are dealing with people giving their wealth to others who are in more desperate need of those means.

There are some major differences between the two concepts. Zakah is an obligation to those who have a minimum amount of possessions; to give zakah is considered to be a good deed with a reward in the hereafter, but to abstain from it is a sin with a punishment.

Sadaqah has no minimum required amount of possessions and is completely voluntary; to give sadaqah is considered to be a good deed with a reward in the hereafter, but to abstain from it is not a sin. Zakah has specific deadlines within the Islamic calendar when it should be given, sadaqah can be given at every single opportunity.

Zakah has by definition a financial aspect to it, while sadaqah can be a wide variety of good deeds. A common quoted narration of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his remark that even the smile given to a brother in faith can be considered to be a form of charity. And these are just some of the many differences between zakah and sadaqah...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/worship/zakah-and-charity/463654-zakat-spending-for-the-sake-of-allah.html

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2013 at 11:28pm

Towards Social Justice & Sustainable Development:

Zakah and the Economic System in Islam

How is Zakah relevant to the modern times and its economic crisis?

“Contrary to the beliefs of both religious and secular Muslims, Prophet Muhammad’s achievements were based not on ephemeral but on the permanent values of the Quran. He brought about the greatest revolution, even an economic and political miracle in human history” (The 100, 3-10)

We can observe that Zakah becomes a religious obligation that is to be paid to the Islamic government for distribution to the needy. This, brings about a much better socio-economic development if carried out properly, thus to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and the best welfare system divinely ordained.

The present global inequality of wealth distribution is one example of the consequences of leaving out the Divine instructions from economic sphere.

“Elements of monetary discipline in an Islamic economy include stable exchange rates and doing away with increasing money supply incessantly. This is supported by the principle of prohibition of interest in an Islamic economy.” (Economic Analysis)

A more progressive way to look at Zakah is to consider it as a wealth tax and resource endowments. “In Zakah, production with intensive mix and use of factors of production (labor and capital) is taxed leniently at 5%. Production with less intensive mix and use of factors of production (labor or capital) is taxed at a minimum of 5% to a maximum of 10%. Windfall gain is taxed at 20% if it arises from neither the use of labor nor capital.”...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/worship/zakah-and-charity/463807-zakah-and-the-economic-system-in-islam.html

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 01 December 2013 at 12:32am

Zakah

The literal and simple meaning of Zakah is purity.

The technical meaning of the word designates the annual amount in kind or coin which a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries.

But the religious and spiritual significance of Zakah is much deeper and more lively. So is its humanitarian and sociopolitical value. Here is an explanation of the far-reaching effects of Zakah:

1- Zakah purifies the property of the people with means and clears it from the shares which do not belong to it anymore, the shares which must be distributed among the due beneficiaries...

2- Zakah does not only purify the property of the contributor but also purifies his heart from selfishness and greed
for wealth. In return, it purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness; and it fosters in his heart, instead, good will and warm wishes for the contributor...

3- Zakah mitigates to a minimum the sufferings of the needy and poor members of society. It is a most comforting consolation to the less fortunate people...

4- Zakah is a healthy form of internal security against selfish greed and social dissension, against the intrusion and penetration of subversive ideologies. It is an effective instrument in cultivating the spirit of social responsibility on the part of the contributor, and the feeling of security and belonging on the part of the recipient.

5- Zakah is a vivid manifestation of the spiritual and humanitarian spirit of responsive interactions between the individual and society...

http://www.whyislam.org/submission/five-pillars-of-islam-2/charity/
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 21 December 2013 at 3:58am
Does Zakah Encourage Unemployment?

Zakah (obligatory alms) in Islam is one of the main five deeds which are considered as the pillars of Islam. Muslims believe that Allah Almighty is the All-Wise and that when He commands humans, it is always to benefit them.

Saying that zakah encourages unemployment is invalid. Actually, the opposite is true. Zakah is really a way of reducing unemployment.

One of the conditions of zakah is transferring the ownership of the amount of the zakah money from the rich to the poor. This means that an amount of money is taken from the pockets of the rich, who tend to save, into the pockets of the poor, who tend to spend in order to fulfill their needs.

Give a rich person 100 dollars, it may be kept unspent in his pocket for a year. In contrast to that, it will evaporate from the pocket of a poor person in less than 30 minutes, because he needs food, clothing, and other essentials for himself and his family.

This means that 2.5% of the cash savings, 5-10% of the agriculture income and 20% of the income of extracted minerals will be spent in the market through the poor.

This will lead to the increase in market demand on goods. To accommodate this increase in demand, there should be an increase in production. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in job opportunities...

http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-about-islam/faith-and-worship/aspects-of-worship/167856-do-alms-encourage-unemployment.html
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