Muslims also must place certain responsibilities on their co-religionists

Muslims also must place certain responsibilities on their co-religionists
Muslims also must place certain responsibilities on their co-religionists

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, and giving charity to the poor. While it might be said that Zakat is a form of charitable giving, it is more than that. 

The Arabic word “Zakat” literally means “that which purifies.” The Muslim scripture prescribes that all rich Muslims give out a portion of their wealth to help not so fortunate.

According to the Quran, Allah states: And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and the approaches of the night: For those things, that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord):

And Zakat is only for the poor and the needy and for those employed to collect (Zakat) and bring hearts together and free captives and for those in debt (or bonded labor) and the cause of Allah, and the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” Quran Chapter 9 Verse 60

After certain expenses have been deducted, all rich Muslims are obliged to give 2.5% of their wealth as Zakat, which can be given anonymously or through an official Zakat Committee. It has also become common practice in many Muslim countries to collect Zakat through the tax system.

The Islamaphobe Geert Wilders of Holland has made some bizarre comments about the Islamisation of European countries, which are based on a significant amount of unevidenced factoids and disinformation that he uses to support his arguments.

One example is that Islamic schools in Holland receive state funding but only teach the Koran even though there is no legal requirement to provide secular teaching. Other Western media sources have echoed this claim, including Alan Colmes. However, there is enough factual information to reveal this false ‘fact’ as propaganda spreads fear and misinformation about Islam for short-term political gain. Another example is Wilder’s claims that in Holland, Islamic immigrants don’t want to work and that many receive state benefits, but rather than receiving them for working, they use it as a “Jizya.”

Wilders claims that the Jizya is an Islamic tax, meaning non-Muslims are forced to pay money because of their disbelief. The exact quote from Wilder’s website follows:

“We are financing with our taxes Muslim schools, mosques, imams, faith-healers and -the blind eye of the government- also terrorist cells. We finance with our taxes the hate against our society. If one looks at what happens here… We all know the stories about how Islamization slowly creeps forward… It starts with small things like separate hours for men and women in swimming pools or schools, and they come to separate bicycle paths. We get Islamic lessons on public television. It continues with things like separate financing of education, where small children learn that Jews are apes and pigs.”

The fact is that giving Zakat is not a tax as such; it doesn’t operate as a simple percentage of income collected by governments or religious institutions. Also, there is no mention of Jizya anywhere in the Quran. Jizya was a tax that non-Muslims had to pay during Muslim rule – but since all taxation within western countries is usually voluntary these days – how can this be compared to non-Muslim supposedly paying a tax referred to as a “Jizya”?

Wilders referred to Jizya to deceive his audience into thinking that Muslims have a special tax on non-Muslims. Unfortunately, this psychological tactic is used more and more by the Islamophobia right-baiters in their siege of Muslim communities. An example of this can be found in an article written by Robert Spencer, one of Wilder’s colleagues, under.” In it, he claims:

“More than 80 percent [of American mosques] reportedly receive significant funding from Saudi Arabia…Based on such studies, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — which presents itself as a civil rights group defending Muslims in America — has received $70,000 directly from the Saudi royal family.”

Please visit: Muslim charity in UK.

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