Zakat

Zakat (Arabic: زكاةzakāh [zaˈkaːh], "that which purifies",[1] also Zakat al-mal [zaˈkaːt alˈmaːl] زكاة المال, "zakat on wealth",[2] or Zakah)[3] is a form of alms-giving treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax,[4][5] which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer (salat) in importance.[6]

As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, zakat is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth.[7] It is a mandatory charitable contribution, often considered to be a tax.[8][9] The payment and disputes on zakat have played a major role in the history of Islam, notably during the Ridda wars.[10][11]

Zakat is based on income and the value of all of one's possessions.[12][13] It is customarily 2.5% (or 1/40)[14] of a Muslim's total savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as nisab,[15] but Islamic scholars differ on how much nisab is and other aspects of zakat.[15] According to Islamic doctrine, the collected amount should be paid to the poor, the needy, Zakat collectors, those sympathetic to Islam, to free from slavery, for debt relief, in the cause of Allah and to benefit the stranded traveller.

Today, in most Muslim-majority countries, zakat contributions are voluntary, while in a handful (Libya, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen), zakat is mandated and collected by the state.[16][17]

Shias, unlike Sunnis, traditionally regarded zakat as a private and voluntary decision, and they give zakat to imam-sponsored rather than state-sponsored collectors.[18][19][20]

Dinar Dirham Web
Silver or gold coinage are one way of granting zakat.

Etymology

Zakat literally means "that which purifies".[1] Zakat is considered a way to purify one's income and wealth from sometimes worldly, impure ways of acquisition.[1][21][22][23] According to Sachiko Murata and William Chittick, "Just as ablutions purify the body and salat purifies the soul (in Islam), so zakat purifies possessions and makes them pleasing to God."[24][25]

Doctrine

Quran

The Quran discusses charity in many verses, some of which relate to zakat. The word zakat, with the meaning used in Islam now, is found, for example, in suras: 7:156, 19:31, 19:55, 21:73, 23:4, 27:3, 30:39, 31:4 and 41:7.[26][27] Zakat is found in the early Medinan suras and described as obligatory for Muslims.[25] It is given for the sake of salvation. Muslims believe those who give zakat can expect reward from God in the afterlife, while neglecting to give zakat can result in damnation. Zakat is considered part of the covenant between God and a Muslim.[25]

Verse 2.177 (Picktall translation) sums up the Quranic view of charity and alms giving (Another name for Zakat is the "Poor Due"):

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the Prophets; and giveth his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God fearing. - 2:177

According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, verse 9.5 of the Quran[28] makes zakat one of three prerequisites for pagans to become Muslims: "but if they repent, establish prayers, and practice zakat they are your brethren in faith".[7]

The Quran also lists who should receive the benefits of zakat, discussed in more detail below.[29]

Hadith

Each of the most trusted hadith collections in Islam have a book dedicated to zakat. Sahih Bukhari's Book 24,[30] Sahih Muslim's Book 5,[31] and Sunan Abu-Dawud's Book 9[32] discuss various aspects of zakat, including who must pay, how much, when and what. The 2.5% rate is also mentioned in the hadiths.[33]

The hadiths admonish those who do not give the zakat. According to the hadith, refusal to pay or mockery of those who pay zakat is a sign of hypocrisy, and God will not accept the prayers of such people.[34] The sunna also describes God's punishment for those who refuse or fail to pay zakat.[35] On the day of Judgment, those who did not give the zakat will be held accountable and punished.[29]

The hadith contain advice on the state-authorized collection of the zakat. The collectors are required not to take more than what is due, and those who are paying the zakat are asked not to evade payment. The hadith also warn of punishment for those who take zakat when they are not eligible to receive it (see Distribution below).[29]

Amount

The amount of zakat to be paid by an individual depends on the amount of money and the type of assets the individual possesses. The Quran does not provide specific guidelines on which types of wealth are taxable under the zakat, nor does it specify percentages to be given. But the customary practice is that the amount of zakat paid on capital assets (e.g. money) is 2.5% (1/40).[36] Zakat is additionally payable on agricultural goods, precious metals, minerals, and livestock at a rate varying between 2.5% and 20% (1/5), depending on the type of goods.[37][38]

Zakat is usually payable on assets continuously owned over one lunar year that are in excess of the nisab, a minimum monetary value.[39] However, Islamic scholars have disagreed on this issue. For example, Abu Hanifa did not regard the nisab limit to be a pre-requisite for zakat, in the case of land crops, fruits and minerals.[40] Other differences between Islamic scholars on zakat and nisab are acknowledged as follows by Yusuf al-Qaradawi,[15]

Unlike prayers, we observe that even the ratio, the exemption, the kinds of wealth that are zakatable are subject to differences among scholars. Such differences have serious implications for Muslims at large when it comes to their application of the Islamic obligation of zakat. For example, some scholars consider the wealth of children and insane individuals zakatable, others don't. Some scholars consider all agricultural products zakatable, others restrict zakat to specific kinds only. Some consider debts zakatable, others don't. Similar differences exist for business assets and women's jewelry. Some require certain minimum (nisab) for zakatability, some don't. etc. The same kind of differences also exist about the disbursement of zakat.
 – Shiekh Mahmud Shaltut[15]

Failure to pay

Slot at the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II 1
A slot for giving zakat at the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II in Fez, Morocco[41]

The consequence of failure to pay zakat has been a subject of extensive legal debate in traditional Islamic jurisprudence, particularly when a Muslim is willing to pay zakat but refuses to pay it to a certain group or the state.[42][43] According to classical jurists, if the collector is unjust in the collection of zakat but just in its distribution, the concealment of property from him is allowed.[42] If, on the other hand, the collector is just in the collection but unjust in the distribution, the concealment of property from him is an obligation (wajib).[42] Furthermore, if the zakat is concealed from a just collector because the property owner wanted to pay his zakat to the poor himself, they held that he should not be punished for it.[42] If collection of zakat by force was not possible, use of military force to extract it was seen as justified, as was done by Abu Bakr during the Ridda Wars, on the argument that refusing to submit to just orders is a form of treason.[42] However, Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi school, disapproved of fighting when the property owners undertake to distribute the zakat to the poor themselves.[42]

Some classical jurists held the view that any Muslim who consciously refuses to pay zakat is an apostate, since the failure to believe that it is a religious duty (fard) is a form of unbelief (kufr), and should be killed.[44][45][46] However, prevailing opinion among classical jurists prescribed sanctions such as fines, imprisonment or corporal punishment.[42] Some classical and contemporary scholars such as Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh and Yusuf al-Qaradawi have stated that the person who fails to pay Zakat should have the payment taken from them, along with half of his wealth.[47][48] Additionally, those who failed to pay the zakat would face God's punishment in the afterlife on the day of Judgment.[29]

In modern states where zakat payment is compulsory, failure to pay is regulated by state law similarly to tax evasion.

Distribution

Waiting For Zakat (2393257046)
Recipients waiting to receive zakat in India.

According to the Quran's Surah Al-Tawba, there are eight categories of people (asnaf) who qualify to benefit from zakat funds.[49]

"Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom."

— Qur'an, Sura 9 (Al-Tawba), ayat 60[50]

Islamic scholars have traditionally interpreted this verse as identifying the following eight categories of Muslim causes to be the proper recipients of zakat:[51][52]

  1. Those living without means of livelihood (Al-Fuqarā'),[51] the poor[52]
  2. Those who cannot meet their basic needs (Al-Masākīn),[51] the needy[52]
  3. To zakat collectors (Al-Āmilīyn 'Alihā)[51][52]
  4. To persuade those sympathetic to or expected to convert to Islam (Al-Mu'allafatu Qulūbuhum),[51] recent converts to Islam,[49][52][53] and potential allies in the cause of Islam[52][54]
  5. To free from slavery or servitude (Fir-Riqāb),[51] slaves of Muslims who have or intend to free from their master by means of a kitabah contract[52][54]
  6. Those who have incurred overwhelming debts while attempting to satisfy their basic needs (Al-Ghārimīn),[51] debtors who in pursuit of a worthy goal incurred a debt[52]
  7. Those fighting for a religious cause or a cause of God (Fī Sabīlillāh),[51] or for Jihad in the way of Allah by means of pen, word, or sword,[55] or for Islamic warriors who fight against the unbelievers but are not salaried soldiers.[52][54][56]:h8.17
  8. Wayfarers, stranded travellers (Ibnu Al-Sabīl),[51] travellers who are traveling with a worthy goal but cannot reach their destination without financial assistance[52][54]

Zakat should not be given to one's own parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, spouses or the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.[57]

Neither the Quran nor the Hadiths specify the relative division of zakat into the above eight categories.[58] According to the Reliance of the Traveller, the Shafi'i school requires zakat is to be distributed equally among the eight categories of recipients, while the Hanafi school permits zakat to be distributed to all the categories, some of them, or just one of them.[56]:h8.7 Classical schools of Islamic law, including Shafi'i, are unanimous that collectors of zakat are to be paid first, with the balance to be distributed equally amongst the remaining seven categories of recipients, even in cases where one group's need is more demanding.[59]

Muslim scholars disagree whether zakat recipients can include non-Muslims. Islamic scholarship, historically, has taught that only Muslims can be recipients of zakat.[60] In recent times, some state that zakat may be paid to non-Muslims after the needs of Muslims have been met, finding nothing in the Quran or sunna to indicate that zakat should be paid to Muslims only.[57]

Additionally, the zakat funds may be spent on the administration of a centralized zakat collection system.[36] Representatives of the Salafi movement include propagation of Islam and any struggle in righteous cause among permissible ways of spending, while others argue that zakat funds should be spent on social welfare and economic development projects, or science and technology education.[57] Some hold spending them for defense to be permissible if a Muslim country is under attack.[57] Also, it is forbidden to disburse zakat funds into investments instead of being given to one of the above eight categories of recipients.

Role in society

The zakat is considered by Muslims to be an act of piety through which one expresses concern for the well-being of fellow Muslims,[53] as well as preserving social harmony between the wealthy and the poor.[61] Zakat promotes a more equitable redistribution of wealth and fosters a sense of solidarity amongst members of the Ummah.[62]

Historical practice

Zakat, an Islamic practice initiated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was first collected on the first day of Muharram.[63] It has played an important role throughout its history.[64] Schact suggests that the idea of zakat may have entered Islam from Judaism, with roots in the Hebrew and Aramaic word zakut.[25][65] However, some Islamic scholars[65] disagree that the Qur'anic verses on zakat (or zakah) have roots in Judaism.[66]

The caliph Abu Bakr, believed by Sunni Muslims to be Muhammad's successor, was the first to institute a statutory zakat system.[67] Abu Bakr established the principle that the zakat must be paid to the legitimate representative of the Prophet's authority (i.e. himself).[64] Other Muslims disagreed and refused to pay zakat to Abu Bakr, leading to accusations of apostasy and, ultimately, the Ridda wars.[10][64][68]

The second and third caliphs, Umar bin Al-Khattab and Usman ibn Affan, continued Abu Bakr's codification of the zakat.[64] Uthman also modified the zakat collection protocol by decreeing that only "apparent" wealth was taxable, which had the effect of limiting zakat to mostly being paid on agricultural land and produce.[69] During the reign of Ali ibn Abu Talib, the issue of zakat was tied to legitimacy of his government. After Ali, his supporters refused to pay zakat to Muawiyah I, as they did not recognize his legitimacy.[64]

The practice of Islamic state-administered zakat was short-lived in Medina. During the reign of Umar bin Abdul Aziz (717–720 A.D.), it is reported that no one in Medina needed the zakat. After him, zakat came more to be considered as an individual responsibility.[64] This view changed over Islamic history. Sunni Muslims and rulers, for example, considered collection and disbursement of zakat as one of the functions of an Islamic state; this view has continued in modern Islamic countries.[70]

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and in various Islamic polities of the past was expected to be paid by all practising Muslims who have the financial means (nisab).[71] In addition to their zakat obligations, Muslims were encouraged to make voluntary contributions (sadaqat).[72] The zakat was not collected from non-Muslims, although they were required to pay the jizyah tax.[73][74] Depending on the region, the dominant portion of zakat went typically to Amil (the zakat collectors) or Sabīlillāh (those fighting for religious cause, the caretaker of local mosque, or those working in the cause of God such as proselytizing non-Muslims to convert to Islam).[58][75]

Contemporary practice

According to the researcher Russell Powell in 2010, zakat was mandatory by state law in Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen. There were government-run voluntary zakat contribution programs in Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.[76]

Zakat status in Muslim countries[76]

Country Status
 Afghanistan No government system
 Algeria No government system
 Azerbaijan No government system
 Bahrain Voluntary
 Bangladesh Voluntary
 Burkina Faso No government system
 Chad No government system
 Egypt Voluntary
 Guinea No government system
 Indonesia Voluntary
 Iran Voluntary
 Iraq No government system
 Jordan Voluntary
 Kazakhstan No government system
 Kuwait Voluntary
 Lebanon Voluntary
 Libya Mandatory
 Malaysia Mandatory
 Mali No government system
 Mauritania No government system
 Morocco No government system
 Niger No government system
 Nigeria No government system
 Oman No government system
 Pakistan Mandatory
 Qatar No government system
 Saudi Arabia Mandatory
 Senegal No government system
 Sierra Leone No government system
 Somalia No government system
 Sudan Mandatory
 Syria No government system
 Tajikistan No government system
 Gambia No government system
 Tunisia No government system
 Turkey No government system
 Turkmenistan No government system
 United Arab Emirates Voluntary
 Uzbekistan No government system
 Yemen Mandatory

Collection

Today, in most Muslim countries, zakat is at the discretion of Muslims over how and whether to pay, typically enforced by peer pressure, fear of God, and an individual's personal feelings.[16] Among the Sunni Muslims, The Zakat committees are established, linked to a religious cause or local mosque, which collect zakat.[77] Among the Shia Muslims, deputies on behalf of Imams collect the zakat.[78]

In six of the 47 Muslim-majority countries—Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen—zakat is obligatory and collected by the state.[16][17][79][80] In Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Bangladesh, the zakat is regulated by the state, but contributions are voluntary.[81]

The states where zakat is compulsory differ in their definition of the base for zakat computation.[79] Zakat is generally levied on livestock (except in Pakistan) and agricultural produce, although the types of taxable livestock and produce differ from country to country.[79] Zakat is imposed on cash and precious metals in four countries with different methods of assessment.[79] Income is subject to zakat in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, while only Sudan imposes zakat on "wealth that yields income".[79] In Pakistan, property is exempt from the zakat calculation basis, and the compulsory zakat is primarily collected from the agriculture sector.[75]

Under compulsory systems of zakat tax collection, such as Malaysia and Pakistan, evasion is very common and the alms tax is regressive.[16] A considerable number of Muslims accept their duty to pay zakat, but deny that the state has a right to levy it, and they may pay zakat voluntarily while evading official collection.[79] In discretion-based systems of collection, studies suggest zakat is collected from and paid only by a fraction of Muslim population who can pay.[16]

In the United Kingdom, which has a Muslim minority, more than three out of ten Muslims gave to charity (Zakat being described as "the Muslim practice of charitable donations"), according to a 2013 poll of 4000 people.[82] According to the self-reported poll, British Muslims, on average, gave US$567 to charity in 2013, compared to $412 for Jews, $308 for Protestants, $272 for Catholics and $177 for atheists.[82]

Distribution

The primary sources of sharia also do not specify to whom the zakat should be paid – to zakat collectors claiming to represent one class of zakat beneficiary (for example, poor), collectors who were representing religious bodies, or collectors representing the Islamic state.[58][83] This has caused significant conflicts and allegations of zakat abuse within the Islamic community, both historically[58] and in modern times.[84]

Fi Sabillillah is the most prominent asnaf in Southeast Asian Muslim societies, where it broadly construed to include funding missionary work, Quranic schools and anything else that serves the Islamic community (ummah) in general.[85]

Role in society

In 2012, Islamic financial analysts estimated annual zakat spending exceeded US$200 billion per year, which they estimated at 15 times global humanitarian aid contributions.[86][87] Islamic scholars and development workers state that much of this zakat practice is mismanaged, wasted or ineffective.[86] About a quarter of the Muslim world[88] continues to live on $1.25 a day or less, according to the 2012 report.[86]

A 1999 study of Sudan and Pakistan, where zakat is mandated by the state, estimated that zakat proceeds ranged between 0.3 and 0.5 percent of GDP, while a more recent report put zakat proceeds in Malaysia at 0.1% of GDP.[79] These numbers are far below what was expected when the governments of these countries tried to Islamize their economies, and the collected amount is too small to have a sizeable macroeconomic effect.[79]

In a 2014 study,[89] Nasim Shirazi states widespread poverty persists in Islamic world despite zakat collections every year. Over 70% of the Muslim population in most Muslim countries is impoverished and lives on less than US$2 per day. In over 10 Muslim-majority countries, over 50% of the population lived on less than $1.25 per day income, states Shiraz.[89] In Indonesia – the world's most populous and predominantly Muslim country – 50% of Muslims live on less than $2 per day. This suggest large scale waste and mismanagement by those who collect and spend zakat funds. Given the widespread poverty among Muslim-majority countries, the impact of zakat in practice, despite the theoretical intent and its use for centuries, has been questioned by scholars.[90] Zakat has so far failed to relieve large scale absolute poverty among Muslims in most Muslim countries.[89]

Related terms

Zakat is required of Muslims only. For non-Muslims living in an Islamic state, sharia was historically seen as mandating jizya (poll tax).[91] Other forms of taxation on Muslims or non-Muslims, that have been used in Islamic history, include kharaj (land tax),[92] khums (tax on booty and loot seized from non-Muslims, sudden wealth),[93] ushur (tax at state border, sea port, and each city border on goods movement, customs),[94] kari (house tax)[95] and chari (sometimes called maara, pasture tax).[96][97]

There are differences in the interpretation and scope of zakat and other related taxes in various sects of Islam. For example, khums is interpreted differently by Sunnis and Shi'ites, with Shia expected to pay one fifth of their excess income after expenses as khums, and Sunni don't.[98] At least a tenth part of zakat and khums every year, among Shi'ites, after its collection by Imam and his religious deputies under its doctrine of niyaba, goes as income for its hierarchical system of Shia clergy.[78][99] Among Ismaili sub-sect of Shias, the mandatory taxes which includes zakat, is called dasond, and 20% of the collected amount is set aside as income for the Imams.[100] Some branches of Shia Islam treat the right to lead as Imam and right to receive 20% of collected zakat and other alms as a hereditary right of its clergy.

Sadaqah is another related term for charity, usually construed as a discretionary counterpart to zakat.[101]

Zakat al-Fitr

Zakat al-Fitr or Sadaqat al-Fitr[102] is another, smaller charitable obligation, mandatory for all Muslims — male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so — that is traditionally paid at the end of the fasting in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.[103][104] The collected amount is used to pay the zakat collectors and to the poor Muslims so that they may be provided with a means to celebrate 'Eid al-Fitr (the festival of breaking the fast) following Ramadan, along with the rest of the Muslims.[105]

Zakat al-Fitr is a fixed amount assessed per person, while Zakat al mal is based on personal income and property.[104] According to one source, the Hidaya Foundation, the suggested Zakat al Fitr donation is based on the price of 1 Saa (approx. 3 kg) of rice or wheat at local costs, (as of 2015, approximately $7.00 in the U.S.).[102]

See also

Charity practices in other religions:

References

Citations

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  2. ^ "Zakat Al-Maal (Tithing)". Life USA. Archived from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Zakah". www.islam101.com. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  4. ^ Salehi, M (2014). "A Study on the Influences of Islamic Values on Iranian Accounting Practice and Development". Journal of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance. 10 (2): 154–182. doi:10.12816/0025175. Zakat is a religious tax that every Muslim has to pay.
  5. ^ Lessy, Z (2009). "Zakat (alms-giving) management in Indonesia: Whose job should it be?". La Riba Journal Ekonomi Islam. 3 (1). zakat is alms-giving and religiously obligatory tax.
  6. ^ Hallaq, Wael (2013). The impossible state: Islam, politics, and modernity's moral predicament. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 123. ISBN 9780231162562.
  7. ^ a b Yusuf al-Qaradawi (1999), Monzer Kahf (transl.), Fiqh az-Zakat, Dar al Taqwa, London, Volume 1, ISBN 978-967-5062-766, p. XIX
  8. ^ Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan Ṭūsī (2010), Concise Description of Islamic Law and Legal Opinions, ISBN 978-1904063292, pp. 131–135
  9. ^ Hefner R.W. (2006). "Islamic economics and global capitalism". Society. 44 (1): 16–22. doi:10.1007/bf02690463. Zakat is a tax levied on income and wealth for the purpose of their purification.
  10. ^ a b Bonner, Michael (2003), Poverty and Charity in Middle Eastern Contexts, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791457382, p. 15: "In the old Arabic narratives about the early Muslim community and its conquests and quarrels, zakat and sadaqa loom large at several moments of crisis. These include the beginning of Muhammad's prophetic career in Mecca, when what appear to be the earliest pieces of scripture insist on almsgiving more than any other human activity. These moments of crisis also include the wars of the ridda or apostasy in C.E. 632–634, just after Muhammad's death. At that time most of the Arabs throughout the peninsula refused to continue paying zakat (now a kind of tax) to the central authority in Medina; Abu Bakr, upon assuming the leadership, swore he would force them all to pay this zakat, "even if they refuse me only a [camel's] hobble of it," and sent armies that subdued these rebels or "apostates" in large-scale battles that were soon followed by the great Islamic conquests beyond the Arabian peninsula itself."
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  27. ^ The English translation of these verses can be read here "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), University of Southern California
  28. ^ Quran 9:5
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  33. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 9:1568
  34. ^ Sahih Muslim, 5:2161, 5:2223
  35. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 2:24:486
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Books and articles

Further reading

External links

Al-Zakah

Al-Zakah (Arabic: الزكاة‎, also spelled al-Zakat) is a Syrian village located in the Kafr Zita Subdistrict of the Mahardah District in Hama Governorate. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), al-Zakah had a population of 1,771 in the 2004 census.

Alms

Alms (, ) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities (e.g. education) free. It exists in a number of religions and regions. The word, in the modern English language, comes from the Old English ælmesse, ælmes, from Late Latin eleemosyna, from Greek ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē ("pity, alms"), from ἐλεήμων, eleēmōn ("merciful"), from ἔλεος, eleos ("pity").

Aqidah

Aqidah (Arabic: عقيدة‎, translit. ʿaqīdah, plural عقائد ʿaqāʾid, also rendered ʿaqīda, aqeeda etc.) is an Islamic term meaning "creed" (Arabic pronunciation: [ʕɑˈqiːdæ, ʕɑˈqɑːʔɪd]).

Many schools of Islamic theology expressing different views on aqidah exist. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction. It is a branch of Islamic studies describing the beliefs of Islam.

Bayt al-mal

Bayt al-mal (بيت المال) is an Arabic term that is translated as "House of money" or "House of Wealth." Historically, it was a financial institution responsible for the administration of taxes in Islamic states, particularly in the early Islamic Caliphate. It served as a royal treasury for the caliphs and sultans, managing personal finances and government expenditures. Further, it administered distributions of zakat revenues for public works. Modern Islamic economists deem the institutional framework appropriate for contemporary Islamic societies.

Charity (practice)

The practice of charity means the voluntary giving of help to those in need, as a humanitarian act.

Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam (arkān al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān al-dīn أركان الدين "pillars of the religion") are five basic acts in Islam, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life. They are summarized in the famous hadith of Gabriel.The Sunni and Shia agree on the essential details for the performance and practice of these acts, but the Shia do not refer to them by the same name (see Ancillaries of the Faith, for the Twelvers, and Seven pillars of Ismailism). They make up Muslim life, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage, if one is able.

Islam and humanity

Islamic teachings on humanity and human welfare have been codified in its central religious book known as the Quran, which the Muslims believe was revealed by God for the mankind. These teachings have often been exemplified by Islamic prophet Muhammad as displayed in his sayings and practices. To the Muslims, Islam is what the Quran has instructed to do and how Muhammad has put them into practice. Thus, the understanding of any Islamic topic generally rely on these two.

Islamic holidays

There are two official holidays in Islam: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours), and Muslims may invoke zakat (charity) on the occasion which begins after the new moon sighting for the beginning of Shawal. The Eid al-Fitr celebration begins with prayers the morning of the 1st of Shawal, and is followed by breakfast, and often celebratory meals throughout the day.

Eid Al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah when Hajj (pilgrimage) takes place, and lasts for four days. Muslims may invoke an act of zakat and friendship by the slaughter of a sheep and distribute its meat in 3 parts: among family, friends, and the poor. Muslims are also encouraged to be especially friendly and reach out to one another during this period.

Both of the holidays occur in the lunar based Islamic calendar which is different from the solar based Gregorian calendar. the Islamic calendar is based on the synodic period of the Moon's revolution around the Earth, approximately 29​1⁄2 days. The Islamic calendar alternates months of 29 and 30 days (which begin with the new moon). Twelve of these months make up an Islamic year, which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year. The Gregorian calendar is based on the orbital period of the Earth's revolution around the Sun, approximately days.

Islamic socialism

Islamic socialism is a term coined by various Muslim leaders to describe a more spiritual form of socialism. Muslim socialists believe that the teachings of the Quran and Muhammad—especially the zakat—are compatible with principles of economic and social equality. They draw inspiration from the early Medinan welfare state established by Muhammad. Muslim socialists found their roots in anti-imperialism. Muslim socialist leaders believe in the derivation of legitimacy from the public.

Isma'ilism

Ismāʿīlism (Arabic: الإسماعيلية‎ al-Ismāʿīliyya; Persian: اسماعیلیان‎; Sindhi: اسماعيلي‎; Esmāʿīliyān) is a branch of Shia Islam. The Ismāʿīlī () get their name from their acceptance of Imam Isma'il ibn Jafar as the appointed spiritual successor (Imām) to Ja'far al-Sadiq, wherein they differ from the Twelvers who accept Musa al-Kadhim, younger brother of Isma'il, as the true Imām.Ismailism rose at one point to become the largest branch of Shī‘ism, climaxing as a political power with the Fatimid Caliphate in the tenth through twelfth centuries. Ismailis believe in the oneness of God, as well as the closing of divine revelation with Muhammad, whom they see as "the final Prophet and Messenger of God to all humanity". The Ismāʿīlī and the Twelvers both accept the same initial Imams.

After the death of Muhammad ibn Isma'il in the 8th century CE, the teachings of Ismailism further transformed into the belief system as it is known today, with an explicit concentration on the deeper, esoteric meaning (batin) of the Islamic religion. With the eventual development of Twelverism into the more literalistic (zahir) oriented Akhbari and later Usuli schools of thought, Shi'i Islam developed into two separate directions: the metaphorical Ismaili group focusing on the mystical path and nature of God, with the "Imām of the Time" representing the manifestation of esoteric truth and intelligible reality, with the more literalistic Twelver group focusing on divine law (sharia) and the deeds and sayings (sunnah) of Muhammad and the Twelve Imams who were guides and a light to God.Ismaili thought is heavily influenced by neoplatonism.Though there are several paths (tariqat) within Ismailism, the term in today's vernacular generally refers to the Nizaris, who recognize Aga Khan IV as the 49th hereditary Imam and are the largest Ismaili group. In recent centuries Ismāʿīlīs have largely been a Pakistani and Indian community, but Ismailis are also found in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, East Africa, Angola, Lebanon, and South Africa, and have in recent years emigrated to Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Trinidad and Tobago. There are also a significant number of Ismāʿīlīs in Central Asia.

Khums

In Islamic tradition, khums (Arabic: خمس‎ Arabic pronunciation: [xums], literally 'one fifth') refers to the required religious obligation of any Muslim to pay one-fifth of their acquired wealth from certain sources toward specified causes. It is treated differently in Shia and Sunni Islam, and it is closely related to ghanima (spoils of war). This tax is paid to the imam, caliph or sultan, representing the state of Islam, for distribution between the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler.In Sunni Islam tradition, the scope of khums tax has been ghanim, which is defined as the spoils of war. In Shia tradition, states Abdulaziz Sachedina, the scope of khums tax has included, (1) booty (al-ghanima), (2) objects obtained from the sea (al-ghaws), (3) treasure (al-kanz), (4) mineral resources (al-ma'adin), (5) gainful earnings (arbaah al-makaasib, business profits), (6) the lawful (al-halaal) which has become mixed up with the unlawful (al-haraam), and (7) land which is transferred from a Muslim to a dhimmi (a free non-Muslim who is protected by a treaty of surrender) by the latter's purchase of it. The recipients of the collected khums have been the descendants of Muhammad and the Islamic clergy.Khums is a 20% tax that must be paid on all items regarded as ghanima (Arabic: الْغَنيمَة‎, booty seized with war). There are differing legal traditions within Islam about what constitutes ghanima, and thus how far-reaching khums should be. In some jurisdictions, khums included a 20% tax paid on business profit and on minerals extracted in regions under the control of the state. Khums is different and separate from other Islamic taxes such as zakat and jizya.There are differences of opinion about the scope of khums in Sunni and Shia sects of Islam, as well as who owns it and how the collected khums should be spent.

Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony (Pakistan)

The Ministry of Religious Affairs (Urdu: وزارت مذہبی امور‬‎, abbreviated as MoRA) is a government agency of Pakistan responsible for religious matters such as pilgrimage outside Pakistan, especially to India for Ziyarat and Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Hajj. It is also responsible for the welfare and safety of pilgrims. The agency has its headquarters in Islamabad. The current Federal Minister of Religious Affairs is Noor-ul-Haq Qadri. The ministry is composed of several subordinate bodies including the Directorate of Hajj, the Council of Islamic Ideology, and the Madrassah Education Board.

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization

"Sharization" or "Islamisation" (Urdu: محمد ضیاء الحق کی اسلامی حکمرانی‎) was the "primary" policy, or "centerpiece" of the government of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the ruler of Pakistan from 1977 until his death in 1988. Zia has also been called "the person most responsible for turning Pakistan into a global center for political Islam".The Pakistan movement had gained the country independence from the British Empire as a Muslim-majority state. At the time of its founding, the Dominion of Pakistan had no official state religion prior to 1956, when the constitution had declared it the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Despite this, no religious laws had yet been adopted for government and judicial protocols and civil governance, until the mid 1970s with the coming of General Muhammed Zia Ul-Haq in a military coup also known as Operation Fair Play which deposed the Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Zia-ul-Haq committed himself to enforcing his interpretation of Nizam-e-Mustafa ("Rule of the prophet" Muhammad), i.e. to establish an Islamic state and enforce sharia law.Zia established separate Shariat judicial courts and court benches to judge legal cases using Islamic doctrine.

New criminal offenses (of adultery, fornication, and types of blasphemy), and new punishments (of whipping, amputation, and stoning to death), were added to Pakistani law. Interest payments for bank accounts were replaced by "profit and loss" payments. Zakat charitable donations became a 2.5% annual tax. School textbooks and libraries were overhauled to remove un-Islamic material.

Offices, schools, and factories were required to offer praying space.

Zia bolstered the influence of the ulama (Islamic clergy) and the Islamic parties, whilst conservative scholars became fixtures on television.

10,000s of activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami party were appointed to government posts to ensure the continuation of his agenda after his passing. Conservative ulama (Islamic scholars) were added to the Council of Islamic Ideology.In 1984 a referendum gave Zia and the Islamization program, 97.7% approval in official results. However, there have been protests against the laws and their enforcement during and after Zia's reign. Women's and human rights groups opposed incarceration of rape victims under hadd punishments, new laws that valued women's testimony (Law of Evidence) and blood money compensation (diyat) at half that of a man. Religious minorities and human rights groups opposed the "vaguely worded" Blasphemy Law and the "malicious abuse and arbitrary enforcement" of it.Possible motivations for the Islamisation programme included Zia's personal piety (most accounts agree that he came from a religious family), desire to gain political allies, to "fulfill Pakistan's raison d'etre" as a Muslim state, and/or the political need to legitimise what was seen by some Pakistanis as his "repressive, un-representative martial law regime".How much success Zia had strengthening Pakistan's national cohesion with state-sponsored Islamisation is disputed. Shia-Sunni religious riots broke out over differences in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) – in particular, over how Zakat donations would be distributed.

There were also differences among Sunni Muslims.

Nisab

In Sharia (Islamic Law) niṣāb (نِصاب) is the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to zakat. Several hadith have formulas for calculating niṣāb, the most prominent of which declares that No Zakāt is due on wealth until one year passes. Zakat is determined based on the amount of wealth acquired; the greater one's assets, the greater the tax. Unlike income tax in secular states niṣāb is not subject to special exemptions.

In Islam, niṣāb is 20 dinārs for gold and 200 dirhams for silver based on the original 1 to 10 exchange rate. The dinār is a gold coin weighing one mithqal (4.25 grams) and the dirḥam is a silver coin weighing 0.7 mithqal (2.975 grams). The niṣāb is applicable to the cumulative stock of dinārs, dirḥam and any other zakatable valuables, such as merchandise that has been in store for at least one year. As long as the total value of the zakatable valuables exceeds the value of the niṣāb, zakat must be paid.

Sadaqah

Sadaqah or Sadaka (Arabic: صدقة‎, IPA: [sˤɑdæqɐ],[n A] "charity", "benevolence", plural ṣadaqāt صدقات) in the modern context has come to signify "voluntary charity". According to the Quran, the word means voluntary offering, whose amount is at the will of the "benefactor".

Strait of Gibraltar

The Strait of Gibraltar (Arabic: مضيق جبل طارق‎ Madiq Jebel Tariq, Spanish: Estrecho de Gibraltar) is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco and Ceuta (Spain) in Africa. The name comes from the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq (meaning "Mount Tariq") named after Tariq ibn Ziyad. It is also known as the Straits of Gibraltar, the Gut of Gibraltar (although this is mostly archaic), the STROG (Strait Of Gibraltar) in naval use, and Bab Al Maghrib (Arabic: باب المغرب‎), "Gate of the West". In the Middle Ages, Muslims called it Al-Zuqaq, "The Passage", the Romans called it Fretum Gatitanum (Strait of Cadiz), and in the ancient world it was known as the "Pillars of Hercules" (Ancient Greek: αἱ Ἡράκλειοι στῆλαι).Europe and Africa are separated by 7.7 nautical miles (14.3 km; 8.9 mi) of ocean at the strait's narrowest point. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres (160 and 490 fathoms; 980 and 2,950 ft) which possibly interacted with the lower mean sea level of the last major glaciation 20,000 years ago when the level of the sea is believed to have been lower by 110–120 m (60–66 fathoms; 360–390 ft). Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes. The Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.

The Citizens Foundation

The Citizens Foundation (TCF) is a non-profit organization, and one of the largest privately owned networks of low-cost formal schools in Pakistan. The Foundation operates a network of 1,482 school units, educating 220,000 students through 12,000 teachers and principals, with over 17,400 employees. Approximately 94% of the Foundation's expenditure is allocated to the Education program.

Verse of Wilayah

The Verse of Wilayah or Leadership (Arabic: آية الولاية‎, translit. Āyat al-Wilāyah) is the 55th verse of the Al-Ma'ida Chapter (Surah 5) in the Quran. Both Sunni and Shia scholars accept that the verse alludes to the giving of zakāṫ (Arabic: زَكَـاة‎, alms) to the poor by Ali while he was in rukū‘ (Arabic: رُكُـوع‎, bowing) during Ṣalāṫ (Arabic: صَـلَاة‎, Prayer), but only the Shia see it as bestowing the succession of Muhammad upon him.

Zakat al-Fitr

Zakat al-Fitr is charity given to the poor at the end of the fasting in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The Arabic word Fitr means the same as iftar, breaking a fast, and it comes from the same root word as Futoor which means breakfast. Zakat al-Fitr is a smaller levy than Zakat al-Mal.

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