Can Forced Collection Of Zakat Be Only Considered A Tax?
It seems clear that none of the religious obligations, such as belief in Allah, prayer, fasting, Haj can be forced upon Muslims because religion is based on belief and free will to see who passess Allah’s test.
Based on this, it doesn’t seem to make any sense that Islam would allow forced collection of Zakat.
Yes, the history may show that companions of prophet pbuh may have collected money from the citizens by force as Zakat, but in its nature, forced collection makes it a tax rather than Zakat. Furthermore when government collects any money from citizens involuntarily, regardless of calling is Zakat it can never gets the credits of paying Zakat is Allah’s court. So anything forced upon can’t be Zakat, it turns into a tax by its nature.
Was that the reason for conflict between two groups of Muslims right after passing of prophet?
In summary, calling forced collection of money as Zakat seems wrong. It should be called a tax. Zakat must be paid voluntarily to be called Zakat.
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