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Forums Forums Islam and State Can Forced Collection Of Zakat Be Only Considered A Tax?

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  • Can Forced Collection Of Zakat Be Only Considered A Tax?

    Posted by Nadeem Minhas on September 26, 2022 at 4:50 am

    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.

    Dr. Irfan Shahzad replied 4 months ago 3 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Can Forced Collection Of Zakat Be Only Considered A Tax?

    Dr. Irfan Shahzad updated 4 months ago 3 Members · 7 Replies
  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar September 26, 2022 at 9:19 am

    The verses of Sura Tawba tells that the criteria to accept someone to be Muslim is when he establish prayer and pays zakat, until then the Muslims were ordered to keep fighting them. When the fulfil this criteria only then will be a brother in faith and entitle to get their rights as citizens.

    In another verse 22:14, God makes it duty of the Muslims that when they come in power they will establish prayer and pay zakat. Since this is mentioned with power it means that these two obligations are to be fulfilled with the power. They will make their office holders establish prayer and collect zakat. So zakat is the tax imposed by God to be collected with authority by the Muslim govt.

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator September 26, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Each obligation must be understood on it’s own with its own rationale. Instead of being charity, zakat is an obligation for a Muslim ordained by God towards the state. Consequently, zakat is also a right of the state. Whenever any entity in this world has certain rights established, they can fight for that right within limits as established by their authority and power as well as moral and other prevalent laws.

    As Irfan sahab shared above, zakat is something that a Muslim state is explicitly granted the right to fight for.

    For reference, I answered a similar question by you just a few days back:

    Discussion 74239

  • Nadeem Minhas

    Member September 26, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you both for your answer. It is still not clear that if Prayer or Zakat can be forced on Muslims (There is no such mention in Quran); Especially if prayer and Zakat has no value in Allah’s court if someone performs it without intention and free will.

    Perhaps a Muslim state has a right to forcefully collect Zakat, but it cannot be called Zakat without payers intention and free will, it must be called a tax.

    Also Zakat can’t be forced on Muslims because there is no universal agreement among Muslims based on Ijmah and twatur for the specifics of Zakat amount. Neither does Quran mentions a specific amount.

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator September 26, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    Quran calls it zakat so I don’t think that we have any basis to call it anything else.

    As far as Ijma and Tawatur of zakat is concerned, I addressed that with you in the following discussion:

    Discussion 48917

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar September 27, 2022 at 4:21 am

    Prayer is an individual act, so it can’t be forced, but in system, Prayer is to be facilitated. But is both the right of God and the right of people. So if a person claims to be a Muslim, he needs to pay it, otherwise he will have to lose his status as Muslims citizen.

    • Nadeem Minhas

      Member September 27, 2022 at 9:56 pm

      I totally agree with you Dr. Irfan.

      There are two issues with forced collection.

      1. What if I had couple of relatives in despere need for help? Forced collection of Zakat takes my tight away to help my close relatives. It also takes away my ability to help them sufficiently after paying Zakat to government. This goes against the teachings in Quran.

      Government can be run with taxes. Such as leasing all land, sales tax, customs, etc.

      2. I do not find consensus between Muslims regarding amount of Zakat to be paid and if government has absolute authority to collect Zakat.

      If there was a consensus among Muslims regarding amount of Zakat, perhaps government could collect Zakat and then distribute according to the payers wishes

      or the payer must pay due Zakat himself and provide receipt to government.

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar September 28, 2022 at 4:25 am

    There is a consensus on zakat of savings and on agricultural produce. The rest is the area of Ijtihad. So there is established ground to begin with.

    The problem you raised is of application. A problem in application in a certain kind of situation does not nullify the injunction. It is the problem which has to be solved and you provided a good solution.

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