Payment of Zakat to non-Muslims in the light of Islamic Shariah
This study revisited the literature to find answer to an important question that whether Zakat could or could not be paid to the non Muslims? There are different arguments in favor of giving the Zakat to the needy Dhimmies (non Muslims) in an Islamic State. After reviewing Islamic teachings, laid down in holy Quran and Sunnah, the practices of pious Caliphs, in the Islamic History, views of different Islamic schools of thought and the opinion of modern Islamic jurists, the study found that Quran and Sunnah allowed the payment of zakat to the Al-Muallaf-al-Qulub (poor non-Muslims and those, whose hearts are to be inclined). However, there are differences in the opinion of various Islamic schools of thought. For example, according to Maliki and Zaidi schools of jurisprudence it is lawful to give Zakat to the non-Muslims, where as Shyafee school of thought hold opposite opinion and does not allow the payment of Zakat to the non-Muslims. The modern Islamic jurists Muhammad Shaltut, Mustafa Al-Zarka, Taha Jabir, Syed Abual Aa la Maududi, Imam Khumany of Shia School of thought etc, argue that since modern states have become welfare states, it is therefore allowed to use zakat for the well-being of citizens including the non-Muslims. The recommendations given in this study are multidimensional that we will not only help the poor non-Muslims but also complement to eradicate poverty and reduce income inequality in Muslim countries
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