Zakat in the USA

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Subject: Re: (mur 6): The Islamic Dinar
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 1997 10:24:35 -0500 (CDT)
To: Richard Petersen

Dear Richard,

I know that there are two strands of thought with regards to Zakat here in
the US. The modernist who have changed the requirements for the Zakat and
those who know that the Book and the Sunnah are valid for all time. They
desire that the Zakat be payed according to the guidelines of Allah and His
Messenger, peace be upon him. That's why I sent you the posting, which I
hope will be of use. This represents the proper foundation for the payment
of Zakat. Like all of the five pillars its ritual washing (wudu) is that it
be paid in gold and silver, nothing else. The other matter is that it
should benefit the people of the community. That is the people of the place
where the Zakat is collected.

By contrast the Zakat here in the US is more often than not paid in paper
money, which you can see by normal standard is not acceptable. The other
thing about Zakat in the US is that it is not collected by an Amir, but is
voluntary. In Islam the amir has men who access what should be paid and by
whom. This is not Sadaqa. Now it seems that Muslim Relief Organizations
have taken over the Zakat. And this is a sad innovation, because the Zakat
is then sent away from the places where it should benefit the community. Of
course I must stress that there are exceptions to all of this. There are
communities here in the US, who do follow the guideline set down by Allah
and his messenger, may Allah bless him. So as always it is not black and
white. I would define the majority of those here as of the modernist
tendency, but that can always change.

Well I hope you find this all of some use.

I look forward to hearing from you, and visiting your sight.

I would like to add, that you make a clear demarcation between what modern
Muslim governments call Zakat and what is the basis laid down Allah, his
Messenger, peace be upon him, and the companions.

With kind regards,

Abdalbarr Brown
Murabitun of Madison, Wisconsin. America

Subject: Re: introduction - Zakat Date: Fri, 3 Oct 1997 16:26:06 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Dear Mr. Petersen, I am by no means a religious authority. All I know about Zakat can be summed up in a few sentences. Every year, Muslims are required to give 2.5% of what they are worth to the poor. It is preferable to first give this money to other Muslims, but I dont know if required. My father usually sends money to overseas charities, but he'll also contribute to the local soup kitchen. I myself have been a student all of my life. This is my first year of being of any monetary value. There are no required types of charities, and no required specific organizations. Many Muslims give it to their Mosque, and let them handle it. I believe a Muslim is also supposed to give a certain small amount to a Mosque, itself, but I don't know more than that. Islam is indeed the most charitable religion, when practiced. It is an excellent hybrid of socialism and capitalism. One is welcome to earn what he/she can, by honest means, and not by collection of interest, nor by selling things that are against Islam (like alcohol and pornography.) Like socialism, it has mandatory charity. Unlike socialism, we are not required to give our charity to a government, so that they can give 75% to bureaucrats, 5% to graft, and the rest to the poor, some of which is spent on drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Dr. Saleh R Shahid

The Zakat Project