Impact of Zakat on the Muslim

There is no doubt that Zakat (obligatory charity) has a great impact on both the person who pays it, and on the society as a whole. Among its impacts are the following:

It purifies the person who gives it from sins and acts of disobedience he committed; Allah Says (what means): {Take, [O Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) ], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase.}[Quran 9:103]. Moreover, it is confirmed that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Charity wipes out the sin exactly as water extinguishes the fire.” [At-Tirmithi]

It results in the increase and blesses of the money; linguistically, Zakat means to bless, increase, or purify. Allah Says (what means): {But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.}[Quran 34:39]. Besides, it is confirmed that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “I swear by Allah on the following three things: ….(and he mentioned) charity does not decrease the wealth of the person who gives it.” [At-Tirmithi]

It fulfills the need of the needy; this leads to the spread of security in the society, as theft and robbery will decrease. It also means harmony in the society.

The above are some fruits yielded by the payment of Zakat, and whoever wants to find out more in this regard may refer to the books of the scholars may Allah have mercy upon them on this subject.

Allah Knows best.


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Free E-Book: The Night Prayer

The Night Prayer coverThis is a special gift from Faith Essentials, an online learning platform providing Muslims with everything they need to know about their religion in a holistic and structured manner.

The e-Book is free with a small donation to the people of Gaza this Ramadan through Islamic Relief. You can download it here: www.faithessentials.online/nightprayer/

We all know that the Night Prayer, or Qiyam Al-Layl, is so beloved to Allah. In fact, the Prophet ﷺ told us that the most beloved prayer to Allah after the obligatory prayers is the Night Prayer. Yet, think to yourself, have you ever seen a book on the Night Prayer in your local Islamic bookstore, online even, or anywhere?

It is the honor of the believer, it is the practice of the righteous before us, it is an audience with the King of kings, and it is protection from hypocrisy, among many other things. May Allah bless you and make us all of those who enliven the night with His remembrance.

You can download it here: www.faithessentials.online/nightprayer/ or The Night Prayer


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Giving The Qur’an with Translation to Non-Muslims?

Al-Qur’an is the book of guidance for all Muslims regardless of time. According to the majority of the Islamic scholars, it is obligatory for a Muslim to be in a pure state and not in hadath (minor or major impure) before he can hold or carry the mushaf. Allah states (which means):

“None touch it except the purified.” [Al-Qur’an, Surah al-Waqi’ah, verse 79]

This prohibition also applies to the non-Muslims through qiyas (analogy). To protect the honor of the Qur’an, the earlier fuqaha agreed to forbid the selling of the Qur’an mushaf to the non-Muslims. The restriction is in the form of prohibition, while scholars in mazhab Hanafi consider the restriction to be makruh (undesirable) [Refer al-Mausu`ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 9/230]. Furthermore, in mazhab al-Syafie, the strongest opinion is it is undesirable (makruh) to buy or sell the mushaf, even if the transaction is for the cost of rent and printing to non-Muslims [Refer al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 9/252].

The same applies to the issue of ownership. The scholars forbid a Muslim from buying the Qur’an mushaf for a non-Muslim. According to most of the scholars, the trade is invalid, while in mazhab Syafie, there are two opinions. The strongest opinion said that it is invalid, while the second opinion states that the trade is valid, but the ownership of the Qur’an is automatically absolved from the non-Muslim [Refer al-Tibyan fi Adab Hamalah al-Qur’an, 113]. Moreover, it is prohibited to gift non-Muslim with the Qur’an or leave the Qur’an to non-Muslim (through a will) [Refer al-Mughni, 104/6].

This shows how honored the Qur’an is, and the scholars put such effort in maintaining and protecting the Qur’an’s honor, as has been agreed among them, fulfilling the obligation of dignifying al-Qur’an, sanctifying and protecting it [Refer al-Tibyan fi Adab Hamalah al-Qur’an, 164].

The Ruling for Gifting al-Qur’an with Translation to Non-Muslims

In this issue, there are two opinions from Islamic scholars:

  1. The opinion that prohibits it;
  2. The opinion that ruled it permissible with conditions

The Opinion that Prohibits It

They use qiyas to the prohibition of giving ownership of the mushaf to non-Muslims. They referred to a hadith in al-Sahihain (which means):

“From Abdullah bin Umar RA, The Messenger of Allah forbade that one should travel to the land of the enemy taking the Qur’an with him.” [Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari (2990) and Sahih Muslim (1896)]

Imam al-Nawawi said, there is a prohibition of traveling with the Qur’an to a country of disbelievers (non-Muslims), for the reason stated in the narration, which is in fear that the enemy would insult al-Qur’an, thus tarnishing the sanctity of the Qur’an. If such fear is absent, for example, the entry of Muslims soldiers inside a non-Muslim territory, where the Muslims are dominating the non-Muslims, then the makruh and prohibition ruling are no longer applicable. This is supported by Abu Hanifah, al-Bukhari and others. However, Imam Malik and some of our ashab (al-Syafi’iyyah scholars) hold the opinion that it is a total prohibition (even without reason) [Refer al-Minhaj Syarh Sahih Muslim, 13/13].

Syeikh Wahbah al-Zuhaili said in his book (which means):

“It is prohibited to sell the Qur’an to Muslims for non-Muslim or to non-Muslim, for honouring the Qur’an is obligatory. By selling the Qur’an, it would remove its honour or remove the dignity of the Qur’an. Due to this, the disbelievers (non-Muslims) should be prevented from having an ownership of the Qur’an, and it should be prevented early on.” [Refer Fiqh al-Islami Wa Adillatuh, 3363/5]

This statement is supported by a remark in Mausu’ah al-Fiqh al-Islami (which means):

“It is prohibited to sell or gift the Qur’an to non-Muslim, in fear that the Qur’an would be degraded or insulted, or it would dishonour the Qur’an itself.” [Refer Mausu’ah al-Fiqh al-Islami, 433/3]

The same is stated in fiqh books. Imam al-Nawawi said (which means):

“Our ashab said, the beginning of the ruling from fiqh books, where there is athar salaf (narration and composition from early scholars) taking the ruling (of trade) for mushaf, according to a strong opinion and Imam Mawardi from ashab that issued a syaz (isolated) opinion that said, the buying and selling of hadith and fiqh books to non-Muslims is permissible.” [Refer al-Majmu` Syarh al-Muhazzab, 9/355]

Thus, Qur’anic tafsir (the Qur’an with translation or commentaries) is also one of the books with the same standing as Syari’ah books that are honored and protected from the dangers of degradation if they fall into the non-Muslim hands.

The Opinion that Ruled It Permissible with Conditions

Islamic scholars are inclined towards this opinion, with the reason that the ‘illah (ratio legis) for the prohibition may be out of fear that a degradation towards the Qur’an may happen at the hand of the non-Muslims. Hence, when the ‘illah is absent, then the ruling becomes permissible. This is the opinion of the minority of the scholars especially contemporary scholars, such as Syeikh Muhammad al-Arifi, a member of Rabitah al-‘Alam al-Islami. [Refers http://www.alittihad.ae/details.php?id=141054&y=2007 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsahVW3L6dw]

Meanwhile, some scholars do not consider a copy of a book containing the verses of the Qur’an as a Qur’anic mushaf, with several conditions, thus the prohibition is not applicable for tafsir books and translations. Their arguments are:

1. Al-Qur’an with translation is not a mushaf for it contains the meanings of the verses.
This is as what has been said by al-Imam al-Nawawi in his book al-Majmu’ [See Al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 2/69) (which means):

“If the tafsir content exceeds the Qur’anic verses- and this is usually the case- then there are several opinions and the strongest opinion is that it is not prohibited (to touch or carry it) for it is not considered as a mushaf.”

The same is mentioned by al-Imam al-Nawawi in Raudhah al-Tolibin wa ‘Umdah al-Muftiin (1/80) and Syeikh al-Islam Zakaria al-Ansari in his book Asna al-Matolib fi Syarh Raudh al-Tolib (1/61).

From the words of Imam al-Nawawi above, we understand that Qur’anic tafsir (Qur’anic commentary) or Qur’anic translation is not considered as mushaf and mushaf rulings are not applicable to them.

2. People in hadath (minor or major impure) is permitted to touch al-Qur’an with translation or Qur’anic tafsir
The majority of scholars said that it is permissible to touch, carry or review Qur’anic tafsir, even when it contains the verses of the Qur’an, while one is in the junub state. This is due to the fact that tafsir is meant as to understand the meanings of al-Qur’an and not to recite the verses of the Qur’an. Thus, the ruling of the Qur’an does not apply to it.

This is the opinion of mazhab Maliki and Hanbali. It is mentioned in Syarh Mukhtasar Khalil by al-Imam al-Kharasyi al-Maliki (which means):

“It is permissible for them (in hadath) to touch tafsir.”

The same is stated by al-Imam Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in al-Mughni (1/109) (which means):

“And it is permissible to touch books of tafsir or fiqh, brochures or others, if they contain the verses of Allah, referring to a prophetic evidence, where the Prophet wrote a letter to the king of Rome where the letter contains the verses of the Qur’an, for it is not considered as mushaf and the prohibition is not applicable.”

However, in mazhab Syafie, it is prohibited to touch tafsir if the verses of the Qur’an are more than the tafsir. If the tafsir is more than the verses of the Qur’an, then it is permissible.

Which means: “As for the translation of the Qur’an to other languages (other than Arabic), it is considered as a type of tafsir, as stated by scholars of mazhab Maliki. Thus, it is permissible for a person in hadath to touch it, according to those that hold the opinion that does not prohibit the touching of tafsir books.” [Refer al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 10/38]

This indicates that if someone in hadath is permitted to touch and carry Qur’anic tafsir on the condition that the tafsir contents exceed the verses of the Qur’an, then non-Muslims are also permitted to touch and carry Qur’anic tafsir or its translation if the conditions are fulfilled.

3. The sanctioning of broadcasting the Qur’an to non-Muslims to get them interested in Islam
This is in accordance with a statement of Allah (which means):

“And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Taubah, verse 6]

Imam al-Syafie when commenting on this verse said, when a non-Muslim came and want to know about Islam, then it is the obligation of the leader to give him protection and let him hear the verses of Allah and inviting him to Islam in the hopes that Allah would guide him to embrace Islam [Refer Tafsir Imam al-Syafie, 903-904/2]

Conclusion

Based on the above discussion, we are inclined towards the second opinion that it is permissible for a Muslim to give the copy of Qur’an translation or tafsir, to non-Muslims, provided that he believes that the non-Muslim will not degrade or dishonor the Qur’an. This is due to the hadith that only prohibits the giving of mushaf to the enemy of Islam because they will insult and tarnish the purity and sanctity of the Qur’an. If it is believed they will not dishonor it, then according to some scholars it is permissible because the ‘illah of the law of the danger of insult or dishonor has disappeared.

Whereas according to most scholars, it is permissible to provide a copy containing Qur’anic verses and other words such as interpretations and others which is more than Qur’anic verses, so that they are no longer considered mushaf al-Qur’an. Nevertheless, since the copy still needs to be glorified because it contains the knowledge of Syari’ah, then it should not be given to disbelievers or non-Muslims that is feared could damage and insult it. As for non-Muslims who are believed to respect and maintain its honor, such as community leaders, schools, libraries, and the like, it is permissible to give the Qur’an and its translation.

Wallahua’lam.

Taken with slight changes from http://muftiwp.gov.my


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E-Book Share: Western Muslims and the Future of Islam by Tariq Ramadan.

Western-Muslims-and-the-Future-of-Islam-200x300In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers?

With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe‘s leading thinkers and one of Islam’s most innovative and important voices.

As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslim becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West.

While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context.

French, English, German, and American Muslims–women as well as men–are reshaping their religion into one that is faithful to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies.

Ramadan’s goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West.

He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western societies.

He then shows how these principles can be put to practical use.

Ramadan contends that Muslims can-indeed must-be faithful to their principles while participating fully in the civic life of Western secular societies.

Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam offers a striking vision of a new Muslim Identity, one which rejects once and for all the idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West

Islam and Muslims in Southeast Asia – Speech by Syeikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz.

There is no doubt that this region (Southeast Asia) is in dire need of Islamic activity, the efforts of the callers to Allah, the establishment of Islamic associations, centers, universities, schools, and institutions where Islamic facilities, such as hospitals and institutions, should be available to help Muslims there know their religion and fight against their enemies….

There is no doubt that this region (Southeast Asia) is in dire need of Islamic activity, the efforts of the callers to Allah, the establishment of Islamic associations, centers, universities, schools, and institutions where Islamic facilities, such as hospitals and institutions, should be available to help Muslims there know their religion and fight against their enemies.

This region has been afflicted with destructive ideas and concentrative efforts from the enemies of Allah to Christianize and call its people to Communism, Buddhism and other destructive and wicked beliefs promulgated by many of the enemies of Allah.

Defending Islam is obligatory on the scholars of Islam in Southeast Asia, more than others because they live in the midst of these destructive movements and see and hear about them. So, it is obligatory upon them to strive sincerely to combat these destructive ideas, devilish beliefs, and deviant sects. They must expose falsehood and cooperate concertedly and sincerely to spread Islam, call to it, clarify its rulings, merits, and respond to its opponents. They should also explain the falsehood, deviation, and evil ends of such falsehood mongers.

islam_in_asia_islam_asia_southeastern_1500px_40x40_.tif1It is obligatory on Muslim countries all over the world to help Muslims of this region that is afflicted with destructive beliefs, missionaries, Communism, Buddhism, libertinism, etc. Scholars of Islam everywhere must exert efforts to help their Muslim scholars and callers in this region to stop this imminent danger and to cooperate in fighting them by all legal means.

There is no doubt that establishing Islam in that region, calling to it, and resisting opponents require great effort and continuous care. We hope that the future there will be good as well as in other regions. We ask Allah to make the efforts of callers, reformers, and scholars successful.

It is obligatory on the scholars and callers to Allah everywhere to address the problems of East Asia region first and collect information about them carefully. Moreover, local scholars, callers to Allah, and other foreign callers have to identify its problems and the means of the enemies in missionary movements in order to eradicate the disease and reach a final cure by the permission of Allah.

There is no doubt that we need intensified efforts, patience, and perseverance in all countries; especially Indonesia because it is the biggest Islamic country in terms of the number of Muslims, while Christianization efforts are intense. Therefore, it is obligatory on scholars of Indonesia and the local callers to Allah, and foreign callers to support one another and cooperate in finding suitable solutions and prescribing an effective cure for these problems to resist these evil ideas and wicked beliefs. Hopefully, they will succeed.

When they prove sincere in their cooperation and activities, and when they help one another seriously and sincerely, Allah will grant them victory, help them and protect them from the evil of their enemies. Allah (Glorified be He) states:

“O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” [Al-Quran, Surah Muhammad, verse 7].

“And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. [And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Hajj, verse 40-41].

“…and incumbent upon Us was support of the believers.” [Al-Quran, Surah Ar-Rum, verse 47].

He also says:

Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.“[Al-Quran, Surah An-Nur, verse 55].

This indicates that when Muslims help one another, cooperate, and are sincere, Allah promises them to victory and good return.

muslims_in_2780O callers, scholars, and Muslims everywhere, you should not despair but must hope for all good from Allah. We must exert all possible efforts and be sincere to Allah and to each other, taking all necessary lawful means to call to Allah and struggle against His enemies, hoping for victory and a good end from Allah. We have to resist our enemies, using the same weapons they use: culture, economy, sociology, politics, etc. Let us scrutinize their efforts, actions, wicked plans, and weapons to resist them truthfully and diligently in sincere devotion to Allah and true cooperation among ourselves. This is along with asking Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) for success in our deeds, words, and all our endeavors. Our enemies are always there lurking in wait for calamities to overcome us.

We have to prepare, help one another, and cooperate for the sake of the truth, calling to it and refuting falsehood and its mongers in conformity with Allah’s Commands:

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power…”  [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Anfal, verse 60].

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” [Al-Quran, Surah An-Nahl, verse 125]

There are groups of callers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. May Allah make them a means of benefit and grant them sincerity in calling to Him, directing people to good, and resisting the destructive ways and ideas of the enemies. We have two Da`wah (call to Allah/Islam) offices in Indonesia and Malaysia. We ask Allah to make them useful, bless the causes that help to spread the Islamic call and grant all callers to Islam and all Muslims sincere cooperation and full performance of the duties of Da`wah (calling to Islam) and encouraging them. We also ask Allah (Glorified be He) to help the heads of Islamic societies, centers, institutes, and schools to undertake the duties of Da`wah in cooperation for good and piety.

We ask Allah (Glorified be He) to guide those who work in Islamic hospitals and clinics to carry out their duties. These ways and means are of the most successful factors in calling to the truth and thwarting the plots of the enemies of Allah and Islam. Allah states:

“And say, “Do [as you will], for Allah will see your deeds, and [so, will] His Messenger and the believers. And you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you of what you used to do.” [Al-Quran, Surah At-Tawbah, verse 105].

alhamdulillahActivists must work and devote their intentions to Allah and help one another sincerely in the Islamic way according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him). They must go forth, expecting the best from Allah and not despair of His Help. They must remain committed to overcome the perseverance of the enemies in their falsehood, to help one another more than the enemies do in their error, Kufr (disbelief), and deviation. They should know that the good end is for the righteous and victory is for the believing Slaves of Allah. Allah states:

“So be patient; indeed, the [best] outcome is for the righteous.” [Al-Quran, Surah Hud, verse 49].

“Unquestionably, the party of Allah – they are the successful.” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Mujadila, verse 22].

“And [that] indeed, Our soldiers will be those who overcome.” [Al-Quran, As-Saffat, verse 173].

I would be remiss were I not to thank our government, may Allah grant them success, especially King Fahd ibn `Abdul-`Aziz (may Allah protect him) for the great work and support for this League and the General Presidency for Scientific Research, Fatwa, Da`wah, and Guidance that strive to address the issues of Muslims worldwide and the blessed efforts the government exerts to solve the problems of Muslims, bring about peace and reconciliation between them, console and relieve them in times of crises, calamities, and disasters.

We ask Allah for continued success and support for good.

Sources: Fatwas if Ibn Baz

Amil (Zakat Managers) Among Non-Muslims?

Amil or those who involved with the administration of zakat need to have the criteria and some kind of quality, among them, are; a mukallaf (religiously responsible), healthy body and knowledgeable about zakat matters. Amil is one of the asnaf which has been agreed upon without the dispute between ulama’ (scholars) because the Quranic verse has clearly stated….

Amil or those who involved with the administration of zakat need to have the criteria and some kind of quality, among them, are; a mukallaf (religiously responsible), healthy body and knowledgeable about zakat matters. Amil is one of the asnaf which has been agreed upon without the dispute between ulama‘ (scholars) because the Quranic verse has clearly stated this (Refer to the Qur’an, Surah At-Taubah [9]: 60).

However, there are some khilaf (dispute) on the appointment of amil zakat among non-Muslims. The two sides have two views in this regard:

First View:
Majority of ulama‘ from the schools of Hanafi, Maliki, Syafie and one of the narrations of Imam Ahmad that it is not permissible to grant zakat to non-Muslim amil. Al-Dusuqiyy in ‘Hashiyat al-Dusuqi Ala al-Sharh al-Kabir’ mentions:

Which means: “The scholars of the Maliki sect are of the view that non-Muslim appointments as amil are permissible. (However) His salaries should be taken from Baitulmal (treasurer) and not from zakat fund as they are not entitled to receive it” (Al-Dusuqiyy: 722)

This view is argued by the general argument prohibiting from appointing Non-Muslims to lead Muslims, as in the word of God in Al-Qur’an:

Which means: “And Allah will not give way to the unbelievers to rule over the believers”. (Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Nisa’ [5]: 141)

They also say that between the conditions to be amil must be trusted, thus the disbelievers are not eligible to hold the wealth that only devoted to Muslims.

Second View:
This view is the opinion that should (may) appoint non-Muslims as amil zakat, this is from the second narration of Imam Ahmad. Ibn Qudamah has explained (meaning):

“From Imam Ahmad there is a narrative that allows the amil from non-Muslims based on the general pronouncement of  العاملين عليها, it includes the infidels and Muslims, this is because what amil is taking from zakat’s fund is a reward for his work, then there is no barrier to take it like other things” (Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughniyy: 654).

They argue with the generality pronouncing the word of ‘amil’ in the verse asnaf which means all those who are in charge of amil are entitled to zakat’s fund even in whatever capacity. They explain that amil only takes the wages of his work, so he does not need to be banned from taking his wage (Al-Dusuqiyy).

Among the scholars of the Syafie sect who had the same view is Ibn Hajar al-Haithamiyy(Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih Bukhariy: 329). He mentioned (meaning):

“Zakat is not given to non-Muslims either under the asnaf muallaf or not. Yes, they are allowed to work as clerks, drivers, security guards or the like, even though they are Non-Muslims but are entitled to the salaries from the fund of asnaf amil, as it is calculated as a paid work, not as an asnaf itself”.

Conclusion
To apply this requirement in today’s time, it requires some review on the form of work can be done by non-muslim amil. There is no work that can’t be given to non-Muslim except only to the highly sensitive task which only Muslims can do. However, some job which has no direct relationship with the collection and distributions of zakat, such as front desk officers, regular clerks and general task such as postman, drivers and so on.

In conclusion, originally, amil should be selected among Muslims. However, in certain circumstances, non-Muslims can be given this task if the work is not directly related to the collection or distribution of zakat. Although there is room for non-Muslims to be appointed as amil, however, the authorities, especially the zakat institution, should ensure that this space is not openly unattended for them to manage matters pertaining to Islamic religious affairs including zakat and so forth.

Amil Zakat (Zakat Managers) Among Non-Muslims

Amil or those who involved with the administration of zakat need to have the criteria and some kind of quality, among them are…

Amil or those who involved with the administration of zakat need to have the criteria and some kind of quality, among them are; a mukallaf (religiously responsible), healthy body and knowledgeable about zakat matters. Amil is one of the asnaf which has been agreed upon without the dispute between ulama‘ (scholars) because the Qur’anic verse has clearly states this (Refer to the Qur’an, Surah At-Taubah [9]: 60).

However there are some khilaf (dispute) on the appointment of amil zakat among non-Muslims. The two sides have two views in this regard:

First View:
Majority of ulama‘ from the schools of Hanafi, Maliki, Syafie and one of the narration of Imam Ahmad that it is not permissible to grant zakat to non-Muslim amil. Al-Dusuqiyy in ‘Hashiyat al-Dusuqi Ala al-Sharh al-Kabir’ mentions:

Which means: “The scholars of the Maliki sect are of the view that non-Muslim appointments as amil are permissible. (However) His salaries should be taken from Baitulmal (treasurer) and not from zakat fund as they are not entitled to receive it” (Al-Dusuqiyy: 722)

This view is argued by the general argument prohibiting from appointing Non-Muslims to lead Muslims, as in the word of God in Al-Qur’an:

Which means: “And Allah will not give way to the unbelievers to rule over the believers”. (Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Nisa’ [5]: 141)

They also say that between the conditions to be amil must be trust, thus the disbelievers are not eligible to hold the wealth that only devoted to Muslims.

Second View:
This view is the opinion that should (may) appoint non-Muslims as amil zakat, this is from the second narration of Imam Ahmad. Ibn Qudamah has explained (meaning):

“From Imam Ahmad there is a narrative that allows the amil from non-Muslims based on the general pronouncement of  العاملين عليها, it includes the infidels and Muslims, this is because what amil is taking from zakat’s fund is a reward for his work, then there is no barrier to take it like other things “(Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughniyy: 654).

They argue with the generality pronouncing the word of ‘amil’ in the verse asnaf which means all those who are in charge of amil are entitled to zakat’s fund even in whatever capacity. They explain that amil only takes the wages of his work, so he does not need to be banned from taking his wage (Al-Dusuqiyy).

Among the scholars of the Syafie sect who had the same view is Ibn Hajar al-Haithamiyy (Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih Bukhariyy: 329). He mentioned (meaning):

“Zakat is not given to non-Muslims either under the asnaf muallaf or not. Yes, they are allowed to work as clerks, drivers, security guards or the like, even though they are Non-Muslims but are entitled to the salaries from the fund of asnaf amil, as it is calculated as a paid work, not as an asnaf itself”.

Conclusion
To apply this requirement in today’s time, it requires some review on the form of work can be done by non-muslim amil. There is no work that can’t be given to non-Muslim except only to the highly sensitive task which only Muslims can do. However, some job which has no direct relationship with the collection and distributions of zakat, such as front desk officers, regular clerks and general task such as postman, drivers and so on.

In conclusion, originally, amil should be selected among Muslims. However, in certain circumstances non-Muslims can be given this task if the work is not directly related to the collection or distribution of zakat. Although there is room for non-Muslims to be appointed as amil, however, the authorities, especially the zakat institution, should ensure that this space is not openly unattended for them to manage matters pertaining to Islamic religious affairs including zakat and so forth.