Opinion Editorials, June 2004, To see today's opinion articles, click here: ww.aljazeerah.info




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Can Zakah Be Paid to Non-Muslims?

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 6/4/04

Q. Could you please explain whether zakah can be paid to non-Muslims, and in what circumstances?

K.R. Khan

A. Zakah is an Islamic act of worship aimed at reducing and eradicating poverty within the Muslim community. The Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed Mu’adh ibn Jabal, whom he had appointed as Governor of Yemen, to call on people to believe in God’s oneness and in Muhammad’s message, and to offer the five daily prayers. He then said to him: “When they have accepted this, tell them that God has imposed on them the duty of zakah, which is taken from the rich among them and paid to their poor.” You note how the Prophet’s wording indicates that zakah should be paid to the poor in the Muslim community. This is how it was implemented in the early period of Islam, which indicates the proper model that should be followed in all Muslim communities.

At the turn of the first century of the Muslim calendar, the Muslim state was very rich and everyone benefited. The governor of the Libyan and Tunisian province wrote to the caliph, Umar ibn Abd Al-Azeez, that he could not find poor people to whom he should pay the zakah already collected. The caliph instructed him to pay it to any poor people among the Christian and Jewish citizens. The governor wrote back that none could be found. In fact, zakah money was carried into the market place and placed in public with an invitation to anyone who needs it to come forward and take what he needed. But none did. Umar then instructed his governor to use it in buying slaves and setting them free, as the freeing of slaves is one of the legitimate purposes of zakah.

This should give you a clear answer. Zakah could be paid to non-Muslim citizens only when Muslims’ needs have been satisfied. However, non-Muslims could be helped to alleviate their poverty from other sources of the Muslim state. This is due to the fact that zakah is an Islamic worship and must be spent only in the ways the Qur’an has specified.

Treating Black Magic

Q. Could you please explain the treatment of black magic and how to ensure its effectiveness?

H. Khan

A. Magic is mentioned in the Qur’an, which confirms its existence. Yet the Qur’an makes clear that magic has no substance of reality. The sorcerers who challenged Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) were very skilful, and their magic is described in the Qur’an as “great”, but the Qur’an also says that what those sorcerers produced was nothing but deception that had no reality.

The only treatment I know of is the Qur’an. If you read the Qur’an with reflection on its meaning and trust in its truth, and pray God for protection and help, you will be able to overcome the effects of black magic. It is recommended to read the last two surahs, reflecting on their meaning and trusting in God for help.

Having said that, I should add that much of what people think to be black magic and its effects is nothing but a mental disease, which could be treatable and curable. You need to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist for this.



Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

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