Ummah Global Relief : Those who expand the meaning of “in the way of God” depend on the original linguistic meaning of the term, while those who restrict the meaning to fighting for God’s cause (who are the majority of scholars from the four schools of jurisprudence) depend on two points: that zakah must be made owned by the recipient,34 and that public interest projects are not one of the eight categories. The verse is exclusive because it begins, “The sadaqat are only for . . .” as is the saying, “Indeed, God gives His ruling on zakah, and divides it into eight parts. . . .” This is presented as argument by Ibn Qudamah in al Mughni.35
Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi – Ummah Global Relief
As for the first point, the preposition used with the category of the sake of God is “in” [fi], which dose not imply ownership. Based on this distinction, scholars say it is permissible to buy and free slaves or pay debts of the deceased from zakah, although zakah paid in these cases is not owned by the recipients. Moreover, the requirement of making zakah owned by the recipients is fulfilled when zakah is paid to the government’s zakah agency. Once received by the state, it can be spent at the state’s discretion. As for the second point, the restriction of the expenditure of zakah proceeds to the eight categories cannot convince those who expand the meaning of ‘for the sake of God’, because they always argue that things like building mosques are included in the share of fi sabil Allah. It is necessary to determine whether this category is restricted to fighting and defending Muslim or covers other public interests too. To do this, we must survey the use of this term in the Qur’an.
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