Category Archives: Zakat

Ummah Global Relief “The term “sabil Allah” associated with spending”

Ummah Global Relief: The term “sabil Allah,” when associated in the Qur’an with spending, is used in two ways:  
1. The general meaning, derived from the original linguistic one, covers all virtues and good deeds, as in the verses, “The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear hath a hundred grains. God giveth manifold increase to whom He pleases,” “Those who spend their substance in the cause of God, and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” No one can claim that “sabil Allah” is restricted to fighting for God’s cause in these verses. Condescension and insult to the recipient mentioned in the verse can only be done toward the poor and needy. “Sabil Allah” has a broad meaning in the

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi – Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief
Ummah Global Relief

verse, “and those who hoard in treasures gold and silver, and spend it not in the way of God, promise them severe punishment,” as stated by Ibn Hajar, and is not restricted to fighting. Otherwise, giving wealth to the poor, needy, and wayfarer would be a form of hoarding.37 Some contemporary writers claim that “sabil Allah,” when associated with spending, is restricted to fighting,38 but such a claim is unsupported by evidence.  2. The second meaning restricts “sabil Allah” to supporting the religion of God, fighting its enemies, and raising high the word of God on earth. The context within which the term is used determines whether it refers to the broad or restricted meaning. When the term is used in association with the idea of fighting for God’s sake, it must also mean spending for His cause, as in, “And spend of your substance in the way of God and make not your own hands contribute to your destruction,”39 “Spending” here refers to rasing high the word of God by fighting the enemies of Islam, because fighting in the way of God is mentioned in the verse before it. Other examples are the verses, “And what cause have ye why ye should not spend in the way of God? for to God belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. Not equal among you are those who spent (freely) and fought before the victory (with those who did so later); those are higher in rank than those who spent (freely) and fought afterward, but to all God has promised a goodly (reward),”40 and “against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of God and your enemies and others besides , whom ye may not know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of God shall be repaid unto you and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”41   
It is obvious that.”in the way of God” refers to fighting the enemies of God, as elucidated by the correct saying, “He who fights to make the word of God supreme is fighting for the sake of God”.42 This specific meaning is what is usually called jihad, but it must be noted that support of the cause of God includes more than fighting, especially when the term used is “make jihad in the way of God.” 

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Ummah Global Relief “The term ‘sabil Allah’ in Qur’an”

Ummah Global Relief: The term ‘sabil Allah’ appears in the Qur’an more than sixty times,36 in either of two ways: more frequently preceded by the preposition “in” [fi] as in the verse on zakah

Zakah Distribution – Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief
Ummah Global Relief

distribution, and twenty-three times preceded by the preposition “from” [‘an]. In those twenty-three places the term is preceded by one of two verbs that mean to prevent or mislead, such as “Those who reject faith and keep off (people) from the way of God have verily strayed far, far away from the path,” “The unbelievers spend their wealth to hinder (people) from the path of God . . .” and “But there are among people those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning) to mislead (people) from the Path of God.” When the term sabil Allah is preceded by. “in”, as in the verses “Spend in the way of God,” and those who migrate in the way of God,” “fighting in the way of God,” “those who fight in the way of God,” they kill and they are killed,” and “and do not say about those killed in the way of God ‘they are dead,'” how should the term be interpreted?
The word sabil is “way” and “sabil Allah” is the path that seeks the nearness and pleasure of God. God sent prophets to guide His creatures to Him, and ordained the last of His messengers to “call for the way of thy Lord with wisdom and kind preaching,” and ordered His Messenger to “Say: This is my Way; I do invite unto God on evidence clear as sight itself–I and whoever follows me .” Opposition to the way of God is the way of the taghut or evil transgression, which is called for by Satan and his followers, and which ends at the Fire and earns the wrath of God. Comparing these two ways, God says, “Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil.” Those who call to the way of God are few, those who prevent people from it many: “They spend their wealth in order to prevent (people) from the way of God,” “and there are people who buy vain talk in order to divert from the way of God,” “and if you obey most of those who are on earth, they would divert you from the way of God. The responsibilities and demands of the way of’ God are sizable, and worldly desires of people usually stand against it. The Qur’an warns against pursuing these desires: “and do not follow your whims, because that indeed shall take you astray from the way of God.” If enemies of God expend money and effort to prevent people from the way of God, it is the duty of the supporters of God’s cause to sacrifice effort and wealth in the way of God. This is why Islam devotes part of obligatory zakah to this cause, in addition to the general encouragement of believers to spend for the sake of God.

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Ummah Global Relief “Analysis and weighin”

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

Ummah Global Relief
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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Ummah Global Relief “Contemporary opinions”

Ummah Global Relief : In his commentary on the Qur’an, the late Jamal al Din al Qasimi quotes without comment al Razi’s statement that the apparent meaning of the term is not restricted to fighters, the statement attributed by al Qaffal to some jurists, and a statement from al Taj, that every way intended for God which is good in itself is included under “for the sake of God.”27  

Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief
Ummah Global Relief

Rashid Rida, in al Manar, says: The truth is that the sake of God includes all public interests of Muslims necessary for the establishment of religion and state, not including individual interests. Thus pilgrimage is not included because it is an individual obligation required from those who can afford it, but the general establishment of the pillar of pilgrimage is included. Spending  zakah on building highways for pilgrimage and providing pilgrims with water and health services are included if there are no better uses in the way of God.”28 He continues, “The sake of God covers all legitimate public interests by which religion and state are maintained. No doubt fighting and buying weapons and spending on soldiers top this list. Fighting that is meant here is that which is done in order to make God’s word supreme on earth. A similar view is reported from Muhammad bin ‘Abd al Hakam, who includes in this share of zakah building military and charitable hospitals, roads and armies, non-commercial railroads, military airports, fortifications, and military ships. Also included are expenses of training and travelling for speakers, writers, and the like who go to the lands of unbelievers to inform them about Islam and spread the word of God. God says ‘let there be among you a group that calls for good  .  

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Ummah Global Relief “Those who expand the meaning of “for the sake of God” Zakat”

Ummah Global Relief: Some scholars, early and contemporary, tend to expand the meaning of the term “for the sake of God,” to include good deeds in general, in accordance with the original indication of the term. Al Razi in his commentary on the Qur’an remarks that the apparent meaning of the term fi sabil Allah is not restricted to fighters. He adds, “For this reason, al Qaffal’s explanation of the verse mentions that some jurists allow spending sadaqat on all kinds of good deeds, including supplying coffins for the deceased and building fortifications and mosques, since ‘in the way of God’ covers all these.”18  But al Razi does not name these jurists, and makes no comment on his quote from al Qaffal. 

Fiqh al Zakah (Vol. II), Dr. Yusuf al Qardawi- Ummah Global Relief

Ummah Global Relief
Ummah Global Relief

Ibn Qudamah attributes this opinion to Anas bin Malik and al Hasan al Basri, who say “Zakah given on bridges and highways is acceptable.”19 He concludes that this statement allows expending zakah on building and repairing bridges and roads, but Abu ‘Ubaid’s elucidation of the context of this statement gives it a different meaning. He explains that Muslim merchants used to pass through the ‘ushr officers’ booth on bridges and highways to pay dues on merchandise brought in the country (25% percent of the value of the merchandise). Abu ‘Ubaid reports that some Followers, including Ibrahim and al Sha’bi say it is permissible to count what is paid to those tax officers as obligated zakah. This is explicitly attributed to al Hasan, who, Abu ‘Ubaid argues, agrees with Anas, Ibrahim, al Shaibah, and Muhammad bin ‘Ali.20 A similar story is reported by Ibn Abi Shaibah from Anas and al Hasan, under the title of “counting what is paid to ‘ushr officers as zakah.”21 Ibn Qudamah’s understanding of the statement by Anas and al Hasan is thus incorrect, since “given on bridges” means paid at bridges and not spent on bridge construction and repair. 

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