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Hamas mandates zakat in Gaza

July 21, 2012

This Ramadan, Hamas is joining the ranks of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Sudan in making zakat compulsory on people and businesses in Gaza.

The Koran mandates that zakat, the two and one-half percent wealth tax of Islam, be allocated to eight groups of people, one of which is those fighting for the cause of Allah.  Hamas probably justifies this new levy partly on that basis.  Corruption in Gaza is well known, and this money will never make it into the pockets of the poor as “alms.”  It’ll just be more cash for Hamas officials to play with.

Recall that Ramadan, which began yesterday, is the major fundraising season for Islam via zakat.  Many Islamists rightly realize that Ramadan is their biggest opportunity for revenues to sustain themselves over the coming year.

From AFP on July 17:

Gaza to make alms giving compulsory

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ruling Gaza said on Tuesday is to begin deducting the previously optional “zakat,” or alms, from firms and individuals during Ramadan.

The Zakat Foundation created by Hamas will begin deducting the money during the Muslim holy fasting month that begins on Thursday or Friday “from the taxes on firms,” its chief Rami al-Khatib told AFP.

“This will begin as an optional measure before becoming obligatory,” he said, adding that the authorities would strive “not to increase the amounts” to be deducted from individuals.

Khatib said the aim was to “collect funds for zakat and distribute it to the poor.”

In the West Bank, the rival Palestinian Authority’s religious affairs minister Mahmud Habbash said the decision was illegal.

“We warn citizens against this because it’s illegal,” he told a news conference in the town of Ramallah. “What’s dangerous is that they want to oblige people to pay zakat and that’s illegal and raises many doubts.”

The move amounted to “a threat for zakat funds,” he said.

Happy Ramadan!

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One comment

  1. Subject: Ramadan zakat for poor ophan & widows women
    From: Dr. Mrs. rukiyat ali
    Date: july 28, 2012
    Dear,
    Salam Alai Kum Wa Rahmat Ullah Wa Bara Katu Hu
    I am Dr. Mrs. rukiyat ali. I am general secretary of Women & Children Charitable Home Society. In our society we have 493 poor orphan children And old poor widows women. Sir unfortunately our society building was fully collapsed and our rooms was damaged. Now our society members are stay in open area without roof in tents. I request you please help to our poor society and send help what ever you like.
    We have no arrangement for this coming Ramadan expenses. This time our society is very shorts of funds. Kindly help to our poor and send help medicines, food, clothes and blankets. And children education help of our society. We are needy for your kind help and kind attention
    Thank you so much waiting your kind urgent and positive reply
    Allah Hafiz
    Yours faithfully
    Dr. Mrs. rukiyat ali
    (General secretary)
    Women & Children Charitable Home
    Email: rukiyatali@hotmail.com



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