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Zakat and sadaqah  >  Taking Zakat by Force

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Taking Zakat by Force

Question: There are Syrian writers who claim that in Islam the State can take zakat of trade goods by force from the wealthy. Can the State take zakat by force?
The State cannot take these five types of goods: amwal-i batina (hidden wealth), sadaqah al-fitr, udhiyyah, nazr, kaffarah. (Sharh on Quduri)

Of the kinds of zakatable assets, gold, silver, and trade goods are called amwal-i batina. A wealthy person must give zakat on them himself or herself. Zakatable livestock and agricultural produce are called amwal-i zahira (apparent wealth). The State can give the zakat of amwal-i zahira, which is collected by zakat collectors, to seven classes of zakat recipients. (Radd-ul-Mukhtar)

Question: Are all opinions of the antagonists of the four madhhabs wrong? For example, based on the hadith “The poor have additional claims other than zakat on the property,” they say that the State can take by force the property of those who do not give sadaqah. Is it wrong, too?
The writer who is antagonists of the four madhhabs misinterprets the hadith-i sharif you have mentioned.

This hadith-i sharif shows that sadaqah (voluntary charity given with the intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah) is among voluntary acts of worship, not that it is fard like zakat because it was stated that there would be torment in Hell for those who did not pay zakat to the poor. No torment was mentioned for those who do not pay sadaqah. Much thawab was promised for giving sadaqah.

Similarly, it is stated in a hadith-i sharif that a Muslim has five rights over another Muslim. Islamic scholars unanimously said that, of these five rights, greeting with salam, visiting the sick, and accepting an invitation when one is invited were not fard.

In our religion wealth on which zakat has been paid is not considered hoarded up or illegitimate. No one can take it by force. It is stated in hadith-i sharifs:

(Wealth on which zakat has been paid is not that which is hoarded up.) [Abu Dawud]

(Protect your wealth against harm by giving zakat on it.) [Hakim]

As is seen, wealth on which zakat has been paid is not considered kanz (that which is hoarded up). One who gives zakat has paid the right of one’s wealth. No one can take it. A hadith-i sharif says:
(It is not lawful [halal] to take a Believer’s possession without his permission.) [Abu Dawud]

A person's possession cannot be used without his/her permission. (Durr-ul-Mukhar)


Date of Update
2 Şubat 2023 Perşembe
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