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March 28, 2011

Article: Giving charity to the non-Muslims

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Many Muslims get confused between obligatory charity (zakaah) and voluntary charity (sadaqah).

I had previously posted an article that outlined the differences between the two.

One of the differences is that sadaqah can be given to the non-Muslims. In the above post, I had also linked to a fatwa which stated that it was permissible.

Here’s another article that discusses the permissibility of giving sadaqah to non-Muslims. The information is especially useful for those who have poor non-Muslim relatives or those that live in the non-Muslim lands.

[Some of the laypeople deny that it is permissible but this is incorrect. It is only impermissible if they are at war with the Muslims.]

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http://www.madeenah.com/article.cfm?id=1347

Giving Charity to the non-Muslims

Shaykh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)

As for voluntary charity, then there is no problem in giving it to the poor and needy disbeliever who is not involved in any war with us i.e. the one with whom we have safety, security or a contract of peace – there is no problem with this.

Allah (the Majestic & Exalted) said in His Great Book, in Soorah Al-Mumtahina:

{Allaah does not forbid you to be just and kind to those who did not fight against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity.} [60:08]

So Allaah (the Glorified & the Most High) informed us that He does not prevent us from this. He said: Allaah does not prevent you from kindness and justice with those who do not fight you nor expel you from your homes. Charity is from amongst the channels of kindness.

Also, the mother [1] of Asmaa bint Abee Bakr As-Siddeeq (May Allaah be pleased with her) came to Madeenah in the days of the truce, seeking charity and aid from her. Asmaa (may Allaah be pleased with her) asked permission from the prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) for this. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) granted her permission to give charity to her and show goodness to her. He said, ((maintain your ties of kinship with her.))

The intent by this is that there is no problem in showing goodness and giving charity to the poor amongst your relatives who are disbelievers or other than your relatives.

This is the case when there is peace between you and them; they live under your security or there exists a contract of safety. As for the one who is fighting against us in a state of war then no, we don’t give them anything, neither a little amount nor a large amount.

As for donating Zakaah to them, then no; it is not given to them [the disbelievers] except those people who [come under the category of those] ‘whose hearts are inclined to Islaam.’

So Zakaah is given to those who we wish to attract [to Islaam] from amongst the influential ones amongst the people, the tribesmen; the people who, if Zakaah was given to them, it is hoped they will accept Islaam and also those who are under their authority will accept Islaam – thereby repelling harm upon the Muslims. This is because these people are the leaders and the influential persons. Zakaah is given to them because Allaah (the Exalted) said in his Great Book,

{As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakaat) is only for the poor, the needy, those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who are inclined (towards Islaam)} [09:60]

[The category of] those whose hearts we wish to reconcile by giving to them Zakaah includes:

1. The Muslim – the one who is weak in his faith, from the Bedouins or other than them.

2. The Disbeliever – the one who is shown kindness to hoping from him that he will accept Islaam, prevent evil upon the Muslims or that those who are under his authority will accept Islaam. There is nothing wrong with giving Zakaah to this person.

As for the common people from amongst the disbelievers, then they are not to be given any wealth from the Zakaah, but they can be given from charity other than Zakaah and this is because they are in need and poor.


Footnotes:
[1] She was a disbeliever at the time.

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