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View Diary: Islam 101: Zakat (43 comments)

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  •  Also (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, Ojibwa, SchuyH, Mary Mike, grannyboots

    have a related question. What are the rules in Islam about usury? And what kind of accountability exists for the charities that receive huge sums of money from the zalat?

    •  Thank you for your kind words. (8+ / 0-)

      Regarding usury, that topic by itself would take a diary to discuss.  However, short answer:  it's forbidden.  Moreover, my research suggests that even one cent over the principal amount is considered usury in Islam.

      As for accountability, I would assume that this will depend upon the organization collecting the money.  Here in Singapore, zakat is collected by MUIS, the government agency that is the liaison for the Muslim community. Their numbers are published in an annual report, and I personally would have a high level of trust that these monies are collected and distributed properly.

      In not-for-profit charitable organizations, such as those in the US, I would assume that these charities are audited annually by CPA firms in order to maintain their tax status.  As for individual mosques that might collect zakat, I couldn't say with any certainty.  However, I would say that theft is a major crime in Islam, and those of us who believe fear the punishment in the Hereafter much more than any Earthly punishment, so we greatly try to avoid that sort of thing.

      Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

      by JDsg on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:13:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Usury haram, but fees are halal (6+ / 0-)

        The "Islamic finance" concept works primarily on the notion of a fee: since these are flat, fixed amounts, it's not considered usury. But there's also the notion that someone who falls behind on the debt isn't forced into immediate foreclosure. So, in that sense, it's somewhat more enlightened than our 21st century banking system.

        But it also makes investments in the 21st century economic system very tricky.

    •  I was reading through one of my blogs... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian, Mary Mike

      ...and found this old post I wrote on riba (usury) from a few years ago.  You might find it of interest:  What is Riba?

      Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

      by JDsg on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:40:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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