International Science Index

The Importance of Zakat in Struggle against Circle of Poverty and Income Redistribution

This paper examines how “Zakat” provides fair income redistribution and aids the struggle against poverty. Providing fair income redistribution and combating poverty constitutes some of the fundamental tasks performed by countries all over the world. Each country seeks a solution for these problems according to their political, economic and administrative styles through applying various economic and financial policies. The same situation can be handled via “zakat” association in Islam. Nowadays, we observe different versions of “zakat” in developed countries. Applications such as negative income tax denote merely a different form of “zakat” that is being applied almost in the same way but under changed names. However, the minimum values to donate under zakat (e.g. 85 gr. gold and 40 animals) get altered and various amounts are put into practice. It might be named as negative income tax instead of zakat, nonetheless, these applications are based on the Holy Koran and the hadith released 1400 years ago. Besides, considering the savage and slavery in the world at those times, we might easily recognize the true value of the zakat being applied for the first time then in the Islamic system. Through zakat, governments are able to transfer incomes to the poor as a means of enabling them achieve the minimum standard of living required. With regards to who benefits from the Zakat, an objective and fair criteria was used to determine who benefits from the zakat contrary to the notion that it was based on peoples’ own choices. Since the zakat is obligatory, the transfers do not get forwarded directly but via the government and get distributed, which requires vast governmental organizations. Through the application of Zakat, reduced levels of poverty can be achieved and also ensure the fair income redistribution.

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