Zakāt is fundamental obligation – quite literally a pillar of Islam and a subject of detailed, intricate rulings. Given we are in the blessed month of Ramadān, this means that we are in a period where Muslims are more likely to give their Zakāt money. With predictions of global Zakāt funds reaching $600 billion each year and talk of it stimulating an economy in recession following a global pandemic, its use – and potential misuse – is the focus of many.
There are Muslim organisations – some doing amazing work in the service of Muslims – which will adopt fiqh approaches and views that open Zakāt categories. This allows them to cover any cost in the organisation. This situation is a travesty as it puts Muslims in a precarious position; on the one hand we condemn deformist approaches promoted by counter-extremists and traitors, on the other, we adopt them at the level of usul if it suits our agenda. If an organisation adopts an approach to open the categories of Zakāt that leads to Zakāt money being spent on counter-extremists and deformists (see NZF, as an example, which has since made changes), we have little standing when we have contributed to its methodological normalisation in pursuit of our own causes and ends.