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Sheikh Ali Al-Qaradaghi highlights the importance of spending money amidst economic and jurisprudential challenges

The President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Dr. Ali Muhiyaddin Al-Qaradaghi, has issued a fatwa directing funds allocated for non-obligatory Umrah or Hajj towards supporting the poor and needy in areas such as Gaza, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and the Rohingya community.

This guidance was given during the fifth episode of the "Sharia and Life in Ramadan" program, focusing on the significance of monetary spending under challenging economic conditions and various challenges, addressing jurisprudential issues related to money and its circulation within society.

Al-Qaradaghi highlighted the suffering of people in the mentioned areas, who are facing starvation, stressing that Muslims are responsible before Allah for aiding these needy individuals.

He explained that failing to support these people is considered a neglect of God's rights, with consequences in the hereafter.

Al-Qaradaghi recommended redirecting funds to assist these needy individuals, noting challenges in delivering this aid. He proposed a suggestion to deliver it through the Mediterranean to countries bordering this sea.

Regarding the timing of spending money as it relates to time and place, the Islamic preacher stated, "When the need for money is greater, the reward is also greater. The month of Ramadan, Mecca, and the recipient all play a significant role in increasing the reward."

He further clarified, "The priority is the need. When a person spends on a needy individual and saves them with this charity, it is considered better in the eyes of Allah than charity given in Ramadan or in Mecca. However, if the charity is given in Ramadan and directed towards those in need, it is the best."

Al-Qaradaghi explained that scholars have arranged the priority of spending in normal circumstances, starting with needy relatives, then people of the region, moving from the closest to the farther. In extraordinary situations like today, zakat is redirected from surplus wealth to regions where people are facing famine and death.

Zakat and Spending Priorities

The President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars mentioned today's dilemma of scarce resources and numerous needy individuals, attributing it to a larger imbalance. He emphasized that zakat is mandated by Allah as an institution, including those who work on its behalf.

He added, "It is the state's duty to collect all types of zakat and funds, both apparent and hidden, and develop a strategic plan for their distribution," suggesting that half of the zakat can be left for the zakat payer to manage for their relatives, while the other half should be directed towards the general state needs."

He highlighted that the Umayyad Caliph Umar ibn Abdul Aziz implemented a strategic plan over three years, moving the community from extreme poverty to sufficiency in the first year, then to adequacy, and finally to complete adequacy (prosperity).

Al-Qaradaghi revealed that in 2007 and 2018, he collected Muslim funds, where the zakat of Muslims in 2018 - excluding sovereign wealth funds and zakat on oil and gas - amounted to between 400 and 500 billion dollars, adding, "With a strategic plan, there would be no poverty, but there is a mismanagement in collecting and distributing funds."

Importance of Spending

The President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars stated that in Islam, spending corresponds to consumption in capitalist and non-capitalist terms. Economically, spending is one of the main reasons for increased production; without spending, there is no production.

He noted that Islam establishes spending and links it to faith and belief, "Money belongs to Allah, and humans are stewards of this wealth. It's imperative to follow Allah's command because spending in Islam is highly esteemed."

He affirmed that doctrinal foundation makes spending money easier, "Allah facilitated spending because we spend Allah's money on the poor," indicating that individuals' ranks with Allah are determined by their spending.

He explained that Allah saves individuals from Hell for multiple reasons, including zakat. When a person gives more than the obligatory zakat, aiming to fulfill the needs of the poor, they earn Paradise and bliss, with the highest level of Paradise reserved for those who prioritize their wealth for good deeds and hasten to perform acts of charity.

He concluded, "The more one's belief in Allah and faith increases, the easier it becomes for a person to spend this money."

Source: Al Jazeera


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