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Difference between Zakaat and Tax

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

What is the difference between Zakat and the Tax? I live in Canada and the tax money we pay is spent for everything, including the poor, the homeless, the needy, the security of the people and the country, the law and order, etc. etc. Now the Zakat during our Prophet (saws) was also spent in the same way. May be in other countries their tax money is not spent like in Canada so they have to pay zakat; but since we pay a heavy sum of money on tax we cannot afford to pay zakat which to our knowledge is one and the same, i.e. it is spent on the poor also. Please advise. Thank you and may Allah bless you and your institute. 


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Difference between Zakaat and Tax

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Zakat is an obligatory charity/tax levied by Allah Subhanah on the believers; and conventional tax is a levy laid upon the people by a government to finance the running of a country and the welfare of its people.


There is no doubt that in countries like Canada, the government uses a huge portion of the tax collected to create a welfare state, giving free education, health-care, unemployment benefits, etc. to its citizens. In a proper Islamic State, the government will not levy a tax, but will collect the zakaah and spend it as commanded by Allah Subhanah to create a welfare Islamic State for its citizens.


The reason one pays taxes in countries like Canada is that it is the requirement by law to remain in that country; not because of the love or pleasure of Allah Subhanah! Zakat is a right which is due to Allah according to Islamic Law; and a duty laid upon every believer to purify his wealth; which every believer pays for the sole reason to win the Pleasure of Allah Subhanah. Thus, whether a believer stays in Canada (where he is levied heavy taxes by the Canadian government) or whether a believer lives in the Arabian Gulf States (where there is absolutely no personal taxes levied); it is a prescribed duty upon him to pay the zakaah dues as commanded by Allah Subhanah, and his only intention is to purify himself and win Allahís Pleasure and Good Will.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 92 Surah Al Layl verses 17-21:And away from it (Hell Fire) shall be kept the most pious one; who gives away his wealth in order to purify himself. He has received no favors from anyone for which he may have to return a reward. He seeks only the good will of his Lord, The Exalted; and He will certainly be well-pleased (with him).


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahís Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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