Quora Answer: According to Islam, if I Pay Tax, Do I Have to Pay Zakat as Well?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is my answer to a Quora question: “According to Islam, if I pay tax, do I have to pay zakat as well?

Your taxes are your social obligation, to pay for the upkeep of the state and the functioning of its institutions.  Your zakat is your religious obligation to be distributed to any of the eight categories of recipients: the poor, the destitute, the administrators of zakat, the recently converted or considering conversion, the debtor, the slave seeking freedom, the stranded traveller, and those striving in the way of God, such as scholars.

If zakat were to be considered fulfilled simply because we pay our tax, we might as well deduct our utility bills, our internet bills, our car insurance, and everything else, from our zakat obligation.  If that were the case, there would be no zakat to collect.


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