Quora Answer: Why Have You Not Tried the Zakat Method of Eliminating Poverty?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is my answer to a Quora question: “Why have you not tried the zakat method of eliminating poverty?

Zakat is not a “method”; it is a religious obligation, one of the pillars of faith.  It involves Muslims giving a tithe on their wealth to certain categories of people in society, such as the poor and destitute, and stranded traveller, and the debtors.  It is meant to alleviate their condition.

Zakat does not eliminate poverty.  If that were true, there would not be hundreds of millions of poor Muslims in Muslim-majority nations all over the world.  Some of the poorest nations are Muslim-majority nations.

The underlying conditions of poverty include disenfranchisement, economic oppression, insitutionalised corruption, a lack of socioeconomic mobility and the concentration of wealth at the top.  Zakat only address the last issue partially.  Zakat does not magically eliminate corruption and oppression, or open up opportunities for the lower classes to better themselves.  This requires political and economic reforms.


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