2013 Ramadan PrayerZakat (almsgiving) is one of the five pillars of Islam and therefore required for all Muslims. Zakat is the systematic giving of 2.5% of one’s wealth each year to benefit the poor.

Zakat is based off the “wealth” of a Muslim, not income. For instance the Zakat calculator for the Zakat Foundation of America helps to calculate the amount a Muslim should give by requesting their cash on hand in bank accounts, money loaned to others, expected tax refunds, the value of gold, silver and other precious items, stocks, bonds, IRA’s, and business assets.

Muslims believe that neglecting to give zakat can result in damnation, and is a sign of hypocrisy. Charity in Islam is different than in the western world. In Christianity charity means to give to someone in need. In Islam, it can go to the poor, but it also can go to fund jihad.

The Qur’an, Sura 9:60, gives eight categories for the distribution of zakat. These categories include the poor, those short of money, zakat workers, those who hearts are to be reconciled, slaves purchasing their freedom, those in debt, those fighting for Allah and travelers needing money.  Those fighting for Allah are to be given enough “to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent.” Islamic law scholars also indicate that zakat should also be given to support the families during the time the fighter is away.

In June, Sheikh Abdel Moneim Mohammed, imam of the al-Nour mosque in Cairo said in one of his sermons, “With the recent events in the region, in Syria in particular, some associations are using zakat as a cover to raise funds for fighters. Some associations and small mosques even called for ‘money jihad’ or ‘jihad al-zakat’ to send money to those fighters.”

The Ahsania Mission Zakat Fund, lists these eight categories on their website.  This particular fund collects zakat money on four continents and lists contacts and addresses for donations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

A Canada Revenue Agency audit revealed an Islamic charity, Mississauga’s Islamic Society of North America, gave more than $280,000 to a Pakistan-based agency that the government fears supported the Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant group that wants to see Kashmir secede from India.

The terrorist organization, Hamas, published an article on their website in May called “Jihad with Money” calling on its readers to give zakat generously. The article claims the term “Jihad with Money” has two different meanings. One is to give money for charitable causes, but the second speaks of a special meaning, “to make money for combat.” The money for combat included weapons, gear, clothing, weapon factories and support for the families of terror fighters.

Prayer Points:

Ask God to expose to Muslims the fact that some of the funding they expect is going to help the poor is actually (according to their leaders) assisting to fund Jihad.

Pray that Jihadi forces will not fight against western armies where funding has come from zakat.

Pray that western governments will prohibit Islamic charities based in western nations from distributing zakat funds for Jihad.

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