In his recent message, Osama bin Laden “called on Muslims to donate money to support the global Jihad, stating that the Zakat (i.e. alms tax) paid by one rich Muslim trader would suffice to cover the costs of Jihad on all fronts.”
Zakat for jihad? Is that Islamic? Well, before dismissing bin Laden’s interpretation of zakat, here’s a quote from Yusuf al-Qaradawi, perhaps the premiere voice of Sunni Islam, on zakat and jihad, and how the latter is to a great extent dependent on the former:
“Today Muslim land is occupied in Palestine, Kashmire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Somalia, Cyprus, Samarqand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Albania and serveral other occupied countries. Declaring holy war to save these Muslim lands is an Islamic duty, and fighting for such purposes in those occupied territories is the Way of Allah for which zakat must be spent…. The most important form of jihad today is serious, purposefully organized work to rebuild Islamic society and state and to implement the Islamic way of life in the political, cultural and economic domains. This is certainly most deserving of zakat. “
Considering that paying zakat is a central duty of every Muslim — one of the Five Pillars — how many Muslims worldwide are funding the jihad, directly or indirectly?