Just think about all the money Muslims owe in Zakat -- the 2.5 percent annual levy that God has imposed on their savings.

Zakat is a powerful and unique system of social and economic justice, as well as personal and societal purification, that God has placed in the hands of the Muslims.

No, no, no. I am not asking if Muslims give Zakat. I am not asking how many of them do -- and how much.

I am only asking where does their Zakat money go and how does it actually get spent?

"Good question," wouldn't you say?

All the Muslim organizations that so hungrily and single-mindedly chase after Muslim Zakat, throughout America and UK -- a new Muslim cult would you say? -- just how do they spend that Zakat money?

What do they do with it? Does anyone know?

END

To all those who have been associated with me in this thing we call Working for Allah, for all these years, I have always maintained the following:

1. Don't forget that your first consideration should be your personal safety and physical wellbeing -- along with your family's and dependents'.

And in fact your entire society's and the whole world's.

For, you are the keeper of not only your own personal interests but also of the best interests of all of human family and the whole world.

2. Second on the list should be your own economic wellbeing and prosperity, which of course automatically means your family's and dependents'.

And in fact your entire society's and the whole world's.

How in the world do you think you will ever fulfil God's Commandment of Wa Aatuz-Zakaata, when you can't even eke out a decent living for yourself and your dependents?

And when the social, cultural and economic life and wellbeing of your community and society and the whole world is in a perpetual slide downhill, right in front of your eyes?

3. Then, when you have attended to all this, you can say comes the turn of what you so casually call "Islam," by which you usually mean "Leave It To God, It Is Not My Business Anyway!"

Or alternatively, "Me and My Rituals." Whatever that means!

4. Or you can call the whole package Islam and marvel at how God Almighty made your own health, wealth and wellbeing -- and your family's and society's and the entire world's health, wealth and wellbeing -- not only a part but the very core of your Deen.

That is right: Deen! What so many of you so foolishly and stubbornly -- following the rest of a very misguided and misinformed world -- have been calling your "Religion."

The world may have a Religion. In fact, it has many. Much of which it made up all by itself.

But you don't have a "Religion." You have a Deen. Given to you by God Almighty himself.

And Islam is, and has always been, as you know or should have known, free from the false and malicious charge -- or blemish -- of being a "Religion."

If this does not prove to you that Islam is from God -- and the Qur'an is from God -- nothing ever will.

And, also, by the way, go and check how often God Almighty, in the Qur'an, couples the commandment to give the Zakat with the commandment to establish Salat!

Then you will begin to understand what Islam is really all about. (Dr. Pasha)

I am not sure, but I have this vague recollection that some time ago I ran into a report of some kind on Annual Muslim Giving – charitable gifts and donations, I mean, that Muslims give away each year.

And I suspect it was from the United Nations.

And that report said something to the effect that Muslims around the world give in charitable donations, of one kind or another, on a yearly basis, between US$200 million and US$1 trillion in Zakat – and other charities.

Zakat is Obligatory Annual Giving of at least 21/2 percent of one’s accumulated wealth and assets. Islam requires that of all its wealthy adherents. Just like Islam requires that everyone perform five-times-a-day obligatory “Prayers,” called Swalaat, and also observe a full month of daylong fasting – abstinence from food, drink and sex – during the month of Ramadan.

And just as Islam also makes it compulsory for all well-to-do followers of the faith to perform the Pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in a lifetime, provided they can afford it, financially and otherwise.

My very first reaction, I recall, on reading that report, from the UN or some other source, was: “Wow! Man!

Then I am sitting here, even now, and saying to myself: Mashallah! Subhanallah! Alhamdulillah!

And a whole lot of La Ilaha Illallah!

And Allahu Akbar!

Which all in colloquial English more or less translates to: “Wow! Man!

And then my brain does what it always does: Fill the space between my ears with all kinds of questions. Questions that I don’t always have the courage – or the tact and wisdom – to raise or share with others, especially my fellow-Muslims.

Here I will try and share – articulate – just one or two of the safer and more benign of those questions that assault my consciousness from all directions.

Question Number One

If, somehow, the outer figure of one trillion US dollars is true as the Zakat and charity amount that is given out by Muslims annually, then, how much money do Muslims have stashed away that they can take out one $trillion from it and give it out in charity every year?

I am saying “stashed away,” because Zakat is due only on money that has been put away for a year. If your stack of money has been sitting around for only 10 or 11 months, and not for a whole year, then no Zakat can be levied on that money.

So, how many … what is the word I am looking for? …“Trillions” of American dollars is that?

I don’t know if you understand this, but a $trillion is really a ton of money. It is, I am told, actually a thousand $billion.

That is right, thousand times billion, which in figures would mean 1000 X 1,000,000,000. That would be numeral 1 followed by nine 0s.

And then a $billion is simply a thousand times a $million, right? That is what I think. Just take out the last three zeros from the previous equation for a $trillion and make it look like: 1000 X 1,000,000. Number 1 followed by six 0s, and that should give you a $billion – I think.

Ask someone who knows better, someone who can really count. Don’t ask your Christian friends, though. For, they may tell you 1 = 3 and that will nicely mess up your math.

I don’t know, but I have a feeling you are looking at more or less US$40 billion. Oops, did I say “billion”? No, make it Trillion, as in US$40 Trillion, with a capital T.

That is how much money is rattling around in Muslim coffers. And that to me is a fair amount of change.

Mind you, this figure applies to only known Zakatable assets. It says nothing about all the other moneys hidden under or inside a mattress or a pillow, or inside some kind of a personal bank.

By the way, what do Muslims call their “Piggy Banks”?

So, this was the safe question I thought I would ask. Now let us take a peek at the other question, the one the thought of asking which frightens me.

The Question I Am Too Frightened to Ask

Here, then, is the question I am simply too frightened to ask. I have been for years. And that question is: What is the correct percentage of Zakat that should be calculated on what I would euphemistically call “Ill-Gotten Wealth”?

In other words, how much of one’s stolen money – money people in one way or another “stole” from others – should be given away in charity so that it would become clean and “Halaal”?

Should it be one percent, 10 percent or 100 percent? I don’t know the answer to that question. All I am doing is just asking the question.

If my question sounds too scary to you, even to contemplate it, and I told you how scared I myself feel asking it, then I would suggest you ask a rather more naïve question and let things rest at that: Just from where, and how, did these folks get this money?

Now, that is not such a bad question to ask, is it?

END

(Dr. Pasha)

I know it is a typical American expression, Con Game, and many in the world may or may not know it. But it is a fairly harmless one and all it means is a great big trick.

It means an act of deception and fraud – short from “confidence.”

The way it works is you first try and win the “confidence” of someone and then, when you have achieved that goal, proceed to trick, fool and deceive that person by relieving them of their money, valuables and such.

Hence the name Con Game.

Do you think I am secretly spreading American culture around the world? You bet I am.

But I am not doing it secretly. And I am not a betting man, so I will quickly add: Astaghfirullah! [...]

“Every time Allah talks about Salaat or Prayers in the Qur’an, he almost invariably couples it with Zakaat or Charity – the economic-financial levy of two-and-a-half percent that God imposed upon well-to-do Muslims.

But every time Muslims talk about Salaat, they almost always pair it up with Siyaam or Fasting. And then Muslims boast that they never did to the Qur’an what the Christians and Jews did to the Bible – change it, I mean.

For, Muslims very neatly set asunder – Salaat and Zakaat – what God Almighty joined together in the Qur’an.” (Dr. Pasha)