Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Season of begging: Brotherhood politicizes zakat al-fitr

Sunday 24/May/2020 - 07:05 PM
The Reference

Doaa Emam

As is the custom of the Brotherhood in politicizing religion and interpreting texts in line with its interests, Khaled Hanafi, the group’s Grand Mufti in Europe, said that paying zakat al-fitr to another country is not permissible, contradicting the jurisprudence of the imams, the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as the Brotherhood attempts to have funds pour into its pockets abroad, especially as they suffer from a lack of funding.

Like other extremist organizations, the Brotherhood uses mosques as a place for ideological education and mobilization, as well to obtain donations, especially since Islamic centers in Europe and America are used by the Brotherhood to collect zakat funds from their supporters. 

This is not the first time that the Brotherhood has taken advantage of the timing of zakat payments to launch fatwas on the necessity of financially supporting the group abroad, as Brotherhood leader Mahmoud al-Sharqawi, a public relations official and spokesman for the American Council for Islamic Organizations, posted video clips of the Muslim Caucus of America on June 4, 2019, the first day of Eid al-Fitr requesting the attendees to pay zakat al-fitr to the imam before performing the prayer.

Muhammad al-Barr, brother of Brotherhood mufti Abd al-Rahman al-Barr and a member of the Guidance Bureau known for his constant bias towards the group and incitement against Egypt through their contact with human rights organizations and giving them false reports on the situation and the need to deliver zakat funds to institutions affiliated with the group.

Sheikh Khaled al-Jundi, a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, responded on a radio program on Egypt’s Channel 1, that what was stated by Hanafi contradicts the jurisprudence of the imams based on the Quran and Sunnah, as the Quran says: {Alms are meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer them, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves and help those in debt, for God’s cause, and for travelers in need. This is ordained by God; God is all knowing and wise.} [Surat al-Tawbah 9:60].

According to a study prepared by Dr. Abdul Khaleq Farouq, an economist and former director of the Nile Center for Economic Studies, on the wealth and resources of the Brotherhood and how their size reached huge numbers, zakat and charity are among the most prominent sources of funding for the group.

The study revealed that the Brotherhood’s economic activity is based on several pillars, the first of which are the mosques as the focus of collecting funds from zakat, donations and charity, followed by the sums collected from the members and supporters of the organization, and then the economic activities owned by the group and its members, in addition to the International Relief Movement and other charitable societies and affiliated with the group.

A study prepared by the European Center for the Study of Terrorism and Intelligence in July 2019 also addressed the displacement of Brotherhood leaders to European countries, as this phenomenon did not just begin after the revolution of June 30, 2013, but was preceded by several similar experiences that started in the1960s through the incursion into European countries and spreading the Brotherhood ideology by setting up Islamic centers and trying to create a parallel society, allied with other terrorist groups such as ISIS, and to spread extremist ideas in these countries and attempt to disrupt their social cohesion.