T J Winter on the Islamic System

In an authentically Muslim society, the level of government intervention is insignificant by comparison with the situation under secular materialism, whether socialist or capitalist, since a society whose members know that they are answerable to God is largely self-regulating. Spontaneous charity, channelled particularly through the family structure, renders poverty and homelessness a rarity. Nonetheless, the small levy (usually one-fortieth) called the Zakat is taken from certain categories of liquid and investment assets, to provide for those whose families are – for whatever reason – unable to support them. These funds are also used for purposes such as the liberation of slaves, and returning impoverished travellers to their countries of origin.

In countries of the ‘materialist bloc’, although levels of taxation are cripplingly high, homelessness and vagrancy are increasing fast: in 1988, for instance, there were over half a million registered homeless persons in the British Isles.

Timothy John Winter (Abdal-Hakim Murad), The Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith: Translated, with an Introduction and Notes, The Quilliam Press, London, 1996, p. 18

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