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Koranic Roots of the Shari'a -- Booklet 3
A DONATION FOR ALLAH PURGES THE CONSCIENCE
Who has been funding the renaissance of Islam since 1973?
An overview on the many Koranic verses that command Muslims to give part of their money for Muhammad and Islam. How much do Muslims have to donate and how are the donations used? This is the hidden agenda behind the financing of the renaissance of Islam since 1973.
A DONATION FOR ALLAH PURGES THE CONSCIENCE
Who has been funding the renaissance of Islam since 1973?
Each country levies taxes and each religious community needs offerings. Muhammad was a pragmatic merchant. From the beginning of his religious activity he placed great emphasis on taxes, donations and expenses "for Allah"! In the Qur'an there are 85 verses on this issue. The legists of the four schools of Islamic law used these verses as the basis for their legislation. They show how much every Muslim should offer and to whom.
Muhammad went so far in his calls for taxes and donations, that he assured the donors that their monetary donations would cleanse their "hearts" (Sura al-Tawba 9:102). He did not hesitate to call his religion a "business with Allah" (Sura Fatir 35:29-30). Whoever wants to understand Islam, should study the legislation in the Qur'an about religious payments. He should then compare this legislation with the basic principles of the Gospel.
In his earlier Suras from his time in Mecca, Muhammad answered his critics from among the people of the Book and some unsteady believers in the Qur'an: They did not receive any other commandment, but to adore Allah faithfully, to accept his religion, to observe the official prayer and to pay the religious tax. That is the right religion! (Sura al-Bayyina 98:5).
In the middle period of his religious activities, before he emigrated to Medina in 622 AD, he wrote after a ten-year experience: Truly, those who recite the book of Allah (the Qur'an), who observe the (official) prayer, and who secretly or openly donate from what we have granted them, hope for a "business", which will not be in vain. He (Allah) will pay them their alms and add to it from his abundance. Truly, he is the forgiving one, the grateful (Sura Fatir 35:29-30).
Towards the "end of his life" in Medina, Muhammad expressed his view of faith in detail: Righteous (pious) is he, who believes in Allah, in the last day, in the angels, in the books of revelation, in the prophets, and who donates out of love, for relatives, orphans, the downtrodden, guests, beggars, to free enslaved Muslims, and who observes the (official) prayer, pays the religious tax, keeps his contracts, and remains patient in troubles of the misery of war. Those are the ones, who truly fear God (Sura al-Baqara 2:177).
Whoever compares these three verses will notice that the basic pillars of the Islamic faith are the official prayer, as well as various offerings and donations. Without the religious tax (zakat), without voluntary donations (sadaqa) and without additional expenditure for Allah (nafaqa), there would be few Islamic activities. However, as the price for crude oil has been raised several times of its original value since 1973, the oil-producing Islamic countries have become relatively rich, and finance the resurgence of Islam on all continents using their obligatory duties!
The Qur'anic justification for the religious tax and donations
Allah created the heavens and the earth. Therefore, everything that exists remains his property. To him belongs the universe (Suras Al 'Imran 3:129,189; al-Nisa' 4:126,131-132; al-Ma'ida 5:18; al-An'am 6:12; al-Fath 48:14; al-Munafiqun 63:7; al-Ma'arij 70:40 among others)! Allah is the unrestricted lord and owner of the East and the West and of everything which lies in between (Suras al-Baqara 2:115+142; al-Shu'ara' 26:28-32; al-Saffat 37:5; al-Ma'arij 70:40; al-Muzammil 73:9 among others). Johann Wolfgang Goethe adopted this Semitic idea and wrote:
God's is the Orient, God's is the Occident,
This great poet did not realize, that the Islamic concept of God is not idealistic, nor humanistic, nor pantheistic. Muhammad, when referring to the East and the West, claimed the territories in between to be ruled by Islam. According to Islam, Allah is the owner of the East and the West. All continents in between are subjected to Islam (Suras al-Baqara 2:193; al-Anfal 8:39; al-Fath 48:28; al-Saff 61:9; among others).
After creation, Allah predestined every creatures fate to the last detail (Suras al-Furqan 25:2; al-Qamar 54:49; al-Talaq 65:3 among others). He controls everything (Suras Al 'Imran 3:108-109,127-129,189; al-Nisa' 4:126 among others). The Qur'an states: We belong to Allah and to him we will return (at the end of our life) (Sura al-Baqara 2:156).
All angels and even Christ are his slaves (Suras Maryam 19:30; al-Zukhruf 43:19). All gold and silver belong to him. He alone is rich (Sura al-Nisa' 4:132). Everything we own is on loan from Allah. He will call to account everyone, if he has paid his religious duty regularly and in full, and if he has offered sufficient voluntary donations (Suras al-Baqara 2:284; al-Nisa' 4:86; al-An'am 6:62 among others). That will result in the true yield of his property. No miserliness and no injustice will remain unpunished (Sura Fussilat 41:7).
With such basic principles Muhammad laid hold on all Muslims, and made them bondservants and fief-holders of Allah. Thus, the regular payment of the religious tax is a compulsory duty for every Muslim. Generous donations are also expected of him (Sura al-Tawba 9:60). Allah reserved his right to all goods he had entrusted to the individual (Suras al-An'am 6:141; al-Isra' 17:26; al-Dhariyat 51:19; al-Hashr 59:7; al-Ma'arij 70:24-25 among others).
With these principles of funding, Muhammad laid the foundation for a comprehensive social order for his community (Umma). He established an indirect insurance for the needy within his clan. With the help of these "revealed" laws, he made possible the spread of Islam. Since then, Allah and Muhammad, relatives in need and Muslim slaves, as well as warriors in the Holy War have a right to the money and property of all Muslims. This right is specified and regulated by the rules on the religious tax to be levied (Suras al-Baqara 2:83,177,180,215; al-Anfal 8:41; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Nur 24:26; al-Insan 76:8; al-Balad 90:16 among others).
Who is asked to pay?
Allah made it compulsory for every believing Muslim, to fulfil his financial obligations, which have been decreed in Qur'an and in the Shari'a law (Sura al-Baqara 2:254,264,267,271,277 among others). Whoever had opposed Muhammad and wanted to convert to Islam could prove his sincerity with a donation. Allah would accept his repentance, if the contribution was appropriate.
Even pretenders and hypocrites were accepted warmly as soon as they paid! They could expect atonement from Allah for their sins, if the amount of the donation was big enough (Sura al-Tawba 9:103).
A defeated enemy will become a friend, as soon as he prays and pays (Sura al-Tawba 9:5,11).
Whoever fears the judgement of Allah, can overcome his fear through donations (Suras al-Mu'minun 23:60; al-Rum 30:38; al-Sajda 32:16). Whoever experiences a special blessing in his family or in his business, should give a substantial donation as a sign of his gratitude (Sura al-Tawba 9:75). But whoever does not have money, should not feel obliged to make a donation (Sura al-Tawba 9:91).
The Israelites were particularly called to donate generously for the cause of their Lord (Suras al-Baqara 2:83; al-Ma'ida 5:12; al-Hajj 22:78 among others). Everyone who claims that he is in a covenant with Allah has to testify to this privilege through substantial payments (Sura al-Tawba 9:75).
In the Qur'an we do not read that Christians and slaves should pay religious taxes, since in Mecca and Medina they rarely had money or possessions. They mostly belonged to the poorer classes of society. The honored church in Wadi Nadjran (North Yemen), however, had to pay a minority tax (jizya) in time. This was combined with degrading humiliation (Sura al-Tawba 9:28-29).
How much should a Muslim pay and donate?
The surplus from the net gain should be distributed among needy Muslims (Suras al-Baqara 2:2,219; al-Talaq 65:7).
One fifth of the booty from the Holy War belongs to Allah and his prophet, and to whomsoever he may allocate it. The "Law of the 20 Percent of the Net Gain" includes in some countries the fruits of the harvest, as well as catches from fishing (Sura al-An'am 6:141-144). Even one fifth of the slaves captured in the Holy War, had to be turned over to the Caliph every year.
This "heavenly" decree in Sura al-Anfal 8:41 became one of the most important verses in the Qur'an. It rules the funding of many Islamic activities. One fifth of the net profit from the oil-production, the pearl fishing or from the generation of nuclear power finances the renaissance of Islam. As a result of these compulsory taxes and donations, mosques are mushrooming on all continents.
Muhammad wanted to distinguish himself from the Jews of the Old Testament, and did not accept the tenth of the gross income, as is demanded in the Law of Moses, but demanded 20 percent (one fifth) of the net gain or net profit of his Muslims! In addition, he also expected continuous voluntary donations from the individual (Sura al-An'am 6:141-144).
In Sudan, some employees of the administrative departments of the mosques do not wait until one fifth from millet or from sugar cane harvests has been delivered to them. On the contrary, they drive with lorries to the fields and demand their share there and then with violence if need be – sometimes even from Christians (Sura al-An'am 6:141)!
Muhammad, however, set limits to this law for pragmatic reasons: No-one should give more, than Allah has given him (Sura al-Talaq 65:7).
However, those who feed the poor on top of their religious tax already paid, will be regarded highly by Allah (Suras al-An'am 6:141-144; al-Insan 76:8-9; al-Balad 90:14-16). If a bride voluntarily renounces part of her wedding gifts, her renunciation will count for her as a donation for Allah. The same also applies for a divorced women, if she is ready, to reduce her right in the remainder of the dowry (Sura al-Nisa' 4:4).
Why and how should the payments be made?
Muslims want to satisfy Allah first with their donations and taxes (Sura al-Baqara 2:265). Through their offerings, they hope to draw closer to their lord, and to please him (Suras al-Baqara 2:272; al-Rum 30:39; al-Insan 76:9). Everyone who donates, however, should examine himself, so that he does not bring something of inferior quality from his harvest or from his cattle to Allah, and keeps the good and sound things for himself. Allah knows well the quality and quantity of all gifts (Sura al-Baqara 2:267,270).
With plain words, Muhammad demanded from his Muslims to fulfil their duty to give:
Give donations, before death reaches you. Afterwards it will be too late. Allah does not grant any extension (Sura al-Munafiqun 63:10-11).
Donate your wealth for the sake of God, then you will be like a seed, which brings forth seven sheaves of which each sheaf will contain a hundred grains (Sura al-Baqara 2:261+274).
Do not talk in public about what you donate, and do not hurt the dignity of the one, who receives your help (Sura al-Baqara 2:262-264 and 271).
Give of your wealth day and night (Sura al-Baqara 2:274).
In secret and openly (Suras al-Baqara 2:271,274; al-Ra'd 13:22; Fatir 35:29).
On good days and on evil days (Sura Al 'Imran 3:134).
These calls for donations actually mean: Give always and give plentifully!
Furthermore, Allah demands from everyone who leaves behind assets to write a last will, in which he should assign his assets to his nearest relatives and to needy folk among them, according to the rules of the Qur'an. He should not forget anyone, who has a right to his property (Sura al-Baqara 2:180).
Furthermore, the Qur'an teaches: Do not waste your gifts, but donate with wisdom (Suras al-Baqara 2:195; al-Furqan 25:67). Spend from your money, regardless of how much you love it, and give to those, who need it (Sura al-Baqara 2:177).
If you come together in a circle of well acquainted Muslims, then encourage the participants to give alms and donations. This is better than idle talk (Sura al-Nisa' 4:114).
Who should receive the donations?
First of all, Allah and Muhammad were to receive one fifth of the religious tax and from the spoils. Further, the Almighty accepts "loans" from those, who worship him (Suras al-Baqara 2:245; al-Anfal 8:41 among others).
Afterwards, do not start with people in need, the people of foreign clans, but go for the nearest relatives and the needy of the own clan. Parents come first. When distributing the booty and the donations, relatives follow right after Allah and Muhammad as recipients. They are more entitled to receive help and assistance than other needy people, even than those in the Islamic community. Islam is oriented towards clans, since the clan is responsible for all obligations including the social welfare or health care of the individual. Furthermore, the clan takes care of the education of the children and the well-being of the elderly. The clan remains the nucleus and the guardian in Islamic society. The local power of each Muslim has first to be strengthened and maintained. Otherwise, not even a wealthy person will find protection or support (Suras al-Baqara 2:83,177,180,215; al-Nisa' 4:36; al-Anfal 8:41,75; al-Isra' 17:26; al-Nur 24:22; al-Rum 30:38).
A married wife from a separate clan is often only an attachment to the clan of her husband. She is not an equal partner to her husband, and does not have the same rights as he has. She is merely a baby factory for her husband in order to strengthen his clan. She can be divorced by him at will. The children then belong to her husband and his clan. A husband is not responsible for his wife's relatives or their children.
Help for those, who have emigrated
Apart from the one fifth that is designated for Allah and the one fifth that is designated for the clan, in Muhammad's days the Muslim emigrants, who left Mecca, should be the next recipients of donations and of shares in the religious tax. This decree was intended as a kind of ordained burden-sharing in the Islamic community (Suras al-Nur 24:22; al-Hashr 59:5 and 8-10).
In Medina, Muhammad was faced with a growing problem. The Muslim refugees from Mecca had very quickly used up their assets they had brought with them. They rarely found work and did not inherit anything from deceased relatives. This nucleus of Islam had left behind all their estates, properties, relatives and acquaintances for the sake of Allah. In Medina, they began to suffer want. They looked with envy on their hosts, the Muslims of Medina, who became richer and richer. Bitter acrimony arose: Conversion to Islam had not brought success! The sacrifices for Allah were fruitless! The result was frustration, poverty and contempt. Many of them played with the idea of returning to the animists of Mecca to take back their possession and their abandoned property. Tensions between the local Muslims and the asylum-seekers arose (Suras al-Anfal 8:72; al-Tawba 9:117; al-Hashr 59:8-10).
So, Muhammad again and again demanded in the name of Allah to honor the emigrants, to supply them and to accept them as brethren with equal rights in "an inseparable kinship and brotherhood". Above all, Muhammad promised the faithful and patient emigrants from Mecca the forgiveness of their sins, the highest position in paradise, extensive land and a great reward in eternity (Suras al-Baqara 2:118; Al 'Imran 3:195; al-Anfal 8:74; al-Tawba 9:20; al-Nahl 16:41 among others).
The situation of the refugees from Mecca nonetheless worsened, so that Muhammad saw no alternative but to attack the caravans of Meccan merchants in order to satisfy the most urgent needs of his followers with the loot gained from these raids. Furthermore, the siege of the Jewish quarters in Medina and the extermination of their clans helped to enrich asylum-seekers from Mecca.
After these most privileged people who received support, the Qur'an mentions needy people from the Islamic community, whose priority is listed at different levels.
Support for orphans
The number of orphans among the Muslims rapidly and disproportionately increased, because many fathers died in the "unholy" wars, and Muhammad, as representative of Allah, was responsible for their surviving relatives (Suras al-Baqara 2:83,177,215; al-Nisa' 4:36; al-Anfal 8:41; al-Insan 76:8; al-Balad 90:15).
Help for the disadvantaged
The unemployed, the less gifted, the injured in war and the blind could not be overlooked on the streets of Medina. They looked upon Muhammad as their only hope (Suras al-Baqara 2:5,83,177,215; al-Nisa' 4:36; al-Anfal 8:41; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Isra' 17:26; al-Nur 24:22; al-Rum 30:38: al-Insan 76:8; al-Balad 90:16). Among them were also beggars, outcasts, the poor, people released from prison without means and all those, who possessed no land, no house, no camels and no goats. (Suras al-Baqara 2:17,177,273; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Rum 30:38; al-Dhariyat 51:19). Particularly precarious was the situation of those Muslims, who were indebted to Animists or Jews, since those derided and cursed the Muslims, when they did not repay their debts on time. Therefore, Allah commanded Muhammad to provide coverage for the "foreign debt" of his followers (Sura al-Tawba 9:60).
Freeing Muslim slaves
A special monetary challenge was pressing on the Muslims in freeing enslaved Muslims owned by unbelieving masters, who suspected that the slaves were spies of Muhammad and at times tortured them. Muslims captured in the Holy War were only released after the payment of a steep ransom. Muhammad called "buying the freedom of a Muslim slave" a justifying work, through which the sins of the donor will be atoned before Allah (Suras al-Baqara 2:177; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Nur 24:33; al-Insan 76:8 among others).
Strangely enough, among the list of those who should receive support, the guests of Muslims are found as well (Suras al-Baqara 2:177,215; al-Nisa' 4:36; al-Anfal 8:44; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Isra' 17:26). Hospitality was revered among the Arabs from ancient times. The guest is sometimes labeled "lord" or "god of the house".
The expenses spent on the guest, however, could be deducted from the religious tax. Furthermore, catering for guests provides the host with bonus points in his heavenly account. This counts also, if the guest stays for a longer period. Such expenses are "worthwhile" for the Muslim, in the end. This method of crediting the expenses for the guests, however, deprive the much-appraised Arabic hospitality of its value. This will be followed by a complete disillusionment, if the host with his family pays a reciprocating visit after a while.
Funding the Holy War
Apart from the support for relatives, refugees, orphans, the poor, Muslim slaves and travelers, in Islam payments should, above all, serve the weaponry of the Muslims and the procurement of provisions for their endeavors. Since Muhammad ordered over thirty attacks and battles, the violent spread of Islam was one of the main items in the budget of expenditures of the Muslims. They hoped, that they could cover these expenses with the booty later on. However, first, they had to buy horses, camels, breastplates, swords and other arms, required for them and their slaves. So, Muhammad called the Muslims to engage in a Holy War and to sacrifice their lives and their money (Suras al-Baqara 2:195,261-262 and 273; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Nur 24:22, among others). Wealthy Muslims were encouraged to help poor brethren in the faith financially, so that they could purchase weapons for the fight (Sura al-Baqara 2:273). They were also ordered to give money to those, who most probably would not be able to repay their loans (Suras al-Baqara 2:280; al-Hashr 59:9).
Using money to buy friends
Defeated enemies are to be attracted to Islam by offering them considerable gifts (Sura al-Tawba 9:60). This gesture is called in the Arabic popular language "to cut off their tongue". After receiving the gifts, the recipients can no longer disparage their generous donors.
Another wording in Qur'an recommends "to wrap up their hearts" in order to get them accustomed to Islam through gifts of money. This method paves the way for the Muslims on all continents to "purchase" for Islam presidents, generals, police officers and ministers, but also the poor and students, by giving them scholarships. Many humanists do not approve of this practice, which nowadays is practiced openly in many countries of Asia and Africa. Experience confirms, however, that this command of Allah is still carried out thousands of times.
Muslim governors, oil-billionaires and Muslims of moderate means should not pay their social welfare, expenses for arms and the atonement payments exclusively from their living expenses, but can deduct these expenses commanded by Allah, from their religious tax, or can count them as a donation to Allah. We should not suspect that Muslims acted out of love. They think in terms of business! Muhammad was a merchant, and he turned each dinar over in his hand several times, before he spent it. He called his religion a deal with Allah. The one, who wants to understand Islam as it is should change his way of thinking! In the cultural sphere of this religion there is no free grace. The only thing that counts are deeds in accordance with Islamic law, which Allah, the quickest calculator of all, will count and record exactly and give a generous reward for it.
The loan bank of Allah
In Medina, Muhammad frequently asked Muslims, Jews and Christians to give Allah loans (Suras al-Ma'ida 5:12; al-Hadid 57:10-11 and 18; al-Taghabun 64:16-17; al-Muzammil 73:20 among others). In return the Jews asked the hypocritical question: "Is Allah weak? Does he need loans from his creatures? Normally, the Creator blesses all those, who ask Him for help. He blesses even those, who do not ask Him. How then can the Qur'an challenge sinners and righteous ones, Jews and Muslims, to lend money to Allah?" This subject is so explosive, that we would like to quote some texts, which have been translated precisely.
In the Sura al-Ma'ida, we read that Allah had made a covenant with the children of Israel and that he had appointed "twelve superintendents" for them. Allah told them: Truly, I will be with you, if you pray the obligatory prayers, if you pay the religious tax, if you believe in my ambassadors (Moses, 'Isa and Muhammad), and support them – and give Allah a good loan! Then I will blot out (atone for) your evil deeds and let you enter the gardens, in whose lower regions rivers flow. But those who remain unbelieving even after this offer, have strayed utterly (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:12).
The conditions mentioned in the Qur'an had their peak in the demand for a "considerable" loan, which had to be handed to Muhammad, Allah's representative.
As a result, the Lord would blot out the sins of the children of Israel! This command does not represent a hidden righteousness by deeds, but it shows Islam regards itself as having a painstakingly calculated deal with Allah!
Muhammad in particular made fun of Christian bishops and of monks in monasteries:
Muhammad wanted to get hold of the treasures of the churches and monasteries and use them for spreading Islam.
In the Sura al-Tawba we read, how in Islam sinners can find forgiveness of their own sins by giving donations. This reminds us of the indignation of Martin Luther at the monk Tetzel, when he taught: "As soon as the coin sounds in the offertory box, the soul jumps out of the fire." – In a similar way Muhammad said: Among (the Bedouins and the inhabitants of Medina) there are some, who confessed their sins, yet (still) mix their good deeds with evil deeds. Maybe Allah will turn to them. Allah is forgiving and the merciful. Take from their property a donation, which will cleanse and purify them and pray over them. Your prayers can calm them down. Don't they know, that Allah accepts the repentance of his slaves, and that he accepts donations? Truly, Allah is the one, who turns (to the donors) and he is the merciful (Sura al-Tawba 9:102-103).
Repentance in Islam means the acceptance of Islam, which has to be sealed by a considerable donation. According to the belief of the Muslims, the religious tax cleanses their souls from their sins. In addition to that, Allah is always ready to accept repentance of sinners, proved by the payment of their donations.
Muhammad writes, that in case an infidel dies and is able to offer a lump of gold as big as the earth for his redemption, it would no longer be accepted of him. Why? He ought to have paid the money to Muhammad before his death! Truly, those, who were unbelievers, and who died as unbelievers, never a lump of gold of the size of the earth would be accepted from them, if they would offer it for their redemption. They must suffer a painful punishment, and they will find no helper. You will never receive righteousness, until you spend that, which you love (as long as you are still alive). Allah knows, what you give! (Sura Al 'Imran 3:91-92).
In all circumstances, Muhammad wanted to get hold of the money of pious and rich Muslims. For this purpose, he unmasked their love for money. He wanted to have at his disposal the wealth of the Muslims, in order to purchase horses, camels and weapons. It was his intention to lead Islam to victory and to the gain of further booty.
The security of the heavenly bank
Muhammad guaranteed his followers that Allah would be paid back for all donations: Whatever you donate of your possessions will be for your own good. You do not donate anything, apart from aiming to seek the face of Allah. Whatever you donate of good things, will be paid back to you in full. You will not be treated unjustly (Sura al-Baqara 2:272).
Muhammad confirmed a guaranteed return of all gifts and goods: Truly, my lord spreads out for each and everyone of his slaves the livelihood that he wants to give them. Therefore, whatever you donate, he will replace. He is the best provider (Sura Saba' 34:39)!
Frequently, we read in the Qur'an, that Allah does not merely guarantee donations, but also adds them up together, and from this account he will later pay to Muslims in paradise wages, in lieu of a pension (Suras al-Baqara 2:262,274,277; al-Nisa' 4:114; al-Hadid 57:7,18; al-Muzammil 73:20; al-Tin 95:6 among others).
To those, who donate their assets day and night, in secret as well as openly, to them are appointed due wages from their lord. They will not be depressed by any fear (on the day of judgement) and they won't be sad (Sura al-Baqara 2:274). Believe in Allah and in the one, he has sent, and pay your religious tax from that, over which he has placed you as guardians. Those of you, who believe and pay, can expect a great reward (Sura al-Hadid 57:7).
In Sura al-Baqara we read, that Allah hates interest and that he will destroy the capitalistic system of granting interest. At the same time, Allah grants interest and adopted the capitalist system for himself.
Allah will wipe out the interest (of the usurer), but he (on his part) will put interest on voluntary donations! Allah does not love unbelieving sinners (who charge interest) (Sura al-Baqara 2:276)!
Furthermore, we read in the Qur'an, that to donations that are pleasing to Allah, he will not only add interest, but will double the amount. Those, who donate their assets in their search for the pleasure of Allah, and who – in doing this - get stability (or steadfastness), are like a garden on a hill, on which rain falls as a consequence of which it will yield the double amount of fruit. Allah knows exactly, what he does (Sura al-Baqara 2:265).
The multiplication of the loans
The special offer of the Islamic bank in heaven constitutes the fact that each good loan for Allah will not just be doubled, but rather multiplied by several times in value (Suras al-Baqara 2:245; al-Ma'ida 5:12; al-Rum 30:39; al-Hadid 57:10-11 and 18; al-Muzammil 73:20 among others). Whoever gives Allah a good loan, He will multiply it several times (to him). Allah controls everything, and he presents (His offer) openly. To Him you will return (Sura al-Baqara 2:245). Whatever you give to increase by interest from the wealth of people, will not render any interest with Allah. However, what you pay in religious taxes to seek the face of Allah, that is the wealth which will be multiplied (Sura al-Rum 30:39). What hinders you to spend for the "cause of Allah"? Allah will inherit the heaven and the earth! Those of you, who have given donations before the victory, and who have fought with the weapon, will be evaluated higher than those, who only donated and fought with the weapon afterwards. However, Allah has promised all the best! Allah knows what you do. Who will lend Allah a good loan? He will multiply it for him and (in addition) will give him an honorable reward! (Sura al-Hadid 57:10-11). For those donors, who (repeatedly) place a good loan at Allah's disposal, he will multiply it. They can expect an honorable reward (Sura al-Hadid 57:18).
Muhammad never grew tired of repeatedly launching funding campaigns. In Islam there is no Holy Spirit as a driving force inside the Muslims. So, donations, loans and promises of rewards and assets in paradise have to be served this purpose instead:
Before a night-time prayer Muhammad reminded his Muslims that prayer alone was not enough, but even at night-time donations should be added:
The two big feasts ( 'Id al-Fitr and 'Id al-Adha), as well as the month of fasting, Ramadan, are considered the most convenient opportunities for the multiplication of donations. The night of pre-determination (Lailat al-Qadr) in particular is called the most blessed of all nights (Sura al-Qadr 97:3-5).
In Sura al-Baqara 2:261 Muhammad offers his followers the crown of all promises from the heavenly bank regarding the supply of loans: Those who spend their money for the "way of Allah" (Holy War), resemble a seed, which brings forth seven sheaves of which each sheaf carries in it a hundred grains! Allah multiplies the seed for whom he wants. Allah encompasses everything with his full knowledge (Sura al-Baqara. 2:261).
In the days of the Pharaos there grew stalks of wheat, which brought forth seven sheaves. Experiments, in which grains found in the graves of the Pharaos were sown on good soil, confirm this Sura. Maybe even in Muhammad's days such sturdy seeds were still in use. Muhammad used this model as an illustration for the Muslims waking in them the illusion that their donations for the Holy War would be multiplied seven hundred times!!!
Special promises for the donor
After this sobering introduction to the materialistic principles and business-like background of Islam, we can understand, what the driving forces are in the faith and the life of the Muslims. Apart from these quotations one should also draw the attention to some spiritual promises, which Islam offers every donor:
Donations given in secret in order not to hurt the dignity of the recipient are valued more than donations delivered directly. Any help given in secret shall provide the giver exceptional forgiveness for his sins (Sura al-Baqara 2:271).
The one who gives has the privilege to ask for forgiveness for his sins (Sura al-Muzammil 73:20).
The cleansing of the conscience is supposed to happen through the payment of the religious tax (tuzakki al-zakat al-zaki) (Suras al-Ma'ida 5:12; al-Tawba 9:103; al-A'la 87:14).
Whoever gives donations may have success in his life and in eternity (Suras al-Mu'minun 23:1-4; al-Rum 30:38; al-Taghabun 64:16; al-A'la 87:14; among others).
Whoever offers donations in Islam gives finally for himself (Suras al-Baqara 2:272; al-Taghabun 64:16-17; al-Muzammil 73:20; among others).
Many Muslims hope to please Allah through their donations, trusting that Allah is pleased with them (Suras al-Baqara 2:265,272; al-Ma'ida 5:12; al-Rum 30:39; al-Insan 76:9).
In most encouragements to give donations, Allah appears as a businessman who waits eagerly for the donations of the Muslims and who accepts their loans. He carefully takes note of all gifts (Suras al-Baqara 2:270; Al 'Imran 3:92; al-Tawba 9:102-103).
In the final analysis, Islam is something like a trade deal with Allah (Suras Fatir 35:29-30; al-Tawba 9:111; al-Baqara 2:272 among others).
Warnings to the donors
A Muslim who gives donations in order to be seen is called a friend of Satan (Sura al-Nisa' 4:36-38). Whoever is proud and gives donations "in a condescending manner" and who uses rude words towards those in need which hurt them loses the eternal value of his gift (Sura al-Baqara 2:264).
Misers do not give donations. They oppose Islam (Suras al-Baqara 2:38; Al 'Imran 3:12; al-Tawba 9:34,76,77; al-Nur 24:22; al-Rum 30:39; Ya Sin 36:47; Fussilat 41:7; Muhammad 47:38; al-Munafiqun 63:7).
Hypocrites do not give any contribution. They promise to give, but they lie and break their promises (Sura al-Tawba 9:77). Muhammad urges his Muslims: "Never swear anymore, not to give anything!" (Sura al-Nur 24:22)!
Muhammad's position respecting money
Muhammad was a merchant and understood his religion to be a trading relationship with Allah. His philosophy of life was pragmatic. Whoever works receives his wages. Whoever does not work won't receive anything. Whoever wants to buy must pay. Without payments there are no goods available. In this way, Muhammad demanded efforts from his Muslims in the form of their confession, their compulsory prayers, fasting, various kinds of payments, participation in the pilgrimage and their engagement in the Holy War. They had to work hard for their salvation!
Through the fulfillment of their spiritual and secular duties one might enter into the Islamic paradise – if Allah so wishes (Suras al-Baqara 2:261; al-Nur 24:56). In the end, Islam is based on a justification by works. Monetary donations, loans for Allah and repeated donations are an inevitable part of Muslim efforts. Whoever does not give donations or offerings, won't enter into paradise (Sura Fussilat 41:7).
Muhammad needed a lot of money for his relatives, for the refugees from Mecca, for orphans of war, the poor, guests, for buying the freedom of Muslim slaves and the Holy War (Suras al-Baqara 2:83,177,215; al-Anfal 8:41; al-Isra' 17:26; al-Insan 76:8; al-Balad 90:16 among others). He had the talent, to gain money from most of his followers, and even from Jews and Christians, as well as from the spoils of war. He used all the devices his eloquence provided. Through promises and threats, through guarantees and mental shock-waves, he induced those, who were reluctant to give, to hand over their beloved Mammon. He was even prepared to offer the forgiveness of sins and the entry into paradise in return for more considerable donations (Suras al-Baqara 2:271; al-Ma'ida 5:12; al-Tawba 9:103; al-Muzammil 73:20; al-A'la 87:14 among others).
Muhammad did not put the money into his own pockets. On the contrary, in Mecca he used the assets of his rich wife Khadija, in order to encourage persecuted Muslims. The goal of his procurement of funds was the well-being of the Islamic Umma. Initially, the purpose of the Holy War was not only the spread of Islam, but to take revenge, to gain victory over the enemies and to gain sufficient amounts of loot, since there were not many opportunities to earn one's living in the deserts of the Arab Peninsula. For this reason, in his days many Bedouin tribes overcame their persistent shortages through raids on travelers and caravans.
The attitude of Jesus towards money
Jesus was different. He never asked for donations or taxes! This is one of the fundamental differences between Muhammad and Jesus. It is true that the Son of Mary said: The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them, anytime you want (Mark 14:7).
However, he did not start to collect money, nor did he carry out any fund-raising rallies for the poor. Jesus changed the attitude of His followers, so that they were willing to help those in need.
He confessed: The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).
Jesus did not only give the tenth, as in the Old Testament or a fifth of his net gains, but He gave Himself completely! Through His self-sacrifice, He has shaped the life motto of his followers: Pray and work! He did not say: Pray and rob, so that you can pay your religious tax! With Jesus a Holy War is unthinkable. He challenges us to pursue a mission of love and of sacrifices. Christian religious wars are anti-Christian endeavors.
Jesus worked hard. He healed all the sick people who came to Him, free of charge. He cast out demons and fed 5.000 of His listeners with five loaves of bread and two fish. He was no merchant, He had different principles. He did not demand payment for his services. He did not reject gifts, but He did not beg for them. He gave what He had as an offering and lavishes His grace on us. He said that the small donation of the widow was more valuable than all the other contributions, because she had given everything she had at her disposal.
Jesus urged His followers: No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24).
The Son of God relied on His Father in Heaven. He believed, that He would care for Him and for His followers. In referring to God as Father, He went beyond our earthly dimensions, and taught us how to overcome our worries. The blessing of Jesus rests on the followers of Jesus day and night (Matthew 6:25-34). By His death on the cross and His resurrection, Jesus overcame the sin of the world, including death, as the reason of all suffering, hunger and misery. He did not save us with money, but by his precious blood (1 Peter 1:18+19). Since then the love of God accompanies all who trust in Jesus. His Spirit transforms them into people of love, praise, service and sacrifice.
People who are consciously Christians do not give offerings in order to be saved, but they serve, because they have already been saved freely by grace. Our sacrifice and our service are our thanksgiving for the vicarious death of Jesus on Calvary. We do not need to render our own efforts or payments for our salvation, but we live solely from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, Muhammad established a city state with taxation, social obligations and Holy War. Jesus built a spiritual kingdom without taxes and without an army. His church still lives in this world, but is no longer of this world. Politics ought to remain separated from the church. However, politicians should accept the guidance of the Spirit of Jesus and act according to the Gospel.
Jesus did not close His eyes to specific needs in the world around Him. He said: Whoever accepts a child (without parents), in my name, accepts me (Matthew 18:5; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48). Myriads of abandoned boys and girls have found welcoming homes because of this counsel.
Jesus said: But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck, and be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 18:6; see also Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2).
In the age of child pornography, homosexuality and abortions worldwide, this word of a caution from our Lord will judge many ungodly people.
Jesus saw His mother standing beneath the cross where He was hanging and knew that she, as the birth giver of the crucified one, would be held in contempt and be rejected by everyone. Therefore, He said to His mother: "Women, look! This is your son!" Then He said to the youngest of His disciples: "Look, this is your mother!" (John 19:26-27). Jesus cared for the widows (Luke 7:12). The misery of this world aroused His compassion and His love impelled Him to perform great miracles.
When His disciples asked Him for their reward for following Him, He assured them, that they will be cared for in this world and the next, not for the sake of their sacrifice and suffering but for the sake of His love. Jesus did not give them any money, but He granted them promises to believe in (Matthew 19:27-30; Luke 6:23,35, among others).
When Jesus was asked whether the tax of the Roman occupying force was justified, he answered: Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's (Matthew 22:21).
With this statement, he called everyone promptly to give his whole life to His Father in Heaven, completely and forever.
The followers of Christ do not have to acquire their own salvation through their own efforts, by way of donations, religious taxes and offerings of money. But they give donations, serve and give offerings, because they have already been freely redeemed. Donations for the church and for missionary work transform the unrighteous Mammon into a blessing. Christians should not "expect" any reward for their donations, because their Lord Himself is their protection and their great reward (Genesis 15:1).
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit" (2 Corinthians 13:13) have transferred us into a culture which is different from that of Islam. The kingdom of Jesus Christ develops out of the Spirit of the Father and of the Son. The realm of Muhammad, on the other hand, is confined to this world, and ignores the Holy Spirit. Islam remains a religion subject to the law and to the power of money. Faith in Jesus Christ, however, liberates us from the tyranny of the law and creates in us the will to serve.
Q U I Z
If you have studied this booklet carefully, you can easily answer the following questions. Whoever answers 90 percent of all questions in the different booklets of this series correctly, can obtain a certificate from our center on
As an encouragement for his/her future services for Christ. It will be appreciated if you include the Qur'anic references in your answers.
1. How did Muhammad as a former merchant understand religion? (Sura Fatir 35,29-30)
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