Zakat Funds To Free Slaves Surah 9:60

Background

Madinan verse (Mawdudi and Dr. Muhammed Asad)

Analysing Verse

“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” – Quran 9:60

At the early stages of Islam, God Almighty commanded believers to set free slaves. That they should give from Zakat (charitable money), to pay a set of money to slave owners and set free those who are in bondage (in slavery). In other words, the State was ordered to set aside funds (money) to help slaves buy their freedom. The following classical and contemporary commentaries on Q. 9:60 will elaborate further on the verse.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn (16/17th Century):

“The voluntary almsgivings, the alms to be dispensed, are only for the poor, who cannot find anything to suffice them in the least, and the needy, who cannot find anything to suffice them, and those who work with them, that is, [with] these alms, in other words, the one who collects [them], the one who takes the oaths [from those who claim them], the slave to be manumitted by contract, as well as the tax-summoner; and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, so that they might become Muslims, or that Islam might be firmly established, or that their peers might become Muslims, or that they might defend Muslims, all of whom are [classed according to different] categories. According to al-Shāfi‘ī, may God be pleased with him …; in contrast, the other two [categories] are given [of the alms-tax], according to the sounder [opinion]; and for, THE MANUMISSION OF, SLAVES, THAT IS, [FOR] SLAVES TO BE MANUMITTED BY CONTRACT, and for the debtors, those in debt, if they have taken out a debt without intending thereby an act of disobedience, or those who have repented but have nothing with which to fulfil [the penalty of expiation], or to set things right between people, even if they be wealthy; and, for the way of God, that is, [for] those who are engaged in the struggle, of those for whom there is no [share of the] booty (fay’), even if they be wealthy; and for the traveller, the one cut off [from resources] during his journey — a duty imposed by God (faridatan, ‘a duty’, is in the accusative because of an implied verb [sc. faradaha, ‘which He has imposed’]). And God is Knower, of His creatures, Wise, in His actions. Thus, it is impermissible to dispense these [alms-proceeds] other than to these [categories], or to deny [these proceeds to] any one of these [categories] if they exist. The Imam must divide these [proceeds] among them equally, but he is permitted to give priority to certain individuals over others within any one category. The lam [of li’l-fuqara’, ‘for the poor’] indicates that it is obligatory to include every individual [of these categories in the distribution of the proceeds]; it is not, however, obligatory [to do so] when the person in charge of the monies has to apportion it but [finds that] it is insufficient. Indeed [in such a situation] it suffices to give three individuals from each category, but anything less than that is not sufficient, as is indicated by the plural form. The Sunna shows that the prerequisite condition for receiving [a share] of such [monies] is that the person be a Muslim, but not a Hashimi or a Muttalibi.” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn – on Surah 9:60 – online source http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=9&tAyahNo=60&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )

Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas (1329 – 1414 AD):

“Allah then explained who is entitled to these alms, saying: (The alms are only for the poor) for the folk of the Platform (and the needy) among the pilgrims, (and those who collect them) i.e. the collectors of alms, (and those whose hearts are to be reconciled) by giving them gifts such as Abu Sufyan and his companions. These were 15 men, (and TO FREE THE CAPTIVES) THE CAPTIVES WHO WANT TO RANSOM THEMSELVES (and the debtors) those who incurred debts to fulfil works which are for the obedience of Allah, (and for the cause of Allah) and for the fighters for the cause of Allah, (and (for) the wayfarers) guests, the passer-by; (a duty imposed by Allah) an allotment from Allah for these. (Allah is Knower) of these, (Wise) regarding that which He has ordained for these categories of people.” (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas – on Surah 9:60 – online source http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=9&tAyahNo=60&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (1301 – 1373 AD):

“Expenditures of Zakah (Alms)
After Allah mentioned the protest that the ignorant hypocrites mentioned to the Prophet about the distribution of alms. He stated that it is He who divided the alms, explained its rulings and decided in its division; He did not delegate this decision to anyone else. Allah mentioned the expenditures of Zakah in this Ayah, starting with the Fuqara’ (the poor) because they have more need than the other categories, since their need is pressing and precarious. It was reported that Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibn Zayd and several others said that the Faqir is a graceful person who does not ask anyone for anything, while the Miskin is the one who follows after people, begging. Qatadah said, “The Faqir is the ill person, while the Miskin is physically fit.” We will now mention the Hadiths about each of these eight categories
The Fuqara’ (Poor)
Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The alms should not be given to the wealthy and the physically fit.) Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith.
The Masakin (Needy)
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The needy person is not the one who goes round the people and asks them for a mouthful or two (of meals) or a date or two). They asked, “Then who is the needy person, O Allah’s Messenger!” He said, (The one who does not have enough to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others, that others may give him something in charity, and who does not beg of people.) The Two Shaykhs collected this Hadith
Those employed to collect Alms
Those employed to collect alms deserve a part of the alms, unless they are relatives of the Messenger of Allah , who are not allowed to accept any Sadaqah. Muslim recorded that `Abdul-Muttalib bin Rabi`ah bin Al-Harith and Al-Fadl bin Al-`Abbas went to the Messenger of Allah asking him to employ them to collect the alms. The Messenger replied,
(Verily, the alms are not allowed for Muhammad nor the relatives of Muhammad, for it is only the dirt that the people discard.) Al-Mu’allafatu Qulubuhum There are several types of Al-Mu’allafatu Qulubuhum. There are those who are given alms to embrace Islam. For instance, the Prophet of Allah gave something to Safwan bin Umayyah from the war spoils of Hunayn, even though he attended it while a Mushrik. Safwan said, “He kept giving me until he became the dearest person to me after he had been the most hated person to me.” Imam Ahmad recorded that Safwan bin Umayyah said, “The Messenger of Allah gave me (from the spoils of) Hunayn while he was the most hateful person to me. He kept giving me until he became the most beloved person to me.” Muslim and At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith, as well. Some of Al-Mu’allafatu Qulubuhum are given from alms so that they become better in Islam and their heart firmer in faith. For instance, the Prophet gave some of the chiefs of the Tulaqa’ a hundred camels each after the battle of Hunayn, saying, (I give a man (from the alms) while another man is dearer to me than him, for fear that Allah might throw him on his face in the fire of Jahannam.) It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Sa`id said that `Ali sent the Messenger of Allah a gold nugget still in its dirt from Yemen. The Prophet divided it between four men: Al-Aqra` bin Habis, `Uyaynah bin Badr, `Alqamah bin `Ulathah and Zayd Al-Khayr, saying,
(To draw their hearts closer.) Some people are given because some of his peers might embrace Islam, while others are given to collect alms from surrounding areas, or to defend Muslim outposts. Allah knows best.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Muqatil bin Hayyan, `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, Sa`id bin Jubayr, An-Nakha`i, Az-Zuhri and Ibn Zayd said RIQAB MEANS THOSE SLAVES WHO MAKE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE MASTER TO PAY A CERTAIN RANSOM FOR THEIR FREEDOM.” SIMILAR WAS REPORTED FROM ABU MUSA AL-ASH`ARI. IBN `ABBAS AND AL-HASAN SAID, “IT IS ALLOWED TO USE ZAKAH FUNDS TO BUY THE FREEDOM OF SLAVES,” indicating that `Riqab’ has more general meanings than merely giving money to slaves to buy their freedom or one’s buying a slave and freeing him on an individual basis. A Hadith states that for every limb ‘of the servant’ freed, Allah frees a limb of the one who freed him from slavery, even a sexual organ for a sexual organ, for the reward is equitable to the deed, (And you will be requited nothing except for what you used to do.) ‘37:39’
VIRTUE OF FREEING SLAVES
In the Musnad, there is a Hadith from Al-Bara’ bin `Azib that a man asked, “O ALLAH’S MESSENGER! DIRECT ME TO AN ACTION THAT DRAWS ME CLOSER TO PARADISE AND AWAY FROM THE FIRE.” The Messenger of Allah said, (EMANCIPATE THE PERSON AND FREE THE NECK (SLAVE).) The man asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Are they not one and the same” He said, (No, YOU EMANCIPATE A PERSON BY FREEING HIM ON YOUR OWN, BUT YOU UNTIE A NECK (SLAVE) BY HELPING IN ITS PRICE.)
Al-Gharimun (the Indebted)
There are several types of indebted persons. They include those who incur expenses in solving disputes between people, those who guarantee a loan that became due, causing financial strain to them, and those whose funds do not sufficiently cover their debts. It also includes those who indulged in a sin and repented from it. These types have a right to a part of alms ﴿designated for Al-Gharimun﴾. Qabisah bin Mukhariq Al-Hilali said, “I carried a debt ﴿resolving a dispute between people﴾ and went to the Messenger of Allah asking him to help pay it. The Messenger said, (Be patient until some alms are brought to us so that we give it to you.) He then said, (O Qabisah! Begging is only allowed for three: a man who incurred debts solving disputes, so he is allowed to beg until he collects its amount and then stops. A man who was inflicted by a disaster that consumed his wealth, he is allowed to beg until he collects what suffices for his livelihood. And a man who was overcome by poverty, that three wise relatives of his stand up and proclaim, `So-and-so was overcome by poverty.’ This man is allowed to beg until he collects what sustains his livelihood. Other than these cases, begging is an unlawful amount that one illegally devours.) Muslim collected this Hadith. Abu Sa`id said, “During the time of the Messenger of Allah , a man was struck by disaster because of fruits that he bought, causing him extensive debts. The Prophet said, (Give him charity.) The people did that but the amount collected did not cover his debts. The Prophet said to the man’s debtors, (Take what was collected, you will have nothing beyond that.)” Muslim collected this Hadith. … Ibn As-Sabil (Wayfarer)
Ibn As-Sabil is a term used for the needy traveler in a land, where he does not have what helps him continue his trip. This type has a share in the Zakah for what suffices him to reach his destination, even if he had money there. The same is true for whoever intends to travel from his area but does not have enough money. This type also has a share in the Zakah money to suffice for his trip and back. This is proven in the Ayah as well as the following Hadith. Imams Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded that Ma`mar said that Zayd bin Aslam said that `Ata’ bin Yasar said that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said, (Sadaqah is not rightful for a wealthy person except in five cases: those employed to collect it, one who bought a charity item with his money, a Gharim (debtor), a fighter in the cause of Allah, or a poor man who gets a part of the Zakah so he gives it as a gift to a rich man.) Allah’s statement, (a duty imposed by Allah), means, a decision, decree and division ordained by Allah, (And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise), knowledgeable of all things outwardly and inwardly and what benefits His servants, (All-Wise), in all what he declares, does, legislates and decides, there is no true deity or lord except Him.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir – On Surah 9:60 – online source http://www.alim.org/library/quran/AlQuran-tafsir/TIK/9/60 )

Ibn Juzayy (1321 – 1357 AD):

“(Zakat is for the poor….) This ayat commands the restricted distribution of zakat, meaning zakat is confined to these eight categories. It is not permitted to give any of it to any other category of people. In the school of Malik zakat should be divided between these categories according to the discretion of the ruler. He can give it to some rather than others. The school of ash-Shafi’i says that it must be divided equally between all these classes. Scholars disagree as to whether the poor (faqir) have a greater need than the destitute (miskin) or the reverse. It is said that they are the same, and it is said that the poor are those who ask from people and whose state is known while the destitute are not like that. (those who collect it) i.e. those who take it from those who pay and attend to its division. (reconciling people’s hearts) the unbelievers who are given to in order to encourage them to become Muslim. It is said that they are Muslims who are given to in order to make their belief stronger. There is disagreement about whether this category always remains or is omitted when it is not needed. (FREEING SLAVES) I.E. SLAVES WHO ARE BOUGHT AND THEN SET FREE. (those in debt) i.e. those who have debts. It is a precondition that his debt is not on account of corruption or extravagance. (in the Way of Allah) i.e. jihad. From it money is given to the fighters, and from it war equipment is bought. There is disagreement about spending it to build forts and to form fleets. (for travellers) needy foreigners. (an obligation) i.e. a defined right. If it is asked why the disposal of zakat is mentioned in the text in between ayats which deal with the hypocrites, the answer is that the disposal of zakat is confined in those categories in order to cut off any hopes the hypocrites have of receiving it. In meaning, this ayat is connected to His words, “among them are those who find fault with you concerning the zakat.” (9:58)” (Ibn Juzayy – on Surah 9:60 – online source https://bewley.virtualave.net/tawba3.html )

As-Suyuti (1445 – 1505 AD):

“(Zakat) Clarification of how zakat should be spent; it is for these eight and no one else is entitled to it. Malik said that it is not obligatory to have all the categories because the intention of it is to clarify that it does not go to any outside of these categories. That is what most of the Companions and Tabi’un said. Malik claimed consensus about it. Ash-Shafi’i said that it is the clarification how it is spent and must comprise all of them, so it is not permitted to spend it on one category or certain categories, even when the Imam divides it. When the individual who pays it divides it himself, the precondition is to give it to three people from cateogry to observe the plural used in the ayat. It is also used as a proof for the obligation of making the eight categories equal in zakat and so each category is paid an eighth…..etc.
(the poor and destitute) Many things are said about the difference between them. It is said that the poor have nothing and the destitute do not have enough and so are in a better state and the reverse is also said. Ad-Dahhak and an-Nakha’i said that the poor are the Muhajirun and the destitute are those who have not made hijra. Then when hijra ceased, that category was omitted. Ibn ‘Abbas said that the poor are Muslims and the destitute are dhimmis and that one does not call poor Muslims destitute. Az-Zuhri and Muqatal said that the poor are in their homes and do not ask and the destitute ask. Al-Hasan said the reverse. Qatada said that the poor are people with chronic illness but the destitute are not, while both are needy. Mujahid said that the poor are without property but live among their people, tribe and relatives, whereas the destitute have no kin, tribe or relatives or property.
(those who collect it) Ibn ‘Abbas said that they are the messengers. Ibn Abi Hatim transmitted that. It is used as a proof that it is permitted to pay the agent even if he is wealthy, or a slave, a dhimmi or one of the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. It is used as a proof by theose who say that it must be given to them and that it is not permitted for a man to divide it up himself. Ibn al-Faris said: “Permission to pay a wage to someone who is occupied with the affairs of the Muslims is inferred from this.” Abu ‘Ubayd used it as a proof of the permissibility of judges taking a wage…..
(reconciling hearts) Al-Hasan said, “They are those who enter Islam.” Az-Zuhri said, “It refers to anyone who becomes Muslim, even if he is wealthy.” Ibn Abi Hatim transmitted this from ash-Sha’bi. He said, “Today they reconciled.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought menÕs hears together in Islam. Abu Bakr cut off the inducement in Islam. These are two positions. One of them is that their portion is fixed and the second not. According to this, the category is omitted…..
(freeing slaves) MUQATAL SAYS FOR THOSE WITH A KITABA AND OTHERS SAY FOR SIMPLY SETTING FREE….. ( those in debt) Those whose debts are not based on account of corruption. Some say that it can be given even if the debtor is wealthy, and to people who have debts from something unlawful and owe zakat and the debt will exhaust his property and then he needs what will pay the zakat for him. Debts of dead people are also included.
(in the Way of Allah) Muqatal and Ibn Zayd say that this refers those who go on expeditions in the Way of Allah. Its generality is used as a proof by those who say that it should be paid even if there is wealth. Some say that it is spent on all that is connected to jihad: treaties with the enemy, building fortresses, digging ditches, providing weapons and provision, and paying spies, even if they are Christians. Some say that hajj is included in “the way of Allah”and so it can be spent on someone going on hajj. (for travellers) Abu Ja’far said that these are people who go from one land to another.” (As-Suyuti – on Surah 9:60 – online source https://bewley.virtualave.net/tawba3.html)

Scholar Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903 – 1973):

“65 A portion of ZAKAT FUNDS MAY BE SPENT FOR THE RANSOMING OF SLAVES IN TWO WAYS. FIRST, HELP MAY BE GIVEN TO A SLAVE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE RANSOM MONEY, IF HE ENTERS INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH HIS MASTER THAT HE WILL SET HIM FREE, IF THE SLAVE PAYS HIM A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY. THE SECOND WAY IS THAT THE ISLAMIC GOVERNMENT MAY ITSELF PAY THE PRICE OF IRIS FREEDOM AND SET HIM AT LIBERTY. There is a consensus of opinion about the first way, but there is difference of opinion about the second way. Hadrat ‘Ali, Said bin Jubair, Laith Thauri, Ibrahim Nakh`i, Sha’abi; and Muhammad bin Sirin, Hanafis and Shafi” is consider this as unlawful while Ibn, ‘Abbas, Hasan Basri, Malik, Ahmad and Abu Thaur consider this as lawful expenditure from this Fund.” (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an – on Surah 9:60 – online source http://www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/9/index.html#sdfootnote66sym )

Malik Ghulam Farid:

“1193. Sadaqat here means, obligatory alms i.e., Zakat. The verse defines the objects and persons on whom zakat is to be spent: (a) Fuqara (from the root Faqara which means, it broke the vertebrae of his back – Lane) i.e., those broken with poverty or disease. (b) Masakin, i.e., those possessing the ability to work but lacking the means thereof. (c) Those employed in collecting the Zakat or in keeping an account thereof or in the performance of any other duty connected with it. (d) New converts to Islam in need of monetary help. (e) Slaves, captives and such persons as are called upon to pay blood-money TO SECURE THEIR FREEDOM. (f) Those unable to pay their debts or have suffered extraordinary loss in business, etc. (g) Any noble cause. (h) Those stranded on a journey for lack of money or those who travel in search of knowledge or for promoting social relations.” (The Holy Qur’an – Arabic Text With English Translation & Short Commentary by Malik Ghulam Farid, page 391)

Maulana Muhammad Ali:

“60a. That by sadaqat in the opening of the verse is meant the obligatory charity, called zakat, and not voluntary alms, is shown by the concluding words of the verse, which call it an ordinance from Allah. The verse defines the objects for which the poor-rate may be spent. Altogether eight heads of expenditure are recognized. There are the poor, or those in straitened circumstances; then there are the needy, by which are meant people who need some help to enable them to earn their living. Poor students and craftsmen or business men without sufficient means are included in this category. Thirdly, there are the collectors of zakat and other people employed to administer the funds. This shows that the institution was meant for raising a public fund, whose management should entirely be in the hands of a public body. The Qur’an does not recognize it as a private charity. It is sad to note that, as the Qur’an would have it, the institution of zakat is entirely neglected by the Muslims. In the fourth class are people whose hearts are made to incline to Truth. With respect to the preaching of a religion there is always a class which is ready to listen but the carrying of the message of Truth to them needs funds. There are also people who may need help, if they accept the Truth. Expenses in this connection are recognized here as a part of the necessary expenditure of poor-rate. THE FIFTH HEAD RELATES TO THE FREEING OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR. ISLAM THUS LAID DOWN A PERMANENT BASIS FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY. The sixth class is that of debtors — people who incur debts for right purposes. Islam requires all the members of the society to live in a free atmosphere, and those burdened with debt must therefore be freed of their burdens. Squanderers of wealth are, however, not included in this category. The seventh head is in general words, fi sabil Allah, or in the way of Allah. Some limit the significance of these words to warriors (fighting in defence of faith and the community), or those who are engaged in propagating Islamic truths, while others think that the words are general and include every charitable purpose. The eighth head is that of wayfarers, people who are stranded in a country, to whatever religion or nation they may belong.” (The Holy Quran Arabic Text with English Translation, Commentary and comprehensive Introduction [Year 2002 Edition] by Maulana Muhammad Ali, page 413)

Dr. Muhammad Asad:

“83 See note 81 above.
84 I.e., the officials entrusted with the collection and administration of zakah funds.
85 These eight categories circumscribe all the purposes for which zakah funds may be expended. By “those whose hearts are to be won over” are apparently meant such non-Muslims as are close to understanding and, perhaps, accepting Islam, and for whose conversion every effort should be made, either directly or indirectly (i.e., by means of the widest possible propagation of the teachings of Islam). As regards the expression fi’r-riqab (“for the freeing of human beings from bondage”), which relates both to the ransoming of prisoners of war and to the freeing of slaves, see surah 2, note 146. The term al-gharimun describes people who are overburdened with debts contracted in good faith, which – through no fault of their own – they are subsequently unable to redeem. The expression “in God’s cause” embraces every kind of struggle in righteous causes, both in war and in peace, including expenditure for the propagation of Islam and for all charitable purposes. Regarding the meaning of ibn as-sabil (“wayfarer”), see surah 2, note 145.” (The Message of The Quran translated and explained by Muhammad Asad, Dr. Muhammad Asad, page 389 – 390, online source http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/private/cmje/religious_text/The_Message_of_The_Quran__by_Muhammad_Asad.pdf)

Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi:

“Out of the remaining four categories of recipients, the first one mentioned here is that of … (wa fi r-riqab: in [freeing] slaves). Riqab is the plural form of raqabah. Actually, it means the neck. But, in recognized usage, it is also used to allude to a person whose neck is shackled in the chains of slavery.

What is the meaning of ar-riqab in this verse? Interpretations of jurists differ. The majority of jurists and Hadith experts agree that it refers to slaves who enter into a deal with their masters that they would earn the amount specified by them, give it to them as they earn, and once the agreed amount is paid off, they shall be free. In the terminology of the Qur’an and Sunnah, such a slave is known as mukatab. The master of such a slave allows him to earn through business or employment and give the income to the master.
In the present verse, fi r-riqab means that this PERSON SHOULD BE HELPED TO SECURE HIS FREEDOM FROM HIS MASTER WHO SHOULD BE GIVEN A SHARE FROM ZAKAH FUNDS TO WRITE OFF THE AMOUNT DUE AGAINST THE SLAVE.
There is a consensus of commentators and jurists that this kind of slaves is the intended sense of the express: … (wa fi r’riqab: and in [FREEING] slaves which requires that they should be helped to become free by paying the amount due from Zakah funds. …
Imam Malik agrees with the majority in one version (riwayah) only when he declares the sense of fi r’riqab as restricted to mkatab slaves (on freedom-against-money deal with master). In another version (riwayah), it has also been reported from Imam Malik that he included common slaves under the definition of fi r’riqab as well as gave the permission to buy slaves from Zakah amounts and FREE THEM. (Ahkam al-Qur’an Ibn al-Arabi al-Maliki) …” (Maarif ul Quran: Quran Translation and Commentary  [Translation by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim Revised by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani] by Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi, volume 4, page 411 – 412)

Fi Dhilal Al-Qur’an – Qutb:

“’For the freeing of people in bondage.’ In olden days, slavery was an international system where captives of war were enslaved. There was no escape from this system where it had to be applied on the basis of `an eye for an eye,’ until the world could get rid of that system and replace it with something that does not involve enslaving anyone. This portion of zakat funds was used to help anyone who could buy his own freedom in return for a sum of money which he would pay to his master. Alternatively, slaves would be bought with zakāt funds and then set free by the Muslim authorities. (In The Shade Of The Quran (“Fi Dhilal Al Qur’an”) [Translation Adil Salahi] by Qutb, volume 8, page 155)

Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Madni:

“…’for freedom of slaves…’ When a slave has contracted an agreement with his master that he will be freed when he pays a stipulated amount of money, then this slave is called a ‘Mukatab.’ This Mukatab may be given money from Zakah funds to facilitate his payment.” (Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Quran – (Tafseer Anwarul Bayan) – by Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Madni (r.a) volume 2, 465 – 466)

Scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

“1320 ZAKAH OR CHARITABLE GIFTS ARE TO BE GIVEN TO THE POOR AND THE NEEDY and those who are employed in their service. That is, charitable funds are not to be diverted to other uses, but the genuine expenses of administering charity are properly chargeable to such funds. Who are the needy? Besides the ordinary indigent, there are certain classes of people whose need is great and should be relieved. Those mentioned here are: (1) men who have been weaned from hostility to Truth, who would probably be persecuted by their former associates, and require assistance until they establish new connections in their new environment; (2) THOSE IN BONDAGE, LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY; CAPTIVES OF WAR MUST BE REDEEMED; SLAVES SHOULD BE HELPED TO FREEDOM; those in the bondage of ignorance or superstition or unfavourable environment should be helped to freedom to develop their own gifts; (3) those who are held in the grip of debt should be helped to economic freedom; (4) those who are struggling and striving in Allah’s Cause by teaching or fighting or in duties assigned to them by the righteous Imam, who are thus unable to earn their ordinary living; and (5) strangers stranded on the way. All these have a claim to charity. They should be relieved by individual or organised effort, but in a responsible way. In this verse, the word sadaqah refers to obligatory charity (zakah). See n. 1318 above. (R).”(The Meaning of The Noble Qur’an, by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, page 120, online source http://www.ulc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/English-Quran-With-Commentaries.pdf )

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