A government official in Malaysia has stated that businesses and individuals should pay zakat, even though Malaysia has no laws requiring that they do so.
There is definite basis in this admonishment in Shariah law. Consider this quote from “Understanding Islamic Law (Shari’a)” by Raj Bhala, published by LexisNexis and used as a text in law schools here in the US:
“Thus every able Muslim (i.e. who has property above a minimal or quorum amount, the nisab), and able Muslim business (i.e. with property above a de minimis threshold), is required to give annually to charity an amount equal to 2 1/2 percent of his or her gross assets…” [Quote appears on page 368, Chapter 15.03].
This is of particular interest to those of us who follow Shariah-compliant finance because, as most SFW readers know by now, one of the eight acceptable destinations for zakat is “those fighting in the way of Allah.” This is one reason why so many Muslim charities (at least 80 at last count) have been implicated in financing jihadist terrorism.