Ramadan starts on 17 June and, as usual, with the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic media is littered with reminders for Muslims of the importance of Zakat, the obligatory charity tax that is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.

Zakat is also one of the most troubling aspects of Islam for non-Muslims and one of the most troubling aspects of Shariah-compliant finance, since zakat is an integral part of the Islamic financial system.

The accompanying diagram of zakat illustrates the problem. Included in the list of “Zakat Deserving People” front and center is the category of “In Cause of Allah.”

Widely circulated, authoritative Shariah texts, including Reliance of the Traveler defines this category as those who are fighting in Islamic military operations for whom there is no allotment on an army roster.

In other words: irregular combatants. They are properly called Jihadis, though in the West we normally refer to them as terrorists…


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