Q: What were the reasons for giving Zakat to 'al-Mu'allafati Qulubuhum'?

A: The following points highlight the reasons and circumstances in which this meta-category can
be used:
Islam and Muslims are maligned and misunderstood in society.
Ta’lif with Zakat is permitted and encouraged in any society where Islam and Muslims are
maligned and considered negatively.
If Ta’lif with Zakat funds can boost the reputation of Islam and Muslims.
Ta’lif al-Qulub is a means of giving Islam and the Muslims a good reputation among the
people. That is why Sayyiduna Umar stopped using this meta-category as it would have had
no considerable increase in the reputation of Islam nor the Muslims as their status had been
As a strategy to strengthen Muslims.
The Muslims’ weakness is another factor prompting the application of this meta-category.
Muslims being weak suggests that they are vulnerable, defenceless, helpless, unprotected
and ineffective. When Muslims had influence, there was no need to use this meta-category
anymore. This is precisely why this meta-category was not used in the time of Sayyiduna
Umar. However, when Muslims are the weaker ones in society, this meta-category can be
considered to be useful.
Weakness is to do with a lack of power and influence regardless of numbers. Strength
gives one the ability to navigate proceedings of any given matter in one’s best interests.
These concepts are defined, understood and tangible considering the factors of one’s ‘Urf
(custom). For this meta-category to be meaningful today, the application of this metacategory
must consider how strength is gained in one’s context and ‘Urf.

When Muslims are a weak minority.
Muslims being a weak minority is another factor underpinning the use of Ta’lif. A weak
minority needs to use Ta’lif to boost its reputation and bring hearts together. When
Sayyiduna Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) halted the use of this meta-category, he
did so because Muslims were the majority in the region and were influential.
As a last resort when other means are unavailable. Imam al-Jassas (d.370 AH) states84 that Ta’lif al-Qulub is an option to gain currency and
recognition when there is a lack of alternative strategies or options. It is a pre-emptive
measure when more proactive measures are not possible.
A means of securing the faith of new converts. Mu’allafatul Qulub is a means of bringing stability to new members of the faith community.
When Islam is weak in the hearts of Muslims.
When the faith of Muslims is weak, Mua’llafatul Qulub is a mechanism to strengthen them
and keep them committed to faith.

And Allah knows best!

Mufti Faraz Adam