MUALLAFA AL-QULUB (THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE TO BE RECONCILED WITH ISLAM)
Those whose hearts are to be reconciled with or softened. As a term, muallafa al-qulub denotes people whose hearts are wanted to be reconciled with, who are wanted to be made harmless for Islam or to continue in the religion by giving them zakat (alms).
That group of people was used as a means of neutralizing polytheists, strengthening the belief of people with weak belief who had just embraced Islam and ensuring some polytheists to become Muslims in the periods when the number of Muslims was few and their strength was weak; that method proved to be very successful.
When the people to whom zakat can be given to are listed in the Quran, muallafa al-qulub is also mentioned (at-Tawba, 9/60). Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) himself acted accordingly and gave zakat both to Muslims and to some people who had not embraced Islam fully yet.
The reasons why non-Muslims are given zakat can be evaluated in two groups. The first one is the people who are expected to embrace Islam by softening their hearts. For instance, Safwan b. Umayya is one of them. He says: "During the Battle of Hunayn, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) gave me a share from the booty. As a matter of fact, he was the person that I disliked most. He continued to give me some things later; then, he became the person that I liked most." (Tirmizi, III, 27).
The second is the group of people that could torture Muslims and harm them; if they were given zakat, they would give up torturing Muslims, and Muslims could benefit from them against other non-Muslims. Ibn Abbas narrates the following hadith about that group of people: "Sometimes a tribe came to Hazrat Prophet (pbuh); if Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) gave them something, they would praise Islam and said, This is a really good religion. If he did not give them anything, they would blame Islam. Sufyan b. Harb, Uyayna b. Hisin and al-Aqra' b. Habis were among them" (Muslim, II, 735).
However, according to Hanafis and Shafiis, non-Muslims cannot be given any zakat in order to make their hearts reconcile with Islam or for any other reason. The reason why they were given zakat during the first periods of Islam was that, the number of Muslims was few and the number of non-Muslims was a lot. Later, Allah made Muslims strong and freed Muslims from the necessity of making their hearts reconcile with Islam. After Hazrat Prophet, the four rightly guided caliphs did not give them zakat, and Hazrat Umar said: "We will not give them anything on behalf of Islam. Islam became strong. He who wants can become a Muslim, and he who wants can become an unbeliever."
The reasons why some believers are regarded as muallafa al-qulub and given zakat:
a) To make the hearts of people with weak belief who have just become Muslims and who have not become believers fully reconcile with Islam.
b) To ensure the non-Muslim friends or members of some Muslim tribe heads to embrace Islam by giving those tribe heads zakat.
c) To make Jewish and Christian people who have embraced Islam continue in Islam, and to strengthen their belief.
d) To enable the Muslims who are in the border against enemies, on dangerous fronts and places to defend themselves when the enemy attacks.
e) In order to collect zakat from some Muslims who do not want to give zakat without any struggle or fighting to give zakat to some influential people among them. Zakat was given from the fund of muallafa al-qulub to those kinds of people in order to continue to benefit from influential Muslims.
It is known that the application of muallafa al-qulub continued during the period of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) and the first years of the caliphate of Hazrat Abubakr. Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) objected to the application of giving muallafa al-qulub zakat due to the fact that Muslims became strong and there was no need to give zakat to that group during the caliphate of Hazrat Abubakr (may Allah be pleased with him). Hazrat Abubakr and other companions of the Prophet approved the act of Hazrat Umar. As a result of the intervention of Hazrat Umar, giving zakat to that group was abolished.
Some Islamic scholars defend the view that giving zakat to muallafa al-qulub was abolished forever while others defend the view that giving zakat to that group is valid during every period.
To sum up, the group of muallafa al-qulub shows that the method of Islamic struggle can be strengthened through financial ways. That way is an important method to strengthen and spread Islam. A share from zakat was allocated and a fund was introduced to soften the enemy with money, to neutralize them, and to make the people who could harm the nation settle in the sphere of Islam. This fund can also be used for obtaining the secrets of enemies, educating and training agents and spies, neutralizing the dangers directed towards Islam, and making the media and means of communication of the enemy broadcast in favor of Islam. (For more information, see al-Kasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi', Beirut 1328/1910, II, 42, et al.; Ibnu'l- Humam, Fathu'l-Qadir, Bulaq 1315, II, 14 et al.; Ibn Abidin, Raddu'l-Mukhtar, Egypt, n.d., II, 79 et al.; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatu'l-Mujtahid, Egypt, n.d., I, 266 et al.).
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