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The philosophy of Bayt al-Māl

Adapted from: " Bayt al-Mal and the Distribution of Zakat" by: "Mahmood Namazi"

According to A. Ghazali,3 the philosophy of the Bayt al-Māl is to form the basis of public financing. The final aim is to mould a society committed to balancing material and spiritual values by ensuring that wealth obtained by individuals is distributed from the "haves" to the "have-nots".

The Bayt al-Māl can also manage national trading activities, coordination of foreign exchange and international trade transactions. In the modern-day context, this role is held by the banking system which need not necessarily be a separate entity of the financial system.

Finally, everyone in the Islamic state is entitled to a reasonable standard of living and the Islamic state should guarantee its citizens' clothing, housing, health facilities, educational opportunities, and access to food at reasonable prices. A. Ghazali states that “although the Bayt al-Māl may not be directly involved in the administration of these welfare provisions, its funds may contribute towards the provisions of such matters.”4


    3. Ibid. p. 51-2.
    4. Ibid. p. 52.


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