A recent Gallup poll has indicated that most Muslim Americans do not feel they are represented by existing Muslim organizations in America. The highest approval rating any one of these organizations received was only 12%. While we must assert that all of these existing organizations do extremely valuable work, we also understand that there exists a huge gap between the sociopolitical aspirations of Muslim Americans and the previous achievements of Muslim American organizations. In order to address these issues, we must consider the following:
Spending in God’s way should be understood in a much broader sense than the generally understood zakat system. It involves considerable spending on the part of a modern state for a variety of functions financed through a well-devised taxation system, besides charitable spending at the individual level. The best kind of spending in God’s way is helping others stand on their own feet. To help another person in a way, which makes him or her look for help all the time, is inherently ill motivated, and is like that of those who like to be seen by men, and is of no intrinsic virtue to them (2:264). From this point of view, the modern state should take appropriate measures to promote investment and development to increase opportunities for gainful employment of unemployed people, along with crafting a well-devised social welfare and security system. At the individual level, such efforts should include savings, investment and work that would help build infrastructure and industries for employment-generating development, along with their humanitarian spending in deserving cases.