Zakat, tax, and the state: Obligation and charity in times of COVID-19

  • Principal Investigators:
  • Max Gallien (International Centre for Tax and Development, IDS)
  • Vanessa Van Den Boogard (International Centre for Tax and Development, IDS)
  • Umair Javed (Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS)

Duration: 2020-2021

Project Funder: ICTD

Through a comparative study, the project seeks to explore questions around three central issues. First, it aims to better understand how the fiscal burden of the COVID-19 pandemic response is distributed in Muslim-majority countries. Second, it seeks to better understand the conceptual relationship between zakat and formal taxation. Third, the current crisis provides unique insights into how the perception of zakat in different Muslim majority countries is also influenced by the degree to which zakat is managed by states vis-a-vis non-state actors. In order to explore these questions, the project draws on a comparative set-up between three countries - Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan - with varying relationships between zakat and the state and involves a phone-based survey of nationally-representative samples.