It is impossible to make the testimony of faith, pray, fast and go to pilgrimage only, far from men and worrying about no one except oneself. To be with God is tantamount to being with men; to carry faith is tantamount to carrying the responsibility of a continuous social commitment. The teaching that we should extract from zakat is explicit: to possess is tantamount to having to share.
It is impossible here, in the name of freedom, to shamelessly increase one’s property at the price of exploitation, and social injustices. It is also impossible to forget the interests of the entire society such that one counts only one’s interests. Man is certainly free, but he is responsible for this freedom before God as before men. This responsibility is inevitably moral. In the order of this morality, to be free is to protect the freedom of others and their dignities.
The four practical pillars of Islam hold this double individual and collective dimension. It is a difficult balance, but this project is the only one capable of responding to the requirement of the Creator who expects of man to carry alone the responsibility of his community life. On the economic level, this is the only path which allows man to live humanely; his nature cannot do without such exchanges. Islam reminds through the means of all the moral energy of its message, that a human economy without duties is an inhumane economy which organises, produces, and structures injustices, exploitation and famine.
“Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity” – Tariq Ramadan, pp. 144, 145