We reviewed request no. 765 for the year 2005 which includes a question on the ruling for spending zakat
funds in spreading knowledge by asking Muslims to contribute towards educating others about Islamic culture. The center is working on publishing a series of books on Islamic civilization translated into English. The whole series comprises 100 books in the various fields of Islamic knowledge chosen by a group of specialists. As the process of translation, editing and publishing is costly, is it permissible to spend zakat
funds towards such an enterprise?
Spreading the call to Islam is one of various types of jihad in the way of Allah. It may either be by sword or tongue [words];
Allah Almighty says:
So do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them with the Qur`an a great striving [Al-Furqan, 52].
It is permissible to publish books of knowledge and distribute them from zakat funds.
Allah Almighty knows best.