Shaykh Abu Eesa likes to translate zakaat as alms tax. Zakaat is something that is treated like a tax, it is collected, it is official and there is punishment for those who don't pay zakaat. After a certain threshold you have to pay the zakaat, it is obligatory.
Zakaat is like a tax in the manner of how it is collected but the way it is distributed is completed different.
Shaykh Abu Eesa answers and explains..
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