Q: Is it permissible to for an Islamic medical association to make it an obligation for members to deduct a fixed amount of money from their monthly income monthly to assist patients? I ask because it is similar to the obligatory monthly tax Christians give.
A: It is not permissible to force members to make a contribution towards any fund, even if it be a fund for the benefit of the poor. Any sadaqa or charity may only be taken with the consent and happy heart of the donor. The Medical Association may request its members to donate a certain amount towards this medical aid fund on a voluntary basis, but cannot make it compulsory. If anyone refuses to donate, he has the right to do so. However, they do have the right to exclude people from their association because accepting members into their fold is their right. Just as they cannot force members to donate money, they cannot be forced to accept certain individuals into their association. These rights work both ways.
Mufti Siraj Desai