Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Zakaah, the Glorious Philanthropy

Zakaath, the Muslim Charity
(also known as Poor Due)

Va aqeeemus salaatha va aathuz zakaatha va athee’ur rasoola
 la allakum thur’hamoon
So establish regular salaah and give zakaath (the Muslim charity)
and abide by the Prophet S.A.W.S.’s teachings
 that you may receive Mercy (and Bounties) from Allah.
(Surath an Noor: 56)

We compute sincerely our savings and the liquid assets (gold bullion, other than jewelery worn by us, etc.) in our possession at the end of each year. A fortieth  (that is, 2.5%) of all this is to be given away as our Zakaath then, to those in need. 

If this command of Allah is faithfully adhered to, the world’s ills will disappear and social upheavals avoided. To give honestly and uncomplainingly is to receive from Allah rewards of everlasting value.

It is the glory of Islam.  The concept of social welfare supported by taxation took centuries to gain acceptance by world governments.  But it was enshrined in the five essential precepts of Islam over 1,400 years ago. 

Allah has commanded Muslims to give away, of their own accord, a full 2.5 % of their net savings and of their liquid assets to the needy every year.

We are to give, with good manners and grace, for Allah's sake, and never expect thanks or gratitude from the recipients.

We ensure that the beneficiaries do not feel humiliated in any way for taking Zakaath.

Our reward is guaranteed from Allah Himself.

Zakaath means purification and development.

In most passages of the Holy Qur'an and Hadith  "Salaah" and "Zakaath" are mentioned in the same breath.

They are most important to us for the perfection of our faith.

Our Zakaath purifies not only our inner selves and makes us more perfect Muslims.

It also purifies and renders auspicious the wealth and possessions that remain with us after we have given away Zakaath conscientiously.

Zakaath must be be given to, and be received by, Muslims only.

The Prophet S.A.W.S. commands us in the Abu Dawood collection:  "Zakaath is the right of any Muslim who asks for it, even though he may have come to you on horseback."

It is also essential that the Zakaath giver make the Niyyath, intent, in his heart that he/she is giving such and such items to the recipient as Zakaath for Allah's sake.  Otherwise the Zakaath obligation will continue to rest on him/her.

                            Allah commands us in the Holy Qur’an:

“It is not true piety that you just turn your faces to the East and West.  The truly devout are those who believe
in Allah and the Day of Judgment,
in the Angels, the Book (of Allah) and the Prophets;
and give of their wealth, for the love of Allah, to near relatives, to orphans, to the needy, to the wayfarers and to the mendicants; and spend generously
to help human beings attain freedom from bondage;
and they perform Prayer and give Zakaath". 
(Surath Al Baq'r:177)

And Allah comforts us:
"And the believers, men and women, are friends of one another; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong;
and they perform regular prayer and they give Zakaath
and they obey Allah and His messenger (Syedina Muhammed S.A.W.S. Sal).
Upon them will be Allah's mercy and compassion".
(Suratha ath Thaubah:71)