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Global - May 11, 2021

Zakah: Purity and Growth

 

 

The greatness of Islam is clear in all the rites, acts of worship and obligations that Allah imposed upon His slaves. These obligations include the third pillar of Islam which is paying Zakah. Since the blessed month of Ramadan is the month of generosity, kindness, spending, charity and feeding the needy, it is suitable to speak about the obligatory Zakah that Allah The Almighty associated with prayer in the Noble Quran on 82 occasions.

 

 

The religion of a Muslim is not correct unless he pays it because it plays a role in bringing together the rich and poor Muslims, creating the spirit of sympathy and love among the individuals of the society, achieving social solidarity in the Muslim community, securing the needs of the poor, the needy, the travellers, the orphans and the widows and protecting those who deserve it against need and begging.

 

 

The scholars of Islam, the predecessors and the successors alike, agreed upon the fact that the religion of a person is not complete unless he pays Zakah. Whoever denies that it is obligatory is a disbeliever. Whoever refrains from paying it along with believing that it is obligatory, it should be taken from him by force as the Caliph Abu Bakr  did with those who refrained from paying Zakah after the death of the Messenger of Allah .

Its definition:

Zakah linguistically means growth. It also bears the meaning of purification as well as the meaning of reform.

In the Sharee‘ah context: it means giving a specific amount of money to those who deserve it with certain conditions.

Evidence that it is obligatory:

Zakah was imposed in the second year of Hijrah. It is obligatory by virtue of the Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of scholars. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is the associate of prayer in the Book of Allah.

Evidence from the Quran that it is obligatory:

Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

–     {And establish prayer and give Zakah…..} [Quran 2:110]

–     {Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase……} [Quran 9:103]

–     {And those within whose wealth is a known right For the petitioner and the deprived.} [Quran 70:25]

–     {And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give Zakah. And that is the correct religion.} [Quran 98:5]

In the Sunnah, there are many proofs:

The Prophet  said: “Verily, Islam is founded on five (pillars): testifying that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, establishment of prayer, payment of Zakah, fast of Ramadan and Pilgrimage to the House for those who are able.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Besides, when the Messenger of Allah  sent Mu‘aath  to Yemen, he said: “Then inform them that Allah has made it obligatory upon them to pay Zakah from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 

 

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar  narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and offer the prayers perfectly and give Zakah, so if they act in accordance with that, then their lives and property are sacred to me unless they violate Islamic laws and then their reckoning will be with Allah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 

 

Abu Hurayrah  narrated that a Bedouin came to the Prophet  and said: “Tell me of a deed that will make me enter Paradise, if I do it.” The Prophet  said: “Worship Allah, and worship none along with Him, offer the (five) prescribed compulsory prayers perfectly, pay the compulsory Zakah and fast the month of Ramadan.” The Bedouin said: “By Him, in Whose Hand my life is, I will not do more than this.” When he (the Bedouin) left, the Prophet  said: “Whoever likes to see a man of Paradise, then he may look at this man.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 

The consensus:

It was mentioned by many scholars. Ibn Qudaamah said: “Muslims at all times agreed upon its obligatoriness.” [Al-Mughni]

The conditions of it being obligatory:

Scholars agreed that Zakah is obligatory upon every Muslim who is free (not a slave), adult, in possession of mental faculties and who fully possesses the minimum amount eligible for Zakah upon which a year passed except for fruits and grains as it becomes due without the passage of a year. They differed concerning the apostate, the child, the slave and whoever other than the completely possessing owner. (These matters are explained in detail in their original sources in the books of Fiqh).

 

 

 

 

Its wisdom and virtue:

Zakah purifies one’s soul and money, elevates ranks, brings about blessing, increases one’s reward, eliminates poverty, consoles the needy and bonds the Muslim community together.

 

 

Allah The Almighty specified its channels of disbursement as He Says (what means): {Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.} [Quran 9:60]

 

From its name, it is clear to us that it entails purification and growth (the root of the word Zakah in Arabic means “purify”). Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase….} [Quran 9:103] It purifies money and completely treats the diseases of miserliness, avarice, greediness, selfishness and grudge.

 

Allah The Almighty promises the people of Zakah and spending with blessing, increase and growth as He Says (what means): {….But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.”} [Quran 34:39] Moreover, the Prophet  said: “Charity never reduces one’s money.” [Saheeh At-Tirmithi]

 

Zakah plays a great role in achieving the principle of social solidarity in the Muslim community. Allah The Exalted distributes sustenance among His slaves according to His will and He favors some of them over others in sustenance. He made among them the rich and the poor and the strong and the weak. He imposed upon the rich a specific right and an obligatory share that is taken from them and returned to the poor so that money will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich and so that the poor people may lead a decent life. The rich person should not boastfully remind the poor of his charity. It is the wealth of Allah and it is He who imposed the right of spending and consoling. This is one of the most wonderful forms of solidarity in societies. The Messenger of Allah  said: “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection and sympathy is that of one body; when any of its limbs aches, the whole-body aches because of sleeplessness and fever.” [Muslim]

 

Furthermore, Zakah is a practical expression of brotherhood in Islam and is a realistic application of the morals of the Muslims on the part of the giver of Zakah. In addition, paying Zakah plays a great role in achieving security and stability. When the poor person obtains his right and what secures his life, he avoids causing any troubles or disorder in the life of the Islamic community and he feels that he is among a group that observes his right. Thus, security, safety and peace prevail over the all classes of the society.

 

 

Besides, whenever the rich person fulfills the right of the poor, the phenomenon of envy will disappear from the Islamic society, Muslims will be free from grudges and everyone will live in brotherhood, love, affection, happiness and delight.

 

Zakah also expiates sins, protects against afflictions and brings about the mercy of Allah. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {…but My mercy encompasses all things. So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give Zakah…} [Quran 7:156]

 

The stance of Islam towards those who refrain from paying Zakah:

 

From among the most serious disasters with which man is afflicted is the disease of miserliness that makes him think that his miserliness will preserve his money from loss or that it will increase his wealth. Nevertheless, if he knew the loss he incurs in the life of this world, the torture he suffers in the Hereafter and the reward and blessing he misses; he would hasten to pay it and rather increase his charity and good deeds.

 

Severe threatening came in the Book of Allah The Almighty to those who are miserly and who do not pay the Zakah of their money.

 

Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.} [Quran 3:180]

 

Allah The Almighty also Says (what means): {….And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment. The Day when it will be heated in the fire of Hell and seared therewith will be their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, [it will be said], “This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you used to hoard.”} [Quran 9:34-35]

 

 

Refraining from paying Zakah is a grave sin and a great harm to the poor and the needy and it exposes one to the Anger of Allah and His quick punishment. That is why abstention from Zakah ruins the society and destroys its foundations, and that is why Zakah should be taken by force from whoever refrains from paying it. If they are a group who possesses power and authority, the Imam should fight them until they pay Zakah as Abu Bakr  did with those who refrained from paying Zakah.

 

 

Whoever denies that it is obligatory while knowing its ruling is a disbelieving apostate according to the consensus of the Muslim scholars. On the other hand, he who abandons it without denying it, it should be taken from him with the power of the Sultan and the ruler should punish him if he has no excuse. He is liable to the severe threatening addressed to those who refrain from paying Zakah.

 

 

In the Prophetic Sunnah, those who abstain from paying Zakah are threatened as follows: Abu Hurayrah  narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, what about the camel?” He  said: “If any owner of a camel does not pay what is due on him, and of his due in that (camel) is (also) to milk it on the day when it comes down to water, when the Day of Resurrection comes a soft sandy plain would be set for him, as extensive as possible, (he will find) that not a single young one is missing, and they will trample him with their hoofs and bite him with their mouths. As often as the first of them passes him, the last of them would be made to return during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.” It was (again) said: “O Messenger of Allah, what about cows (cattle) and sheep?” He said: “If any owner of the cattle and sheep does not pay what is due on them, when the Day of Resurrection comes a soft sandy plain would be spread for them, he will find none of them missing, with twisted horns, without horns or with a broken horn, and they will gore him with their horns and trample him with their hoofs. As often as the first of them passes him, the last of them would be made to return to him during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment would be pronounced among the servants. And he would be shown his path leading him to Paradise or to Hell…” [Muslim]

 

 

Abu Hurayrah  narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakah of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say: ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.'” Then the Prophet  recited the noble verses: {And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them. …} (to the end of the verse) [Quran 3:180].” [Al-Bukhari]

 

 

Abu Hurayrah  also narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “If the owner of camels does not pay their Zakah, then, on the Day of Resurrection those camels will come to him and will strike his face with their hooves.” [Al-Bukhari]

 

 

Moreover, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar  narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “Those who refrain from paying Zakah will be deprived from the rain of the sky. If it were not for the cattle, Allah would not send them rain…” [Saheeh Ibn Maajah; Al-Albaani: Hasan]

 

 

How terrifying are these intimidations and threats! Those who abstain from paying Zakah should fear Allah and repent to Him. He accepts repentance from those who repent.

 

 

Fasting brother and sister, here we are in the blessed last ten days of Ramadan – the ten days of mercy, forgiveness and salvation from Hellfire. You should have a share of spending. Do not be among those who are misers so they regret this afterwards. Pay the Zakah of your money on time and pay charity from the excess of your wealth so that Allah will increase it for you and multiply it many times over. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.} [Quran 2:245] May Allah accept from me and you the good deeds and Decree that we are among those whom he saves from Hellfire.

 

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