Benefits of paying Zakat
(Take alms (charity) from their wealth [O Prophet!] in order to purify them with it.) [Quran 9:103]
Meaning of Zakat
Zakat literally means purification. Technically, it means a contribution of property for the use of the poor and the needy as a sanctification of the remainder of the property.
An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakah means both “purification” and “growth.” Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need and for the society in general. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
Importance of Zakat
Zakat is included in five pillars of Islam. It was made compulsory on the first of Ramadan in the second year of the Hegira. “Keep up prayer and pay Zakat” is the constant theme of the Holy Quran. While prayer is a physical form of worshipping Allah, Zakat is a material form.
Prophet Muhammad (Sal-allahu- aleihi-wasallam) said:
Islam is based on (the following) five (principles) : 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle. 2. To offer the (compulsory) prayers dutifully and perfectly.3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .4. To perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca).5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan. [Vol 1:#7 of Sahih Bukhari]
Why zakat has made compulsory?
Prophet Muhammad (Sal-allahu- aleihi-wasallam) said:
Allah has made zakat obligatory simply to purify your remaining property, and He made inheritances obligatory that they might come to those who survive you. [Vol 1:#1689 of Mishkat Al-Masabih, transmitted by Sunan Abu Dawud].
Benefits of Zakat in this world:Zakat is a backbone of a Muslim nation’s financial sysytem;Zakat keeps money in circulation;Zakat discourages hoarding;Helps the poor;Helps and supports Islam;Purifies the heart of love for money and wealth, purifies the money itself;Protects the muslims from many other vices; love of wealth is the root of many immoral actions.
Benefits of Zakat in the Hereafter:
Allah says in Quran
“If you lend to Allah a goodly loan (i.e. spend in Allah’s Cause) He will double it for you, and will forgive you. And Allah is Most Ready to appreciate and to reward, Most Forbearing.” [64:17]
“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan, then (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit (in repaying), and he will have (besides) a good reward (i.e. Paradise).” [57:11]
“Surely, those who give Sadaqat (i.e. Zakat and alms, etc.), men and women, and lend to Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and theirs shall be an honourable good reward (i.e. Paradise).” [57:18]
Result of Non-paying Zakat
Allah says in Quran
“And those who hoard up gold and silver [Al-Kanz: the money, the Zakat of which has not been paid], and spend it not in the Way of Allah, -announce unto them a painful torment.” [9:34]
Prophet Muhammad (Sal-allahu- aleihi-wassallam ) said,
“Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a baldheaded 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 holy verses:
“And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (Wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakat). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is WellAcquainted with all that you do.” (3:180) [Hadith Vol 2:#486 of Sahih Bukhari]
Who are obligatory to pay Zakat?
Zakat is to be paid compulsorily by those who possess gold, silver, currency or goods for trade in a given quantity for the period of an entire year. This quantity is called Nisab. For different commodities the Nisab is as follows:1) Gold 7-1/2 Tolas2) Siver 52-1/2 Tolas3) Currency and Commercial goods: Equivalent either to the price of gold or silver as specified above.
Rate of ZakatRate is 2-1/2 % for Gold, Silver and cash. There are separate rates for other items, please refer your local Islamic centre or Ulema for details.
Exempted from Zakat:
Zakat is not due from infant or mad person, mokatib, insolvent debtor, from the necessities of life such as dwelling houses, articles of clothing, household furnitures, cattles kept for immediate use or slaves employed as actual servants or armours and weapons and from uncertain property. Jwellery not for trade or investment purpose is totally exempted from zakat.
Persons to whom zakat is to be paid:
In the Quran Allah says:
As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor)1,and Al-Masakin (the needy)2and those employed to collect (the funds)3;and for to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam)4;and to free the captives5;and for those in debt6;and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun – those fighting in the cause of Allah)7,and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything)8;a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise. [9:60]
Some Principles of Disbursing Zakat
1. Zakat can only be collected from and distributed among muslims.About distrution of Zakat, some scholars say that there is no such restriction in Quran to pay zakat to muslims only. The zakat should be paid to those who are in need in accordance with the above mentioned quranic verse.
2. Relatives (father, mother, son, daughter, husband and wife) one whom is bound to support in accordance with the Shariat are not entitled to receive Zakat. However, relatives should be given preference over non-relatives.
3. Ordinarily, the Zakat in a township should be distributed among its own inhabitants. If, however, deserving people are not available, Zakat can be given to people in another settlement in emergencies: floods, earthquakes etc.
4. Zakat payers should satisfy themselves that the recipients genuinely deserve individuals.
5. Goods of basic necessity can also be purchased from Zakat money.
6. It is not necessary to inform the recipients that the money or goods being given to them is Zakat.
Emergency Relief For Flood Victims
Flood in Pakistan has badly damaged life and property. Many lives have been lost, agriculture and houses are destroyed. Thousand of Agriculture lands destroyed. Nearly 2000 peoples are died, and thousand of peoples are residing in open sky, their houses and house hold articles are totally destroyed from this flood.In this situation every muslim specially Pakistani muslim are responsible to help them. Flood affected people looking towards us for help. Now its our duty to help our brothers and sisters in this critical time.The Messenger of Allah (saaw) also said,
“The believers, in their love, mutual kindness, and close ties, are like one body; when any part complains, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.” [Muslim],
“The faithful are like one man: if his eyes suffers, his whole body suffers.” [Muslim],
Furthermore, Allah (swt), says,
The Faithful Believers are brethren to each other…” [Surah Al-Hujurat (49): ayah 10]
And the Messenger of Allah (saaw) said,
“The Faithful are to one another like [parts of] a building – each part strengthening the others”
“Every Muslim is a brother to a Muslim, neither wronging him nor allowing him to be wronged. And if anyone helps his brother in need, Allah will help him in his own need; and if anyone removes a calamity from [another] Muslim, Allah will remove from him some of the calamities of the Day of Resurrection; and if anyone shields [another] Muslim from disgrace, Allah will shield him from the disgrace on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Al-Bukhariand Muslim, on the authority of `Abd Allah ibn `Umar]