Zakat is one of the pillars of the Islamic faith. It means you donate some of your personal wealth to those in need. Zakat purifies your spirit and brings you closer to Allah, or God. Learn how to calculate your personal zakat so you can fulfill your spiritual duties.
Zakaah is the most important pillar of Islam after Prayer. The word “Zakaah” means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’; so, our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need. The obligatory nature of Zakaah is firmly established in the Quran, the Sunnah, the consensus of the Prophet’s sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) Companions may Allah be pleased with them and the Muslim scholars may Allah have mercy upon them
One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to Allah, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. Allah also has set limits and restrictions on how to dispose of our wealth in order to strike a balance in the Muslim society. Allah Almighty promised those who fulfill this duty a great reward in this world and the Hereafter, and whosoever doesn’t fulfill it is sternly warned of the grave consequences.
The verb ‘give’ doesn’t necessarily denote voluntary charity as having to give away money, yet most of us absolve our obligation for charity by spending lots of money during Ramadan to various causes. Though these are all noble acts – what about other lasting charity acts that we can do physically?
The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“Every good deed is charity” [Bukhari].
He also said:
“On every person’s joint or small bones (i.e. fingers and toes), there is sadaqah (charity) due every day when the sun rises. Doing justice between two people is sadaqah; assisting a man to mount his animal, or lifting up his belongings onto it is sadaqah; a good word is sadaqah; every step you take towards prayer is sadaqah; and removing harmful things from pathways is sadaqah” [Muslim].
As to the handling of the gifts which have been brought together, how important are the Apostle’s words, “avoiding this, that any man should blame us in the matter of this bounty which is ministered by us: for we take thought for things honourable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Cor. 8:20, 21)! Ezra’s care provides a lesson for us in this connection. He separates twelve “of the chiefs (R.V.) of the priests,” weighing the offering, reminding them of their holy character, and charging them to watch, and keep the gifts until they weighed them before those responsible in Jerusalem (Ezra 8:24-29). So Paul sees to it that at least more than one brother should deal with the offering from the church at Corinth. “Whomsoever ye shall approve by letters (i.e., to the saints in Jerusalem), them,” he says, “will I send to carry your bounty to Jerusalem,” “and if it be meet for me to go also, they shall go with me” (I Cor. 16:3, 4).
As to those who have gone forth to “regions beyond,” the exhortation in 2 Cor. 10:15, 16, is significant in the matter of practical fellowship in this respect. With what delicate suggestiveness the Apostle says, “having hope that, as your faith groweth we shall be magnified in you. . . so as to preach the gospel even unto the parts beyond you” I Their faith was to find its increase in practical cooperation in the furtherance of the gospel.
Were they to be content with having received its benefits themselves? What about the people lying in darkness beyond them? The object of the appeal was not personal support; nor was it made merely for the sake of evangelism; it did, however, bring home the responsibility of an assembly regarding material assistance in gospel work in other regions, and it remains on record as a message to all assemblies.
There can be no more suitable time for the offering collectively to be made than at the gathering for the Lord’s Supper; for the material offering is associated with the worship and praise which characterize the occasion. Yet the fact remains that, according to I Cor. 16:2, the money then brought together is but the united application of what has already been set aside for the Lord at home.
Nor must we neglect “to do good and to communicate.” There are the indigent widows and other poor saints to be cared for, according to the teaching of such passages as I Timothy 5. There are the claims of poverty in other localities, claims enforced by the Epistles to the Corinthians. There are servants of God who “for the sake of the Name” have gone forth, “taking nothing of the Gentiles” (3 John 7); in the case of those who visit churches for the ministry of the Word, as called of God for such service, honesty will provide their travelling expenses (unless the gift is for any reason refused), liberality will rejoice to do more, it will set them forward on the journey “worthily of God” (verse 6), welcoming them so as to be “fellow-workers with the truth” (verse 8). There may be those who, giving themselves to pastoral work, and recognized in that capacity, stand thereby in need of material assistance.
Now while the offering especially in view in the Epistles to the church at Corinth was contributed by individuals, each according to his ability, it was an expression of the fellowship of the local church. So were the gifts sent to Paul from Philippi (Phil. 4:14, 18). Since, then, in addition to our giving privately for any particular object about which the Lord may exercise our hearts, we also have a corporate responsibility as members of assemblies or churches, some means must be adopted of collecting the contributions. There is no method particularized in the Scripture for the actual “collection.” The method, whether by passing round a receptacle or otherwise, is not the important point. What matters are the principles laid down in the Word of God to guide each believer and the whole company in its united offering.
All things are to be done “decently and in order.” We may render this injunction as follows: “Let everything be done in a becoming manner and according to Divine ordering.” Honesty is to characterize us collectively as well as individually. We are to take thought for “things honourable in the sight of all men” (Rom. 12:17). There are liabilities, such as rent, heat, lighting, and caretaking, to be met. These must not be allowed to get into arrears.