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.
Isn’t it heart-melting how your Lord gives you the opportunity to spend the wealth He (swt) gave you to bring great benefit to yourself? Giving charity is something truly heart-softening in Islam— but do you know how you can actually become more productive by giving sadaqah?
Giving charity is one of the five pillars and a part of your Islamic identity. But does the charity you give define you or is it just a click of a mouse and ‘job done’? Let’s get the spirit of giving back and find out how your charity can truly transform your life as well as others!
Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa gave us a beautiful promise which is this week’s central ayah:
Verily those who give sadaqah, men and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold, and theirs shall be an honourable good reward (Paradise. [Quran 57:18].
Let’s study some big motivators in this week’s Jumuah Special and find out about the amazing virtues of sadaqah and how your charity can make you more productive.
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.
Payment of Zakaat is the third act of worship in Islam. It is a tax which is levied on surplus money, gold, and silver at the rate of two and a half percent annually. Zakaat means purification of property and increase of goods.
By payment of the Zakaat tax, the rich in fact deduct a share for the poor from their surplus wealth thus purifying it. The poor, on the other hand, are provided with monetary assistance to help raise their living standard.
It is a beautiful system where the rich get to help the poor, without the poor feeling indebted to the rich. The Zakaat when due, is given to a central fund and the people who are in charge of distribution, will give it to the poor and needy, as required. Thus the poor and needy are not aware as to who gave them the money; likewise, the rich also do not know where their money went. Therefore, neither feels obliged to the other.
Zakah is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is not just a form of charity, alms-giving or a voluntary contribution to a cause. Nor is it simply an expression of kindness, but it is all of these combined and much more. Zakah is a duty enjoined by God and done by Muslims in the interest of a society as a whole, and to help those in poverty.
The literal meaning of the word zakah is ‘purity’. However, the practical meaning of the word is the annual amount of wealth an able Muslim must give to the rightful recipients. It is an obligation ordained by God upon every Muslim who becomes the owner of a specific amount of wealth known as the nisab. If ones wealth is equal or more than this specific amount, zakah will become obligatory upon them, and they must give away 2.5% of their yearly earnings as zakah. The nisab is the equivalent in cash, gold, silver, merchandise, etc of 613 grams of silver or 87.48 grams of gold. Scholars usually consider the nisab to be whichever is less between the gold or silver.
Sadaqah (voluntary charity) is a virtuous deed in Islam. In fact, it is considered as a proof of one’s eeman (faith). The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said in the following authentic hadeeth:
Abu Malik al-Ashari (r.a.) (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.) said: “Cleanliness is half of faith. Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale. SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up what is between the heavens and the earth. Prayer is a light. Charity is proof (of one’s faith). Endurance is a brightness and the Qur‘an is a proof on your behalf or against you. All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves.” (Muslim, 432)
The literal meaning of “Zakat” is purity. Its Islamic technical meaning designates the annual amount of wealth, food, property etc. which a Muslim with the adequate means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries.
Zakat is a remarkable institution and a major pillar of Islam. Allah, Almighty, Says (what means): “And establish the Prayer, and pay Zakaat (the poor due)…” [Quran, 2:43]
Moreover, Zakat is an obligatory act because it is one of the pillars of Islam: The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Islam was built upon five (pillars): `The testimony that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; the establishment of the prayer; paying the obligatory charity (Zakat); pilgrimage to the House (Hajj to the Ka’bah in Makkah) and fasting (the month of) Ramadan.”‘ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Zakat is a small portion of the Muslim’s wealth that must be given to the poor or to other specified beneficiaries. Whoever claims that Zakat is not obligatory and refuses to pay it, is not a Muslim, but a Muslim who refuses to pay Zakat due to stinginess, while affirming its obligation, has committed a great sin for which one will be severely punished.