ALZAKA T "THE POOR DUE "

BY

ABD EL-RAZZAK NOFAL

Thi s boo k i s th e firs t i n a serie s designe d t o stat e a s briefl y a s possibl e th e essential s o f Islam .

N o question s o f histor y or philosoph y hav e bee n raise d or discussed . Th e plai n truth s abou t Isla m hav e bee n state d i n a clear an d concis e manner .

I t i s hope d tha t peopl e wit h ver y littl e knowledg e o f Isla m wil l fin d i n thi s serie s a direc t introdutio n t o th e essential s o f Islam . I t wil l hel p eve n thos e wh o wan t t o b e initiate d int o th e stud y o f Islam .

SHAWK Y SUKKAR Y

"A L ZAKAT " TH E POORDU E Th e Thir d Pillar o f Isla m

Almight y Alla h impose d Zakza t o n al l Muslim s an d gav e the m order s regard s regardin g i t i n man y verse s o f th e Quran . For exampl e

"An d b e steadfas t i n prayers , pa y th e Zakat , an d whatever goo d yo u sen d fort h befor e yo u for your souls , yo u shal l fin d i t wit h God , for Go d see s wel l wha t yo u do "

Thi s mentio n o f Zaka t i n th e Qura n occur s i n som e 3 2 verses . I n mos t o f the m i t i s couple d wit h prayers , an d thi s emphasise s th e importanc e whic h th e Qura n place s upo n Zakat .

Go d ha s promise d al l wh o fulfil l Zaka t grea t reward . Thi s i s illustrate d i n verse s lik e

"An d establis h regular prayer s an d pa y th e Zaka t an d loa n t o Go d a goodl y loan . whatever goo d yo u sen d fort h befor e yo u for your souls , yo u shal l fin d i t i n God' s Presence , better an d greater i n reward. " Wha t better rewar d i s ther e tha n God' s merc y ?

A s for thos e wh o refrai n fro m charit y an d wh o d o no t practis e Zakat , their punishmen t wil l b e sever e

"An d wo e t o thos e wh o joi n god s wit h God.. . wh o d o no t pa y th e Zaka t an d d o no t believ e i n th e Hereafter" . Likewise :

"Wo e t o th e worshipper s wh o ar e neglectfu l o f their prayers , thos e wh o woul d b e see n (a t worship) , bu t abstai n fro m goo d works" . An d also :

"An d thos e wh o hoar d u p gol d an d silver an d spen d i t no t i n th e wa y o f God , announc e unt o the m a mos t grievou s penalty.. . O n th e Da y whe n i t wil l (all ) b e heate d i n th e fir e o f Hell , an d thei r foreheads , side s an d back s wil l b e brande d therewit h (an d the y wil l b e told ) : Thi s i s wha t yo u hoarde d u p for yourselves ; tast e o f tha t whic h yo u hoarded. "

Treasur e her e mean s wealt h ou t o f whic h a certai n amoun t i s no t dedicate d for charit y (Zakat ) eve n i f i t i s pu t awa y an d no t invested .

A s for th e wealt h upo n whic h Zaka t i s pai d i t i s no t considere d `treasure ' eve n i f i t i s `pu t awa y

"An d le t no t thos e wh o covetousl y hoar d u p tha t whic h Go d ha s give n the m o f Hi s bount y thin k tha t i t i s better for themma y i t wil l b e th e wors e for them . Tha t whic h the y hav e hoarde d avariciousl y wil l b e a s a collar o n their neck s o n th e Da y o f Judgement" .

Zaka t i s als o o f th e condition s for th e acceptanc e o f th e repentanc e o f pagans . I t i s a conditio n for abstainin g fro m wagin g war o n them , a s th e Qura n specifies :

"Bu t whe n th e sacre d month s hav e passed , the n figh t a n d sla y th e idolater s wher e yo u fin d them , an d seiz e them , beleaguer them , an d li e i n wai t for the m i n ever y ambush . Bu t i f the y repent , an d establis h regular prayer s an d practic e Zaka t the n le t the m g o their way , for go d i s Forgiving , Merciful" .

Similarl y Zaka t i s als o proo f tha t pagan s hav e embrace d Islam , an d brotherhoo d toward s the m i s th e dut y o f al l other Muslims , a s th e Qurani c vers e state s

Bu t i f the y repent , establis h regular prayers , an d pa y th e Zaka t the y ar e your brethre n i n faith" .

Muhamma d (Prayer s an d God' s Peac e b e upo n him ) advise d th e practic e o f Zaka t i n man y o f hi s sayings . For example , i t i s relate d o f hi m tha t h e addresse d th e peopl e saying :

" O people , H e (Gabriel ) cam e t o m e fro m m y Lor d whils t I wa s aslee p an d sai d t o me : O Muhammad , thos e wh o pra y bu t d o no t practic e Zakat , their prayer s ar e no t acceptable , an d thos e wh o practis e Zaka t bu t d o no t pray , their Zaka t i s no t acceptable . H e wh o withold s Zaka t i s o n th e Da y O f Judgemen t equa l t o h e wh o ha s no t practise d it" .

Muhamma d als o mention s Zaka t i n on e o f hi s saying s a s on e o f th e fiv e pillar s o f Isla m : "Isla m i s buil t upo n fiv e pillar s testimon y o f belie f i n on e Go d an d Muhamma d a s Hi s prophet , prayers , Zakat , fastin g i n th e mont h o f Ramada n an d th e Pilgrimag e t o Mecca" .

For tha t reason , whe n Muhamma d sen t hi s envoy s t o preac h Islam , h e advise d the m t o cal l peopl e t o worshi p Go d an d the n t o pa y Zakat , takin g fro m th e ric h t o giv e t o th e poor .

H e als o advise d Mua z whe n h e sen t hi m t o Yeme n sayin g

"Yo u ar e goin g t o a peopl e wh o hav e a Scripture . S o cal l the m firs t t o worshi p God ; an d whe n the y hav e acknowledge d Go d tel l the m tha t Go d impose s Zaka t o n them , take n fro m th e ric h an d returne d t o th e poor . I f the y obe y accep t i t fro m them , an d hee d th e ple a o f th e downtrodden , for betwee n i t an d Go d ther e i s n o barrier .

He , wh o refuse s th e obligatio n o f Zaka t i s a n unbelieve r wh o mus t repen t or b e kille d lik e th e on e wh o apostatizes . Ab u Bakr (th e Grac e o f Go d b e upo n him ) kille d thos e wh o apostatize d whe n the y refuse d t o pa y Zaka t an d sai d "B y God , wer e the y t o hol d bac k a du e whic h the y use d t o pa y t o th e Messenger o f God , I woul d wag e hol y war agains t them" . An d h e ordere d war t o b e wage d agains t the m sayin g : " I shal l figh t al l thos e wh o mak e a distinctio n betwee n prayer an d Zakat. "

CLASSIFICATIO N O F ZAKA T

Zaka t i s divide d int o tw o mai n categorie s

1. Zaka t o f alFitr (i.e . th e breakin g o f th e fas t a t th e en d o f Ramadan . I t i s als o referre d t o a s th e Zaka t o f th e body .

2. Zaka t o f wealth .

Zaka t o f alFitr :

Muhamma d ordere d tha t thi s kin d o f charit y shoul d b e observe d i n th e sam e year i n whic h th e fastin g durin g Ramada n wa s imposed .

A day , or tw o day s precedin g alFitr th e Prophe t addresse d th e Muslim s saying :

"Giv e for charity , b e i t cor n or dates ; giv e accordin g t o wha t yo u are , fre e or slave , youn g or old. "

I t i s als o relate d b y alBukhar i an d Musli m tha t th e Prophe t (Prayer an d God' s Peac e b e upo n him ) impose d th e charit y o f alFitr after Ramadan , a measur e o f date s or barle y o n al l Muslims , slav e or free , youn g or old , mal e or female .

THOS E WH O HAV E T O PRACTIS E ZAKA T ALFIT R

Zaka t alFitr doe s no t becom e nullifie d i f on e i s a Muslim , provide d th e Musli m i s fre e an d possesse s th e amoun t o f Zaka t after coverin g th e expense s o f foo d for himself , an d thos e who m h e feed s for  a da y an d a night , together wit h th e expenditur e whic h h e incur s i n relatio n t o wife , son , servant s an d thos e who m h e ha s t o provid e for suc h a s parent s an d others .

It s amount :

Th e amoun t i s either  a measur e o f dates , or barley , or rice , or corn , or anythin g els e edibl e tha t ca n b e use d for food , fro m eac h individual .

I f Zaka t i s t o consis t o f whea t i t i s hal f tha t for eac h person . A ma n mus t consciousl y inten d Zakat , sinc e withou t inten t i t i s no t valid .

Zaka t i n cas h varie s i n estimatio n accordin g t o th e curren t valu e o f mone y a t th e tim e o f Zakat .

Th e Hanaf i sec t allow s th e perso n t o pa y i n cas h for Zakat , indeed , i t consider s tha t thi s i s preferabl e becaus e i t i s mor e usefu l t o th e poor , sinc e the y kno w wha t the y nee d mos t i t migh t b e foo d an d i t migh t b e medicine .

Th e tim e t o practis e Zaka t alFitr :

Al l th e learne d hav e agree d tha t th e tim e t o practis e i t i s th e en d o f Ramadan . The y disagre e upo n th e tim e o f day , whether i t i s t o b e sunse t o n th e da y precedin g a l Fitr or daw n o n th e da y o f th e feast .

On e thin g i s certain , an d tha t i s alZaka t ha s t o b e fulfille d befor e goin g ou t t o th e prayers .

Ib n Omar sai d : "Th e Prophe t ordere d u s t o fulfi l Zaka t alFitr befor e goin g ou t t o prayers' .

I t i s als o permitte d t o offer i t a da y or tw o befor e tha t date : Other s eve n sa y tha t on e i s allowe d t o d o s o fro m th e beginnin g o f Ramadan . I t i s definitel y no t permitte d after th e da y o f th e feast . I t i s the n no t Zaka t bu t Sadaq a (alms) .

I t i s related , throug h Ib n Abbas , tha t Prophe t Muhamma d (Prayer s an d God' s Peac e b e upo n him ) ordere d Zaka t alFitr a s purificatio n for th e on e wh o fast s fro m vai n things , an d a s a hel p an d sustenanc e t o th e poor . H e wh o practise s i t befor e th e prayer , hi s Zaka t i s acceptable , bu t for h e wh o fulfil s i t after th e prayer i t i s simpl y Sadaq a (almsgiving) .

Zaka t alFitr doe s no t becom e nullifie d i f on e i s lat e i n fulfillin g i t i t i s stil l a dut y for al l Muslims .

A ma n mus t fulfi l i t somehow , or els e hi s accoun t wil l b e settle d i n relatio n t o i t o n th e da y whe n n o repentanc e i s accepte d an d n o mone y i s available .

Us e o f Zaka t alFitr :

I t ha s man y use s an d benefit s for thos e wh o fulfil l i t an d for societ y a s a whole .

Th e on e wh o fulfill s i t i s purifie d throug h i t fro m tha t whic h migh t hav e spoile d hi s fasting , suc h a s vai n act s or unseeml y speec h whic h h e i s require d t o abstai n from , a s h e abstain s fro m eatin g or drinking , or lust s o f th e fles h andther e i s hardl y a perso n wh o i s no t ope n t o thes e s o tha t Zaka t i s a purificatio n t o thos e wh o fast . Perhap s tha t i s wha t i s mean t b y th e sayin g o f Muhammad :

"Fastin g i n th e mont h o f Ramada n lie s suspende d betwee n th e eart h an d Heaven . I t i s onlyraise d (t o Heaven ) b y Zaka t o f alFitr "

I t i s als o a dut y bindin g upo n ever y singl e perso n fallin g under th e guidanc e o f th e faster , youn g or old , fre e or slave . I t i s thu s th e Zaka t o f th e body , a s i t i s th e Zaka t o f alFitr . Fro m thi s deduction , come s th e hop e tha t t o Go d Almight y i t i s a mean s o f preservin g th e bodie s o f al l wh o fulfil l it , an d o f purifyin g an d improvin g their bodie s Tha t a s wha t i s mean t b y Hi s word s

"O f their goo d tak e alms , s o tha t yo u ma y purif y an d improv e the m thereby" .

A s for benefit s t o society , w e al l realis e tha t i t (a l Zakat ) provide s for th e poor i n a wa y tha t make s humilit y unnecessar y o n tha t day . Tha t i s explaine d b y th e Prophet' s sayin g

"Reliev e the m o f th e necessit y o f goin g aroun d (lookin g for alms ) o n thi s day. "

Another benefi t t o societ y i s tha t all , poor an d ric h alike , fee l th e genera l jo y o f tha t day . I t i s no t for th e ric h only .

Also , th e poor perso n wh o receive s alm s feel s ric h o n tha t da y b y receivin g them . He , therefore , seek s way s o f practisin g charit y himsel f an d tha t da y h e feel s tha t h e to o i s a giver an d take s deligh t i n giving .

H e become s accustome d t o th e feeling , albei t rare , tha t h e i s on e t o d o goo d an d no t t o hav e goo d don e t o him . It s conditio n :

T o fulfi l thi s kin d o f Zaka t a perso n mus t be :

1 ) A Muslim , for Zaka t i s no t a dut y for th e no n Muslim .

2 ) Free , for slave s ar e no t suppose d t o pa y it .

3 ) T o hav e reache d majority . I t i s no t bindin g upo n th e minor  ; i t i s bindin g upo n hi s wealt h an d i t i s th e dut y o f hi s guardia n t o extrac t i t fro m hi s (th e minor's ) wealth .

4 ) Sane , for Zaka t i s no t a dut y for th e insane . I t is , nevertheless , th e dut y o f hi s guardia n t o produc e i t fro m th e person' s wealth . I t i s thu s enforceabl e upo n th e wealt h o f th e insane .

5 ) H e mus t hav e th e tota l (i n term s o f wealth ) whic h entail s paymen t o f Zakat .

6 ) Thi s tota l shoul d hav e bee n hi s for specifie d tim e i n order t o justif y Zaka t i.e . for on e year or 1 2 lunar months .

Thi s doe s no t appl y t o produc e or fruit s o f th e land.Th e tim e t o fulfil l th e Zaka t o n thes e i s th e tim e o f harvesting , whe n th e fruit s an d produc e ar e full y ripe . Thi s i s specifie d i n th e Quran :

"Ea t o f their frui t i n thei r season , bu t render th e dues ! tha t ar e proper o n th e da y tha t th e harves t i s gathered" .

KIND S O F WEALT H O N WHIC H AIZAKA T I S LEVIE D

Livestock , suc h a s camels , cows , buffaloes , shee p an d goats . Other kind s o f livestoc k ar e no t eligibl e for Zaka t unles s the y ar e use d a s merchandise ; the n th e Zaka t for trad e applies .

Zaka t i s impose d o n th e abov e animal s o n conditio n tha t the y graz e th e commo n pasture . The y ar e considere d inexpensiv e an d als o useful , for the y breed , their fles h i s edibl e an d their mil k i s drunk . The y d o no t cos t th e perso n wh o own s the m much .

O n th e other hand , i f th e anima l i s stallbre d the n n o Zaka t i s du e becaus e o f th e expens e an d effor t involve d i n feedin g it . Bu t i n th e cas e o f th e workin g animal , sinc e i t produce s b y it s wor k i n ploughin g or irrigation , the n Zaka t i s du e i t i s a s i f Zaka t o n agricultura l produc e wer e t o includ e workin g animals .

Zaka t o f Camels :

Thi s applie s i n exces s o f fiv e camels . I f a perso n own s tha t number , h e shoul d pa y Zaka t a t th e rat e o f a shee p for th e fiv e camels , an d s o for eac h fiv e u p t o a tota l o f 2 5 camels , for whic h h e mus t giv e a year ol d shecame l wit h Zakat .

I f h e own s 36 , h e shoul d includ e a twoyear ol d sh e camel .

I f hi s wealt h amount s t o 4 6 camels , h e shoul d includ e a threeyear ol d shecamel . I f h e own s 61 , h e shoul d includ e (wit h Zakat ) a fouryear ol d shecamel . I f h e ha s 73 , h e shoul d includ e 2 twoyear ol d shecamels , amongs t Zakat .

I f h e own s 9 1 camels , h e shoul d includ e 2 threeyear ol d shecamel s an d similarl y u p t o 120 . I f more , a tw o ear ol d shecame l for eac h additiona l 4 0 an d a threeyear ol d shecame l for eac h additiona l 5 0 camels .

Zaka t o f Cows :

I t start s wit h h e wh o ha s thirty . A t tha t poin t h e shoul d giv e on e tha t i s a year old . I f th e number i s forty , h e shoul d giv e on e tha t i s tw o year s old . I f h e ha s mor e tha n forty , h e shoul d giv e on e tha t i s a year ol d for ever y thirty , an d on e tha t i s tw o year s ol d for ever y forty .

Zaka t o f Shee p an d goats :

I t start s wit h th e ownin g o f fort y sheep . I f a perso n own s forty , h e shoul d giv e on e femal e fro m whatever th e kin d ma y be . I f shee p i t i s t o b e a sheep , i f goat s a goat , i f mixe d shee p an d goat s the n i t i s take n fro m whic h ever i s mos t numerous . I f th e tota l reache s 121 , the n tw o female s mus t b e included , an d i f i t reache s 20 1 the n thre e mus t b e included , an d als o on e for eac h hundre d i n exces s o f that .

Zaka t o f Gol d an d Silver :

Zaka t i s impose d o n gol d an d silver . I f a perso n own s 2 0 mithqa l o f gol d h e i s liabl e t o Zakat .

Th e mithqa l equal s a dina r whic h i n tur n equal s 4.2 5 gms .

Th e amoun t o f gol d liabl e t o Zaka t i s 8 5 gms . Zaka t for thi s amoun t i s 2.5 % o f it s value .

A s for silver , `zaka t start s a t 20 0 dirhams , whic h equa l fiv e ounce s or 59 1 gm s o f silver . `zaka t pai d for thi s amoun t i s als o 2 .5% .

Ther e i s on e conditio n for Zaka t o f gol d an d silver th e owner shoul d hav e th e abov e mentione d amount s for  a year , a t least . I t i s exemp t fro m Zaka t i f i t i s i n th e shap e o f Jewelr y use d for ornamentation , excep t wit h th e Hanaf i sect . Th e amoun t for th e Zaka t o f gol d an d silver i s a quarter o f th e tent h ; tha t i s 2.5 % o f it s value .

Thi s ta x als o include s an y due s fro m trade . I t i s the n on e quarter o f a tent h o f th e capita l use d i n trade .

Zaka t o f Produc e an d Fruits :

Zaka t i s als o du e o n fruit s an d produce . I t i s impose d o n seed s grain , date s an d grapes , i f th e amoun t harveste d equal s 4 Egyptia n irdabb s an d 2 kaylas . A n irdab b equal s abou t 33 0 pounds , an d a kayl a i s abou t 2 8 pounds . Th e amoun t whic h i t i s necessar y t o pa y equal s on e hal f o f a tent h i f th e owner use s machiner y t o til l an d irrigat e hi s land , whic h migh t involv e hi m i n som e expenses . I f h e doe s no t us e machinery , bu t depend s o n hi s ow n effort s for tillin g an d on ' rai n for irrigation , or o n smal l canals , the n th e amoun t shoul d reac h on e tent h o f th e cro p or harvest .

THA T WHIC H I S EXEMP T FRO M ZAKA T

Th e followin g ar e exemp t fro m Zakat :

Privat e abode , persona l clothing , furniture , weapons , animal s use d for transport , jewel s suc h a s pearls , rubies , etc.. . whic h ar e no t trade d in , book s tha t ar e no t for trad e equipmen t use d for handicraf t fro m whic h th e owner earn s hi s living , suc h a s a hammer , etc .

TH E UTILISATIO N O F ZAKA T

Th e Qura n ha s define d th e person s t o receiv e alm s i n th e followin g words :

"Alm s ar e for th e poor an d th e need y an d thos e employe d t o administer th e (funds) , for thos e whos e heart s hav e bee n recentl y reconciled , an d thos e i n slavery , an d i n th e debt , an d i n th e wa y o f God , an d for th e wayfarer" .

Th e poor (alfuqara ) ar e thos e wh o d o no t ow n enoug h t o b e liabl e t o Zaka t an d thos e wh o d o no t hav e enoug h t o carr y the m throug h th e year .

A s for th e need y (almas a kin) , ther e i s a differenc e o f opinio n a s t o whether the y or th e poor `(alfuqara ) ar e wors e off . Th e need y i t i s said , ar e thos e wh o ow n nothin g an d owin g t o ag e or sicknes s canno t ear n anything .

thos e employe d t o administer th e fund s ar e th e person s appointe d b y th e hea d o f government . Amongs t the m ar e labourer s an d publi c officials . Al l thes e ar e pai d accordin g t o their respectiv e work .

Thos e whos e heart s hav e bee n recentl y reconcile d wer e th e ric h chief s o f tribe s who m th e hea d o f stat e though t i t necessar y t o placat e for th e goo d o f Islam . Th e Prophe t (God' s Prayer an d Peac e b e upo n him ) distribute d amongs t their lik e som e alm s an d boot y i n order t o ensur e specia l aim s i n spreadin g Isla m or t o preven t an y har m bein g don e t o th e faithful . The y wer e exemp t fro m Zaka t a t th e tim e o f Ab u Bakr , o n th e advic e o f Omar , whe n h e gav e hi m t o understan d tha t th e concession s grante d t o the m wer e temporary , i n accordanc e wit h th e need s o f Isla m ; an d Go d strengthene d Isla m an d ther e wa s n o nee d t o placat e them . Som e o f `th e learne d thin k tha t i t i s th e righ t o f th e hea d o f stat e t o us e placator measure s til l th e Da y o f Judgement ; an d tha t i f h e consider s i t o f us e t o spen d som e o f Zaka t upo n thos e whos e heart s ar e reconciled , h e i s allowe d t o d o thi s i n th e servic e o f Islam .

Thos e i n slaver y tha t i s th e freein g o f th e slav e an d th e raisin g o f their statu s althoug h slaver y n o longer exists .

Thos e i n deb t ar e thos e wh o hav e bee n weighe d dow n b y their debt s an d the y canno t pa y provide d tha t th e caus e o f deb t i s no t an y vice , or mishandlin g o f money .

I n th e wa y o f Go d mean s thos e wh o figh t o n a rai d or i n th e Hol y War i n th e wa y o f God ; an d similarl y al l tha t i s beneficia l t o God' s religion .

Th e wayfarer i s th e stranger wh o i s far awa y fro m hi s home .

STIPULATION S GOVERNIN G TH E RECEIP T O F ZAKA T

Thos e wh o receiv e Zaka t i n an y o f th e abov e categories , i n additio n t o th e specia l stipulation s for eac h category , mus t b e Muslim , free , no t o f Ban i Hashim , or o f Ban i Abde l Muttalib , o r a slav e o f either . H e shoul d hav e reache d majority , hav e ful l us e o f hi s intellect , an d b e wis e i n disposin g o f it .

An d th e eigh t categorie s ca n b e though t o f together i n genera l terms , unles s th e hea d o f stat e make s a distinctio n betwee n them .

Zaka t shoul d b e limite d t o th e tow n or plac e o f th e funds .

Th e intentio n t o pa y i s imperative , althoug h makin g i t publi c i s no t necessar y for tha t implie s th e hurtin g o f th e feeling s o f th e poor perso n an d bringin g hom e t o hi m a hatefu l fac t hi s povert y an d humiliation .

TH E RIGH T O F TH E STAT E I N COLLECTIN G ZAKA T AN D DISPENSIN G I T

I n man y verse s th e Qura n mention s tha t charit y i s a dut y tha t mus t b e fulfille d

"An d render t o th e kindre d their du e rights , a s (also ) t o thos e i n want , an d t o th e wayfarer : bu t squander no t (your wealth ) i n th e manner o f a spendthrift. "

"S o giv e wha t i s du e t o th e kindred , th e needy ; an d th e wayfarer . Tha t i s bes t for thos e wh o see k th e countenanc e o f God ; an d i t i s the y wh o wil l prosper . That , whic h y e la y ou t for increas e throug h th e propert y o f (other ) people , wil l hav e n o increas e wit h God : bu t tha t whic h Y e la y ou t for Zakat , seekin g th e countenanc e o f God , (wil l increase) . I t i s thes e wh o wil l ge t a recompens e multiplied" .

"A s t o th e righteous , the y wil l b e i n th e mids t o f garden s an d springs , takin g jo y i n th e thing s whic h their Lor d give s the m becaus e befor e tha t the y live d a goo d lif e . the y wer e i n th e habi t o f sleepin g bu t littl e b y night , an d i n th e hour s o f earl y daw n the y (wer e found ) prayin g for forgiveness , an d i n thei r wealt h an d possession s (wa s remembered ) th e righ t o f th e (needy ) on e wh o asked , an d h e wh o wa s prevente d (fro m asking) ... "

"Excep t thos e devote d t o prayer , thos e wh o remai n steadfas t t o their prayer , an d thos e i n whos e wealt h i s a recognize d righ t (for th e needy) , for h e wh o ask s an d h e wh o i s prevente d (fro m asking) . "

W e al l kno w tha t right s hav e t o b e rendered . T o guarante e thi s renderin g th e Prophe t (Th e Prayer an d Peac e o f Go d b e upo n him ) collecte d alm s throug h thos e h e appointed . Th e Qura n ha d decree d tha t thos e wh o collec t alm s ca n als o receiv e alms . I t i s a definit e fac t tha t mos t o f th e apostate s after th e deat h o f th e Prophe t apostatize d b y refusin g t o render Zaka t decree d upo n them .

Th e fac t tha t Ab u Bakr issue d order s tha t the y shoul d b e fough t confirm s tha t i t i s a dut y o f th e stat e t o collec t Zaka t an d enforc e i t upo n al l wh o hav e t o render it .

A s for th e distinctio n o f Zakat , i t i s know n tha t th e Prophe t (th e Prayer an d Peac e o f Go d b e upo n him ) use d t o distribut e i t himsel f t o Muslim s eac h accordin g t o hi s need , s o tha t th e utmos t benefi t i s gaine d for th e goo d o f the m all , a s individual s an d a s groups .

Thi s i s state d i n th e vers e o f th e Qura n

"An d amon g the m ar e me n wh o slander the e i n th e matter o f (th e distributio n of ) th e alms . I f the y ar e give n par t therefor e the y ar e pleased , bu t i f not , behol d the y ar e indignant . I f onl y the y ha d bee n conten t wit h wha t Go d an d hi s Messenger gav e the m an d ha d said : Sufficien t unt o u s i s God ! Go d an d Hi s Messenge r wil l soo n giv e u s o f Hi s bounty ; t o Go d d o w e tur n our hope s !Tha t woul d hav e bee n th e righ t course. "

Thi s show s tha t th e hypocrite s wer e conten t onl y whe n the y receive d alms , dissatisfie d whe n deprive d o f them , an d tha t th e Prophe t dispense d fro m th e Zaka t fund s himself .

Zaka t wa s on e o f th e mai n source s o f revenu e o f th e Islami c state . Th e mone y wa s spen t i n accordanc e wit h th e Qura n o n th e eigh t categorie s mentioned .

For thes e reasons , i t i s bes t t o pa y Zaka t t o th e state , represente d i n term s i n wha t i t set s u p a s specia l institution s for Zakat . Thi s i s th e bes t an d th e mos t usefu l wa y t o distribut e it , sinc e th e presen t increas e i n populatio n an d their manyside d preoccupation s doe s no t giv e the m th e chanc e t o kno w th e trut h abou t other s i n order t o decid e wh o i s poor , needy , etc . W e ofte n com e acros s a perso n wh o i s abl e t o ear n hi s living , an d wh o doe s i n fac t ear n hi s livin g us e roundabou t way s t o ge t charit y i n on e wa y or another . I n tha t wa y charit y i s no t give n t o thos e wh o deserv e it .

A s for th e state , sinc e i t look s after th e goo d o f all , An d ca n wit h al l th e facilitie s i n han d discriminat e betwee n thos e wh o deserv e charit y an d thos e wh o d o not , th e investmen t multiplie s th e amoun t i n a wa y tha t make s th e benefi t wide r an d bigger . Th e industrializatio n o f a countr y an d th e growt h o f it s econom y ar e agai n beneficia l t o th e communit y i n th e sam e sor t o f wa y a s Zakat . Wit h thi s th e wa y i s opene d for th e unemploye d t o fin d work . I t i s a n obviou s fac t tha t unemploymen t i s a reaso n for poverty ; thoug h i t i s no t th e mai n reason .

Again , suc h a procedur e i s strengthenin g t o th e stat e itsel f an d i t help s t o rais e it s prestig e i t i s a s i f goo d encompasse s individua l an d communit y alike . Th e Islami c Stat e wa s founde d o n th e collectio n o f Zaka t throug h it s employee s wh o wer e appointe d for tha t particular wor k after th e deat h o f th e Prophet . Th e order o f Ab u Bakr t o wag e war agains t th e apsotate s i n hi s tim e underline s th e fac t tha t th e stat e wa s founde d o n th e collectio n o f Zakat . Thi s stat e o f thing s continue d throughou t th e tim e o f Omar . Hi s speec h after hi s successio n prove s that , for i t mentione d wealt h i n th e followin g wa y

"Tak e i t fro m m e tha t I shal l no t collec t fro m yo u mor e tha n wha t i s due ; thi s I shal l distribut e i n a jus t way. " Thi s i s a confirmatio n o f th e necessit y o f collectin g Zaka t an d dispensin g it . Thi s continue d t o b e s o throughou t th e tim e o f Uthma n unti l h e wa s assassinate d the n th e Muslim s quarelle d amongs t themselves . Som e o f the m pai d Zaka t t o th e publi c treasury .

Histor y relate s tha t Omar Ib n Abde l Azi z use d t o sen d hi s employee s t o collec t Zaka t an d distribut e it . Yahy a ib n Sa' d say s o f that :

"Omar Ib n Abde l Azi z sen t m e t o collec t Zaka t fro m Africa . I di d so , the n I aske d for th e poor wh o shoul d receiv e it . I di d no t fin d an y becaus e Omar Ib n Abde l Azi z ha d mad e ever y on e rich . I use d th e mone y t o fre e som e fro m slavery. "

Perhap s th e bes t assuranc e tha t th e publi c treasur y is . th e plac e whic h ha s th e righ t o f collectin g Zaka t i s th e Quran , whe n i t state s tha t thos e wh o administer i t hav e a shar e i n it . Thos e wh o administer i t ar e obviousl y thos e wh o collec t it , thos e wh o ar e appointe d b y th e stat e for thi s purpose .

TH E OBJECT S O F ZAKA T

Th e objec t o f Zaka t i s th e goo d o f th e Islami c state , wit h al l it s individua l member s a s wel l a s th e whol e community , an d it s genera l welfare . A s for th e individuals , Zaka t ha s take n car e o f th e poor an d th e need y an d th e wayfarers . A s for th e community , apar t fro m th e fac t tha t th e welfar e o f th e individua l reflect s o n th e welfar e o f th e community , i t ha s another advantag e relatin g t o thos e wh o ar e i n debt .

A s for th e goo d o f th e state , thi s i s realize d throug h th e insurin g o f a nobler lif e for al l individual s throug h th e layin g asid e o f a su m o f mone y t o b e spen t i n th e wa y o f God . I t i s a n obviou s fac t tha t th e welfar e o f th e Islami c stat e i s assure d throug h th e conservatio n o f th e religio n o f Go d an d throug h thos e whos e heart s ar e reconciled , wh o als o rea p th e fruit s o f charity .

Povert y i s definitel y th e bigges t proble m t o confron t th e individua l durin g hi s lif e time . Mos t state s hav e t o conten d wit h thi s i n varyin g ways . Th e poor ma n wh o live s i n a ric h community , th e individua l member s o f whic h d o no t respon d t o hi m b y givin g t o hi m s o tha t h e ca n live , feel s deprived . Fro m thi s feelin g of , deprivatio n i s bor n th e hatre d o f thi s communit y an d it s members . Mos t o f th e crime s committe d b y certai n individual s ar e du e t o poverty . Whe n th e poor perso n feel s tha t h e i s a n outcas t hi s hatre d for th e ric h man , wh o keep s hi s mone y bac k fro m him , grows . Mos t o f th e revolution s tha t hav e happene d ar e mainl y du e t o poverty , du e t o th e fac t tha t th e poor fee l tha t the y ar e lef t behin d i n th e cavalcad e o f society . Eve n i n th e internationa l scene , w e fin d tha t mos t war s ar e du e t o th e fac t tha t som e state s desir e t o ensur e th e welfar e an d prosperit y o f their people s b y expansion , a s wel l a s b y raisin g th e economi c standar d i n order t o fin d for th e poor th e mean s t o live . Mos t states , however , hav e resorte d t o variou s experiment s i n th e attemp t t o ensur e tha t their people s ar e immun e fro m poverty .

Al l other system s canno t stan d o n th e sam e leve l wit h th e Islami c system , whic h ha s lai d dow n tru e cooperativ e socialis m b y mean s o f Zakat , whic h th e perso n wh o i s abl e t o d o s o pay s a stipulate d portio n i n accordanc e wit h wha t h e ha s thi s i s tru e socialism .

An d h e pay s willingl y an d b y choic e thi s i s tru e cooperatio n

Zaka t i s als o on e wa y o f preventin g th e spreadin g o f principle s tha t hel p mak e th e poor grudg e th e ric h their wealt h an d mak e the m hat e society . I t i s th e mean s o f establishin g lov e an d friendshi p amongs t people , ric h an d poor alike , a feelin g o f cooperativ e socialism .

Th e Qura n tell s u s tha t peopl e wh o collec t Zaka t ar e entitle d als o t o tak e a shar e o f it . Thi s i s mean t t o creat e honest y an d integrit y an d t o comba t briber y an d a s a n incentiv e for har d work .

Par t o f th e fund s o f Zaka t ar e als o se t asid e for thos e whos e heart s ar e reconciled . Thi s aime d a t bringin g peopl e together an d a t preventin g an y har m t o th e Muslims .

Thos e wh o receive d Zaka t under thi s headin g i n th e lif e o f th e Prophe t wer e prevente d fro m receivin g i t a t th e tim e o f Ab u Bakr whe n Omar proclaime d tha t the y ha d n o righ t t o d o so , sinc e th e pillar s o f Isla m wer e solidl y erecte d an d strengthene d al l thos e wh o wor k for th e sprea d o f Isla m ca n b e considere d amongs t thos e whos e heart s ar e reconciled .

Nowaday s ther e i s grea t nee d t o hav e som e o f th e peopl e whos e statu s an d opinio n i s o f weigh t i n th e internationa l fiel d o n th e sid e o f Islam , especiall y a t th e presen t time , sinc e w e liv e i n a n ag e o f propaganda . Thi s als o include s al l th e way s an d mean s tha t a stat e make s us e o f t o propagat e Isla m outsid e it s recognize d domains , suc h a s articles , pamphlets , or communication s writte n b y nonMuslim s an d Muslim s alike , t o achiev e thi s goal . Isla m als o calle d for th e freein g o f slaves . For tha t ai m i t designate d par t o f th e revenu e o f Zaka t t o b e spen t i n tha t direction , s o tha t a fre e an d libera l societ y b e se t up .

Another goo d poin t i n favour o f Isla m i s tha t i t call s for hel p for thos e i n debt , thos e wh o ar e heavil y i n deb t an d ar e s o no t becaus e o f an y vice . Ther e i s nothin g wors e tha n bein g i n debt , n o on e mor e miserabl e tha n th e perso n wh o ha s los t hi s wealt h becaus e o f som e misfortune . Suc h peopl e ar e deservin g o f kindnes s an d help . A communit y tha t work s for th e hel p o f th e abov e mentione d i s a soun d an d perfec t community . I t i s th e Islami c Community .

Another portio n o f Zaka t i s spen t i n th e wa y o f God . B y thi s i s mean t th e strategi c militar y aspec t o f th e defenc e o f Islam .

Th e wayfarer s ar e thos e wh o ar e far awa y fro m their homelan d an d canno t receiv e fund s fro m there . Zaka t include s the m also .

A ver y importan t objec t o f Zaka t i s th e mora l an d psychologica l satisfactio n tha t th e perso n wh o pay s get s throug h hi s fin e gesture . H e feel s tha t h e i s contributin g t o th e buildin g o f hi s societ y an d t o makin g it s member s happ y an d contented . B y s o doin g h e feel s tha t h e i s free d fro m anxiet y an d confusion . Dreisser , th e wellknow n psychologica l novelist , say s

"I f a ma n want s t o extrac t th e utmos t jo y fro m lif e h e shoul d wor k for th e jo y o f others. " Hi s jo y depend s o n their jo y an d th e jo y o f other s i s als o relate d t o hi s ow n joy .

Zaka t als o free s me n fro m th e dominatio n o f money , thi s dominatio n tha t sometime s lead s a ma n t o sicknes s an d eve n t o suicide . Th e amassin g o f mone y an d miserlines s ar e th e firs t symptom s o f thi s domination . Th e onl y activ e wa y t o comba t i t i s generosit y an d charity . On e sig n o f thi s dominatio n upo n a ma n i s hi s turnin g hi s bac k upo n a n honourabl e wa y o f life . H e neglect s hi s need s an d th e need s o f hi s famil y an d eve n o f hi s religion .

A n exampl e o f tha t i s wha t happene d t o Tha'lab a ib n Hatib , wh o accoste d th e Apostl e (Peac e an d Prayer s o f Go d b e upo n him ) saying :

"Pleas e pra y for m e s o tha t Go d ma y giv e m e wealth" . Th e Apostl e replie d

"Th e littl e mone y for whic h yo u giv e thank s i s muc h better tha n tha t yo u canno t manage" .

Tha'lab a cam e agai n askin g th e Apostl e for prayer s Th e Apostl e (Peac e an d Prayer s o f Go d b e upo n him) , replie d

"Woul d yo u no t wis h t o b e lik e God' s Prophet . I f I wisne d th e mountain s t o b e transforme d int o mountain s o f gol d the y woul d becom e so. " Tha'lab a replie d

"B y Go d i f yo u pra y for m e t o b e give n money , I woul d giv e everybod y hi s due . Th e Apostl e praye d for hi m an d h e becam e ric h i n sheep , whic h gre w an d mature d an d becam e s o numerou s tha t alMadin a wa s crowde d wit h them" .

Whe n hi s fortun e multiplie d h e use d t o pra y a t noo n an d i n th e afternoon , leavin g th e other prayers . Whe n i t multiplie d eve n mor e h e neglecte d tha t too . The n th e Apostle , (Peac e an d Prayer s o f Go d b e upo n him) , sai d

"Wo e t o Tha'laba " An d h e repeate d i t thre e times . The n th e verse s o f th e Qura n wer e reveale d

"Amongs t the m i s h e wh o mad e a covenan t wit h Go d (saying) ,

"I f H e bestowe d upo n u s Hi s bount y w e wil l giv e alms , an d b e trul y amongs t thos e wh o ar e righteou s bu t whe n H e di d besto w o f Hi s bounty , the y becam e covetous , an d turne d bac k (fro m their covenan t avers e t o it s fulfillment) . S o H e ha s set , a s a consequence , hypocris y i n their hearts , unti l th e da y whe n the y shal l mee t Him , becaus e the y brok e their covenan t wit h God , an d becaus e the y lie d .D o the y no t kno w tha t Go d know s bot h their secre t an d th e though t tha t the y confid e an d tha t Go d know s wel l al l thing s unsee n ? "

Whe n Tha'lab a hear d o f i t h e wen t t o th e Prophe t wit h Zakat . Th e Prophe t (Peac e an d Prayer s o f Go d b e upo n him) , sai d

"Go d ha s forbidde n m e t o accep t it. " Th e Prophe t die d withou t acceptin g it . Ab u Bakr an d Omar an d Uthma n followe d suit . Tha'lab a die d durin g th e caliphat e o f Uthma n after bein g a victi m o f th e dominatio n o f money , whic h prevente d hi m fro m prayers , an d h e di d no t tr y t o pa y Zaka t unti l h e hear d wha t wa s reveale d i n th e Qura n concernin g him . Hi s Zaka t wa s no t accepted . H e die d an d onl y Go d know s hi s punishment .

Zaka t i s th e bes t safeguar d agains t thi s domination , whic h increase s wit h th e increas e o f wealth .

Zaka t i s no t charit y i n th e sens e tha t th e wor d i s use d nowadays . I t is , a righ t o f th e poor perso n wh o feel s tha t i t i s a sor t o f ta x o f brotherhood . I t als o ha s th e advantag e o f bein g pai d a t a certai n fixe d tim e o f th e year . Onl y frui t an d agricultura l produc e i s exemp t fro m that , for Zaka t o f frui t i s pai d a s soo n a s i t ripens . Thi s fixe d tim e i s a n advantage , sinc e i f charit y i s pai d ever y mont h o r ever y wee k i t migh t injur e th e capital , thu s makin g th e owner o f th e fund s discontente d whe n payin g it .

I n th e sam e way , payin g charit y onc e durin g a lifetim e i s agai n disadvantageou s t o thos e wh o receiv e it .

Zaka t i s impose d o n ver y smal l fund s wit h a purpos e tha t i s t o le t th e majorit y o f a natio n tak e par t i n th e improvemen t o f society , thu s helpin g t o creat e lov e an d friendshi p amongs t them . Zaka t i s als o a major factor i n th e distributio n o f wealth , an d i n inauguratin g ne w industries .

Man y foreig n scholar s hav e recognize d th e valu e o f Zakat . Massigno n say s

"Isla m ha s withi n it s pinciple s tha t whic h make s i t zealou s i n propagatin g th e concep t o f equality , an d tha t i s th e obligatio n o f Zakat , whic h eac h individua l pay s t o th e Treasury" .

Isla m i s agains t an y exchang e whic h ha s n o restriction , an d i t i s als o agains t keepin g wealt h idle , an d agains t usurer s an d indirec t taxation . I t support s individua l ownershi p an d commerca l capital . I t i s halfwa y betwee n th e theorie s o f Bourgeoi s Capitalis m an d Bolshovi k Communism .

Thes e ar e onl y som e o f th e object s o f Zakat , sinc e al l it s object s canno t b e defined .

Th e goo d tha t emanate s fro m i t i s to o extensiv e t o delineat e becaus e i t cover s individual , communit y an d state . Wh y shoul d i t not , whe n i t i s th e syste m define d b y Go d Almight y an d approve d b y Hi m i n th e las t o f religion s ? A s for reward , tha t await s al l thos e wh o render it .

Thu s w e fin d tha t Zakat , alon g wit h al l Islami c rule s an d observances , aim s a t th e goo d o f mankin d i n thi s worl d an d it s du e an d jus t recompens e i n th e other .

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