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Founder’s Corner: Zakat: Pillar of Islam and Foundation of Social Justice

By Dr. Emdad Khan

Zakat: Pillar of Islam and Foundation of Social Justice

Zakaat, a pillar of Islam, means to increase, to grow, to purify one’s wealth.

Zakaat is not a governmental tax, but its main purpose is distributing wealth to needy. Zakaat was made compulsory at Makkah at the same time as Salaat. In the Surahs of the Qur’aan, Zakaat and salat are mentioned together

Allah will destroy Ribâ (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqât (deeds of charity, alms, etc.) And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners. (2.276)

Surah Baqara

يَمۡحَقُ  ٱللَّهُ  ٱلرِّبَوٰاْ  وَيُرۡبِى  ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتِ‌ۗ  وَٱللَّهُ لَا  يُحِبُّ  كُلَّ  كَفَّارٍ  أَثِيمٍ (٢٧٦)

Zakaat: benefits us in many ways:
a) Pleasure of Allah

  1. b) Increase in wealth
  2. c) Protection from losses
    d) Forgiveness and blessings
  3. e) Safety from calamities
  4. f) Protection from the wrath of Allah and from a bad death
  5. g) Provide a shelter on the Day of Judgement
  6. h) Security from seventy misfortunes
  7. i) Shield from the fires of Jahannam
  8. j) Barkat in wealth
  9. k) Saves from fear and grief

Zakaat: Harm in not giving

۞ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا  ٱلَّذِينَ  ءَامَنُوٓاْ  إِنَّ  ڪَثِيرً۬ا  مِّنَ  ٱلۡأَحۡبَارِ  وَٱلرُّهۡبَانِ  لَيَأۡكُلُونَ  أَمۡوَٲلَ  ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡبَـٰطِلِ  وَيَصُدُّونَ  عَن سَبِيلِ  ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ  وَٱلَّذِينَ  يَكۡنِزُونَ  ٱلذَّهَبَ  وَٱلۡفِضَّةَ  وَلَا  يُنفِقُونَہَا  فِى سَبِيلِ  ٱللَّهِ  فَبَشِّرۡ هُم  بِعَذَابٍ  أَلِيمٍ۬ (٣٤)  يَوۡمَ يُحۡمَىٰ عَلَيۡهَا  فِى نَارِ  جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكۡوَىٰ  بِہَا  جِبَاهُهُمۡ  وَجُنُوبُہُمۡ  وَظُهُورُهُمۡ‌ۖ  هَـٰذَا مَا  ڪَنَزۡتُمۡ  لِأَنفُسِكُمۡ  فَذُوقُواْ  مَا كُنتُمۡ  تَكۡنِزُونَ (٣٥)

Surah Al-Tawba

O ye who believe! There are indeed many among the priests/rabbis and monks, who in falsehood devour/eat the wealth of men and hinder (them) from the Way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty. (34) On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs― “This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then the (treasures) ye buried!” (9.34-35)

In Saheeh Muslim, Abu Hurairah (R) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There is no one that possesses gold and silver and doesn’t give his due (Zakat) on it except that on the Day of Judgement, it will be made into plates of fire, then dipped into the Fire of Hell and with it his body, forehead and back will be branded. Each time the plates grow cool, they will be reheated and brand him again. This will occur on a Day the length of fifty thousand years, until Allah judges His servants.”

Zakaat obligatory:
He/ she adult, sane, free, and Muslim.
possess wealth in excess of Nisaab excluding his/her personal needs (clothing, household furniture, utensils, cars etc. are termed article of personal needs).
possessed for a complete lunar year.

Zakat Nisaab: Total cash value of all the assets such as gold, silver, currency etc.

Zakat is due at the rate of 2.5%.
– Gold 87.48 gram or – Silver 612.36 gram

– cash, stock or bonds, other cash

Zakat: 8 Types of People to Receive

  • uqaraa: own property of necessities but below the value of Nisab.
  • Masakeen: Persons of extreme poverty who possess no wealth.
  • Aamileen:Those persons who are appointed to collect Zakat.
  • Muallafatul Quloob: given Zakat with the intentions of solidifying their hearts, maybe converted or to bring them closer to Islam.
  • Ar-Riqaab: slaves to set them free on payment of a fixed amount
  • Ibnus-Sabeel: A traveler, even wealthy is stranded & in need of help
  • Al Ghaarimeen: A person whose debts exceeds his assets, and his net assets is below the Nisab limit.
  • Fi Sabeelillah: Those who are away from home in the path of Allah. Those in Jihaad, those seeking knowledge, or a stranded Haji may be assisting with

With Salaam and Regards