Denying Zakat = Denying Faith

Malik said that a collector wrote to ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz complaining about a man who refused to pay zakat. ‘Umar wrote that he should leave him alone and not take his zakat from him with the other Muslims. When the man heard of this, he felt pained and paid the zakat on his property. The collector then wrote to ‘Umar making mention of this fact, and ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote back (asking him) to take his zakat [Refer Muwatta Imam Malik: 1/270]

Scholars have established that denial of the obligation of zakat is equal to disbelief and apostate from Islam. Imam Nawawi said:

Anyone who does not pay zakat on the basis of denying its obligation is considered a disbeliever, except if that person is new to Islam or has lived all his/her life far from sources of information (in an isolated area, for example). In that case, he/she should first be made aware of the importance of the obligation of zakat. If he/she insists on denying it, then that is disbelief, because the obligation of zakat is basic to this religion, without which Islam becomes annulled. Whoever denies this obligation denies the words of Allah and His Messenger, and therefore is a disbeliever.” [Refer Al-Majmu’: 5/334]

This ruling is also established by Ibn Qudamah and other scholars. [Refer Al-Mughni: 2/573]

Bahz bin Hakim said:

My father told, me that my grandfather said: ‘I heard the Prophet say: With regard to grazing camels, for every forty a Bint Labbun (a two-year old female camel). No differentiation is to be made between camels when calculating them. Whoever gives it seeking reward, he will be rewarded for it. Whoever refuses, we will take it, and half of his camels, as one of the rights of our Lord. And it is not permissible for the family of Muhammad to have any of them.”‘ [Refer Sunan an-Nasa’i no. 2444]

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said:

When you pay the Zakat you have fulfilled what is required of you.” [Refer Jami` at-Tirmidhi 618]

It is proven from this hadith that the obligation due on a person is only zakat; no other compulsory levy is due on wealth, except zakat. Financial obligations and responsibilities other than zakat are not due because of wealth. Instead, they are due because of other reasons such as family and other close relations, marriage, or the payment of Zakatul-Fitr at the end of the month of Ramadan [Refer Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi: 2/2].

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