Impact of Zakat on the Muslim

There is no doubt that Zakat (obligatory charity) has a great impact on both the person who pays it, and on the society as a whole. Among its impacts are the following:

It purifies the person who gives it from sins and acts of disobedience he committed; Allah Says (what means): {Take, [O Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) ], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase.}[Quran 9:103]. Moreover, it is confirmed that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Charity wipes out the sin exactly as water extinguishes the fire.” [At-Tirmithi]

It results in the increase and blesses of the money; linguistically, Zakat means to bless, increase, or purify. Allah Says (what means): {But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.}[Quran 34:39]. Besides, it is confirmed that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “I swear by Allah on the following three things: ….(and he mentioned) charity does not decrease the wealth of the person who gives it.” [At-Tirmithi]

It fulfills the need of the needy; this leads to the spread of security in the society, as theft and robbery will decrease. It also means harmony in the society.

The above are some fruits yielded by the payment of Zakat, and whoever wants to find out more in this regard may refer to the books of the scholars may Allah have mercy upon them on this subject.

Allah Knows best.


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Understanding Zakat.

Allah, the Almighty, prescribed Zakat on all Muslims and made it one of the five pillars of Islam. He says, “and establish prayer and give Zakat” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 110]. The Prophet also said, “Islam is based on (the following) five (pillars): to testify that there is no deity save Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger, offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers, pay Zakat (obligatory charity), perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) and observe fast during the month of Ramadan.”…

Allah, the Almighty, prescribed Zakat on all Muslims and made it one of the five pillars of Islam. He says, “and establish prayer and give Zakat” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 110]. The Prophet also said, “Islam is based on (the following) five (pillars): to testify that there is no deity save Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger, offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers, pay Zakat (obligatory charity), perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) and observe fast during the month of Ramadan.”

Going down to its literal meaning, Zakat is making something grow and develop. As promised by Allah the Almighty, it is meant to increase the wealth and make it blessed as He says, “But what you give in Zakat, desiring the countenance of Allah – those are the multipliers.” [Al-Quran, Surah Ar-Room, verse 39]. That is: Allah, the Exalted accepts their Zakat and multiplies their rewards.

In Islam, Zakat is obligatory financial worship that every able Muslim must observe by allocating a percentage of their wealth based on certain criteria and paying it to the deserving people, like the poor and the helpless.

The types of wealth liable for Zakat include gold, silver, money, livestock (camel, cow, sheep), land crops and trading goods at a varying rate, depending on the assets.

As for the amount of Zakat, if the money a Muslim possesses reached the Zakat Nisab (minimum amount liable for paying Zakat), which is estimated at around RM14,000 (approx. USD 3,000), and when a full lunar year has elapsed since the Nisab has been reached, then he must pay Zakat at a rate of 2.5 per cent (%). The Messenger of Allah said in this regard, “whoever earns any money he is not liable to pay Zakat until the period of a year has passed (while it is still in his possession).”

Zakat is also payable yearly on trading stocks and shares as well as their profits provided that their value has reached the Nisab. The value is rated according to the market value at the time of payment of Zakat.

On another level, each category of livestock animals has a fixed Nisab amount based upon the number of animals owned. For instance, Zakat for every five cattle is one sheep, for every 30 cows one cow, and for between 40 to 120 sheep, one should be given.

In regards to Zakat on land crops that are machine-irrigated, it requires half of a tenth (5 per cent) as Zakat payment. It becomes due only at the time of harvest. The Almighty says, “and give its due [Zakat] on the day of its harvest.” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-An’am, verse 141].

Moreover, Zakat can be either paid in cash or in kind. No Zakat is payable on women’s jewellery if these are used for adornment. However, should further details be required regarding the same, they can be directed to the specialised competent scholars.

In the following verse, Allah, the Almighty, speaks about those who deserve Zakat. He says, “Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, Surah At-Tawbah, verse 60].

Here, the poor person is the one, who doesn’t earn any money, while the needy are those whose earnings are not sufficient enough to meet their needs. Those in debt are those who cannot afford to pay it off to the lender. The stranded traveller is the one who is short of means and is unable to find enough money to go back home. In this case, the traveller is eligible to receive Zakat to help him to return home.

However, Zakat cannot be given to one’s relatives who are under his guardianship, like parents, children or wife. Yet, a wife can give her husband out of the Zakat amount payable on her wealth if he deserves it.

Concerning where Zakat should be paid, scholars said, “Zakat on wealth should be paid in the country where its owner lives.” This was based on the Prophet’s message when he requested Muad ibn Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, when he sent him to Yemen. He said, “then teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the Zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.”

Nonetheless, it is allowed to give out Zakat to the poor outside the country where one lives in if the destination place badly needs it. This can be done, for example, through the official authorities specified by the ruler. In this regard, Malaysia’s wise leadership has given great care to Zakat, seeking to exalt Allah’s decree and promote the performance of this pillar of Islam. As such, it set up the Zakat Fund with a mission to organise and manage the Zakat affairs in accordance to Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger, combining between the authentic principles of Islam and the contemporary developments.

So indeed, it is such a great success for those who pay Zakat with goodwill.

Paying Zakat has great benefits for those who do it. Allah praised them in this verse: “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive; and they who turn away from ill speech; and they who are observant of Zakat.” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Mu’minun, verse 1-4]. That is those who observe the obligation of Zakat in line with Allah’s orders.

When a Muslim gives out Zakat, he shows that he is a true believer. Also, he demonstrates that he is adherent to His Creator’s decrees, loves Him, trusts in His Mercy and Forgiveness and appreciates His bounties. In return, Allah, by His Grace, blesses him with the best of rewards. The Almighty says, “Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give Zakat will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 277].

This is because Zakat would purify their souls as the Most Exalted says, “Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them to increase, and invoke [Allah’s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” [Al-Quran, Surah At-Tawbah, verse 103]. In the interpretation of this verse, ibn Abbas, said, “It is the compulsory charity.” That is: Zakat.

With this in mind, let us implore to Allah to make us amongst those who seek His Satisfaction and so granted. May Allah purify our hearts and wealth and bless our wealth and children. O Allah, please guide us all to obey You and obey Your Messenger Muhammad and obey those You have commanded us to obey in line with Your orders: “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you.” [Al-Quran, Surah An-Nisa’, verse 59].

May Allah direct us all to the blessings of the Glorious Quran and the Sunnah of His Messenger.

Benefits of Modesty (Hayaa)

There is no doubt that people are different in their characters; some have good morality while others have less or fewer. You may also find others, who are known for their generosity, others for their tolerance and others for their courage and loyalty. All of these fine manners are loved by Allah the All-Glory and His Messenger Muhammad. Yet one of the principles of Islam, Hayaa or (modesty- a pious shyness from committing religious indiscretions), stands out. This is closest to faith. In this regard our Prophet said, “every religion has its distinct characteristic, and the distinct characteristic of Islam is modesty.” The Prophet was modest and decent. Narrator Abu Said said, “the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had modesty more than a virgin in her tent.”…..

Allah, the Provider, Who considers modesty as one of the greatest morality. Allah, Exalted is He, has declared the truth in His Holy Book:

“And this [Qur’an] is a Book We have revealed [which is] blessed, so follow it and fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” (Al-Quran, surah Al-An’am [6]: 155).

He also says,

“So give good tidings to My servants. Who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones Allah has guided, and those are people of understanding.” (Al-Quran, surah Az-zumar [39]: 17-18).

There is no doubt that people are different in their characters; some have good morality while others have less or fewer. You may also find others, who are known for their generosity, others for their tolerance and others for their courage and loyalty. All of these fine manners are loved by Allah the All-Glory and His Messenger Muhammad. Yet one of the principles of Islam, Hayaa or (modesty- a pious shyness from committing religious indiscretions), stands out. This is closest to faith. In this regard our Prophet said, “every religion has its distinct characteristic, and the distinct characteristic of Islam is modesty.” The Prophet was modest and decent. Narrator Abu Said said, “the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had modesty more than a virgin in her tent.”

In many places in the Quran and Sunnah, Islam has urged us to seek the path of modesty. He (Muhammad) considered it part of faith as he said, “faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no deity but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the path and modesty is the branch of faith.”

The fact that the Prophet singled out Hayaa in particular means that this part is central and leads to all other branches of faith. This is echoed by what a wise man said that self-respect is dependent on dignity in the same way as a plant is dependent on water for survival. It is also said that anyone who makes modesty his cloak, no one can see his flaws.

For his part, Umar Ibn Al Khattab said, “anyone who had his modesty weakened, his piety would wear out. And whoever had weak piety, his heart had died.”

On the same matter, a poet praising its virtues said what means: “there is no good living for man if living is decency bare, for the tree remains alive so far as its bark is there.”

Decent behavior is also one’s way to committing to acts of worship and benefiting from rewards. Our Prophet said, “modesty does not bring anything except good.” In another narration: “modesty is altogether good.”

Looking at modesty from this perspective, it is clear that who embraces such a fine characteristic shall see his faith strengthened and his acts of goodness increased, ultimately leading him towards Paradise. However, someone who goes impudent he does injustice. And who does injustice will be a loser and shall be overwhelmed by remorse. In this Hadith we read: “Al Hayaa is from faith, and faith is in Paradise. Obscenity is from rudeness, and rudeness is in the Fire.”

Each of these calls for good and keeps evil at bay. Faith urges the believer to do acts of obedience while decency prevents him from sliding into immorality. Our Prophet said, “modesty and belief are together. If one of them is removed, the other is removed.”

But the most honorable form of modesty is the one towards Allah the All-Glory. Our Lord is the most Decent and loves His servants who are modest and well-mannered. This is evidenced in the following Hadith: “Allah is characterized by modesty and concealment.” In another Hadith our Prophet says, “I advise you to obey Allah and be ashamed of Allah in the same way you be ashamed of a righteous man of your own people.”

This is achieved by protecting your limbs as dictated by Allah the most Exalted. Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “have Hayaa for Allah as is His due.” We said, “O Prophet of Allah, we have Hayaa, and all praise is due to Allah.” He said, “not that, but having the Hayaa for Allah which He is due is to protect the head and what it contains and to protect the insides and what it includes, and to remember death and the trial, and whoever intends the Hereafter, he leaves the adornments of the world. So whoever does that, then he has indeed fulfilled Hayaa, meaning the Hayaa which Allah is due.”

This means someone who is not modest, lacking Hayaa, is most likely will transgress Allah’s prohibitions, and he can easily commit major sins. The Prophet says, “one of the sayings of the early Prophets which the people have got is: if you don’t feel ashamed do whatever you like.”

The Prophet Companions were characterized with Hayaa as much as angels [out of respect] showed respect to some of them. Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said,

“Allah’s Messenger was lying down in my room with his thigh or shank uncovered when Abu Bakr asked for permission to enter. He gave him permission to enter, remaining as he was. Then Umar asked for permission to come in and he gave him permission, remaining as he was. Then Uthman asked for permission to enter and the Prophet sat up and arranged his garment and then came in and spoke. When he left, I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr came in and you did not exert yourself nor concern yourself with him. Then Umar came in and you did not exert yourself nor concern yourself with him. Then Uthman came in and you sat up and arranged your garment.’ He said, ‘should I not be modest before a man before whom the angels are modest?'”

Aisha also said, “whenever I entered the house in which the Prophet and my father (i.e. Abu Bakr) are buried, I used to take off my sheet (from head) thinking that it’s only my father and husband (whom I am visiting), however By Allah! When Umar got buried with them, I never went inside without being fully covered; this is because of being ashamed of Umar.”

That is said, if Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, felt ashamed of a man buried, then modesty must be shown first and foremost to those who are still alive. Similarly any Muslim woman must act with dignity when dealing with all people. We read in the holy Quran the story of a woman who was known for her modest behavior. About her Allah the Almighty says,

“Then one of the two women came to him walking with shyness. She said, “Indeed, my father invites you that he may reward you for having watered for us.” So when he came to him and related to him the story, he said, “Fear not. You have escaped from the wrongdoing people.” (Al-Quran, surah Al-Qasas [28]: 25).

Truly modesty is a protection for the Muslim woman and man from misdeeds. So whoever stays ashamed of Allah the Exalted is He by averting one’s gaze, protecting one’ limbs, maintaining the chastity of heart and tongue, he will see his manners elevated and his treatment of people dignified.

May Allah direct us all to the blessings of the Glorious Quran and the Sunnah of His Messenger and benefit us all in whatever is in them.

Zakat, The 3rd Pillar of Islam, and its Advantages in Malaysia

Zakat from the language point of view is clean, pure, grow and prosper. Zakat can also be interpreted as an act of mercy, kindness, purification and improvement. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is the 3rd pillar after prayers (Some say fasting is 3rd pillars of Islam, but according to the following hadith, zakat it is the 3rd pillar of Islam….

Zakat from the language point of view is clean, pure, grow and prosper. Zakat can also be interpreted as an act of mercy, kindness, purification and improvement. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is the 3rd pillar after prayers (Some say fasting is 3rd pillars of Islam, but according to the following hadith, zakat it is the 3rd pillar of Islam):

“Abu Abdul Rahman Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khatthab RA narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah said: “Islam is built on five things: Take the witness admitted that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God, Established prayer, Zakat, pilgrimage to Mecca and perform fasting in Ramadhan”(Sahih Bukhari)

Obligations of Zakat has been repeated in noble Al-Quran for 30 times (Fiqh of Zakat, Dr. Yusuf Qaradhawi), with 27 times of prayer coupled with the order of Solah (Prayer). For example can be seen in Chapter Al-Baqarah verse 110 which has been translated:

“And establish prayer and give zakat, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing” [Al-Quran, Al-Baqarah (2):110]

also in Chapter Al-Baqarah verse 83:

“..”Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakat. Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing”[Al-Baqarah (2):83]

Based on the verse above, we should believe that Muslim must absolutely obey zakat obligatory.

Though Zakat has a high place in Islam, unfortunately for what I have seen, knowledge about zakat is the least known for common Muslim people (probably the least favourite subjects, even the rarely discussed in any lecture). Of course it was, when we been asked about the zakat, what keeps out the thinking is “zakat fitr” (Zakat fitrah is paid in the month of Ramadan, based by 1 bushel of local staple food, so little value in around of RM7.00 (about USD 2.50) in 2013 in Malaysia) While zakat is more than that. The evidence I heed first through the following hadith:

Ibn ‘Umar and ‘Aishah narrated that: “that from every twenty Dinar or more. The Prophet used to take half a Dinar and from forty Dinar, one Dinar” (Hadith Grade: Hasan. Narrated by Imam Ibn Majah)

So, according to the above hadith, it is referring to Zakat on wealth/property. Zakat on wealth means zakat that is to be removed from the compilation of property and income. However, only a wealth/property of more than nisab (minimum level) are required to oblige to zakat.

If such is the meaning of Zakat, why there are still many people who do not know? Why I do not even know about this? Well, I think perhaps the discussion regarding about wealth is unpopular in the culture of Islam especially in Malaysia. Perhaps encouraged him/her to always ascetic and away from collecting property resulting society no longer has the wealth to pay Zakat thus not an important subject when compared with prayer and fasting.

Zakat and Tax in Malaysia
As a Malaysian, I do feel thankful to Allah SWT for flexibility given in the payment of taxes. So, every money that we spend on zakat, we are eligible for income tax deduction rebate!

In Income Tax Act (Malaysia) 1967, there is a provision of personal income tax rebate for the payment of zakat (which is the first Year of Assessment).

Income Tax Act (ITA) 1967 Section 6A (3) states: “Rebate shall be given in the assessment for any payment of zakat, fitrah or any other Islamic religious requirements which required payment, and paid in the base year for the assessment year, and evidenced by a receipt issued by the relevant religious authority established by law.”

Based on the ITA 1967 above, each of individual zakat payment whether zakat on wealth or zakat fitrah/fitr can get the rebate or deduction of the individual income tax. Rebate is only available if the zakat payment made during the year of assessment of income tax.

However, zakat rebate on income tax does not usually happen in other countries. For example, in Indonesia, that has no tax breaks for zakat (So they obliged to issue tax and Zakat as a duty as citizen and Muslim). So there’s was no reason for us not give charity and zakat if our country already gives us such benefits.

Whoever Donates Something Today Will Benefit From It Tomorrow.

A women entered upon ‘A’ishah (the wife of the Prophet Muhammad), and her hand was paralyzed. She said, “O mother of the Believers, I went to sleep yesterday and my hand was healthy, and I woke up and it was paralyzed. ‘A’ishah said, “How is that?” She said, “I had wealthy parents, and my Father used to pay zakat, host guests, and give to beggars, and he did not see any good except that he would do it. As for my mother, she was stingy, and did nothing good with my Father’s wealth. Then my Father died, and my mother died only two months after him. So I saw my Father in a dream last night, and he was wearing two yellow garments and in front of him was a flowing river. I said, “Father, what is this?’ He said, “Whoever does good in this life will see it, this is what Allah has given me.” I said, “What has happened to my mother?” He asked, “Your Mother dies?” I said, “Yes”…..

Whoever donates something today will benefit from it tomorrow and whoever does not donate will come to find nothing, and he will have a great loss in the house of dwelling (in the Hereafter).

Some of the Salaf said,

“O son of Adam, you will only live on the Day of Judgment in what you have built, and you will find on that day what possessions you have prepared in your life.”

A women entered upon ‘A’ishah (the wife of the Prophet Muhammad), and her hand was paralyzed. She said, “O mother of the Believers, I went to sleep yesterday and my hand was healthy, and I woke up and it was paralyzed. ‘A’ishah said, “How is that?” She said, “I had wealthy parents, and my Father used to pay zakat, host guests, and give to beggars, and he did not see any good except that he would do it.

As for my mother, she was stingy, and did nothing good with my Father’s wealth. Then my Father died, and my mother died only two months after him. So I saw my Father in a dream last night, and he was wearing two yellow garments and in front of him was a flowing river. I said, “Father, what is this?’ He said, “Whoever does good in this life will see it, this is what Allah has given me.” I said, “What has happened to my mother?” He asked, “Your Mother dies?” I said, “Yes”

He said, “She has been turned away from me, so look for her on your left” So I turned to my left, and I saw my mother standing naked, covering her lower half with a rag and in her hand was a piece of fat. She was calling out, “My sadness, my thirst’ When she became tired she would rub the fat with her hand and then lick it, while in front of her was a flowing river. I said, ‘O mother, why are you crying out of thirst, and there is a flowing river in front of you?’ She said, ‘I am not allowed to drink from it.’ I said, Can I give you some of the water?’ She said, ‘I wish you would do that.’ So I filled my hand with water and let her drink, and when she swallowed it I heard a voice on my right, ‘Whoever has given this woman water, may his hand be paralyzed,’ and they repeated it twice.

Then I awoke and my hand was paralyzed, and I am not able to do anything with it. ‘A’ishah asked: ‘Did you recognize the rag she was wearing?’ I said, ‘Yes, O Mother of the Believers, it was exactly the same one I saw her wearing, for I had never seen my mother give anything as charity, except that one day my Father slaughtered a bull. So a beggar came to ask for some, so my mother gave him a bone that had some fat on it. And I saw one day that a beggar asked her for charity, so she gave him that exact rag.’

A’ishah (radiy Allaahu anha) said, Allah is the Most Great! Allah has told the truth, and the Messenger has delivered the message.

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it”
[Al-Quran, surah al-Azalzalah (99): 7 – 8]

This was nararted by Hafiz Abu Musa al-Madani with a good isnad.[21]

Footnotes:

[21] Hakim in his al-Mustadrak, (4/471) and by Ibn Abi al-Dunya in his ‘Kitab al-Mujabi al-Du’a,(p.74-75). Ibn Rajab also authenticated it.

Source:  Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali. “The Three that follow to the Grave”. Dar as-Sunnah Publishers, Birmingham, UK. Pg 29 – 30.