Zakat and Social Solidarity in Islam

Zakat is a mandatory Islamic ritual imposed upon the wealthy Muslims for the benefit of the destitute and those of low income in the Muslim community. It is a specific share paid out of the properties if they reach nisab (the least amount for giving Zakat).

Zakat is an individual obligation and one of the basic acts of worship that must be offered according to fixed periods stated by the Islamic Shari’ah. The excellence of Zakat is manifested in its gathering between the worldly and spiritual aspects on an obligatory, not optional, standard.

It is a shared right of God the Almighty and the beneficiaries whom the Qur’an precisely determined. Allah (Glory be to Him) says (meaning):

“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] 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] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, surah At-Tawbah, verse 60)].

Zakat is one of the features of the Islamic social solidarity that reflect the keenness of Islam on preserving the balance of the community through purposeful obligations that show kindness, cordiality, altruism, cooperation and mutual love among people. Also, it combats selfishness, niggardliness, hatred, carelessness, destitution, and sufferings of the poor and the needy.

No one can deny that sexual harassment, rape, robbery, embezzlement, bribe, cheating, etc., are nothing but the product of the lack of social cooperation, stinginess of the rich, and the absence of justice that stricken our life, and uncovered and vitalized the evil drives within people. The goals of Zakat are confronting these diseases and providing safe alternatives for fulfilling the needs of the helpless as well as fulfilling the social services through a balanced ritual and obtainable obligation.

Today, the Muslim countries abound with plenty of tycoons who top the world lists of a billionaire: what does one expect if those affluent ones give their due Zakat? Is not it enough to eradicate the regional troubles that Muslims are experiencing for a long time? Does not it suffice as a solution for the problem of the Muslim refugees who knock the doors of Europe seeking a safe place to live? Not only the refugees but also those who pass away because of poverty and disease will be satisfied.

Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned of the gravest outcomes of withholding the rights of the poor in one’s possession (i.e. Zakat) and threatened its withholders with severe punishment.

Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s Messenger said: “No owner of the treasure who does not pay Zakat (would be spared) but (his hoards) would be heated in the Fire of Hell and these would be made into plates and with these his sides, his forehead would be cauterized till Allah would pronounce judgment among His servants during a day, the extent of which would be fifty thousand years. He would then see his path, leading either to Paradise or to Hell. And no owner of the camels who does not pay Zakat (would be spared) but a soft sandy plain would be set for him and they (the camels) would be made to pass over him till the last of them would be made to return till Allah would pronounce judgment among His servants during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years. He would then see his path leading him to Paradise or leading him to Hell. And no owner of the (cattle and) goats who does not pay Zakat (would be spared) but a soft sandy plain would be set for him, he would find none of them missing, with twisted horns, without horns, or with broken horns, and they will gore him with their horns and trample him with their hoofs and they would be made to pass over him till the last of them would be made to return till Allah would pronounce judgment among His servants, during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, and he would see the paths leading to Paradise or to Hell. [Narrated by Muslim].

The Qur’an pictures Zakat in a very intimate way while it lists the characteristics of the dwellers of paradise. God says (meaning):

“Except the observers of prayer. Those who are constant in their prayer. And those within whose wealth is a known right. For the petitioner and the deprived.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Ma`arij, verse 22-25].

According to the verse, the obligation of Zakat is not meant to overburden the rich ones or to seize their properties in favor of others. Rather, it is a merciful duty that is carried out for alleviating the sufferings of other Muslims who experience bad conditions. This generous contribution is surely reciprocal, who is sure that he or she will remain rich in the long run? All of us are liable to these distressful conditions; if you give today, you may be the receiver the other day or that Allah blesses and protects you and your belongings.

Moreover, Zakat is an explanation of the bond of brotherhood that Islam builds between its followers. This bond is bound by social rights and duties that secure the continuation of the Muslim community and strengthen its unity and integration. One should bear this fact in mind, namely that Islam legislated Zakat for the benefit of the community not for religious aspirations.

Zakat is not to be given to the clerks and or the Imams of the mosques but it is a right of the poor and the needy.

Ibn Abbas narrated (meaning): “The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent Mu`adh to Yemen and said, “Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I am Allah’s Messenger, and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, 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.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. It is a clear right for its beneficiaries alone without others.

The fortunate ones are those who pay out their Zakat at its due times. They enjoy the boundless bless and pleasure of God whose most repeated Attributes are the All-Gracious and the All-Merciful. Almighty Allah says (meaning):

“The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend (i.e. give Zakat). Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Anfal, verse 3-4].

The most prudent ones among the believers are those who make business with God. They spend from their money for His sake and feel no avarice in their hearts about what they give out. The Qur’an says (meaning):

“Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a profit that will never perish. That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is Forgiving and Appreciative.” [Al-Quran, surah Fatir, verse 29-30].

Moreover, Allah blesses their properties and proliferates their belongings openhandedly. Almighty Allah says (meaning):

“Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Baqarah, verse 276].

Abu Kabshah `Amr ibn Sa`d reported (meaning): “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “I swear by Allah for three (qualities) which I am going to tell you about. Remember them well: The wealth of a man will not diminish by charity. Allah augments the honor of a man who endures oppression patiently. He who opens a gate of begging, Allah opens a gate of poverty (or he said a word similar to it).” [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi].

In fact, this is the hopeful reward of Allah for paying out His share and right in the properties. He (Glory be to Him) blesses and protects the possessions of the giver, and spreads the love of him among people.

17 Benefits of Zakat.

17 Benefits of Zakat. Benefits and wisdom of the individual and social Zakat are as follows [Find it here….]

Benefits and wisdom of the individual and social Zakat are as follows:

1- Perfecting and completing the Islam of a slave because it is one of the pillars of Islam. So, if one does it, his Islam will be complete and perfect. There is absolutely no doubt that this is a great aim for every Muslim individual. Actually, every Muslim individual seeks to complete his religion.

2- It is proof of the truthfulness of the faith of he who gives Zakat. This is because money is loved by souls and what is loved cannot be sacrificed except in return for something similar to or more beloved than it. Therefore, it is called Sadaqah (i.e. charity) for it indicates the truthfulness of the request of its payer for the Pleasure of Allah The Almighty.

3- It purifies the morals of the payer of Zakat. It disassociates him from the group of misers and includes him in the group of the generous. This is because if one used to give, be it knowledge, money or honor, then giving will become natural for him to the extent that he may feel sad on a day in which he does not give anything.

Such as the hunter who used to hunt. If he delays his hunt on a specific day, he feels sad. The same thing applies to the one who gets himself accustomed to being generous. He feels sad when a day passes by without giving out money, honor or benefit.

4- It expands the breast with assurance and gladdens the heart. This is because if one gives something, especially money, he will feel assurance in his breast. This is something that is tested and tried, providing that his giving should be done with complete generosity and pleasure. His sacrifice should not dwell in his heart (with regret and displeasure).

Shaykh Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned in his renowned book ‘Zad Al-Ma‘ad’ that giving and generosity are included in the causes of expanding the heart with assurance. However, no one can achieve this benefit except one who gives with generosity and pleasure. The money leaves his heart before it leaves his hand. However, the one whose money leaves his hand while his heart is still attached to it will not benefit from giving.

5- It makes one reach the rank of the perfect believer. The Prophet said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Narrated by Muslim] So, as one loves to be given money to satisfy his needs, he should also love to give it to his brother. By doing so, one will have perfect faith.

6- It is one of the causes of entering Paradise. This is because Paradise is for “those who use soft speech, spread the greeting of Islam, feed people and spend the night in voluntary prayer while the people are asleep.” [Narrated by Ahmad and At-Tirmithi] All of us earnestly seek to enter Paradise.

7- It makes Islamic society a single family in which the strong helps the weak and the rich helps the poor. One will feel that he has brothers to whom he has to do good as Allah The Almighty has done good to him. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And do good as Allah has done good to you.} [Quran, Chapter 28, Verse 77] Thus, the Islamic nation will be as one family. This is what the later scholars called social solidarity. Zakat is the best thing that can achieve this because one fulfills with it an obligation and benefits his fellows.

8- It extinguishes the fire of the revolution of the poor. This is because the poor are vexed to find someone who rides in whatever he desires (of luxurious modes of transportation), lives in whatever palace he wishes and eats whatever he likes. All this, while (the poor bystander) can only use his (own) legs, does not sleep except on the ground and the like. There is no doubt that he will find something (of an ill feeling) in his heart. However, if the rich give to the poor, this will extinguish their feeling for revolution, calm down their anger and make them say: “We have brothers that take care of us in difficult times” and thus they will love the rich.”

9- It prevents financial crimes such as robbery and stealing. This is because the poor will receive what satisfies their needs and so they will excuse the rich for they give them from their wealth. They give them one-quarter of one-tenth (i.e. 2.5 percent) on gold, silver and trade goods, one-tenth or one-half of one-tenth on grains and fruits and a great percentage on flocks. Thus, they will see that they are treating them well and will not transgress against them.

10- Salvation from the intense heat of the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet said: “Every man will be in the shade of his charity on the Day of Resurrection.” [Narrated by Ahmad]

Furthermore, The Prophet said regarding the seven categories of people whom Allah The Almighty will shade with the shade He Creates on the day when there will be no shade but His: “A man who gives in charity so secretly that his left-hand does not know what his right-hand spends;” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

11- It makes one know the limits and rulings of Allah The Almighty because one will not fulfill Zakat unless he knows its rulings, properties, Nisab (i.e. the minimum amounts liable for Zakat), its recipients and other such matters that the need calls for.

12- It purifies and increases wealth, meaning that, if one gives charity on his wealth, then this will protect it from blight and Allah The Almighty may Increase his provision due to this charity. Therefore, it is mentioned in the Hadith: “Wealth does not decrease because of charity.” [Narrated by Muslim]

It is clearly witnessed that the wealth of a miser may be afflicted with what may destroy it or the most of it due to fire, a great loss or diseases that force him to seek treatment that consumes great amounts of his wealth.

13- It is one of the causes of the downfall of goodness. It is mentioned in the Hadith: “No people ever withhold the Zakat of their wealth but rain is withheld from the sky.” [Narrated by Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim]

14- The Prophet said: “Charity given in secret extinguishes the wrath of The Lord,” as was authentically narrated from the Messenger. [Narrated by At-Tirmithi and Ibn Hiban]

15- The Prophet said: “It wards off an unpleasant death.” [Narrated by At-Tirmithi and Ahmad]

16- The Prophet said: “It wrestles with a calamity that comes down from the heavens and prevents it from reaching earth.” [Narrated by At-Tabarani]

17- It expiates sins. The Prophet said: “Charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire.” [Narrated by Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and An-Nasaa’i]

Sources: http://www.islamweb.net/en/article/187717/17-benefits-of-zakah

The Connection Between Zakat and The Economic System (Social Security)

……As zakat is a means of money passing from the hands of one person to another, who may benefit from it and dispose of it, and this is regulated by the general principles that are derived from the Qur’an and Hadith, we may say that in this sense zakat is indeed a part of the Islamic economic system; there are texts which explain the kinds of wealth on which zakat is to be paid and the amounts due, and those to whom zakat may be given, and how it is to be paid. All that is well known. [Find your answer here……]

Firstly, there is no definition of the Islamic economic system mentioned in the Qur’an or Hadith, rather Islam explains everything that has to do with the Muslim’s life in its texts, including his economic affairs.

The Islamic economic system may be defined as a collection of general economic principles which are derived from the Qur’an and Hadith, and the economic structure that is based on those principles.

Or it may be described as the system which directs and organizes economic activity and regulates it according to the principles and economic policies of Islam.

One of the basic principles that were brought by Islam is the individual’s right to ownership (of goods and property), and the prohibition on aggression against the property of others. It is also permissible to make use of what is in the earth; and ribaa (usury, interest), gambling and zulm (wrongdoing, oppression) are all forbidden.

Among the forms of economic activity that are based on these foundations are permissible financial transactions, partnerships, mudaarabah (partnership, whereby one supplies capital and another, provides labor), renting, muzaara’ah (where one person supplies land and another cultivates it), and various forms of permissible investment.

As zakat is a means of money passing from the hands of one person to another, who may benefit from it and dispose of it, and this is regulated by the general principles that are derived from the Qur’an and Hadith, we may say that in this sense zakat is indeed a part of the Islamic economic system; there are texts which explain the kinds of wealth on which zakat is to be paid and the amounts due, and those to whom zakat may be given, and how it is to be paid. All that is well known.

It is also one of the means of achieving “social security”, but in Islam social security is not limited solely to zakat, rather it is also achieved by other means, such as sadaqah (charity), waqfs, war booty and stipends from the bayt al-maal (Muslim treasury).

Muslim society gives guidelines to both rich and poor; it encourages the rich to give and enjoins upon them the zakat of their wealth. Thus it ensures that the poor and needy and those who are unable to work, such as the elderly, widows and others, have enough to live on. Hence Islam made zakat an obligation, one of the five pillars of Islam, and encourages Muslims to give charity, establish waqfs, and leave money to good causes in their wills, and it lists the poor as one of the groups to whom zakat and money offered as expiation are to be given – such as expiations offered for zihaar (a jaahili form of divorce in which the husband says to his wife, “You are to me as my mother’s back”), for broken oaths and broken fasts, and the fidyah to be offered for certain transgressions during the Hajj, so that the number of poor people in the Muslim society may be reduced.

In the Muslim state, if a person is unable to work and earn a living and has no one such as a father, mother or other relative to spend on him, and reason for his being unable to earn a living is that he is too young or too sick or too old, he is entitled to assistance. Some Muslim states have set up a system for providing assistance, according to various criteria, such as pensions, spending on children whose parents have died until they reach the age of discernment, and so on, even if they have money of their own.

Other non-Muslim states, on the other hand, have set up systems and special criteria that deal with the issue of assistance.

The Muslim should be keen to earn a living from halal sources by working with his own hands. He should be the one who gives and spends, not the one who takes and asks, especially if he is asking for money in a kaafir state. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of charity is that which leaves you still independent of means, and the upper hand (the one that gives) is better than the lower hand (the one that receives), and start with those who are under your care.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim].

And Allaah knows best.

Growth Your Wealth with Zakat and Delight The Heart

Wealth and possession is not the final determinant for the happiness of any individual. How many people out there possess a big house like a palace, with rows of flashy cars, able to buy expensive clothing and ornaments, but has a heart which is anxious, because the family is in a mess?…

The world and its contents are mere adornments for mankind. There is nothing of ours in this world, be it our wife, husband, children, wealth or our position, which shall last forever. Make our life in this temporary world as a place to grab as many rewards as possible and bring it to our life in the everlasting hereafter.

Wealth and possession is not the final determinant for the happiness of any individual. How many people out there possess a big house like a palace, with rows of flashy cars, able to buy expensive clothing and ornaments, but has a heart which is anxious, because the family is in a mess? The husband is always busy with business affairs, the wife is always busy handling matters with friends, to the point that the children are left free with their friends without knowing the boundary between halal and haram. The fact is, wealth may be able to buy anything in this world, but it is not able to bring happiness into the heart.

Are we not aware that the wealth that we possess actually contains portions that rightfully belong to others’? Therefore, give what is rightfully others’, be it through zakat or donations, which have been commanded and are encouraged in Islam. Therefore, giving zakat, or donating, would not make us poor at all, but instead would make our hearts calmer and our lives even more blessed.

Ponder upon the words of Allah in surah At-Taubah verse 103:

Which means: “Of their goods, take alms, that so you might purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily your prayers are a source of security for them: And Allah is One Who hears and knows.” [Al-Quran, Surah at-Taubah, verse 103].

Do not let our own self be made a slave of the wealth that we own. Wealth is not to be shown off to others, with the aim or being boastful, as what was done by Qarun during the time of Prophet Musa AS. Qarun, who was given the blessing of great and unimaginable wealth did not know how to be thankful to Allah for such blessings. On the contrary, he became arrogant, proud and was boastful. Do we want to meet a similar fate like Qarun’s, who was finally destroyed by Allah due to the arrogance and pride he showed as he felt he was very great?

Let us make the wealth that we possess as a wasilah, or a medium, for us to get ourselves closer to Allah. Among them is by giving zakat from part of our wealth, so that it may be tasted by others who are less fortunate. Indeed, the giving of zakat, besides it being a command of Allah which must be obeyed, is also proof of the obedience and the conviction of an absolute servant of The Lord Who Owns Everything.

Thorugh zakat, we are able to educate the heart, which has been loving wealth and possessions all this while, to become more inclined towards donating and helping others with the wealth that we have. A person with a heart that likes to perform good deeds is a servant who is thankful. Let it be known that true wealth is not measured by how much we possess, but by a heart that always feels satisfied with whatever that has been bestowed by Allah. Let us ponder upon the hadith of Rasulullah, as narrated by Imam Muslim based on a report by Abu Hurairah:

Which means: “Wealth is not due to many possessions, but true wealth is due to a rich soul.” [Narrated by Muslim]

How nice indeed if day by day many more Muslims were to give out zakat. The zakat collection would surely increase and it would mean even more people would be able to receive the benefits from the collection. Therefore, be aware that in order to give zakat, the Muslims must be stimulated and rejuvenated through the following steps:

First: Make monthly zakat deductions. This can be performed by making consistent salary deductions for the purpose of zakat every month. Visit any Zakat Collection Center to register ourselves with the scheme. Through that scheme, the salary that we get every month shall have a small amount automatically deducted for the purpose of zakat, without us having to go to the counter again and again. As a result, the salary that we get shall be a source of income that is clean, pure and blessed.

Second: Understand the hardship faced by others. Let us imagine the hardships faced by the poor and destitute. Has it not occurred to us that there are those who have not eaten all day? Or is the place that they call home comfortable enough to protect them from the heat of the sun, the rain and the cold of the night? If we have any compassion at all for them, let us help them by reviving the act of donating and also the giving of zakat, within us specifically and within the society generally.

Third: Let us not be calculative with the wealth that we give out for zakat. Indeed, the feeling of love for the wealthy would not bring any benefit to us, or save us from the pain of punishment of Allah in the Hereafter. On the other hand, the wealth that we give out as zakat, or what we give a donation, would be able to make us among those who actually gain and be accepted by Allah. Let us ponder and understand the declaration of Allah in surah Ar-Rum verse 39:

Which means: “That which you lay out for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allah: but that which you lay out for charity, seeking the Countenance of Allah, (will increase): it is these who will get a recompense multiplied.” [Al-Quran, Surah Ar-Rum, verse 39].

Helping each other and loving each other is very much encouraged in Islam. Even more so if the ones whom we help are our own brothers in religion. Those who are strong should help those who are weak and those who are wealthy should help those who are poor. Such is how Muslims, as the Khaira Ummah, or the Best of People, on earth should always invite towards charity and prevent evil.

Therefore, let us prove that we are indeed the best of people as declared by Allah in the Al-Quran. Perform our duty to give out zakat and increase our act of donating to help our fellow brothers in Islam who are less fortunate. Let us compete with each other to ensure we are among those stated in the hadith of Rasulullah as the “group of givers” who gain a special place when compared to the “group of receivers”. Ponder upon the hadith of Rasulullah as narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari and Muslim, based on the report from Ibn Umar:

Which means: “The hand above is better than the hand below. The hand above gives while the hand below wants.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

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.

Achieving Clean Assets and Virtuous Souls Through Zakat.

Every human being, regardless of rank or status, would want their wealth, properties or assets to be blessed. The giving of Zakat is the duty of every Muslim. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. Allah has promised great rewards for those who spend their wealth towards the path of Allah with a joyful heart and full of sincerity…..

Every human being, regardless of rank or status, would want their wealth, properties or assets to be blessed. The giving of Zakat is the duty of every Muslim. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. Allah has promised great rewards for those who spend their wealth towards the path of Allah with a joyful heart and full of sincerity. Allah declared in Surah al-Baqarah, verse 261:

(Which means): “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Baqarah, verse 261]

This verse clearly shows that the practice of zakat opens up many opportunities for each individual to fully utilise their assets. Zakat removes greed and stinginess, provides spiritual calmness as well as expand the essential rewards and blessings for wealth gained. This is the reality of the greatness of performing zakat that must be believed by those who truly devote themselves to Allah.

Based on the Zakat Report by the Zakat Collection Centre of the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Council (MAIWP), in 2016 almost RM581 million worth of zakat was collected from various fields and categories. From that amount, it was distributed to 5 main schemes, namely for the development of asnaf (rightful recipients), education, shelter, self-reliance and the development of the ummah covering 29 types of assistance as a whole. Apart from that, the distribution also involves several educational institutions including Islamic kindergartens in the Federal Territory, Darul Ilmi and Pondok Moden Al-‘Abaqirah. Various other forms of distribution were also implemented, such as the establishment of public infrastructure, construction and improvement of infrastructure for the Islamic community, as well as distribution to welfare and shelter institutions.

These distributions clearly demonstrate that zakat institutions do play their role well when managing zakat in our country. This completely rebuffs allegations and accusations heard among the community that zakat institutions are ineffective, inefficient and have failed to assist the people. Such negative perception would somewhat bring down the dignity and credibility of the zakat institutions. Here, the concept of tabayyun (to check and verify) is important for every individual. Learn to check and verify information as well as sources before disseminating it, so as not to spread slander and cause suspicion.

Maybe we are now capable of fulfilling our hearts desires, enjoying delicious food and expensive clothes which we provide for ourselves and family, but can our conscience be at peace when we know some of our fellow brothers are sleeping in a state of hunger, undergoing the hardships of life without knowing when it will change?

Remember that through our wealth, we have a responsibility and trust that needs to be performed. Let us not always question the responsibility of zakat centres, but instead, ask what our responsibilities are in assisting such centres? Do not continue to be complacent and arrogant of the favours of wealth we have received, but remain silent, ignoring the demands of performing the zakat, infaq (donation), or charity. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah and recorded by Imam al-Bukhari, Rasulullah was reported to have said:

(Which means): “Whosoever Allah gives wealth but does not perform zakat, then on the Day of Resurrection, his wealth will turn into a horned male serpent with two fangs and coiled around him on the Day of Judgment, and the snake will devour him between its jaws while saying, “I am your wealth! I am your wealth!” [Refer Sahih al-Bukhari]

To motivate our soul to easily and willingly donate or contribute part of our assets, let us look at some examples that may be followed in giving zakat or contributing towards the path of Allah. Saidatina Khadijah bint Khuwailid RA spent her wealth for Islam. Most of her properties and assets were used to liberate slaves, help poor people, assist the needy, and save friends who were suffering from financial problems. Saidina Uthman bin Affan RA donated 1,000 camels and 70 horses for the Battle of Tabuk, including 1,000 dirhams to finance the expenses of the war. Similarly, Abdul Rahman bin Auf RA also contributed his wealth for the way of Allah. Those were just some of the examples shown by the Companions on how to put wealth to good use. Their sacrifices would surely bring them great rewards.

Learn from the attitudes and morals of the Companions regarding property and asset management. Provide assistance. Lighten the burden. Indeed, the hand that gives is better than the hand that receives.

On this occasion, this blog calls upon all to fulfil the obligation of zakat through legal and recognised zakat institutions appointed by the government, such as the Zakat Collection Centre of the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Council (MAIWP). This is because the zakat collected by such zakat institutions shall allow the fund to grow bigger so that various assistance and distributions can be made in a more orderly and organized way.

Looking back historically, Rasulullah appointed collectors (amil) from among his Companions. These appointed collectors travelled to remote villages to facilitate the collection of zakat. This proves that zakat institutions have existed since the time of Rasulullah, and is the sunnah of Rasulullah. Therefore, zakat collection centres that exist today follow the same method as shown by Rasulullah.

Make haste in doing good deeds. May all our efforts be rewarded with great blessings by Allah. In conclusions:

First: Zakat is an obligatory act of worship to purify every Muslim individual, towards achieving the blessings and pleasure of Allah.

Second: Paying zakat at institutions established by the government is a sunnah that has been practised by Rasulullah.

Third: Emulate the morals of the Companions who were always competing in performing charitable deeds, to help those who were most in need. Allah declared in Surah Ali ‘Imran, verse 180:

(Which means): “And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] acquainted.” [Al-Quran, surah Ali ‘Imran, verse 180]

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.

Why We Should Purify Our Wealth?

In Islam, all wealth belongs to Allah. It does not belong to the individual. Wealth is an amanah (trust that is entrusted to the individual) from Allah. We are but the administrator of it.

Why it is important that we should ‘purify’ our wealth and what is the significance of zakat?

In Islam, all wealth belongs to Allah. It does not belong to the individual. Wealth is an amanah (trust that is entrusted to the individual) from Allah. We are but the administrator of it. We will have to account for the wealth that Allah has entrusted to us in the Hereafter.

Allah has made it obligatory on us that a very small part only 2.5 per cent of the wealth He entrusted us with must be paid as zakat.

This 2.5 per cent does not belong to us. It belongs to the poor and the needy and those who can receive it. The poor and the needy have the right to demand the due zakat from the wealthy.

When a Muslim gives the zakat, Allah, through His Love and Mercy, makes the rests of his wealth which is the remaining 97.5 per cent halal (lawful) for him to use as he pleases. Allah encourages him to spend a portion of his 97.5 per cent in charity (sadaqah) but He does not make it obligatory or compulsory.

In giving zakat, a person purifies his soul from the filth of miserliness, greed and selfishness. It cleanses his soul from feeling contempt for the poor. It stops him from behaving harsh-heartedly towards the poor. It nurtures in him feelings of spiritual goodness which include compassion, concern and understanding for the poor. It ensures that the giver will receive the Blessings of Allah in the Hereafter.

One of the main aims of zakat is to eradicate poverty (al-faqr). Allah, due to His all-encompassing Knowledge and Mercy, knows that it will be difficult for a person to perform his obligatory duties, personal, spiritual, social, political and otherwise when he is starved of food and deprived of a shelter. Thus performing zakat will help them.

Allah knows best!

Anastasia Taioglou

Tanggungjawab Orang Kaya

Hari ini, saat kita masih diberi kesempatan hidup, terlihat begitu jelas pemandangan-pemandangan muram bahkan menyedihkan…

Hari ini, saat kita masih diberi kesempatan hidup, terlihat begitu jelas pemandangan-pemandangan muram bahkan menyedihkan dari golongan fakir dan miskin dan mereka yang memerlukan sumbangan para dermawan. Ini adalah kerana masih ada segelintir orang kaya yang tidak menunaikan peranan mereka terhadap golongan miskin. Bahkan, tidak berlebihan untuk kita katakan bahawa mereka itu tidak menunaikan kewajipan terhadap diri mereka sendiri dan kewajipan terhadap harta yang mereka miliki.

Bagi kewajipan terhadap diri sendiri dan harta, golongan kaya itu tidak menyucikan diri dari berbagai dosa, tidak berzakat dan mengembangkan harta dengan cara mengeluarkan zakat, serta tidak menunaikan hak-hak orang fakir dan miskin. Sebagaimana firman Allah dalam surah at-Taubah (yang bermaksud):

“Ambillah (sebahagian) dari harta mereka menjadi sedekah (zakat), supaya dengannya engkau membersihkan mereka (dari dosa) dan mensucikan mereka (dari akhlak yang buruk); dan doakanlah untuk mereka, kerana sesungguhnya doamu itu menjadi ketenteraman bagi mereka. Dan (ingatlah) Allah Maha Mendengar, lagi Maha Mengetahui” [Al-Quran, Surah At-Taubah (9): 103]

Salah satu kepentingan zakat bagi muzzakki (pembayar zakat) ialah untuk membersihkan jiwa dan menambah harta mereka. Sebahagian daripada harta mereka adalah hak milik orang-orang miskin, kerana Nabi Muhammad SAW telah bersabda kepada Mu’adz bin Jabal saat mengutus dia ke Yaman (yang bermaksud):

“Beritahu mereka, Allah SWT mewajibkan zakat kepada mereka yang dipungut dari orang-orang kaya mereka lalu diberikan kembali kepada orang-orang miskin mereka.” [Sahih Baihaqi]

Berdasarkan sabda ini, golongan-golongan penerima zakat tidaklah berada di luar koridor zakat yang dipungut dari kaum berada untuk kemudian dikembalikan kepada kaum miskin dikalangan mereka juga.

Namun, sangat memilukan hati apabila masih keterdapatan pemandangan buruk dari orang-orang miskin dikalangan muslim, padahal mereka adalah golongan pertama yang berhak mendapat zakat. Mereka mengemis dan berlumba-lumba menghampiri tempat-tempat kotor dan sampah untuk sekadar mencari alas perut. Bukankah ini suatu pemandangan yang menyentuh dan mendesak kaum berada (kaya) untuk segera bertindak?

Pemandangan orang-orang fakir miskin seperti itu dan pemandangan-pemandangan mereka yang memerlukan bantuan lainnya secara jelas menunjukkan bahawa kaum berada tidak menunaikan kewajipan mereka terhadap orang-orang miskin. Ini adalah masalah serius yang harus kita renungkan secara mendalam.

Namun, disini harus kita fahami hakikat yang yang mendalam serta punca bagi permasalahan ini, bahawa di dalam harta orang-orang kaya semestinya terdapat juga 8 golongan yang berhak mendapatkan zakat. Lebih dari itu, kemampuan untuk berzakat dan bersedekah sama sekali tidak sedikitpun merugikan dan mengurangi harta mereka.

Kerana itu, masalah ini bergantung kepada kesungguhan orang-orang kaya untuk mengeluarkan zakat dan sedekah kepada golongan-golongan yang berhak yang telah ditentukan al-Quran untuk lapan (8) golongan, juga disebutkan dalam nas sunnah dan disepakati umat.

Realiti yang disebutkan ini secara tegas menunjukkan kelalaian kaum berada dan kaya terhadap hak-hak kaum miskin mereka. Disebut “kaum miskin mereka” kerana berdasarkan nas hadith sebelum ini.

Dengan kata lain, kaum miskin dinisbahkan kepada mereka, sedangkan perkataan”mereka” kembali kepada orang-orang kaya. Ia untuk menegaskan hak orang-orang miskin dan asnaf yang lain yang ada dalam harta orang-orang kaya serta tanggungjawab besar dan kewajipan mereka terhadap golongan asnaf.

Kita memohon kepada Allah SWT semoga kita diberi pertolongan dan hidayah menuju jalan yang lurus. Wallahualam.