The Holy Quraan says: Those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful punishment. A day will certainly come when these shall be heated up in the fire of hell and their foreheads, sides and backs shall be branded with them. They will be told: This is what you have stored up for yourselves; taste, then, what you have hoarded. (9:34-36) It is abominable to hoard up wealth on the part of a true God-fearing man, because hoarding implies a little want of faith in Almighty Allah  as the Great Giver of Sustenance. The Holy Quraan says: Will you distribute the mercy of your Lord? We distribute among them their livelihood in the life of this world. (43: 32)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Holy Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to store up nothing for tomorrow. (Tirmidi)

Sayyiduna Ammar Bin Yassar (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Food, bread and meat were sent down from Heaven, and they were ordered neither to waste; but they wasted and stored up for tomorrow. So they were metamorphosed into apes and swines. (Tirmidi)

There is nothing wrong from the Islamic point of view in being rich, provided that one makes the right use of one’s riches. Furthermore, to be rich is not synonymous with the hoarding of money, whether it is for the modern currency type or silver and gold. The two are different. What does, then, constitute hoarding? According to eminent scholars and commentators of the Holy Quraan, the payment of Zakaah makes all the difference. If one pays the Zakaah of his wealth on time, this payment serves as purification of the money and ensures that he is not included among those mentioned in the verse.

Imam Bukhari (alaihir rahmah) relates on the authority of Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) that this warning was applicable before legislation of Zakaah. When Zakaah was made a duty, Allah made it serve as purification of money. Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) is further reported to have said: The wealth from which Zakaah is paid is not hoarded, even if it is stored under seven layers of earth. What is in a person’s hands is hoarded if he does not pay Zakaah for it.

Important Points on Zakaah

1. Zakaah is Fard upon all Muslim adults, who are free from debts and who have possessed wealth for full 12 months. This wealth must be equal to the Nisaab as described in the post Zakaah is obligatory upon a person if
2. The rate of Zakaah is 2.5 percent on wealth (money, gold or silver).
3. It is Fard to make the Niyyah when giving Zakaah.
4. Zakaah is actually a “religious tax” that is paid by the rich people to the poor.
5. By us paying Zakaah, we are actually cleaning our money.
6. Zakaah also teaches us to be honest in our earnings and business dealings.
7. Zakaah must not be seen as a burden or punishment, but as a form of Ibaadah.
8. Muslims can also help the poor through giving Sadaqa.
9. By giving Zakaah and Sadqa, wealth is being divided among all the Muslims.

10. Zakaah became Fard during 2 A.H.

Whom can Zakaah be given to?

Zakaah can be given to:

1. The poor and needy.
2. A person in serious debt.
3. A traveller who has run short on cash.
4. Students who are not able to pay for their education.
5. Muslims only.

Whom can Zakaah not be given to?

Zakaah cannot be given to:

1. Parents and grandparents.
2. Sons, daughters and their children.
3. A persons wife or husband.
4. Non-Muslims
5. For direct payments of funeral expenses.
6. For the maintenance of the Masjid, its repairs and construction.
7. Persons as salaries or wages.
8. Sayed – descendants of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

Verses from the Holy Quran on Zakaah

Zakaah is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has been mentioned, along with daily Prayers (Salaah), seventy times in the Qur’an. Allah’s Word commanding “… and establlsh regular Salaah and give regular Zakaah” are referred to in many parts of the Qur’an. From this we can conclude that after Salaah, Zakaah is the most important act in Islam.

The following are some verses from the Holy Qur’an and some Ahadith showing the importance and benefits of Zakaah.

1. “The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn. It grows seven ears and each ear has hundred grains. Allah increases manifold to whom He pleases.” (al-Baqarah:261)
2. “By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and Allah knows well whatever you give”. (Aal-i-lmran: 92)
3. “And nothing do you spend in the least (in His cause) but He replaces it, for He is the Best of those who grant Sustenance.” (Sabaa: 39)
4. “And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts, which Allah has given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them. No, it will be worse for them. Soon shall the things, which they covetously withheld, be tied to their necks like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgment. To Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah knows all that you do.” (Aal-i-lmran: 180)
5. “Of their good take alms, so that you might purify and sanctify them �” (Tauba: 103)

Ahadith-e-Mubarakah on Zakaah

1. Sayyiduna Umar Farooq (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that our beloved Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that the loss of wealth that one suffers on land or sea is due to not paying Zakaah. (Tibraani)
2. Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that our beloved Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that three persons would enter the Hell first. One of them, is the person who does not give Allah’s rightful share (Zakaah & Sadaqah) from his wealth. (Ibn-e-Khazema & Habaan)
3. Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that our beloved Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that wealth does not decrease when you give Sadaqah; and Allah increases the esteem of the one who forgives other people’s mistakes; and Allah raises the status of the one who practices humbleness for His sake. (Bukhari & Muslim)
4. Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that a man asked the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) about a deed that would take him to Heaven. Our beloved Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) replied: Pray to Allah. Do not commit Shirk (do not hold any partners with Him), keep performing Salaah, give Zakaah, and be kind to everyone. (Riyad-us-Saliheen)
5. Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Masu’d (radi Allahu anhu) has said that we were commanded to perform Salaah and give Zakaah, and that Salah is not accepted of the person who does not give Zakaah despite eligibility. (Tibraani)
6. Bazzaz narrated from Sayyiduna Alqamah (radi Allahu anhu) reporting that our beloved Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has said that the completion of one’s Islam is dependent upon giving away Zakaah from one’s wealth.

It is stated in the Hadith that by giving Zakaah the following benefits are derived:

1. Gain the pleasure of Allah,
2. Increase in wealth and protection from losses,
3. Allah’s forgiveness and blessings,
4. Protection from the wrath of Allah and from a bad death,
5. A shelter on the Day of Judgment,
6. Security from seventy misfortunes.

Just as Salaah is the most important act of worship, which has to be performed bodily, so is Zakaah the main act of worship which has to be performed monetarily. Those who fulfill this duty have been promised abundant reward in this world and Hereafter. Whoever evades Zakaah has been sternly warned in the Qur’an and Hadith of the consequences.

Linguistically, Zakaah has two meanings: purification and growth. Technically, it means to purify one’s possession of wealth by distributing a prescribed amount to the poor, the indigent, the slaves or captives, and the wayfarer.

There are many major benefits of giving Zakaah

1. It reminds Muslims of the fact that whatever wealth they may possess is due to the blessings of Allah and as such it is to be spent according to His Commands.
2. Zakaah functions as a social security for all. Those who have enough money today pay for what they have. If they need money tomorrow they will get what is necessary to help them live decently.
3. The Zakaah payer pays his dues to Allah as an act of worship, a tof submission and an acknowledgment of gratitude. The receiver of Zakaah receives it as a grant from Allah out of His bounty, a favour for which he is thankful to Allah.
4. Economically, Zakaah is the best check against hoarding. Those who do not invest their wealth but prefer to save or hoard it would see their wealth dwindling year after year at the rate of the payable Zakaah. This helps increase production and stimulates supply because it is a redistribution of income that enhances the demand by putting more real purchasing power in the hands of poor.

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