Zakat (Alms Giving) – The Purity and Eternity! (Part 2)


Part 2 : Virtue and Purpose

Often, we say that purpose of zakat is elimination of poverty from society. This is not the purpose but is the aftermath of performing Zakat. Zakat is an Ibadah(worship) aimed at purifying individuals and their wealth and thereby honoring them with the permanent abode as paradise. Allah says in the Quran: Take [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah 's blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing. (Qur’an 9:103)

However, it is certain that when we implement Zakat Ibadah actively in the way prescribed in Islam, poverty will eventually be eradicated from society and thereby social justice and equality will be established. This is the aftereffect of Zakat in this world. The beauty and peculiarity of every worship in Islam is that when individuals perform it in true sense, it would bring forth social order in whole society. Because, Islam is the law of Allah.This is not a mere imagination or utopian ideology. This has been once well established in the society and history had been a witness for its virtues. At the time of Prophet, system of Zakat had stood as a great help for the financial advancement of the poor in the society.

Zakat was made obligatory from Madinah, after Prophet’s(PBUH) Hijra. Unlike many ideologies, Islam has made it clear that Zakat is not for Prophet, priests or their families to make a living. How meaningful is that commandment. None of the kalifas have taken a single penny from Zakat wealth to build a palace or carve a royal throne or to make their personal living.

During the khilafat of Umar(RA), governors sent Zakat wealth collected from provinces to the capital city Madina. Kalifa Umar(RA) wrote to the governors a sharp and strong letter regarding this: “Zakat is not meant to fatten Madina but to feed the poor in the locality where it is collected” And the humble reply of governor was “whatever we have sent to capital city is the remnant after fulfilling the needs of every single man in the province.”

In this era, where many countries live in luxury and gush of money, will any single President or leader dare to claim that he has fulfilled the needs of every single man in his country? History had been a truthful witness to the reality that when we perform an act sincerely based on faith, Allah will show its effects in this world too. This can be made true in our era as well, provided we must establish Zakat accurately and make it lively in the society.

There is one more significant indication in an individual believers life due to Zakat. A believer cannot lead a heedless life by spending each and everything he gets in his hand. A beliver must always keep track of his basic needs, yearly income, investments etc so that he can calculate his zakat accurately. Thereby, he gets an order and control over his expenditure. He will get to differentiate between necessity, need and luxury. What would motivate a beliver is the warning of Prophet: In the hereafter, no one will be able to move a single footstep until he answers four things, out of them one is about his wealth- how did he earn it and how did he spend it?

Therefore, when faith and deeds become flawless, not only the individual development but the social virtues also get established as its aftermath.

English Rendering of article written by Brother Abdul Jabbar filed under Guest Articles

Read: Zakat – The Purity and Eternity – Part 1

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