ZAKAT

Zakat is another obligatory duty for a Mumin. Without it one cannot be a Mumin. But what is Zakat?

"The mumins (Believers) enjoy what is just, and forbid what is evil; they observe regular prayers, give regular zakat, and obey Allah (SWT) and the Rasul (S.A.S)" (Q)

The Quran says that only those who pay zakat are in "the brotherhood of faith" (Q) It also says that zakat purifies assets and creates virtue. (Q)

There are various ways of paying Zakat. Whichever way Allah (SWT) makes one's wealth it can be through money or other valuable articles, or it could be from one's intellect or physical power. Whichever way Allah (SWT) makes a person rich, he must pay dues to the poor (Zakat) therefrom. We can find that the rate of Zakat is described only in the shape of monetary articles in the book of Fiqh.

Zakat can be seen as a premium to one's life policy in this World and the world Hereafter. This policy guarantees one's safety in this world and the world Hereafter. So unless we pay the Zakat (i.e. the premium of a policy) we are not safe in this world or in the Hereafter. One cannot pay someone else's Zakat from his pocket because this Zakat is not transferable. Also one cannot pray his Salaat for someone else, which also applies to the Kalima and Fasting (within some terms and conditions).

Also included in the Kalima, are Kalima putting faith and truth in Allah (SWT) (the unseen) His Angels and His Rasuls and His books, life after death and the Day of Judgement, and whatever good and bad comes from Allah (SWT) (Kalimah Mudasir).

The identification of a Mumin that Allah (SWT) described in the Holy Quran is one who possess these four qualities (1. Kalima; 2. Salaat; 3. Zakat; 4. Kalima putting faith) within themselves. Without these four qualities one cannot be a true Mumin of Allah (SWT). The first and fourth quality is from the heart, since to believe one does not require spending any money. The second and third qualities are in the shape of practice, a believer puts his belief in practice as he performs Salaat Zakat.

Allah (SWT) has extended His allowances according to the circumstances and conditions of a person performing Salaat and Zakat. If we are poor Zakat can still be paid from our actions because this is the obligatory duty to Allah (SWT). There is no escape from it if one wants to be a Mumin. Also Allah (SWT) commands His Mumins that whatever business they do they should write it down, if they cannot write they can go to someone honest and god-fearing and ask them to write it down for the sake of Allah (SWT), because Allah (SWT) gave him the knowledge and writing power, but did not give it to others (non-believers).

This also is a kind of Zakat. The writer can also give his Zakat from his knowledge of writing. Suppose there are two men, one is blind but physically strong and the other is physically weak but he can see. These men find out that they are going to the same place. The physically weak person says that he intends to go to a certain place but he is carrying a bag and he can no longer carry it because he is a very weak person. The blind person says that he is going to the same place but he cannot see the way to go there. Then these people make an agreement, the blind person says to the weak person, "I will carry your bag while you show me the way." This is the way people can help each other and at the same time they can pay their Zakat. Therefore, the blind person can pay his Zakat for his strength and the weak person can pay Zakat for his sight.

In the Quran Sharif Allah (SWT) did not mention Salaat and Zakat independently, but whenever Allah mentioned Salaat He also mentioned Zakat several times. So one is inter-related with the other. Now we can see our that Iman is not perfect, unless we practice our faith according to Quran and Hadith.

In the case of disbelievers, Allah (SWT) talks about their donations and about helping others. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, "Lo! Those who disbelieve spend their wealth in order that they may deter (man) from the way of Allah (SWT) - they will spend it and then it will become an anguish for them, then they will be conquered and those who disbelieve will be gathered into Hell."
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